In my last blog post, I wrote about the horrible thing that happens sometimes to creatives where they give up the full-time hustle for a steady paycheck + full-time job.
I must confess; that was me for the last four years.
After years of shooting to get by, I wanted to know what it was like to make steady money, have some sort of routine, be part of something bigger than me which was followed by the pressure to provide for my new family of three. I have to admit - it was kind of awesome; I got to still work from home, I finally had a nice apartment, I was able to go out to dinner with friends without having to check my bank account balance first, and do some traveling not involving a friend's couch [pre-Airbnb days aka stone age].
However, there came a time about two years in that I felt the creative itch again and needed to shoot. So I started shooting in a part-time capacity and it was quite nice - I was able to shoot what I wanted in terms of personal work, while paid work rates made a big jump because I didn't care if I got the gig; every bid was knowingly high so I didn't get too busy outside of work + if I actually got it, it was a nice pay day. I took more risks in my photography stuff, like entering a creativeLIVE contest where I got flown out in San Francisco + met with Chase Jarvis, Jazmine Star, and a whole bunch of other really inspirational people. Yet, like everything else in life things took a turn.
Of course, those outrageous rates then became the new norm - thanks 9-5 two-week pay cycle.
You hear the news that your company is going public and you think it's the coolest thing ever - until that is, the company misses Q4 + Q1 numbers and you get the red tag in your locker. You're let go, laid off, released and that's that. What followed was one of the toughest times in my life, especially because while I had been through this before it was no longer just me I was looking out for. As anyone can attest, the job search tactics nowadays are simply maddening alienating a huge chunk of really capable applicants. After some six months of concentrating on looking for another career type job, I decided to instead go with the flow and not against it - thanks Allan Watts.
So here we are - announcing that I'm making the plunge into shooting full-time again since it's been the only thing this year that's made any real progress with some of my recent clients being LinkedIn, Verizon Wireless, + Jackson-Hewitt to name a few. Am I scared? - to put it simply, hell yes. However, I have found comfort in that I don't feel like I'm trying to fit a square peg into a round hole - after trying to get a certain thing for so long, you really have to ask yourself if you're simply trying to force it + overlooking something else you should be doing.
Over the last four years, I've grown so much - as an individual, as a new parent figure, as a creative, and in terms of my career; so I'm thankful for that. The past time was good for me, yet maybe it was just what I needed to realize that this is what I'm meant to do. It's scary yes, but I'm taking the plunge with no reservations, guilt or hang-ups because part of me feels like that's why I gave it up the first time; too scared to take any real risks, doing enough to get by but not enough to make it a full-fledged career.