I’m not afraid to die on the treadmill.



Last week’s Motivation Monday about dreams really struck a cord with people.  Thank you for all of your emails!  Many people were touched or inspired, but please know that I also heard all of you who felt insecure or doubtful about your own dreams.

I wanted to share one email with you today, because it was such an honest reflection of the way we feel when things aren’t going our way.  Trust me, I know these feelings all too well and I experienced the same feelings many times in my own business.  I think we all share these types of doubts in common.

“Didn’t want to leave this in the comments as I hate public negativity, but I’m feeling a little ba-humbug about dreams lately.  Passion doesn’t pay the bills.  Love the success stories, but they often mislead.  Sometimes holding onto a dream can be just as painful as abandoning it.  I realize your job is to help the hopefuls, but the truth is, some of us should let it go, before it’s too late.  Not a good day today, I suppose.  Thanks for listening and I do apologize for being the damp blanket.  Who knows, maybe this is more fuel for you; I do believe you have the best of intentions.”  ~ blog reader

Well, it was fuel for me!  This blog reader was 100% right and I wrote her back thanking her as soon as I read her response.  Passion alone DOES NOT pay the bills.  Being a business owner is hard work and I often talk about that.  In fact, I think you better LOVE what you’re doing as a business owner, because it is the hardest job you could sign up for.  You’re going to be working a lot more than 40 hours a week in the first few years, so life is going to pretty much suck if you don’t have a passion for what you do.

I ask you this question:  If someone told you that you had to continue doing your job just as it is, day in and day out, for the next 5 years, or the next 10 years, before you reached the level of “success” you have defined for yourself, would you keep at it?  Are you THAT passionate about it?  Or would you throw in the towel now?

Because that is probably what it takes.

Our “overnight” success took 6 years of hard work, day in and day out.  We didn’t have the option of throwing in the towel.  Shaun and I often worked 60 hours a week or more, barely paying the bills in the beginning.  We experienced more then our share of doubts, sacrifices, and bad days, just like everyone else.  Can anyone do it?  YES.  There is no magic bullet, special sauce or secret formula.  We just work really freaking hard.

I share my success story because it is my truth.  I share it in a positive light because that is who I am.  Perhaps others can see their own potential through our story.  Perhaps they will know they aren’t alone in their journey or be reassured that there can be success at the end of all of the hard work.  I think there are plenty of people in our industry saying it can’t be done.  They’re wrong.  It CAN BE done because I’ve done it.  Was it easy?  Hell-to-the-NO.  We still work hard every. single. day.

When I spoke of not giving up on dreams, it is because I don’t give up on much in life.  I work through it.  I do the work that has to be done, day in and day out.  And I keep my dreams in my heart.  Sometimes things go the way I thought they would and sometimes they don’t.  Big dreams light the fire in me to work a little harder.  They inspire the passion that makes the job worth doing.  That being said, if our photography business was failing, we would be doing something else to pay the bills and support our family.

The dreams I was speaking of in the blog post, the ones I have held in my heart, actually aren’t about our photography business at all!  They are personal dreams.  Business can come and go in my opinion.  I love photography, but if I wasn’t running a photography business, I’d be working my butt off in some other corner of the world.  I’d be photographing my kids for fun and paying my bills some other way.  That’s just me.

I wrote the blog post that morning because it finally dawned on me that there was so much worry I could have avoided had I just trusted that everything would be OKAY.  Don’t we all wish we could talk to our younger selves and say; “Enjoy it kid.  Everything works out.”  Isn’t that the entire human experience?

So we keep our dreams and we do the work that needs to be done from a space of passion and hope.  And we remember that anything is possible.  And we trust that everything will work out exactly the way it should. And we work really freaking hard.

Thank you to everyone who wrote last week!  Your words touch my heart AND let me know I’m not talking to myself, which is always nice.  I love hearing from you in the comment section below too, so let me know your thoughts this week, will ya?!