Balance. I talk about it all the time. Well, here it is again: I need balance. Since I've been in New York this most recent time, I've been in constant work mode. Honestly, I've found myself in a bit of a funk, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I couldn't even really understand what the funk was. Was I unhappy? No. Was my life nose-diving? No. Was I dying? Technically yes, but no. I just couldn't figure it out... until two days ago when I started reading "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. I purchased the book a couple weeks ago, lost it and happen to find it. I've been bouncing around from three or four books, not finding real satisfaction/enjoyment in reading like I usually do. But this book was great. It's really got me thinking about my life and how I can change "my story" for the better. I want to make my story more epic.
Today was a good start. In the book Don speaks of an "inciting incident", an event of sorts that propels the protagonist into his epic journey. I thought of my own life and instantly thought of my lay-off (from my first full-time job, no less). It did indeed propel me into this new wonderful life now. And it's continued to push me forward. (I was reading the book while waiting to meet with a potential client.) I realized that that job and losing it changed everything about me.
Towards the end of my time at that architecture job, I found myself emotionally drained and crying at work. I was frustrated with how people were treating me and how I was treating them. I seriously couldn't understand how to interact with people. (All those years in college being studios didn't help my social skills.) And I was starting to realize that although I was quite qualified to do the work for my job, I wasn't actually qualified for my job. I didn't have the people skills or work skills necessarily to be success in one's career. Who knew that you can't be success in your career if all you do is work. I also realized that although I love working in the architecture/construction industry, I hated my job and company (to no fault of theirs...it just wasn't a good fit for my first job). My layoff made me very aware of the things I did not like about myself or my life.
So when my "inciting incident" pulled me away from that and I was compelled to start in photography, that's when my current story had its start. I made a concerted effort to tackle everything I needed to change about my life. Every day of my job as a photographer I still struggle with the lack of business/work and social skills. I know I can take great pictures. And I know people will love me when they meet me, but everything in between and preceding is where I fall short. I often think, "If only I had a business or marketing mind, my photography business would flourish immediate." That's why I've been taking business classes and surrounding myself with savvy people. So now I can get back to my post/rambling...
Today I met with a potential client and her fiance. I briefly corresponded with her cousin (who inquired) a couple weeks back who told me the budget was under $1000 which is less than half of what I charge. Last night this client emailed me for the first time and later agreed to meet with me today. After a great meeting, she called me a couple hours later telling me she was going to hire me. Woot. I was EXCITED. Usually the client-acquisition process takes much longer. What made this process with this client different was me. With the help from my business classes and my photographer friend, I've completely changed the way I interact with potential clients. It feels so great to know that I am developing my business skills.