Posted by: Susan Hendrich | March 4, 2019

Humility + Iteration = A Leader’s Saving Grace

Being likeable will help you in your job, business, relationships, and life. I interviewed dozens of successful business leaders for my last book, to determine what made them so likable and their companies so successful. All of the concepts are simple, and yet, perhaps in the name of revenues or the bottom line, we often lose sight of the simple things – things that not only make us human, but can actually help us become more successful. Below are the eleven most important principles to integrate to become a better leader:

1. Listening

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors. Here’s why the best CEO’s listen more.

2. Storytelling

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” -Robert McAfee Brown

After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you’re telling a story to one prospect over lunch, a boardroom full of people, or thousands of people through an online video – storytelling wins customers.

3. Authenticity

“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey

Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow’s leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional lives together.

4. Transparency

“As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.” -John Whittier

There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night – unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.

5. Team Playing

“Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” -SEAL Team Saying

No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, practicing humility, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You’ll need a culture of success within your organization, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.

6. Responsiveness

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

The best leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder today is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Whether the communication is email, voice mail, a note or a a tweet, responding shows you care and gives your customers and colleagues a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on the organization.

7. Adaptability

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Ben Franklin

There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable to most organizations. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.

8. Passion

“The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.” -Steve Jobs

Those who love what they do don’t have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.

9. Surprise and Delight

“A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.” -Charles de Gaulle

Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There are a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money – a smile, We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.

10. Simplicity

“Less isn’t more; just enough is more.” -Milton Glaser

The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today’s leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.

11. Gratefulness

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” -Gilbert Chesterton

Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great! Donor’s Choose studied the value of a hand-written thank-you note, and actually found donors were 38% more likely to give a 2nd time if they got a hand-written note!

The Golden Rule: Above all else, treat others as you’d like to be treated

By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from coworkers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles — and yet many people, too concerned with making money or getting by, fail to truly adopt these key concepts.

Which of these principles are most important to you — what makes you likeable?

Posted by: Susan Hendrich | March 1, 2019

How resilient are you?

Cast light every day…

Everything can be taken from a man or woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.  – Victor E. Frankl


noun \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\

  1. the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
  2. an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Throughout my adult life, for various reasons, I have been told that I am resilient. But my story isn’t relevant today. Oh, believe me, I’d like for you to know all the joys and challenges, triumphs and struggles I’ve experienced. But when I’m practicing resilience, sometimes that means casting aside wounds, wonders, worries and woes in order to allow the simplicity of a message to shine through. So in the spirit of simplicity, all I will say right now about my discovery of the power of resilience is that I believe it is important to cast light, every day.

Cast your light

By shining our inner light outward toward the world, we brighten all that we see. So if you are reading this, it is because you were willing to let this light be cast upon you for a moment.


Posted by: Susan Hendrich | February 12, 2019

Four things to say to the people who matter most

Tree Birds
Nostalgia is following me lately, partly because some important and precious things are changing (more on that next time).
Not knowing what the future holds, we humans tend to turn backwards to review those memories and moments and people that have made our lives meaningful.
I’ve always been close to my family. During the past several years, more than ever, I’m aware of our mortality. Given a heightened awareness of the clicking of life’s clock, I’m in the throes of this retrospective reflection on my family, friends and others who have impacted me.
Tonight I came across the notion of “four things” we should be sure to say to the people important to us, while we still can. This simple list pulled together loose ends that have been dangling in my heart for some time. I thought I’d share the list with you.

Four things to say to the people who matter in your life before it’s too late

  1. I love you
  2. Thank you
  3. Please forgive me
  4. I forgive you
~ From the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono, a cleansing ritual of reconciliation and forgiveness.

What is Ho’oponopono?

“Hoʻoponopono” is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as:

(a) “To put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up make orderly or neat, administer, superintend, supervise, manage, edit, work carefully or neatly; to make ready, as canoemen preparing to catch a wave.”

(b) “Mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right (hoʻoponopono) through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.”

Literally, hoʻo is a particle used to make an actualizing verb from the following noun, as would “to” before a noun in English. Here, it creates a verb from the noun pono, which is defined as: “…goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, true condition or nature, duty; moral, fitting, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair, beneficial, successful, in perfect order, accurate, correct, eased, relieved; should, ought, must, necessary.”

Ponopono is defined as “to put to rights; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”

 Ira Byock discusses those Four Things to say to people in your life who matter in his book, “The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living


  • The Last Time
  • The Terrible Secret
  • Story Corps: StoryCorps changed my life. If you haven’t heard of StoryCorps, it’s time.
  • Necessary Losses
  • Biily Joel – Captain Jack
Posted by: Susan Hendrich | February 23, 2018

Be your own Olympic champion with the Workplace Workout

Posted by: Susan Hendrich | October 25, 2017

Sell Your Art: The Business of Photography

So You Want to Sell Your Art?

Do family and friends tell you that your photography is amazing and that you should sell your photos? Are you wanting to give it a try but not too sure how to get started?

Maybe it’s time to start selling your art. But how?

There are countless ways to “be a photographer.”

There’s commercial and artistic and documentary and travel and wedding photography. Within each of these pursuits, there are endless opportunities to sell photos. Think about magazines, books, calendars, greeting cards, private collections, museums, stock photo agencies, art galleries, advertising agencies, art fairs, and more.

There’s never been a better time to show your work to a wide audience, and there are specific ways that you can maximize the opportunity for others to see your work.


Alapocas Run, Wilmington, Delaware by Susan E. Hendrich


Opportunities for free exposure are boundless with the advent of social media. But, the market is saturated with photographers who want to sell their work for that same reason. The fine art market has always been tough to break into. It’s harder than ever to make money at it, as art is a luxury and not an easy sale in a tough economy. But, if you’re good, there is probably a market for you at the local level. Here are things to consider to test your market and see if your work will sell:

1. Create a few professional marketing tools.

A. Your Bio

To start, you should create a short biography telling who you are and what you’ve done. You’ll need an up-to-date resume. An artist’s statement is imperative in order to connect the viewer to the work – your pictures don’t always speak for themselves.

B. Your Portfolio

Build a portfolio of your work both online and offline. This portfolio should be curated carefully. Don’t pour a lifetime’s worth of photographs in front of someone. Instead, take your viewer on a journey. Think through the experience of your viewer from their perspective. Your photographic story should make sense. Leave them wanting more, not less.

Online Artwork

Start by posting (only) your best work online in a gallery with an online shopping option.

  • Fine Art America is free
  • Smugmug is reasonably priced and more professional looking
  • Etsy has a nice photography section and touts itself as being the place where you can shop for “anything from creative people everywhere”
  • Many other options exist – ask your friends where they find and buy their art

Printed Artwork

  • Print a few of your very best images in a large format, then matte and frame them.
  • You can also order good quality canvas prints so you don’t have to worry about framing.

C. Your Calling Card

Design and print some business cards with your contact info, gallery and/or website links, etc. If you want to include a logo mark, go for it. This simple act and small investment can do wonders for your sense of being an established photographer with real art to sell.


Market Street Reflections, Wilmington, Delaware by Susan E. Hendrich

2. Start Selling.

Now that you have created your online presence and a printed small inventory, it’s time to out there and sell.

  • Go local. Unless you have amazing images from your last trip to India that would be a great fit in your local Indian restaurant, think locally. People like to buy images of places they know. This is especially true if you photograph those familiar places with a unique vision that make them even more interesting. They also make great gift items for visiting guests.
  • Visit your neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants and ask if they would display your work for a few weeks (keep it under a month, no one will notice it after two or three weeks anyway). Most coffee shops welcome the free wall decoration and will not ask for a commission. If they do, figure it out in your price. You can also offer them a print of their choice to keep as a thank you. Make sure you leave plenty of business cards near your work so people can contact you if they are not ready to buy on the spot.
  • Ask at local businesses with blank walls if they might be interested in displaying your artwork. Think about the places you go…your doctor’s office, dentist, community library, and even your local grocery store. Ask for the office manager and present a few of your images of local scenes to see if they might be interested in showing your photography.



Wilmington Flower Market, Wilmington, Delaware by Susan E. Hendrich

Shoot in your own community to create images that will sell in your hometown. These Delaware photos, shot last year, are more likely to sell here in Delaware than my images of Amsterdam. Why? They appeal to a larger audience locally.

3. Share the love.

A. Donate

Donate a framed print to a silent auction to benefit a good cause. You will help them with your contribution, get some exposure and feel really good about yourself for your donation.

B. Host a Show

Host your own show at your house or local spot! Team up with two or three other artists (jewelry artists, painters, etc.) for a fun evening. Share the cost of the beverages and snacks, combine your contact lists and have your own art show. Make sure to have a lot of ‘cash and carry’ items to sell, display some of your large prints as well. Those shows are great because the competition is minimal and people are here to shop and have a good time. Your guests will enjoy visiting with the artists and meet new friends. You can potentially make hundreds of dollars in a short period of time while having fun!

C. Join a Fair

Considering selling your photos at art fairs? Think carefully. These are often expensive to join and photography is not usually a best seller. If you go for it, make sure you have plenty of inexpensive items such as greeting cards, small matted prints, etc.  Be prepared for a long day or weekend sitting around and not selling much (when you could be out there taking more pictures).

D. Pick a Card

Greeting cards sell! As paper becomes more and more a thing of the past, a beautiful greeting card becomes even more special. Create cards for different occasions. You can go on ‘greeting card photo walks’ where you capture specific subjects for different occasions (balloons for birthdays, flowers for Mother’s Day, lighted trees for Christmas, or even find heart shapes in nature for love and Valentine’s Day cards).



Flags for Homeless Veterans, Wilmington, Delaware by Susan E. Hendrich


4. Keep Learning and Growing.

You will have unique challenges to face with your art, which will be influenced by your potential market, your own personal challenges, and your audience. If you’ve been making photographs as a hobby and want to begin selling, check out a good book or website or blog to see how others have made the journey. Here are a few to consider:

  • Selling Fine Art Photography: How To Market Your Fine Art Photography Online To Create A Consistent Flow Of Excited Art Buyers Who Love What You Do, by Nigel Merrick
  • Sell & Re-Sell Your Photos: Learn How to Sell Your Photographs Worldwide 6th Edition, by Rohn Engh and‎ Mikael Karlsson
  • Marketing Fine Art Photography 1st Edition, by Alain Briot Central

After making the decision to sell your photography—full-time or part-time or just once a year with a holiday calendar—be a professional photographer. Carry your business cards. Update your website. Seize the right opportunities when they present themselves. And for goodness sake, carry your camera with you. Only share work that you are truly proud of. Organize your materials and be ready to share them at a moment’s notice. Opportunity windows can be tiny.

Speak with confidence about your work. Know what you stand for and what makes your work different.

Join a creative community. Fellow artists can be your best resource and your most knowledgeable support, and most will share what works for them. Connect.


5. Repeat this line: “I can do this.”

Being a photographer is not a simple journey. When choosing this path, many do so because they have something to say, it’s a mode of expression. But fear often drives a photographer to steer their work toward the market and away from their heart. A form of success may come from this veering, but you may fulfill your need to grow and evolve as an artist. It is important to continuously pay attention to your authentic self.

What do you want your work to say? Decide what you want to capture. What do you hope to explore? Even when shooting commercial photography, you must still have your own voice. This authentically-you perspective separate you from the pack. And don’t worry if you stray for a while, if you discipline yourself to keep asking, “Where do I really want to go with this?” Your inner guide will help you get there.

Start small on a local scale and keep your initial expectations modest. You may not make a million, but there is something special about making a few sales of your art. You’ll find your niche and soon you’ll be sharing your own tips on a blog like this.
Now, say it with me…”I can do this.” Say it again.
Special thanks to Delaware Photographic Society President, Fred Cullis for inspiring this post. Credit also goes to Canon Explorer of Light Michele Celentano, for her amazing Portrait Photography workshop.



Lounge Reflections, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Susan E. Hendrich


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