Friday, June 21, 2013

Perseverance Pays Off...

This has been an AWESOME week and I have learned to really appreciate those weeks, because as we all know... life does not hand us awesome weeks all of the time. If you are in the up and down world of freelance work, or self-employment, it can feel even LESS often. It is because of that, that many people have a hard time sticking with it. Perhaps they feel their circumstances do not allow a choice; they feel that they need something more financially stable and predictable, something more "normal".

It makes me really sad (and frustrated quite frankly) to see people who are amazing at something or who have amazing potential in their craft give up for reasons like this. I simply cannot imagine myself completely leaving what I love to do for something I "have" to do... I suppose I am just not wired that way. When it comes to my career, it is because of my love for it that I have always FOUND a way to make it work; to make it my living, to give it 120%, 100% of the time. After all... where there is a will, there is a way right? Do you BELIEVE that? I do, and that is the first step in making what you love your living.

I remember 22 years ago when I had to present my career as a cosmetologist to my twelfth-grade English class. Classmates chuckled and snickered at me as I shared my aspirations; but that never stopped me. I was on a mission to do what I loved and THAT is what I would do. There were times when I worked two jobs... I had opened my first salon at the early age of 20, and while I got it going, I took a side job as a server/bartender in order to pay my bills. I networked with my customers, but not about being a server... but about me being a hairstylist/makeup artist because THAT was my love. Serving was merely a temporary necessity in my path to keep my dream alive; and although I was a dedicated server and gave it my best... at the end of the day I knew where I wanted to hang my hat and I always stayed focused on that.

Many years went by; I would be lying if I said it was easy, but somehow, I always managed to FIND a way to make it work, to make ends meet, to network for new business and learned what I could to gain more. It was hard; sleep was often a side note, but when you have big dreams, big goals, and a desire to reach them, you do what it takes despite the obstacles because it's the only way to get there. There were times when I questioned myself and although I never thought of giving up, I would get frustrated, overwhelmed, tired and would have moments where I felt like my hard work would never pay off. There are still times when I feel this way even now as my career flourishes because when you add up the hours sometimes the math just doesn't make sense. However when you see things coming to fruition, when you finally reach the point of people realizing your value, your mind begins to shift and you realize there is more to this than a dollar amount; I guess that is where I am right now.

Over the course of many years... I have given my services away, I have done things that cost me money yet yielded none... I have invested both time and money and lost that time and money because not all of your investments will pay off. However perseverance does... EVERY single time. You have to know when to hold em' and know when to fold em', but doing what you love is something you should never fold and that holds true whether we are talking careers or simply what makes you happy in life.

As my week comes to a close, I am so happy to see that my perseverance is making things happen. I know I am on the track to where I have always wanted to be, I have said it before and I will say it again and again because THAT is what belief sounds like.

Yesterday afternoon before heading to a photo shoot for a new client, I checked my email. I was excited to see a message with a few sneak peek shots from another brand new photographer client that I worked with earlier in the week. In the message, she included these two shots as well as this this... 

"I didn't do any contouring in post--that's all your amazing makeup!"  

I must admit, it made for a very good day... you just can't put a price on stuff like that. 

I am so happy that the days of people asking me to work for trade are over because my value has finally been realized. My confidence in my work is also strong enough to not feel bad for charging what I am worth. It may take you a long time to get there, unfortunately in the freelance world you must prove yourself.  I PROMISE that if you never give up and continue to improve your skills and professionalism, your perseverance WILL pay off one day! If you love it, want it bad enough to do whatever it takes!

I wish you all the ability to do something you love for a living... 
to maintain passion in something and follow your dreams.

Here are a few more shots from my VERY busy week...