A Note of Encouragement to my Fellow Young Entrepreneurs

Get ready kids, this is a post of all words. Which means a post full of  typos and punctuation boo-boos, so leave now if you can't handle that .;) This time of year is always tough for me. The busy hustle and bustle typically will leave me feeling melancholy. I am a worker by nature. My brain doesn't stop reminding me of all the things I need/want/should do.  I'm not going to lie, sometimes when I get home I just sit in the car for a little bit, knowing that when I go through that front door there is a world of responsibilities for me. In fact, the car is actually where I'm writing this post.

I love my job. I really do, and everyday I feel blessed that I have been given the opportunity to chase this crazy dream and see where it will take me. So I don't want this to sound like a "I hate my job, woe to me post" because that's not what it is at all. You see, I just don't accept compliments well-- Ryan tells me that I look nice, and I just think it's he has to say that. But if someone tells me that a photo I took touched their heart, it is one of the best compliments I could ever receive. And I don't necessarily think that's a good thing. Let me explain.

Of course I love compliments (when I believe them), who doesn't? But I find that I base my worth around them. And for some reason this time of year when life and work is so busy, it's hard for me to remind myself that my worth isn't based on what I can produce, or the compliments that I receive from others. One of my favorite photography teams, Justin & Mary, recently did a really encouraging post that pointed out that we can't compare our beginnings to someone else's middle.

How wise. How many times have we done that? I mean, I have probably have a million times.

I know a lot of my blog followers are young entrepreneurs or photographers, so I'm gonna tell you a couple things, because sometimes it's easier to believe yourself when you are telling others:

You are worthwhile.  

And not because of how many clients you have or how many products you have sold. Not because of how many hours you have put in this Christmas season, or because people have given you nice compliments.

Just because someone else has made more sales than you--that does not make you have less worth. Just because someone else makes more money than you--that does not make you have less worth. Just because someone else has nicer equipment than you, or has better connections than you, or has a nicer studio than you--that does not make you have less worth.

Just because someone else is successful--that does not make you have less worth.

I'm exhausted by the competitive nature of my profession. Of getting on pinterest and seeing so many peoples beautiful work, and instead of rejoicing in their success, I wish that I had created it. I'm tired of the lack of respect that people in my industry have. The other day I was in a busy park taking some family photos, trying to be mindful of everyone around me, and another photographer just up and moves her set up with a giant balloon behind mine. Shame on you, you know better. Where is the sense of wanting to work together with our fellow colleges and help others around us? I really believe it's a lonely road to the top if that is how you choose to climb the mountain. I'm tired of the feeling that someone else's success takes away from our own. Because it's simply not true. And I think that if we can remember the things that truely make us worthwhile, a lot of this will go away.

So let me tell you some things that DO make you worthwhile. You are worthwhile because of who you are. You are worthwhile because you dare to hope for good things in your life. You are worthwhile because even though you are afraid, you choose to know that what you have to offer to this world is good. You are worthwhile because you strive to do something that is new and pure, and not just copy what has worked for someone else. You are worthwhile because you work hard, love others well, and find joy in other people's joy.

Okay, I've been sitting in my car for 30 minutes and I'm getting hot. So I will now remove myself from the soapbox and go inside to tackle the world.

And, I lied, what's a post with out a picture? Things were getting too serious around here, let's lighten things up a bit.

Ice Cream Shop Engagements: Ely Fair, Oklahoma City Photographer

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