As I work on learning the art and craft of photography and on creating a business doing what I love, I am learning a lot about myself and a Dragon called “Resistance.” Resistance shows up every single day of the week in many different forms and guises. The latest form that had me down for a couple of days was when I started working on a 12-month cash flow analysis for my business and the initial numbers looked abysmal. Before I knew it I was in a funk and whining to myself and anyone else who would listen about how it was impossible to make a living doing photography. I stopped working on the cash flow analysis and started looking at software engineer job listings online. “Maybe I’m not cut out for entreprenaurship,” I thought. “Maybe I should rethink this business plan of mine. It would be safer to look for a job or a contract writing software.”
Fortunately I happened to pick up a great little book from the library by Steven Pressfield the next day. The book is called, “the WAR of ART: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.” Pressfield says, “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”
“Ahhh…I said to myself, this funk I’m in is resistance. I don’t know that I can’t make a living making photography. I haven’t even figured out how I’m going to price my work or where I’m going to sell it.” So I picked up the phone and called to set up a meeting with my business advisor at WomenVenture. She laughed when she saw my first take on the cash flow analysis and said, “In all my years doing this I’ve never seen such conservative sales projections. You need to do some research and run the numbers with several different scenarios.” Along with that advice I came away with a long list of other ideas on how to focus my research and efforts. The Dragon called Resistance is defeated, for today at least.
I’m planning my first exhibit of photographs at Three Sisters’ Sludge Coffee Shop in Minneapolis Sept. 1 – 30. See the photo collage I’ve inserted below for more details.
Quote of the day: “My mind tells me to give up, but my heart won’t let me.” — Unknown
It’s been a challenging week to stay on track. Just when I start feeling like I’ve turned the corner and left fear and doubt behind, they crop up again and I begin to wonder whether I should be looking harder for a traditional “job” instead of forging a path into this unknown entrepreneurial realm. Right after I posted my first blog post and shared my photography website, the voices of my inner critic went wild. “What do you think you’re doing? Who do you think you are? Why would anyone want to read your blog or see your photography?”
My answer to those doubts is, “I know you’re scared. It’s ok. Fear is a part of the process. This is not a popularity contest. It’s not about doing the safe thing or what everyone else is doing. It’s about living my life fully each day. It’s about doing what makes my heart sing. It’s about listening and seeing and being.” Yesterday, while I was out for a sunrise shoot, I happened to see this wonderful tattered leaf on the path I was walking on. Tattered, but not broken and amazingly beautiful. A reminder that listening to my heart’s song is my path.
Quote of the day: “If you follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say follow your bliss and don’t be afraid and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” — Joseph Campbell
After being laid off from my software engineering job of more than 16 years, I’m saying “Hello” to a new work life following my bliss, which is photography. I’m in the process of setting up my own fine art and portrait photography business. I have much to learn, but every day is an adventure! It is amazing how busy I am and how much fun I’m having. First and foremost, I keep practicing the art of photography and taking classes to improve my skills. I’m also learning about using Photoshop Lightroom to catalog, edit and manage my photos. And I’m learning about setting up a business, tax ID’s and accounting. Finally there’s the whole world of marketing, website development and blogging to learn about. Of course, if you’re reading this, you are seeing my new blog. I’ve also created a photography website. It’s not nearly done yet but you can see it at marilynlamoreux.com. I’d love to hear what you think of the first few photos I’ve posted there. Here’s to following your bliss. I hope you are having as much fun as I am.