There is just one thing that’s stopping you from getting where you want to be.
May 4, 2017
I spent the better part of the last few days confused, a bit sad, and feeling weird about my future. It’s not that anything in my life is particularly bad - it’s just maybe not as exciting in this season for me as it used to be when I started taking pictures. I first found my passion 13 years ago when I picked up a camera on a family trip to Hawaii when I was 11. I didn’t set it down after that and every day with my camera was like a new opportunity to prove myself as a worthy artist - a challenge to create best picture that any of my friends had seen from me. I was in a pit-fight of growth, and it pushed me to where I am today.
Fast forward to where I’m at now. It’s 2017. I spent the better part of the ages 19-23 creating nothing but fine art photography. And slowly and surely, it sapped the life out of me. As much as I absolutely loved every moment of creating fine art with my camera, the process morphed as I grew older. My goals changed. My way of viewing the world changed.
Suddenly, creating fine art wasn’t as appealing to me as exploring all the other options I had to explore in my life with a camera. I think I’m in a good place now - I run a visual marketing company that utilizes photo and video in combination with social media to grow business’s brand awareness and brand equity. For me, it’s a more realized version of being a photographer at scale, helping people in a necessary way and providing value to people who truly need it - and are willing to pay our company for our expertise.
But it’s difficult - it’s difficult to translate your passion, that seed that gets planted at such a young age - in to something that you do for the rest of your life.
I used to think it was as easy as just finding something you love and doing it every day for the rest of your life - maybe that’s overarching theme, and I think that “idea” is still true for me today - but it’s learning how to navigate your passion as a scaleable, value-providing business or otherwise form of generating an income while swimming through the seas of life.
When I was 17, 18, 19 and I had all the time in the world to just create art while my parents spoon-fed my millennial ass. I live in a different world now than the one I lived in when I was 17, 18, 19. I’m married, I have a monthly car payment and a lease agreement. I run a small business that I’m growing. I’m overcoming fear of rejection and learning how to balance work with life.
And in the midst of all of this, I suddenly found myself lost - sitting, staring blankly in to space, overwhelmed by all of it, unable to move a single muscle in the direction of my future. Why?
I think a lot of where I’m at right now has to do with the way my life has changed - when I first picked up a camera, I had every ounce of passion for everything that I did. There was no rules, limitations, car payments, rent, nothing. I just created. And because of that, I grew in my craft - fast, fast, fast. Every day I was shooting a new photo. Learning how to navigate social media. Learning how to edit pictures. Learning how to tell a story. Every single day I put in effort because the result for me was easy - produce a new photo every day.
And there were metrics - like Flickr stats and Instagram likes to measure my progress by.
Now I’m on entirely different playing field - the success of my craft - of my passion - of my business - is determined by how well I can solve my clients problems, how many clients we can effectively book in, how good of a team I can hire, and how many of our clients walk away with a happy experience with Talley Media.
The only thing that separates you from where you want to be is the amount of work you put in. That’s it.
I used to read a lot of business advice and self-help-motivational books. They were great when I was 20 years old and still learning. They’re not right for me anymore. Advice books aren’t bad, but they are not going to give you the secret you need to succeed, because the path is different for everyone - the only common core between everyone’s path is that the amount of work you put in is directly equal to the amount of growth that comes out.
It’s easy to find ourselves absolutely stuck and sad about our current state, vs. where we want to be. For me, I usually get super down on myself because I’m not in the place where I want to be and I expect that quick growth to the level of what I experienced as a teenager with a camera is going to magically and radically transform my life. And I get stuck. And I wait. And it’s bad. Very bad.
When you’re navigating your life, your business, and your passion, it’s easy to fall in to the trap of not seeing growth or gains quick enough, allowing it to permeate our motivation, and subsequently deciding not to jump the gap and instead stay in the safe comfort of where you are now, dreaming but never doing, thinking but never acting. I live my life on two principles in this sphere that keep me out of that place:
1. Take action each day.
2. Don’t think about the consequences.
Obviously, I don’t mean that you should just jump blindly in to something that is potentially harmful or dangerous to your physical, mental, or financial health. I just mean that we as humans become SO caught up in thinking about potential failure, that we never ever take the leap. When you get on an airplane, you know the destination you’re going to but you can’t see it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there. And you can sit on the plane and freak out and worry about not making it to that destination, get scared at every bit of turbulence, and worry about not being able to see the landing strip clearly -
or, you can choose to sit back, work hard, and enjoy the ride.
Our dreams are out there if we’re just willing to believe in ourselves, take risk, and move forward. Let's go get them.
I'm on a mission to show that the light will always pierce through the darkness.