Matthew 12:25

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”

I’m not one to preach, but I was raised in a Christian household and went to church just about every Sunday as a boy. I have since distanced myself from organized religion, but there are certain things happening in today’s world that remind me of biblical predictions my mother used to warn me about.

I posted something on Facebook that started a discussion that showed me just how divided our nation is. I said that I believed President Trump was a racist after I heard about and read his tweets regarding four congresswomen of color. (Click here: Trump’s racist tweets if you want to find out more.) I have never said anything like that before against the Commander in Chief, publicly or privately, to anyone. But this time I felt the need to speak out. At last count, there were 222 comments on my post. (If you go to my Facebook page and scroll down you’ll find the comment.)

Abraham Lincoln used the biblical metaphor in his House Divided Speech in 1858. In it, Mr. Lincoln was concerned with slavery and said: “Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

We all know what happened a couple of years after Lincoln’s speech. Are we heading toward another civil war today? Referring back to biblical predictions my mother used to warn me about, here’s another one, from Matthew 24:6: “”You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.”

It’s very hard not to be frightened!

Self-marketing: BLECH!!

Whenever I research ways to improve my photography business I usually come across articles that mention self-marketing. And that’s usually when I stop reading. What is it about promoting myself that I don’t like? Everything. Personal branding is narcissistic. Some articles tell you that self-marketing “improves your image and reputation” allowing you to advance in your chosen career. That might be true for a twenty-something but I think it’s a little different for a sixty-something. My image and reputation were set many years ago, and now neither of them makes any difference. That’s just the way it is. So, what sort of self-marketing or personal branding could I do that doesn’t make me feel like I’m a narcissist?

I’ve been uploading my photographs to a website called Flickr, I think it’s probably the best way for me to self-market my photography business. I’ve also chosen to set up a Facebook page and, of course, there’s my blog, here, that serves the purpose too. None of this feels like self-marketing, but I suppose it is. Perhaps as long as I don’t have to market myself in person I’ll feel okay about it.

I guess I should explain why I’m italicizing “business.” It’s because my photography business isn’t a legitimate business. I have no tax number, no business address, no legal documentation or anything that would make TC Conner Photography a legitimate business. Yes, I have a Facebook page and yes, I sometimes do paid photo shoots for family and friends. But I don’t make enough money to warrant tax reports to the IRS. I took a stab at it once, and discovered that self-marketing and the initial investment dollars and all the other stuff you have to do to get a business up and running(?) just wasn’t for me. It could’ve, and probably should’ve been for me 50 years ago, today however this sixty-something is on the downhill slide to full retirement. Furthermore, worrying about all the “should haves” and “could haves” gets you nowhere.

What sort of self-marketing or personal branding could I do? The simple, and probably the only answer: None.