This was never more apparent to me then when I started my freelance career over 21 years ago. I had an idea or I'm going to say lots of ideas! With my excitement uncontainable, the creative juices flowing and my visions of becoming a successful makeup, hair and wardrobe stylist working not only in Kansas City but throughout the U.S., I set out to tell my family and friends all about it. I explained what I would actually be doing, where my work might be seen, who I could be working with and that sometimes I might do projects or "tests" for free to build my portfolio and so on and so on.
Crash, boom, bang...my bubble was momentarily burst by a few strange looks, questions including..."why would you work for free?" and a hurtful comment from a very close family member saying "you're just a glorified shopper" (relating to my assistant styling freelance career with Hallmark Cards that I worked very hard to obtain). I will also say, I had people in my world who were very supportive of me in general. So why do we struggle with those few who do not support us? Why do they affect us so much? The "glorified shopper" comment stuck with me for a long time and obviously I have not forgotten it because I'm writing about it here today.
Even though that remark was hurtful, I used it as a tool for motivation to make my vision come true. I thought, just watch me! Now, 21 years later, still based in Kansas City with a list of clients including the best athletes in the world, Fortune 500 companies, my work in top magazines and on national television, working in 22 states, Hawaii and 11 international locations...right back at ya!
I'm sharing this story with you today because throughout my career especially in those early years, I wanted my family, friends, partner, everyone to share my level of entrepreneurial enthusiasm for my makeup, hair and wardrobe styling business. I was looking for a "cheerleader" (maybe even a "permission-giver") without even knowing it. Someone to share the passion that I had for my business. Someone to get excited about my business and talk about it and on and on:-)
Let me clear the air and the mind and let everyone off the hook...This is an impossible expectation...because my business is "my baby"! No one could love it the same way as I could. I created it, put in the time, effort, blood, sweat, tears and could not be more proud. I found that when I started just doing what was in front of me and cheering myself on, the pieces fell into place rather quickly! I became my own cheerleader!
Working in the commercial, film and TV world is an industry that many outside looking in don't understand. They may not even think it's a valid, lucrative career. They have no idea how commercials, films and TV shows are made but they love to watch. It may be hard to communicate to your loved ones what you actually do on a shoot and how the industry works. And that is OKAY! It's your world, the profession you chose. And it's an exciting one made up of hard work and tenacity. The commercial world is a magical behind-the-scenes industry which many will never encounter. You will see places many will never see and meet people many will never meet! It's unique, intimate and sometimes feels like belonging to a secret society which is part of the allure.
So, never let anyone's comments or lack of understanding persuade you to give up on your dreams and visions. Become your own cheerleader!
If you are a freelancer, starting your own business or changing careers there will be amazing days and days you feel defeated. Don’t complain, just figure it out. Develop a plan, have faith, get creative and keep on keeping’ on! Everyday try to accomplish 3 small goals toward your future and see what the world gives back to you! I'm cheering you on!!!
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