On the first page (with writing) of her magazine, Exposed, Jasmine Star gives a list of five things she wishes someone had told her when she first started out. The very first one she lists really struck home with me.
1. EXPECT THE WORST. It might sound terribly pessimistic, but expect the worst. If you can imagine just how bad things could be–and you’re okay with the outcome–then you know exactly what you’re risking. Knowing the worst, but hoping for the best tempered my emotions when I first started. The worst case scenario (for me) was: failing at photography, going back to law school, and owning a really nice DSLR camera. Once I realized what life looked like if I failed, I was ready to succeed. There are others who might be risking a mortgage, health insurance, and a 401K, so I suspect the transition may be slower in order to safeguard one’s family and assets, but it’s important to really know what’s on the line.
I think its so easy to be afraid of failure that we forget to think about what failure might actually look like. For me, giving failure a face, made me wonder why I had been afraid in the first place. You see, for me, failure looks just like today, and yesterday, and the day before that. Well, maybe not the day before that, because I spent that day on the couch with a migraine, but you get the picture. Worst case scenario for this dream of mine means Portraits by Anna fails. And if it does, then I just continue working at my desk-job, I’ll finish my MBA in August, and I’ll still own a really nice DSLR… and some pretty nice lenses.
That’s not so scary. Today wasn’t so bad. And neither was the day before. The day before that was kinda crappy but… headaches come and go no matter what career you’re working or dream you’re chasing. So if this is what failure looks like, I’m okay with that. And like Jasmine Star, now that I know what life looks like if I fail, I’m ready to give success a solid try.
A few pages further into her magazine, Jasmine quotes her husband, saying “I’d rather see you fail at something you love, than succeed at somthing you hate”. Think of how much happier this world would be if we all put as much effort into succeeding at what we love, rather than working so hard at what we don’t.