The Single Biggest Reason You Are Failing (Update)
Many of you know, I am and will forever be, a student of everything. I love, and I do mean 100% absolutely love learning; from audio books while driving, to in-person classes, to everything in-between. I study a lot within the realm of photography so outside of work I make it a point to focus my educational efforts on everything that isn’t photography.
I honestly believe that this passion for knowledge is what has helped me to get to where I am today. It is also the same process that has given me the ability to share and educate using frameworks and methods that people find easy to follow.
We have a lot of amazing education slated for SLR Lounge, much of which is going to be relating to our business and non-photographic processes within our own studio, Lin and Jirsa Photography. Since studying accounting and business in college, to working in corporate, to running our own companies for nearly 8 years, we’ve learned a lot. But, as I continually read and educate myself, I am always surprised by just how much I don’t know. What I know is a drop in a bucket compared to the vast ocean of what I don’t. Perhaps that is what has made me fall so deeply in love with learning and continual progression – it’s limitless.
While the topics in these articles may not be directly related to taking pictures, they will always be geared towards helping you be a better artist, business owner, and a happier person.
THE SINGLE BIGGEST REASON YOU ARE FAILING
First, I know the title is bold. I know you may think of it as click bait, and perhaps it is. But look past it for just a moment.
As artists, creatives, business owners, or simply a person aspiring to be something more than we are at present, we often wonder why it is that we aren’t achieving our goals. There are a myriad of books, online articles, and social media posts that talk about “passion”, that you aren’t successful because you lack “passion”, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve said the same thing myself. To an extent, this phrase is true; we require passion to be successful. But it’s also an oversimplification because in the end, what the hell is passion? I am passionate about wanting to be a photographer; I am passionate about wanting to be a good father; I am passionate about wanting to be a business person and leader in my field, but is this “passion” all I need to be successful? Clearly not.
If passion was all that was needed then we would all be photographers, race car drivers, artists, musicians, actors, doctors, lawyers, etc. So why do so many of us that are clearly passionate about doing something fail so miserably?
I am currently reading a fantastic book called, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson. As you can imagine, the book does start out with some colorful language, but, by chapter two Mark is making some effective points and the language does become less colorful (if that’s something that bothers you).
I don’t think I can say this any better than Mark, who, when talking about becoming a rock star said, that he loved the idea of standing on a stage being a performer, but he wasn’t willing to do what it took to get there. He states, “I was in love with the result… I wanted the result and not the process.” We fail miserably because our passion is misguided. We are all in love with the idea of doing something great, but we loathe the process required to become great.
The process of becoming great at any one particular thing requires that we put forth exceptional effort, fail and fall flat on our faces, pick ourselves up and then repeat the process indefinitely until the result is attained. Who would ever want that? I do, and you should too.
Reality check: It’s time to ask yourself what you are truly passionate about. Are you in love with the idea of being a photographer, or do you truly love the process that is becoming a photographer? Note the constant studying and research, test shoots, failure, high pressure situations, overcoming challenges, working within limits, etc.
Do you love the idea of owning your own photography studio, or do you truly love the process that is running a business? i.e. marketing, sales, accounting, meetings, taxes, human resources, hiring, firing, etc.
Let me give you a reality check I recently ran on myself. I love racing cars. I own a race car and I am an instructor in high performance driving. It would be the coolest thing in the world to be a professional race car driver, right up until the moment where I think about what it would take to achieve that goal. Because sitting in a race car for up to 8 hours a day practicing, being in long endurance races where you are cooped up in a cockpit peeing into a tube, studying race car physics and aerodynamics non-stop, crashing and potentially injuring or killing myself are all things that I am not willing to do. I am in love with the result, but I want to cry when I think about the process. I am happy to love racing and instructing as a hobby, but I would never consider it as a profession or my true “passion.”
The single biggest reason you are failing is because you aren’t being honest with yourself when it comes to what you are truly passionate about; the result or the process.
What are your thoughts?