Early Career Mistakes, And How to Move On From Them
Over my 8 years in photography, the 1 piece of advice I wished someone would have gave me when I started back on March 18, 2010, was to 1. Have a great support system in a Champion, a Mentor, a Coach, and Cheerleaders, and 2. Be aware of all partnerships that could have an adverse affect on your career as a photographer or creative.
FIND A CHAMPION, MENTOR, A COACH, & SOME CHEERLEADERS
Find a champion who's work and work ethic you admire. They don't have to be in photography or your passion path, but someone who set the standards for business integrity. Reach out to them for guidance and/or mentorship.
Mentorship... true mentorship, not just mentorship that belittles your work, but mentorship that guides you on your path and teaches you the ropes. And they too, do not have to be in photography or your passion niche. A great mentor can be anyone you admire for their integrity and work ethics. I have several different types of mentors from Photography, Business of Photography, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and overall Life Wellness.
A Coach is very important as well. A coach is someone who understands the game (career) you are in. They can guide you, cheer you on, and also provide with you with constructive criticism and constructive critiques. They push you to be the best creative you can be. They understand your potential, and they understand who you are as a person. They want you to win, remember a coach wins, when you win.
A few Cheerleaders won't hurt along the way. Matter of Fact, you will need a few, this journey isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. They will be there along the way to celebrate with you on your success, and sob with you on your failures....but ultimately they encourage you to get back on that horse to keep going. The cheerleader positions are open positions because some cheerleaders will be short term, and some will be in for the long haul. So understand their position in your journey.
WE ALL MAKE THEM!
As that statement is true with all of us, we all make mistakes early in our career. Many of us who are self taught creatives learn via Youtube University or Trial & Error of Life. We all throw shit at a wall in hope something sticks. And if it sticks, it must be correct. Well, that is not always true. Many mistakes we make are by imitating others that we see via Youtube, other online videos / tutorials, or what a friend in the industry tells / teaches us. My mistake was being too green, and trusting what someone said as the gospel.
HOW TO OWN THOSE MISTAKES & MOVE ON!
Simply as the title of this section says. Regardless of who makes the mistake in your camp, who you learned it from, or what you been taught, you as a professional have to OWN that mistake, failure, or negative situation, embrace it, and more importantly MOVE ON from it. Yes, MOVE ON from it. Keep in mind, in this day and age of social media, negative situations YOU OWN will follow you your entire career, but you don't have to succumb to your past. You will have those who will always bring up your situation at the most unopportuned time in your career. You also may see trails of negative feedback from blogs and so on, but you have to MOVE ON! Your past can cost you great opportunities, as my past has done me, but you can't stop living your passion and dreams. Let the trolls and naysayers have their 2 cents, its ok. OWNING YOUR TRUTH & MOVING ON is the best silencer.
Hope this helps many of the new creatives as much as it has helped me. If it wasn't for great mentors in my life, a great support team of friends & family around me, and a true understanding of my brand, I would've succumb. However, my "Do or Die" mentality, my "Win On Purpose" lifestyle, and my "Live The Impossible" desire will not let me quit. So keep your eye out for some of the dopest work you have ever seen from me to hit my portfolio in 2018!
Creativity & Love