Friday, 11 October 2013

j. noel shop talk: confidence

I know most of you who visit this space are probably more interested in hearing funny stories or seeing style posts or, if you're local, getting some good ideas for places to go around Austin. Or maybe you stop in for posts like this one, about real life, or because you read our love story and felt invested ever since. But the truth is, this blog is influenced and based very much on what's going on in my life, and increasingly over the last year, my life has started to really revolve around my photography business. It keeps me very busy and consumes so many of my thoughts. So, I thought I'd give some business updates, i.e. "shop talk" posts here every now and then, to document my progress and to maybe even offer encouragement to those of you venturing out on your own business endeavors!

So... where to begin?

I think one thing that has really helped me out in growing the success of my business is confidence. I embrace every stage of the learning process and accept where I'm at, though that doesn't stop me from growing and getting better. I think a lot of creatives get really caught up in the comparison trap, when it's just easiest and best to let your talent unravel fluidly without always being down on yourself for not being as good as so & so. You will not be perfect in the first year of business. Or the first two years. Or ever. You will always grow and evolve and get better, though there will come a point when you're feeling a lot more secure and happy with the way you run things... I hope. I'm almost there, but not quite yet. So yes, BE PROUD of what you do. I remember being SO proud when I opened up an Etsy shop full of shitty prints a couple years ago, and now I literally laugh at what I hoped people would actually purchase from me (a couple sweet people actually DID order some prints, and that was the nicest thing ever. I am so grateful for all those who built me up instead of tearing me down during a time when I had unbridled confidence in a product that really wasn't there yet... at all.)

Lately I have been seeing the quality of my work-product improve pretty substantially. After a year and a half of honing my editing skills, I think I've learned to cut the fat and my eye has grown to notice subtle differences in natural editing and over-editing, and my work has improved because of it. I look back at past edits and cringe a bit, but I was proud of my work then, and that's all that matters. Again, BE PROUD of what you do. One year from now I may look back on my current work and notice all the places I went wrong, but for now I know I'm doing the very best I know how to do. And that's the most important thing.  (If you struggle with confidence in the beginner stages of your work, please read this, it totally changed how I view things!)

Is there anything you'd like to see discussed in Shop Talk posts? Let me know in the comments!

And please take a moment to visit today's featured SOML sponsors. HAPPY FRIDAY!

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Pretty Britt is the brains behind a lifestyle blog called One & Twenty, which also touches on beauty, wellness, and balance (which the tag line suggests!). ;) Britt occasionally discusses hair products, health, and like on today's post, her journey to become less guarded and/or cynical. Pay this sweet lady a visit!

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Miss Emily is a journalism student and the author of Sparrow in the Treetop, and she and her man live in Canada's capital city of Ottawa. The first post I ever read on Emily's blog was this TRUE ghost story. It will BLOW YOUR MIND, read it! Both parts! Do it now, it's so timely. Halloween is coming and all. ;) You can also get to know Emily a bit better right over here, in today's post! You will fall in love with this sweet girl. Go say hello.

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