The time is now. The pressure is on. I’m starting to think about the consequences.
I took a big risk and spent a bunch of money on the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way I wrote about my adventure, showed the images I made on the blog, and wrote two photography eBooks that I gave away for free to build my audience. Now is the time I have to either make something of it that I can live on or retreat.
Sometimes I think of it like learning to be a trapeze artist. Not that I’ve ever learned to be a trapeze artist, I’m just using my imagination here
I conquer my biggest fears by taking the first step then climbing the ladder to the top.
I grab the trapeze and jump from the platform and start to swing.
The crowd is watching in anticipation.
Now I have three choices:
- I can just keep hanging on and swing back and forth like a pendulum until it is too boring for anyone to watch;
- I can take a big risk and let go, reaching for the next trapeze, hoping to catch it before I make a humiliating fall;
- or, I can just reach for the safety net now and at least fall gracefully.
I never thought about it in these terms until I almost reached for the safety net. I was offered a job. A really good job. A nice high paying job that was the perfect six months that would allow me to travel again in the winter (unless I got sucked into the vortex, which is a real risk).
I turned it down. I didn’t want to give up my plans of spending time with my family and working on my own projects and only being here for four months. But I offered to work part time on a remote basis. I thought if I could work one or two days per week from wherever I am I could still do everything I wanted to do and make a bit of cash at the same time. The counter-offer was two days per week but not remotely. Well, maybe sometimes remotely, perhaps remotely, unless they need me, which is like always. So I turned it down.
Am I crazy? I could work two days per week for four months and make enough money to survive in my new “need less” lifestyle for the whole winter. Sounds pretty sweet doesn’t it? Yup. Except that it wouldn’t include travel time and I don’t live in the city where the job is. And, of course, there would be exceptions. Just this one time we need you to come in to do this thing. And oh, we promised the client something, so we need you to do it too. I’ve been there before.
I started thinking that between the working, the travelling, and the getting ready to work (’cause like it takes so long to do my hair and iron my clothes and stuff) it would swell into 25 hours a week that I could be devoting to my own projects. Or to hanging out with my parents.
What if my own projects end up actually taking off? What if it is possible I really can do this? Would I be giving up on my big dream too early? Was getting in to Canadian Geographic a sign that this life as a nomadic photographer really is possible? It could be real?
I could reach for that safety net now, call it a great year of travel, and move on. But so far this risk taking thing has been working out. My life of risk and adventure has been exhilarating – the life I have always wanted. The life story I would have written for myself.
So … I am going to take another risk.
I am going to put all my eggs in my own basket and not give up too early.
I am going to create some more photography products and see if I can make a go of it.
I am going to create some businesses I can run online from anywhere in world.
I only have one life and I am going to write myself a really exciting life story.
And if I fall, I may fall ungracefully and make a huge ugly splat on the floor. But at least it will be a spectacle and that’s better than being boring.