What do you do when you feel like you're not getting anywhere?
"Not getting anywhere with what" you ask? THIS... like, your business, your photography, your videography, your marketing plan, your "thing" that you've been pushing for while giving up every "safe" job you've ever had. Is it for nothing? And at what point have you "made it"?
IS IT REALLY FOR NOTHING?
NO. Everything you're doing now, every blog post, every instagram picture you work on, every facebook post that takes 2 hours of thought to put into it, isn't for nothing. I'll tell you why. No one takes what they love doing and makes a living out of it overnight. Some do, and thats great. For most, for me at least, it took a lot of thinking and sitting and a whole lot of doing nothing.
My dream has always been to play music for a living, or to sell my art. Could I have done it? of course. I am a firm believer that if it's been done by other people, there is no reason why I can't do it. I've directed my blows in such a way that now I make a living editing videos for companies, bands, for people starting a business and want some consistent video content and for people who are in love. Photography and videography have been the perfect artistic mixture that gives me an opportunity to express myself, yet giving priority to other adult responsibilities.
But how I make money now didn't happen overnight and it's not like I live some glamorous life where I'm traveling everywhere and have no one to answer to. It's not like that at all. In fact, its a hustle everyday. Here's the thing, if you ever get the chance to get consistent work in this field, like, it looks like you'll be shooting photos and video for the next year at least, you take it. Take it and run. Run. Run. Run fool!
Because that work is consistent, you consistently show up on sight and shoot what you're given to shoot for 8 hours just about everyday. It's money. It's ultimately a job. But I'll tell you what, its better than flinging tires around, or getting your fingers smashed while unloading a truck, or dealing with ungrateful customers. If that's your thing, cool. Me? I've never liked the idea of being miserable just to make money. Why can't you be at least a little happy and make some cash? Could it be due to the fact that most peoples idea of "money" is a 6 figure salary? Yea, I don't make that, but I also am a very simple person. The camera gear, the lens selection, the computer, these are all tools for my job, a job that I happen to love doing.
I have consistent work for the foreseeable future, but I also come home after 8 hours and hustle to get a blog out. My wife manages my Facebook, she edits my blogs on this website (ah, now you see why my grammar has improved), I email other business on my lunch break, I edit photos on the weekends for other clients, I watch videos on business and marketing, I offer myself for free work just to get my name out there... but, I love doing this. Which brings me to my next point, and the title of this post.
What do you think? Would you say I've "made it"? What is "making it"? I think it can be whatever you define it to be.
I spent many many years, ok, more like 6 years, doing jobs I didn't really enjoy. But all those jobs molded me, calloused my brain to not be afraid of the idea of the "unknown" aspects of leaving a secure job. No job is safe, whether you're at a law firm or UPS. YOU make your own way. If I didn't take at least a little risk, and quit these jobs; where yeah, they weren't horrible, but they still didn't involve me editing in Premier Pro or using a camera, then I wouldn't have landed this consistent gig now. I wouldn't have the opportunity to go out of state to shoot a wedding, I wouldn't even be writing this blog to be honest with you. I would have been comfortable where I was. But I don't want to be comfortable. I want to keep moving forward.
I've made it. "Making it" for me, means having taken a risk, a chance to prove to myself that I can make at least a little bit of cash doing what I love, which is photography and videography. "Making it" will constantly be evolving in its meaning to me.
For anyone that thinks "making it" means you never have to work hard after that point...wrong. It's a hustle everyday.
So if you're at a place you hate and want to do something else, if you're feeling like your followers aren't growing, or you're stuck on a creative idea, or if you're not getting the engagement you want on your content: let yourself go through that process. Let yourself struggle. Be at a job you hate, so that you can spend every second there thinking about what you REALLY want to do.
Making it for some people means sitting on a couch and doing nothing. It can mean traveling the world, working as a truck driver, or bagging groceries, whatever makes YOU happy. Don't let people define your concept of "making it". YOU define it. Whatever that may be.