So I've been bitching for a while about being in a funk at work and whatnot. And it's probably getting old to my regular readers, and quite frankly, it's getting old to me. So I've decided to do something about it. I am slowly, but surely, starting to make plans to take my photography to the next level.
Last year, I set up a photography site. Over the course of the year, I've taken pictures of friends and family, to build up the portfolio. So far, I haven't made any money off of it. But this time, I'm read to make some real dough. And my plan is to start to build my business and position myself to leave the IT gig for good (at least assuming that the photography thing takes off). I started by creating a Facebook page. I don't have a whole ton of likes, but ever so often, I go on page promotion blitzes, and manage to get a few more likes out there. This week I offered free virtual hugs to anyone who liked my page. Surprisingly, it worked! I actually got 3 new likes out of it. And I paid them in personalized virtual hugs on their FB walls. See? I pay up. :)
I've also taken a huge step for myself by getting in touch with a professional photographer whose work I've been following for the past year. I actually stumbled upon her site because a FB friend of mine who's into photography liked this lady's FB page. So then I subsequently checked out her photography site and her blog. Her blog has become part of my regular reading. I always love to see how other photographers' work and styles. It's a great learning tool. After reading her blog for a while, I did something which is rather out of character for me. I contacted her, asking for advice on setting up a small business. And she wrote back. Not only that, I spent 30 minutes on Skype with her (she's based out of New Jersey), where she shared some tips on starting up a photography business. I was inspired.
So inspired, in fact, that I went and registered my business today. If all goes well, I will be officially registered as a business in 5-6 business days. With a freaking GST/HST number. I will soon be opening up a business bank account. And I'll probably look into getting some insurance. HOLY CRAP. I am really doing this!
I am both exhilarated and scared. But I think that this will be great. By pursuing something for which I am passionate, I am finally finding the will to get off my ass. And having to set up a business in itself is a wonderful learning experience. I figure that even if I quit my job, do the photography gig for a bit, and fail at it, it will still be a success. Why? Because...
1. I will have at least tried to do something that I was passionate about, instead of wallowing in misery and self-pity.
2. I will have learned a ton about starting a business.
3. I will have worked outside of my comfort zone.
4. Even failing at a business looks good to potential employers. It shows you as a self-starter and puts you far ahead of the "regular" job applicant pool.
This is such a huge step for me, in so many ways. I think I've mentioned before that I've been going to individual therapy. As an aside, my therapy sessions with PK have come to a close - yay! The individual therapy is called interpersonal therapy, and it's therapy specifically aimed at people who are depressed or have depressive tendencies. I definitely fall into one of those two categories, though I have no idea which one is me. If you'd have asked me 2 weeks ago, when I just about had a nervous breakdown feeling that my life was complete and utter crap, I probably would've fit into the "depressed" category.
Anyway, the therapy has been great, and has made me realize, more than anything, that in my sheltered upbringing, I haven't really allowed my own personality to thrive. I've always been trying to live my life pleasing others, rather than trying to please myself. Even the thought of leaving IT for a pro photography business was off the table a year ago, because the thought of my parents' lack of acceptance/understanding was too much for me to take. Now, that I am trying to "liberate" myself from that, I am feeling empowered and free. I also feel a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders, as I am finally starting to not feel guilty for doing extra-curriculars that I like, versus the ones that my parents think are appropriate for me. I know...I'm almost 33 and I still have to deal with that. Lame. Which is why this photography thing is such a big freaking deal to me.
So, dear friends/blog readers/strangers...wish me luck. I'm psyched. I feel like I'm beginning to find my groove. My real groove.