27 July 2019

Day 173: Overwhelmed by the new profession

In the last several years, I have been involved in projects that looked very promising from the perspective of positive global impact and also financially. However, all of them were not able to fulfill the promises money wise. Recently I decided that it is about time to make a radical change since the lack of money is also influencing my desire to be in a relationship and to have a family. Because how would I be able to take care of my children if I can hardly earn enough for myself. While contemplating many ways to generate a bigger income flow for me I considered that best for me would be to restart offering my own services like I did from the year 2000 to 2013. Firstly I planned to offer quite a broad list of services like graphic design, website development, photography, video editing, and psychological counseling. That was expected to bring me enough jobs to earn money very fast.

However very soon I realized that it would be harder to market such a vast array of services. And also the knowledge, equipment, and space needed to execute them in a professional manner would be more extensive. In that time I also came to understand that what my mayor pattern was in the previous career was a relatively fast change of my professional focus. I made radical cuts, changed my way and burned the bridges. By this approach, I was losing previous clients and have started building a business from scratch many times. That consumed a lot of my money and time because it takes several years before people get educated about the new services and become regular clients. So while I have been consistently waking the path of self-perfection, business-wise the professional path looked very chaotic for the outside observer. I have disregarded the stability of my business and allowed myself to be directed by new discoveries in many different fields of science. Basically, I have been spreading myself thin.

During my process of self-transformation, I discovered that the underlying pattern for such decisions in my life that I inherited from my father was the need for attention and making myself more than others. The accompanied habit was also the accumulation of things in order to impress others by showing the sheer quantity of stuff. While my father was a hoarder of ancient books and old printing equipment, I became a hoarder of knowledge and information. While he enjoyed guiding the visitors through his home paper and printing museum, I felt good by sharing the most secret and advanced knowledge about how this existence works. While there is some educational purpose of such behavior, the problem is in the hidden motivation behind such activities. Since it was all driven by fear of abandonment and not being accepted by others, it did not allow going into depth of a certain field, to root properly and to stand as an expert for the benefit of the whole society. It all resulted in becoming a jack of all trades and master of none.

I see that there is a fear of missing out associated with any specialization. There are some real dangers of the focused approach like we are able to see in our western civilization. High education created a compartmentalized mind that lost the understanding of how everything in existence is connected and interdependent. Our society definitely needs a more holistic approach to understanding life and to expand the awareness of reality. Informational technology has also influenced us by enabling to share knowledge and new discoveries faster than ever. An individual has now much more difficult time to decide what information to absorb and what to ignore. However, in order to root yourself significantly, one must pick the as narrow field of professional focus in order to be able to succeed business-wise. This is also why I have now decided to go into the depth of things. And I have additional motivation for this by my physical body. It very nicely reflects all of our mental states and it also showed me the lack of my grounding by my too cold and sweaty feet. The condition already improved in the last years as the result of my inner change however there is still a lot of room for additional enhancement.

Keywords: Slowing Down, Diving Deep, Narrowing Focus, Being Persistent

Based on this I quickly decided to reduce the number of professional services that I will be offering only to photography. Reasons for this were that it enables me a more physically dynamic work in comparison to graphic and web design that mostly require a lot of sitting behind the computer. I wanted to provide my physical body much more movement for better overall health. Thus I purchased a mid-range DSLR camera with two zoom lenses, a Speedlight, a tripod and bag with some other basic accessories. I have been working as a professional photographer for many years however in the last 10 years I only took pictures with my mobile phone for my personal albums. Now I have to refresh my knowledge of photography, learn how to master the new hardware and software tools. I noticed that now there is a lot of free educational materials available than it was when I completed my distance study at the New York Institute of Photography. I am surprised at how many professional photographers share extensive behind-the-scenes video lessons and many secrets of the trade. And by watching them I also learned how wide even the sole field of photography is.

Years ago I did some swimming sports photography, shot food and products, and I also captured over 40 weddings. At that time I had the best camera, sharpest lenses and the most powerful flashes. Wedding photography can be very lucrative however it is also very physically and mentally exhausting. It is a special event with high importance and one has to make sure that nothing goes wrong. This is why a lot of backup equipment is recommended and in many cases, there are at least 2 photographers that work as a team to cover all the angles. Then there a lot of additional retouching and processing with many options what final look of photos to creates. Currently, I am not yet very comfortable to shoot such events and have decided to invest more time in enhancing my skills and tools. The next business opportunity that I noticed was in the field of real estate photography. Because while I was browsing the flat renting ads many had not even one photo. So I started to study also how to shoot architecture and learned how professionals do it and what equipment they use.

While I have been testing my new photography equipment it felt heavy, bulky and it produced a lot of strain on my eyes. While reading the camera user manual I noticed how many functions it has. While using the photo software I became aware of all the tools and options. And while watching the online courses I saw how many different approaches are to do the same job. I started to wonder to what field of photography I am to specialize and how good should my skills and equipment be in order to start offering my professional photo services. These experiences must have accumulated to the level where I started to feel pain on my shoulders and in my lower back. Consciously I felt quite present and able to direct myself step by step to develop my photography business however I guess there have been also a lot of unconscious activities that started to crystallize in my tissue. Thus I will be now writing also some self-forgiveness to release these accumulated energies:

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear that it will be harder for me to restart my photography business since a lot of photography schools have emerged in our country in the past decade and also there are a lot of online photography courses available now. I realize that this is part of evolution where the abundance of everything is being created, including education which is good news that will result in society slowly being transformed at a very deep level. I commit myself to develop my business slowly and align myself based on new discoveries and opportunities. 
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel threatened by the new generation of young photographers which many are coming from our local university of media communications. I realize that only around 10% of photography graduates end working in the field of their study and that I can benefit from collaborating with young talent and create synergy at working on photography projects. I commit myself to network with other photographers and discover where we can support each other technically and by exchanging knowledge and insights. 
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think about giving up photography after viewing online tutorials of other photographers which portray photography as something easy and when me trying to repeat their work in the physical and finding it much harder to execute as imagined. I realize that the physical experience of someone doing a task is very different than just observing others how they do tasks and that due to the amalgamation of mind the experience of own physical body is being changed significantly. I commit myself to be gentle to my body, to have patience and to slowly practice the execution of photographic tasks.

Suggested related online resources for additional support:
Free online course DIP Lite
Comparing Images and Imagination
Building Your Business
When Desires Becomes Overwhelming
The Secrets of Competition