I had this thought that being "successful" meant being booked solid, shooting every wedding that came your way and that if you had 3k in followers on social media-then you've made it. I was literally working myself to death y'all, because I WANTED to be successful, I WANTED people to know who I was and to be popular. The only person I was kidding, was myself.
I'm not popular in any way....I don't have a following, I don't even have a "Tribe". My biggest fans are my Mom and My English teacher from high school. I'm lucky if I have 200 people read my blog and only my best friends "like" my albums/photos on Facebook. If this is what the road to success is...I am literally failing miserably.
I poured everything I had into workshops and mentoring, they were amazing once in a lifetime opportunities and I am so grateful for all that I learned....but I didn't do them for the RIGHT reasons. I was naive and now that I think back on all the wonderful/valuable things I learned- I've been taking them for granted. Those gold nuggets of knowledge I learned this year....I need to implement them, honestly. I need to stop worrying about everyone else and use the tools that have been given to me to better myself.
It's so easy to say not to compare yourself to others, but to actually NOT compare yourself to others is a whole different beast. I was looking at their success and using it to define my own. Their success though, doesn't have anything to do with mine. Just because I don't grace the cover of The Knot magazine, I've still had the honor of being featured with some truly wonderful bride blogs that I love. Just because I'm not shooting a bride with an elephant in a flower crown in the hills of Ireland with dresses that cost more than my house...doesn't mean I'm not successful (maybe I'm not "cool"-that's more like it)-It just means I need to find an elephant here in VA that I can put a flower crown on!
Success really isn't defined in all the wishy washy materialistic things, it's not defined by popularity or number of badges on your feature page. It's certainly not defined by an elephant in a flower crown (even though that's pretty epic) It's defined by how happy you are, the love you receive from each client that YOU captured something so near and dear to them. Success is hearing that you've created something that they love and cherish, something that they can hold unto for the rest of their lives and pass down for generations. THAT is success. No matter how small your following is, you are successful when your clients are happier than they ever could be. You can view my other post on "The Definition of Success" here!