There are dozens, nay, hundreds of books written on this subject (I used “nay” in a sentence!)

“What subject is that?” You might ask. It is the subject of getting back what you put out there.

Last week, I attended a wedding professionals’ networking event. That is, I went to a fancy restaurant place and walked up to a ton of strangers and talked to them about what work they do in the wedding industry. I got a few business cards, and spoke mostly to people who, though lovely and very pleasant to talk to, are not typically the type of vendors that can help us out. Usually wedding planners and people who run wedding venues are the best people for photographers (and other wedding professionals) to network with, as they are the ones who brides go to for referrals. I got the card of one planner and one venue guy. Neither of them have returned my email.

Meanwhile, our fellow photographer friend was at the same event. He spoke almost exclusively with planners and venue people, got a ton of cards, and has just been put on the photographer vendor list for one of the biggest wedding venues in NYC. I’m no wallflower at these events. I go right up to people and network my balls off (point of fact: I do not have balls.) I am amiable, professional, and not too pushy. Needless to say, when I found out how well our friend did, I was a little peeved.

I turned to my husband in our kitchen yesterday, hoping to find the answer to this unfunny riddle. My husband is a big believer in “you get back what you put out there.” He looked at me and said, “He wants it, and you don’t.”

Excuse me? I said.

My husband reminded me that I want to be a writer. Our friend wants to be a wedding photographer. I go out there, selling our photography and video businesses to potential clients, and get little response. Frankly, I think I’m pretty good at it. But the problem is that deep inside, I don’t want it.

We had a similar problem our last year in LA before we moved back to NYC last year. My husband was trying and trying and trying to get editing gigs, but no one was hiring! We both finally succumbed to the truth that no one was hiring him because (deep inside) he didn’t want to be a hired editor anymore. He wanted to have his own video and photography company. And when we started pursuing that, we started getting jobs.

So what’s the solution? We need photography and video gigs and I’m “better” at networking and talking to potential clients than he is. But if I’m putting the invisible energy out there that I really want to be writing, then maybe I’m… oh goodness… cursing us?

I really enjoy our two businesses. I do. They’re a great way for us to make money. I like what we do. I’ll say it again: I like running our two businesses.

But maybe the almighty universe can read my mind…