I see you out there hustling your butt off just to make that passion project turn a profit. I see you endlessly scrolling on an app that doesn’t think of you as anything but a number. I see you feeling defeated, deflated, and doubtful. I’ve been in your shoes. In fact I’m usually wearing those shoes once a week if not more. But I want you to know that it’s worth it, and I want you to know that you are enough.
When I first thought of what it would be like to be a professional photographer I imagined traveling the country, having tons of clients that I loved, and being able to sleep in every day. If you think being an entrepreneur is going to be easy let’s get that thought right out of your head. It’s not. Do I travel? yep. Do I have lots of clients that I love? Sure do. Do I get to sleep in most days? well kinda. But I’ll be honest, there are more frustrating days than great ones. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it, and it doesn’t mean that this isn’t what I would choose to do with my life over and over.
If you haven’t read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” stop reading this, go buy a copy, download it on audible, and soak it in. It’s life changing. One of the things that stood out to me most was when she wrote this passage, “‘What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?’ What Manson means is that every single pursuit—no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem—comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. As Manson writes with profound wisdom: ‘Everything sucks, some of the time.’ You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much ‘What are you passionate about?’ The question is ‘What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?'”. This is what it means to be a creative person.
When you truly love what it is that you do, you will stop at nothing to make it happen. Do you want to have your product in 10 local stores? Go out and knock on 30 doors, chances are at least one of them will love you. Do you want to write a book? Open your laptop or grab a pencil and just write, even if it’s only for a half hour. If you don’t think you can do it, I dare you to prove yourself wrong. Who cares if you only get your product in one store instead of 10? You did what a lot of people don’t ever do. Who cares if you don’t get a New York Times Bestseller spot? You wrote something that you loved. We need to stop making it about doing everything perfectly, and more about doing those few things we are so passionate it keeps us up at night, really really well.
Our talents are given to us for a purpose, even if it is to only make an impact on one person. Even that makes this worth it. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to give up. If I gave up I wouldn’t have gotten to capture images of a baby coming into this world, and I wouldn’t have captured a father daughter dance that they didn’t think would ever happen. Just because it might not mean something to the whole world, does not mean it doesn’t mean the world to someone. What you are doing matters. You have to remember that.
I’m not saying every day will get easier, but you can do it. There is power in perseverance and the right mindset. If you do nothing else today I want you to look in the mirror and say out loud “I can do this”. It may seem silly at first and really uncomfortable, but sending that thought into the universe will bring you exponential growth. That pit you feel in your stomach when you dream big is there for a reason. Listen to it and remember that this feeling is there to show you that you are doing something important. You can do big things. You are doing important things. You are enough and you can do it!