If you read the title you are probably thinking what the hell is this douche on about. This sounds like some new age bulls***. Well, welcome aboard the new age bull**** train! I’ve decided I am going to write some smaller personal articles on self-development, mindset, and routines. It’s not always easy working in this industry, and sometimes it’s nice to know we share our struggles, and experiences with thousands of other creatives…..we just don’t hear about them.
Now I know you are all sat at the end of your seats, sweaty-palmed, breathing shallow just waiting for the revelation of these secret ingredients! To keep the suspense away I will let you into the secret now and not leave you hanging until the last paragraph. ***inhales slowly** Be prepared for the clouds to open and little angels in silk nappies to float down and play heavenly trumpets into your ears! The 3 secret ingredients are……….( trumpet trumps trumpety trump) Hard work, Persistence, and Patience. Or H.P.P if you like crappy little acronyms.
If you were expecting more and are about to stand, boo, throw rotten veg at me like some kind of traveling elixir salesman from the wild west then sit back down before you get a swift throat punch! What actually were you expecting, some kind of success cheat sheet? Pull out your controller press up, down, left, left, rotate the joystick in a circle motion, x, y, right, left, up, up……You get the picture hahaha. The ingredients to success in anything in life whether it is work, family, love is always Hard work, persistence, and patience. In our industry, these ingredients are especially important!
People give in too easy. I have many people contact me explaining how they are taking up Photography or Photoshop, asking me how I learned my skills. And I always tell them you have to learn, learn every day and do this until you get a level you are happy with. Then learn some more. Thirty minutes a day is all you need to do, consistently. I will speak to that same person 4 months later to see how they are getting on…..they usually gave up two months in. You have to be persistent with your learning and have the patience that it will eventually work. It is not the Matrix where you can plug a lead into your head, download Photoshop 101 and in a cool voice pronounce ‘I know crop tool’. It will not be handed to you on a plate.
With hard work comes sacrifice. For 7 years I worked 5 days a week 9 hours a day, looked after my son in the evening, then once he was in bed, began work on my photography and photoshop. Rinse and repeat! I was always tired but pushed through. I would sometimes get up at 5 am to fit a couple of hours in before I went to my day job after getting to bed at 12 pm. HARD WORK! I sacrificed my weekends, nights out, visits to family. If you want to get anywhere these are the types of things you have to do.
I get a lot of people asking me to come along and assist or shoot with me. Happy to share the knowledge and experience I say yes. I’m a morning person so I try to arrange my shoots early morning to work around my energy levels. An 8 am start is always good in my eyes, but as soon as the enquiring person finds out the early start it’s always an ‘Oh no thanks that’s far too early for me I don’t get up until (enter any afternoon time you feel fit). Sacrifice people! If you cant get your ass out of bed for 8 am then life is going to be a struggle. You have to work harder than everyone around you. Have a little competition in your head. If your competitor is willing to get up at 6 am in the morning, then you at least should be willing to do the same… I would choose 5 am but that’s me haha
You have to be pro-active. You have to force those opportunities to happen. There is no such thing as luck, or not how you think anyway. Luck is a bus that circles around constantly, it’s waiting for the right opportunity for you to jump on…but you have got to have paid the fair, your dues, to take a seat! And the price? Yes, you guessed it, Hard work, persistence and patience. ***Pat on the back***
I’m not going to lie, it can be tough. You may lose friends, or even family to the grind. I’ve experienced both of these personally. You cant talk as much, visit as much. Eventually, people begin to take it personally and the connection breaks down until something explodes or they decide to fade away with resentment. My work ethic caused the breakdown and end of the relationship with my son’s mother. These things hurt, but you must not give up no matter what. You are doing this for a reason, just remember your why! Why you do this, your end goal.
You will experience isolation, loneliness, the battle with that negative voice in your head, clashes with differing creatives, people who like to rubbish your work, jealous photographers. I could go on and on. But with hard work, Persistence, and patience these things will pass. These things don’t happen overnight. Overnight success is rare, and often not overnight because that person has been grinding away behind the scenes for years. A good way to counter these things is to celebrate the little victories because when it comes down to it, that’s all life is, a series of little victories or mistakes. We tend to focus on the mistakes, which is good if you can move on and learn. But the best way is to focus on the small victories. Maybe you finished a job a day early, maybe you got an awesome email back from a happy customer, maybe you found a pound on the floor…whatever the little victory, make a mental note and eventually the positives far outweigh the negatives.
I hope you when you get to this point you’re not feeling down. But sometimes the harsh truth is what is needed for you to take action. Do you complain about other peoples success, or how they get more clients or speak negatively about other creatives work becuase you wished you had created it? ****face slap*** Well next time you do, take a look in the mirror becuase I guarantee the problem is looking back at you. Ask yourself, do you work hard enough? Do you persist through the hard times? Do you have the patience to learn and grow every day? If the answer is no, then now you know the secret ingredients!!
I am a true believer that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Life is a series of problems you have to solve to grow a person. And anyone has the capacity to solve these problems. There is always a solution. The question is, do you care enough to put in the effort to solve it.
Believe in yourself, believe in the secret ingredients, and people will believe in you!
**Floats up to heaven, basking in glorious light on the end of an angels trumpet, taking his new age positive bull*** with him***