The elusive creature known as SUCCESS… it does exist! However… there is advice out there which sounds AMAZING and seems like it is a “sure fire way” to find + achieve success but when put in to practice it BACKFIRES (like an old rusty Pinto). We have lived it, seen it and shared conversations over wine and great meals with other creatives who have also been fooled by these myths.
YES, Brandon and I were fooled by these myths. But once we learned the truth it set us and our business free – free to truly succeed.
We feel strongly convicted to share these misguided beliefs and what can become “bad habits“. We want to see you succeed in all that you do and avoid pitfalls when ever possible. Universal principles that can guide you to success do exists and can be a huge help when running your own business. They typically revolve around dedication, setting goals, being organized and having a clear vision for your business.
1. Focus On The Future Myth
You must stay focused on the future and working toward your goals, it’s the only way to move forward. Successful people are always focused on the future and working to anticipate problems their business will most likely face. Making a to-do list and working toward your future goals is a priority if you want to succeed.
2. Always Look Out For Yourself Myth
This is one most people quietly tell themselves and hope no one else knows they are thinking it. It goes something like this…Only network if it benefits your business and will bring in new leads. Don’t share to many tips about how you are moving forward because others will steal them. Don’t share to much advice, hidden shoot locations, publication connections, editing techniques or possible leads. Keep to yourself and all will be much better!
3. Money = Success + Happiness Myth
The only true way to measure success is through your happiness and wealth. The more money the more happiness… RIGHT!
Want to know the truth? These myths to success are all TWISTED and can easily become Bad Habits if we let them. However, if they are untwisted and applied properly each can become very useful.
Lets Begin with Focus On the Future.
Brandon and I totally bought into this one when we first started our business. It seemed like the only way to get started was to solely focus on where we wanted to be. You may be thinking, well then how do you succeed if you don’t look at the future? And obviously to have a business we must look at and think about the future.
But… the truth we found was this, we were so focused on “what’s next”, that we were not living in the present. We were constantly looking ahead without taking stock in what we had. This stole valuable time away from us. We were so caught up and involved in our business we lost time with family + friends. We also missed all of our little achievements, little successes and most importantly we did not stop to thank our supporters. We were so set on the future it was taking away relationships and stealing our happiness.
The truth is, once we began to stay focused on the present our hearts became much more full, our happiness came back and we started to succeed quickly in our business. Success came in the way of engaging with others, being appreciative of our clients, spending time with loved ones and celebrating all the little mountains we were climbing one at a time. The more and more we focused on living in the now rather then in the “what’s next” the faster our business grew. People began referring us to others and leads began to come in non stop.
I guess you could say we stoped charging forward with blinders on and looking for the next accomplishment to check off our list. Now we take time to be mindful of the present + live in gratitude and thankfulness. Do we still think about the future and where we want to be? Yes, we set aside time to evaluate our accomplishments, mistakes and challenges but we don’t let the thought of the future control us or worry us. It no longer looms over us as a burden and we are well aware that the future can always change!
Always Looking Out For Yourself Can Be Even More Detrimental.
The Jedi knew this all to well and tried to warn Anakin of it’s danger. For a very short time (well to be honest the first year of our business) Brandon and I were worried that if we shared our shoot locations others would steal them and produce better photos. We thought everyone was better then us and were were afraid to reach out for help or advice. Finally after about a year we started networking and what we found was that a lot of people had the same fear.
We would meet fellow creatives and reach out to them for help or advice to only receive a very cold shoulder. There was a huge fear in the community and this fear was leading to “Looking out for #1“. Trying to get others to open up and share was like pulling teeth. So Brandon and I decided we wanted more. We wanted really authentic relationships, creative friends, a community who was willing to go out for dinner and drinks, talk about work and share ideas. It was more then a want it was a NEED! We needed that to feel normal.
We started praying for a REAL community of creatives. And praise God, one by one we began to find others who wanted the same thing. The more we all came together to help each other the better we all did. We served each other instead of serving ourselves and it was magnificent.
When Brandon and I moved to Georgia in 2015 we were very nervous. We were leaving an amazing group of creatives we had worked so hard to meet. But to our delight we found out about The Rising Tide Society! HAPPY DANCE, we were not alone. We now attend Atlanta Tuesdays Together, it is a place were we have found that compassion for others and helping others succeed exists. Everyone is motivated to work hard for their common goal because there is a feeling of “being in it together.”
The biggest boost to success for us has been community over competition, mutual respect, cooperation and reciprocity.
Money Does Not Mean Happiness.
Neither Brandon or I have ever been what people would consider “rich” when it comes to money. Which has been a huge blessing for us. Thankfully falling into the trap of believing that success, happiness and wealth go hand in hand never really effected us. However, we have watched this belief destroy our friends, their dreams and their lives. Most of the world measure success by their bank accounts, the size of their house, the car they drive and the clothing they wear.
We have watched as our friends crumbled inside and out believing that money would bring them happiness. We have all seen actors, musicians, models, lawyers, doctors… the list goes on on, whom have it all. Literally they have everything someone could buy – the cars, houses, clothing, fame, trips and yet they are so sad that some of them get hooked on drugs or even worse commit suicide. Money = Happiness is the saddest and most devastating myth of all.
We have chosen to NOT solely base our achievements on our income. We have actually gone a total different direction. Rather then a materialistic mindset we have chosen a minimalist approach. We bought and live in a tiny house. We paid off both of our cars a few years ago and gave one away. We have chosen to live with less stuff and experience more. To invest in people rather then money.
We look at money as a means of providing for our needs (which is different then our wants) and for those we care about. We have learned to make good choices about spending + saving. And a little side note: if you invest in others the money part will follow.
So Here Is Our Challenge For You As 2018 Rolls In (Simple But Not Easy)
1. Take time everyday to be in the NOW. Look at what is going on around you in your business – in the present. Each day, in a journal, write down your daily little business achievements, who was with you and what you enjoyed.
2. Get involved in a networking community with fellow creatives and go to the events with the mindset of helping others. Leave the “what’s in it for me” mindset at home. Share your experiences, your up and downs.
3. Start to declutter. Look at what you own and get rid of what you don’t need. Then try to live this year without adding more stuff to your life. Instead add more people and more experiences. Let your business bring you more life rather then stuff. Put money in savings or help others in financial need.
Stay Joy filled!!!