If you want to win - and by win, I mean succeed in achieving a goal you set for yourself - you need to figure out exactly the process that works for YOU.
I have spent more time than I’m willing to admit chasing what everyone else who is successful was doing before I decided that I was going to try everything that I thought I could do MY way to figure out what works best for me. We live in a culture that breeds an attitude of never feeling like we’re “enough” - we can blame the idolatry and celebritization of culture for this. Thus, this leads us to believe that we must follow another successful person or business’ path, following a rabbit trail of other people who have “made it,” but never actually finding that satisfaction ourselves.
The reality is that no one is just like anyone else, and not one path is the same as another. Do certain methods, tactics, and directions work for a lot of people? Yes, but only if those people are willing to make those things their own - to adopt tactics and strategies and employ them in a way that makes sense for their own system and personality and hopes and dreams and goals.
Because I spent so long struggling with this, I made a quick, handy step-by-step breakdown of how I have broken (and continue to break daily) this mindset. It takes constant, consistent work - but doing things on your own terms is exceedingly more rewarding than just chasing what other people are doing all the time. This is howI’ve helped myself break out of this, and these are the things I remind myself of every day.
1. Don’t get caught up in new ideas that are unrelated to you achieving your current goal. A lot of things are shiny - it doesn’t mean you have to have them. Stick to what you’re doing and F.O.C.U.S. (follow one course until successful) until you succeed. It’s so easy to see other artists, entrepreneurs, whatever being super successful doing incredible things and feel like you're not "doing it right." I get really jealous and have to remind myself that even the most successful people that I look up to had to find their own way - a way that was what worked for them and only them.
2. Get off social media if all you’re doing is looking at successful people in your industry and wishing you were them and that you were where they are. Guess what? You’re not. I’m not. And it takes a hell of a lot of DOING things before you actually get to that level in any way, shape, or form. The more time you spend pining over these accounts on social media WISHING and HOPING that you get there, the more time you’re NOT spending executing. I used to spend hours every day browsing flickr.com looking at the work of photographers that I only wished I could create. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but I infused each of these browses with a feeling of sadness - instead of what I should have done sooner (and eventually did), which was learn how to progress to the point I wanted to get to.
3. Don’t fall in to the trap of information intake without execution. There’s so many people out there teaching the “best way to do X.” The reality is that, while books and training courses and e-books are all massively helpful (I’ve learned a lot from them myself,) it’s easy to fall in to the trap of consuming them without executing. I spent YEARS just reading and planning and strategizing without executing - and while that self-education has been nothing short of helpful, I wish, at the same time I was learning, I was also doing - making things happen. It’s more than okay to learn - we should all be learning. BUT, I think it’s best to learn by DOING.
4. Passion is what set’s us a part - it’s why we all pursue different things, love different things, and build different things. We all have fallen in love with some thing or another, and those things become a part of us. I never expected to become a photographer - instead, I wanted to be a “business person” (whatever that meant) and do photography as a side passion. It happened the other way around, and I fell in love with photography. It became everything to me - and it separated me from the crowd while allowing me to build a life and business focused around it. When you remind yourself of your passion, it’s much easier to do YOU.
5. Everyone is going to have a different goal for any venture they take on - whether that’s to reproduce the world’s largest photo of a dog tightroping while balancing bowling pins, or it’s building the world’s most successful clown-makeup niche site - you’re going to have a goal that you want to achieve the is unique to your vision and passion. Sometimes it’s hard to define this - I’m not sure that I always have myself, but reminding myself of my goals and how I want my vision to carry out is a strong motivator for me to stay on my path and do me
I think for me, employing some of these ideas has been a great motivator and a great turning point in any success I have or will achieve. Any time that I’ve taken my own path, instead of following what someone else said was the best way to do something, I’ve succeeded, grown, learned, and felt much happier. That’s not to say that all of the information I’ve ever received is wrong - it’s just simply a matter of taking that information, then processing and executing it in a way that makes the most sense for me, my passion, and my goals.
We have to be careful to not get caught up in what the rest of the world says is best for us - WE have to do what is best for us.
In that way, we can all win.
May 12, 2017
I'm on a mission to show that the light will always pierce through the darkness.