Do it for the Love

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Have you noticed that when some people get really popular/ famous online, or just super busy with clients, that the work you initially fell in love with seems to suffer? The really groundbreaking updates appear less and less often, and the watered down ‘client pleasing’ stuff takes the forefront?

Maybe they were a blogger who always pushed the envelope and shared personal insights into their life. But as soon as they started to make a living from their site some of the sparkle dwindled away. The sponsored content became more and more frequent and their site ended up looking like nothing more than a billboard for the latest product or service that their advertisers were trying to flog.

Maybe you loved a photographer because their work was different, raw and real. It stood out from the photographers shooting traditional weddings week in week out. Then other people started to see what you saw, they got thousands of followers on their social media, praising everything that they did even for the most mundane of updates. Suddenly their work starting looking like everyone else’s… they now use the same actions and filters or the same tried and tested poses over and over again. That initial excitement you used to feel about their work has completely evaporated.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why this happens. When your hobby or passion becomes your livelihood it can be very difficult, in fact almost impossible, to maintain the same level of excitement over everything that you put out there. You have clients needs to fulfil and a mammoth workload to keep on top of. You might need to cut corners more often, go through the motions more frequently or just keep putting stuff – any stuff – out there to stay on top. After all you need to get more bookings, more paying clients, in order to make enough money to keep your business above water.

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This makes me really sad though. I see it happening so often, and because of that it’s something I’ve always tried to avoid.

I still want to write and share the things that I believe in. I still want to feel like I’m able to speak my mind, even if it’s not the popular option. I don’t want to be worried about what people will think, or say, or if it will ‘upset the industry’.

Fuck that.

That’s not why I started Rock n Roll Bride AT ALL.

Despite now earning a comfortable living from my site, I’d give it all up tomorrow if I no longer enjoyed it, or if I felt like I had to conceal my true feelings on something because of what some people might think. To me, life’s too short to tow the line and to try to be all things to all people. If I wanted to do that I would have stayed flogging towels on the shopping channel I used to work for.

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To me, putting out lacklustre content just because I’m getting paid for it isn’t an option. Although I do earn my living from my blog, I want to make sure I’m still excited about what I’m doing, and more importantly that my readers are still excited about it.

When it comes to accepting or rejecting a paid job, I always ask myself  “would I do this if I wasn’t getting paid?” and “would I have done this five years ago for free?” If the answer is yes then I accept. If the answer is no then I respectfully decline. I think you’d all be surprised if you realised just how often I say no to things.

I know it might sound very idealistic, and maybe you’re not yet in the position where you can be turning down any paid work. But here’s the thing – if you do less work, but more of it is the stuff that you really want to do, and that is the stuff you’re putting out there, eventually the majority of your enquires will follow suit. Like begets like and all that.

Today I’d like to encourage you to at least think about it. Are you putting work out there that doesn’t fill your heart with joy? Are you taking on too many jobs just because you have to pay the bills? Are you doing nothing more than going through the motions?

Instead of pushing yourself further and further away from your dream, why not take on a part time job to pay those bills while you pursue the kind of career you really want?

Dream big baby, and always do it for the love.

Supporting Cast

15 comments

  1. geofredo lagria

    You always inspire me. I am one of your massive followers across the globe. I used to work in a cruise ship, it was hard work indeed, but i was earning real good money just to compensate with all the bills back home, then i decided to quit and pursue what i want to do and that is doing creative stuff. I didn’t regret quitting my job, because all i did was invest my heart and effort and everything else followed. Please continue the extraordinary work that you have and keep inspiring more people.

  2. This is so true. A few months ago I felt myself slipping down that path and quickly stopped myself. I am making less money now, as I am turning down more work, but I am happier and that is more important.

  3. LOVE this post. I’ve seen so many blogs go the same way, and all the passion for the subject just dies as people get greedy. There’s no denying it can be hard to keep it up as your audience grows alongside expectation…but it’s well worth it!

  4. This is so true. Whilst I except that people have bills to pay you have to remember what made you choose this path in the first place. I think even if you have booked a run of the mill job, something that if you was in a better position you may turn that job down. Then just try and add your sparkle and be creative. I think we may all be surprised at the little diamonds in the rough. Great article!

  5. I never started my blog to make money or write reviews, it was a way for me to keep my memories. Infact I still don’t make money but I have found myself beoming increasingly bogged with review items. I am trying to take things back to basics and blog more for me and your post just reinforces what I have been thinking so thank you for writing and sharing!! x

  6. Cassie

    There is no one like you. And I love what you do and your writing. It sparked something in me to keep following all my dreams. Have a blessed day ^.^

  7. So true Kat. As I’ve been in business for a lifetime (ok well 11 years) I’ve seen the hype of new companies who begin to fade in the background when they get too busy, I’ve also seen situations where companies burn out due to the crazy hours they put into the business the first few years.

    You just can’t sustain such long hours forever. It is so important to remember why you are in business in the first place, for most of us it is quality of life, its doing something we love instead of a job where we clock watch. So if the love begins to fade you’ll need to decide whether you make certain changes to bring the love back, or think about a different path.

    For me I limit how many events I take on per year (and I ensure we are a good fit together) so I have time for the UKAWP (as empowering other planners is a passion of mine) and most importantly my family.

  8. This is so spot on! After returning home from trying to launch my collection in Chicago, I questioned if I needed to add in a lot more “vanilla” styles. Then I thought twice, said, “hey, forget midwestern shop owners. if they don’t get me, that’s okay” and changed our business model to accommodate targeting the “rock and roll brides” niche that I love!
    Because if all I do is knock off other brands’ bestsellers, I’m just a factory. and that was never the dream.

  9. I hope, hope, hope I’m not one of those people who’s work has become lackluster. I went through a phase last year of trying to get published as much as possible, and I feel like it watered down my work a lot. I shoot raw emotion, not meaningless details (I LOVE details, but it’s all gotten a bit out of control lately in my opinion, and if it isn’t relevant, I can’t connect) So I decided to screw getting published (except on Rock N Roll bride which is, honestly, the only blog I feel really proud of getting featured on) and just shoot for my clients, which is how it should be. It is scary though… seeing my competitors getting published and playing the game, while I go against the grain. It can feel like career suicide because you’re not seen everywhere where your industry peers are seen. But when it is a business, you have decide between your ego and your true path. And my experience is that my work is so much better (by my standards) when I let go of ego and just work from my heart. Sounds so cliche. But cliches are cliches for a reason… Thanks for the reminder.

  10. Helen

    I learned the hard way, I started a business based on something I was passionate about and spent too much time focussing on the wrong sort of customer. My business ended up a million miles away from where I wanted it to be so I decided to shut up shop, find a job I enjoyed with the opportunity to learn lots. I’m now living in a city I love and I’m finding my spark again, and of course being inspired by you all your wonderful advice.

    I will have my own business again, but this time I’ll stick with the things I love and find a way to help others through those :)

  11. Ummm. I really needed this today! My orders have increased recently and I have beem trying to be mindful of what I have taken on and said yes too. Its hard when you need the cash but do always feel much better when I know the work I am doing is fun for me. So I will remember what you have said and keep it in my rear view mirror for support :-)

  12. Love your honesty. I have come across so many blogs recently that I used to visit. They seems to have lost that personal touch and it all seems to be about the promotion of the latest freebie.

  13. Angi

    is it bad that all i took from this was – where is the petticoat from??…nahhh seriously, kat yet again a ballsy, take no shit article – i love it. But would you be able to do a list on how you achieve this? Im such a soft ass when it comes to saying no, very little confidence and i find it hard to stand on my own and be in this body. I suffered such horrendous bullying when i was younger it has impacted relationships now as an adult ( does she think im fuckin dear marjorie – i hear you say!) but seriously, Im 33 and I sometimes feel like its the 13yr old in me that is answering and most of the time i find it impossible to have a straight up, listen to me, i matter too conversation with someone. This is really impacting my kooky little business, I don’t want it to be the ruin of me. Thank you

  14. You have to remain true to your heart and put out work which makes you happy (which in turn will make your clients, who ‘get’ you, happy too). I’m of two minds whether taking on a part time job is generally the answer though, if people are taking on too much work they won’t want in order to meet the bills. It’s hard to balance two things which are pulling you different ways. That in itself can affect your creativity. The question should be, why are those people asking you to work for them, if the work you’ll be doing doesn’t match up with your initial vision? It could well be a problem with your marketing approach. After all, I wouldn’t go to Massey Ferguson to buy a camper van.

    I get that bills need to be paid. But sometimes, being hungry (not literally) is the best creative push there is. You’ve got to WANT IT. And I think that often, the people who end up fizzling out into mediocrity once they’re popular is just down to not having that hunger any more.

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