The other day I had to pinch myself because I suddenly realised I was getting paid to be at one of the world’s most beautiful vistas, doing what I loved to do.
It was a huge change and a massive decision for me to suddenly be a full time uni student in my 30’s, and an even bigger one to sell, donate or throw most of my possessions, leave everybody and move to Sydney so that I could give myself the best opportunity to carve out a successful career as a creative.
It’s been challenging, often lonely and extremely humbling. I’ve spent more time on my own than ever before, but in that time I’ve learned to appreciate and pay attention to myself in a way I never have before.
Now 7 month later and I think I’m starting to get into the rhythm here (Amen) my business is picking up, I’m living in a great place with awesome people, just a stones throw from one of the world’s best beaches.
I am more confident with asking to be paid more, and for the first time the other day I even turned down a freelance job because it wasn’t paying enough for me to put the others I have going on hold. It felt good! The best part is the feedback that I have received for my last three photography and graphic design jobs, which was so unbelievably positive & encouraging, that alone was more rewarding, and worth way more to me than what I was paid.
I sacrificed my entire life in Adelaide to move here and start all over from the very, very bottom. (Living on a 2m x 2m curtained off shelf up a massive 16–rung ladder, just below the rafters of an old music studio in Alexandria for $125 p.w.) I gave up my entire house, family, friends… It was a huge thing and I’ve been working my butt off since, but now I am starting to see it pay off.
And it all very nearly didn’t happen. There have been many obstacles to overcome but the biggest one was the very first one, the initial decision to go back to uni, be broke for several years in my 30’s so that I could gain a degree & the skills to create a career in graphic design. I’d never known what I wanted to be when (if) I grew (grow) up, even though it was staring me in the face my entire life.
All my life I’d always heard nothing other than you can’t make a living in the creative fields or any competitive industry. To make a living you have to WORK. And by work I mean you have to be miserable, grumpy and exhausted at the end of the day. It needs to be something where you can’t wait to leave, and dread going back to. That’s the only way you’ll get by, that’s life, that’s financial security.
It’s such a sham.
How can you get rich doing something that you don’t care enough about to excel at? That you don’t enjoy enough to put in the extra hours so that you can get the extra dollars?
I’m just starting to see my dreams come to fruition and start seeing the rewards from all of the sacrifices I’ve made to change my entire life and take control of my future, and I can’t express the feeling of gratitude and joy I have at the knowledge that I will actually be one of those luckiest people who get to make a living doing what they love.
I’m a creative and always have been. I love art, I love language, I love people and solving problems. I love innovating, producing new things, making something from nothing or taking something and turning into something different.
I was always told my entire life that you couldn’t make money that way, or that it was too competitive an industry, too much work to get into. But people want to invest in passion, if you believe it, they’ll believe it, and if you love it you’ll be willing to put in the extra work to be successful because it never FEELS like work.
It took me 30 years to learn the two greatest lessons that have changed everything for me, and they’re two things I wish I could rip off the blindfold and make everybody see who hasn’t yet:
Hard decisions = a good life
Easy decisions = a hard life
Passion makes you invincible.