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.
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’.
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.
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?