Once upon a time, I followed a lot of photography blogs. I guess I had told myself that I enjoyed looking at their work, but since I left teaching, I only follow ONE blog pretty regularly. The weird part is, I only follow that blog for the personal posts. This was something I realized only a few weeks ago, and it was surprising to me for some reason.
All that time I spent following these blogs and looking at all the things they were photographing, I didn’t know it then, but I was looking at these blogs as a gauge of success. “Once I do X,Y,Z like they did, then I’ll be a success. I’ll have made it.”
Oh, what a slippery slope to travel down.
My definition of success has changed radically since I left teaching. I no longer look at other people’s work out of longing and jealousy because I feel confident in my photography style and what I can create for my couples and families. I love checking out blogs and connecting with them on a personal level, and not looking to them for inspiration.
As business owners it’s really easy to look at what every one else is doing, and then add those things to our checklist for our path to success. That is only going to leave us feeling unsatisfied and always reaching for more, to accomplish bigger and better things. The reality is, that unless you ALREADY appreciate what you have, once you get those bigger and better things, you’re not going to feel any different. Before you decide that what someone else is doing is what success is, think about what they had to do to accomplish that. Is that what you’re willing to do? Is that something that is in line with your own goals? If it’s not, move on. You DON’T have to do what everyone else is doing! For example, I used to think that in order to be a worthy photographer, you had to shoot destination weddings. Let me tell you, I think those weddings are beautiful, and I would love the opportunity to photograph one, but that’s not something I could do several times a year, and that is okay!
This past year I’ve been staying focused on MY goals. Goals that I’ve created specifically that can only apply to me, because they’re what I need, and not what the industry says I need to be. I have a family that I’m always thinking about, and they are absolutely my reason for working so hard and doing everything in my power to keep this business growing and moving forward.
I want to encourage you today to keep your head down, and keep your focus on what goals are really going to make you feel like you’re living a fulfilling life.
What gets you fired up? Go make that happen.
Look to others for inspiration, but don’t make them the standard.
As cliche as it sounds, you march to the beat of your own drum. Life is so so much better that way.