When thinking of business and revenue growth, sometimes we may lose sight of the long haul and only focus on the short-term gains. When and what should prompt us to move on to greener pastures?

The simplest idea to grow a business and its revenue, seems to be gaining as many customers as possible. For large companies with great infrastructure, financial muscle, and human resources, that seems like not too difficult a task to handle. However, for emerging or smaller companies, keeping pace with simply acquiring more and more customers, is a fine art that requires discernment and wisdom.

There are many small innovative companies, imho, that have made a difference. I am an amateur photographer and filmmaker, and I follow photographic and videographic developments very closely. I try as much as possible to see what would work for me, especially with my physical constraints (eyesight and spine). For me, I need cameras that work for stills, as well as HD video.

Some equipment that are against convention would work better for me than another. For example, while many would swear by the likes of Leica, alas, it does not have image stabilization and for its expensive M cameras, may even require manual focus, both of which pose great challenges to someone with poor sight and a curved spine. Further, none of the Leicas can work as a HD videography tool to date.

However, I have found the Olympus OM-D EM5, which uses a smaller MFT sensor, having the IBIS image stabilization and very responsive autofocus, to work for me wonderfully, to capture moments that are very fleeting. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Leica for what it stands for. However, in a fast-paced multimedia environment, a Leica does not suit my needs. The OM-D, and the GH2, both work for me as still photography tools, as well as amateur videography on the cheap, with accessibility to external sound inputs, HD video capture, and interchangeable lenses from various makers (including the esoteric Voigtlander fast primes, such as the 17.5mm F0.95 which I love with the follow focus).

Therefore, whether a tool is “more” branded or more expensive, does not matter to me. The tool should work FOR me and serve my needs.

Therefore, when smaller companies innovate, such as SLR Magic with its innovative fast prime lenses for various mounts, including the MFT mount, there will be people who can benefit from and appreciate such innovations. Conversely, there will be detractors. It is with some sadness that SLR Magic will no longer develop rangefinder coupled lenses. But the good news for videographers like myself, is that SLR Magic will focus on developing more lenses for us, which have clickless apertures and even geared focus rings for our follow focus units. The SLR Magic lenses can work with my Olympus OM-D, GH2 and other MFT cameras, as well as the latest Blackmagic Cinema Camera with MFT mount. And not forgetting the Lumix GH3 which replaces the GH2, and there are exciting camera platforms to tap on such fast prime lenses.

So what has the SLR Magic got to do with parting ways with customers?

Analogously, in many industries, sometimes we are faced with the dilemma of having a customer whose account does not add up (in terms of profitability or even being appreciated or not). Do we continue to brave through the challenges with little or no reward, financial or emotive? Or do we part ways?

Surprisingly, the answer is simpler than we make it out to be. All too often, what do we seek in life? Happiness. There will be people who we enjoy working with, and people we don’t. There will be things we like, and things we don’t. If the dollars are not even worth the effort and the pains, why continue to kill ourselves slowly by sticking with it? After all, health and happiness are some of the most important things to me, imho.

When we free up the time and resources by parting ways with an impossible account, yes, we would lose some dollars which might have paid some bills and some peers, but the emotive pressures would be alleviated and we have our minds and hearts liberated to seek greener pastures. Sure, it is going to be challenging finding new business, but when there is a will, there is a way, and there is always someone out there who would appreciate one’s talents and experience better, and the working and collaboration styles more collegial. And yet another reality check – not all detractors are even paying customers, and may never ever be. For businesses with limited resources (big and small alike), we have to have the discernment and the wisdom to know which battles to fight.

We must attempt to remember, that in life, there will always be those who cheer us on and are on our side, and those who jeer and oppose us. We can’t live our lives swayed merely by the opinions of a few. Life is barely a short glimpse of some years or decades. It is worth every second of our lives to make it worth our time, resources, and hearts.