Apparently it is hereditary.

If my shoes don't fit just right, and if I'm on my feet for long hours in warm situations it often develops. Good thing I'm a wedding photographer.

So if I'm not careful, every summer I'll get an ingrown toenail. Gross.

Now, before you begin to tell me how I'm cutting my toenails wrong just wait a minute. It's not up there, it starts down in the middle of the nail. Trust me, I know how to cut them correctly.

Anyways, the only thing that really helps is to soak your foot. My wife told me this, and I thought better. It will just go away like normal - I thought. But it didn't. I was shooting so many double wedding weekends that it just got worse. Worse to the point that one night after a wedding, I took the subway home, and was in such pain I had to take my shoe off in the middle of the street at 1:30am. I looked like a crazy person.

You know what I did when I got home? I soaked that thing like you wouldn't believe.

Guess what? It got better. But only after antibiotics, and a lot of soaking. Well, because I waited too long to listen.

Okay, what do ingrown toenails have to do with a creative in business?

A lot. There are a bunch of parallels that I pulled from it. Here are 4.

1) listen to the people in your life that you love. They could really help you progress in a less painful way.

2) Stop making the same mistakes over and over again. It's okay - no it's good to make mistakes, it shows you're trying things. But it's not good to make the same mistake 3,4,5 times.

3) I've always thought being creative meant being fully spontaneous. It doesn't. Look out for your weak spots and plan around them. In my case, I needed to plan to buy better shoes.

4) Don't procrastinate on what Steven Covey calls the not-urgent-but-important-tasks (Quadrant II). Those are the things that are most important in life that only you can accomplish.

Only you can soak your foot. Only you can do what is best for you.

You know the phrase - something about being a student for life is the most important thing.

You creatives out there? We need to be in art school for the rest of our lives. Even if you never set your foot inside one - it's not about those 4 years, it's about learning how to learn. You don't need to have gone to a fancy art school to learn that.

I recently started to believe something that is so detrimental to a creative that before long it could torpedo my career. I started to believe that I got it. That I was good enough. That I didn't need much input. I didn't need "teachers" in my life. Don't believe that lie. Search out for people that will give you their opinion, that will critique you, that will tell you that you have something to learn. Because we all do.

I never would have guessed how important estimating has been in my career.

If you overestimate you may not get the job.

If you underestimate you may lose your credibility.

If you don't estimate at all, you'll get nothing done.

July is the halfway point of the year. How has your estimating been so far? Was is over, under, non-existent? My tendency is over estimate the heck out of a 24 hour day, but forget about the 2 to 4 year segments. A guy named Bill, who has accomplished a lot in his life said it well:

"Most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate what they can do in ten years."
- Bill Gates