Take A Chance

chasejarvis_cloudsWhy is it that our society clearly celebrates the chance takers, yet we rarely encourage one another to take chances–especially those people closest to us?

Almost all your favorite artists quit the traditional to pursue their dreams. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates dropped out of college to pursue their passions. Regardless if you wanna be in art, or film, or accounting, or a pro athlete, the story is the same.

Go tell your husband that you’re quitting your well paying job to pursue a career in video and film. Or go tell your parents you’re dropping out of college to pursue photography full time and see what they say.

I’m not saying quit your day job on the spot. But I do find it strange that our culture by-and-large celebrates those people who have taken non-traditional paths to success, but yet it rarely encourages people to take those same paths when success is only a distant dream.

What is wrong with us?

Take that chance. And encourage others in your life to do the same.

178 Responses to Take A Chance

  1. Ted September 13, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I am taking that chance right now, Chase. :) Well, actually moving much much closer to that end goal to start the new adventure very shortly.

  2. Renee September 13, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Omgosh! This is just pure awesomeness! A much needed read for sure! I’m kinda in this boat right now…been on a journey of wanting to break out from doing the norm…and on that journey I found photography. I REALLY want to venture out, but I keep myself back because I’m currently a stay at home mom and i get worried about “security” crazy! i don’t want my daughter to be in this same situation. i’m saving this one chase and taking the chance! ! thank you!

  3. Guillem September 13, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    I guess people are scared…so they go for the “secure”option which nowadays ain’t secure anymore. So you might be better off doing what you love doing.
    Keep fighting!

    • Damien Franco September 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

      This is true.

      People are scared and secure ain’t so secure anymore. Nothing wrong with being scared.

      Fear can be a great motivator. Fear can help people really get the gears moving. It’s just a matter of identifying that fear. Once it’s identified then one can truly come to grips with gaining the insight to accomplishing the goals.

    • marius September 18, 2010 at 10:49 am #

      spot on Guillem i took the quantum leap am still scared but loving to be creative now photography now my passion all out there take the jump i am still free falling

  4. Kevin Miller September 13, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    It’s probably not encouraged because risk is, uh, risky. For all the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates out there I’m sure there are 1000’s of people nobody has ever heard of who failed miserably.

    • INmagine September 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

      And how many millions that no one ever heard of because they did not try… failure is a certainty if you don’t try, and even if you do fall down, getting back up and trying again is always an option…

  5. Christian September 13, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    There´s not one thing wrong with us…
    It´s just a difference between the ones willing to take a risk and the ones who want to feel safe.

    Everyone choses their path in life … it is what it is.

    Feel free to do what you feel is good, there´s no right or wrong

  6. Matt September 13, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Working on it–accumulating knowledge & experience while I have something that pays, and also trying to accumulate a safety net. I’m all about taking a chance, but it’d sure be nice to be able to pay the mortgage for a couple or three months….

  7. Clark Barron September 13, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Thank you so much.

    1 year ago, I took that leap. I haven’t looked back since. Don’t look – jump – as far as you possibly can.

  8. Jay September 13, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Go tell your husband that you’re quitting your well paying job to pursue a career in video and film.

    I did just that a month ago. Well, except I am the husband and told my wife. December 31st I leave the corporate IT world and strike out on my own.

    Sounds crazy in this crazy economy, but 12 years ago I gave up the dream of being a full time photographer to support my wife and my two children. I still support them, but at the still young age of 40, I am going after that dream. It’s scary and exciting at the same time.

    I definitely encourage others to do it as well.

    • Cody September 30, 2010 at 6:40 am #

      My career path got really foggy when I was wrapping up college and working in the corporate world at the same time… 5 years into my corporate job moving up the chain with the safety net, I’m throwing the towel in to pursue my passion of filmmaking. My wife has also thrown in the towel to be by my side and pursue this with me. My last day is tomorrow and I cannot wait.

  9. David Dvir September 13, 2010 at 11:52 am #


    Couldn’t agree more with this. I dunno about you but I know I took a massive roll of the dice somewhere along the way and I know that without taking that risk/chance to begin with I’d be leading a completely different life. I was on route to a crazy degree/masters and decided to drop everything and just do what I wanted to do most.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Kevin September 24, 2010 at 7:47 am #


      I’m a bit upset to see that your website is straight copy of ChaseJarvis.com. It’s a big lack of creativity in content and visual aspects.

      Weak for a photographer… not a «a massive roll of the dice» on that one…

      • David Dvir November 6, 2010 at 7:38 am #


        Believe me, this has been a big issue since I first heard of chase about a year ago. It’s actually complete coincidence :( although I find myself in a very tough spot regarding it since his popularity far exceeds my own. After seeing his youtube videos and going to his site I was flabbergasted and pretty upset. There are differences but the scheme is really similar.
        I know that some won’t believe me when I say that but all I can do is hope that they do, or eventually fall in and re create my site – which I built from scratch with a lot of effort from myself and staff – which in all honesty I don’t want to do because I worked hard on it.
        Chase’s site is again a bit different, he does use livebooks while I have decided to not use flash at all, but yeah…
        I apologize for the coincidence and to disappoint you, Kevin. Just believe me when I say the likeness is unintentional, I hope Chase believes that as well. On that note, I’m sure other websites around the interwebs have a similar feel too…


  10. Martin Wolf September 13, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    True words.

  11. mattbeaty September 13, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Soooo tempting. Great message Chase, and one people need to hear!

  12. AEparker September 13, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Very well said…
    I’m pursuing my dream now and serving my country in the US Navy. I will be done with the Navy soon and doing photography full time.

  13. Matt September 13, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I think it’s largely because most people who take that drop out role don’t succeed. Few and far between are the people with enough want, drive, and effort to succeed like a Gates, or a Jobs. (and I don’t mean attain their level of mega success even) You have to want it and go out and get it. From my perspective, it takes a certain type of person to pull that off. Maybe there would be more if it was encouraged.

    Perhaps when people realize the traditional path is no longer the security blanket it once was, non-traditional will be given it’s due.

    • Matt Dryden September 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

      I know a lot of people who have taken risks and been rewarded by them. I know far fewer who have failed because of their risks. However, most people I know haven’t taken the risks at all. Maybe it’s just the people I am surrounded by, but from what I can gleam, risk is rewarded more often than not. It’s just the price of failure that stops most people.

  14. jeremy mayhew September 13, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    sometimes, our own lack of chance taking only serves to help us encourage those around us. I can’t take that many chances as I have two small children to support, as well as an ex-wife (budum dum!), but I DAILY encourage them to take chances, and my hope is that they will, with my support, things I could never do. So i will most likely never be more than a local food photographer, but that doesn’t matter to me anymore, all that matters is what they become, the chances THEY take.

    so yes, encourage those around you to take chances, while they still have the heart and the energy to either succeed with greatness, or fail without loss of resolve.

  15. David Shepherd September 13, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Awesome! Oh I would so love to take a chance. Problem is that it is a risk and if I don’t make it how am I going to pay the mortgage etc…

    Not so easy with a family unfortunately.

  16. Victoria de Martigny September 13, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Well said Chase, and definitely something to think about! In general, we want to protect the ones we love, so our nature is to nudge them towards the “safe” choices because we don’t want to see them fail or get hurt. But what about being happy & fulfilled?

    When I wanted to study photography instead of going to law school, my parents balked and insisted I do something more practical – so I studied business. 20+ years later when I floated the idea of quitting my corporate job to try my hand at photography my boyfriend said,”Go for it, I support you 100%”. It’s what I love and it makes me happy and he saw that. My mom was more reluctant, wondering what I would do without the 6-figure salary and my propensity for shopping… but once I made the decision, she was right there cheering me on and passing out my business cards to everyone from her neighbours to the check-out girl at the supermarket!

  17. anabelle September 13, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I suppose as long as it is just you affected by your decision then of course people should be encouraged to pursue their dreams. If you have a family, children and so forth who would be directly affected by your choices to quit everything and go with your heart, then I guess that would be unfair on them. Many people have dreams of things and for every person talented enough to ‘make it’ there will be a thousand who share the same dream but have no fundamental talent and will most likely fail. If you fail on your own terms and are the only one left to deal with the consequences of your choices, then of course go for it. If you involve others who never asked for that and whose lives become affected to their detriment then I think that is wrong. By the time most people are in a financial position to pursue a dream they usually have ties and I imagine it is the responsibility weighed against the risk to people they love, where most people find the difficult balance.

    • Andy September 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      Yep Anabelle, that’s where I am now. Taking a chance when I was 22 would have been easy. Now, at 38, with a small family and all the associated responsibilities… not so easy. BUT… I am taking the chance… I just can’t be reckless. At 22 I could have been somewhat reckless and threw myself at this. Now… it’s much, much slower and much more difficult to allocate time for all the things in my life. When I say “yes” to something I am saying “no” to something else. My “yeses” have to count and my “no’s” can’t cause harm to my family.

  18. marcus September 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Society celebrates the chance takers who succeed. When you fail, society couldn’t care less what you did. And it’s the fear of failure that keeps people from trying.

  19. Bram Timmer September 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    There’s someone who touches on this topic and is acknowledged for it around the globe: Sir Ken Robinson. Check out his book “The Element” for a very interesting read where he touches on famous celebrities taking the path they were meant for, to do something they had tremendous passion for.

    It goes without saying that we should all build a career out of something we have intense passion for, as it’s only that subject that will keep ourselves happy. Tie into that the example of the founder of LA’s SodaPopShop (search for his video on youtube) and you’ll see what I mean.

  20. Michael P September 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Encouragement to pursue ambition is something I feel strongly about and the best I can offer those with whom I come in contact. I often ponder how individuals readily put their faith in any and everything other than themselves to their bidding, when, really, it is exclusively their selves that have the power to bring goals to fruition. No one can do it for you, and it is my faith that a human being striving in pursuit of a clearly-defined goal must succeed. (Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and see where that line of thinking takes you; incidentally, I’m probably riffing Earl Nightingale just a little bit here.) I encourage others to pursue their dreams, taking care to remind them not to be disheartened by fear of the unknown and failure, because, ironically, fear is OK if it doesn’t paralyze you, and failure is just a stepping stone to success.

    This is relevant reading for anyone interested: http://cdixon.org/2010/09/12/getting-rejected/

  21. Arthur van Megen September 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I think people are like sheep’s, and mostly only thinking about the money. If i ask some co students why there are studying that one particular study they don’t even know, they only know that it pays well.

    • Cody September 30, 2010 at 6:48 am #

      People don’t find their passion any more and follow it… we aren’t taught that. We are taught to go to college, get a well paying job, and live the “dream”. Living in debt for the rest of my life with “stuff” (i.e., a house with a 30 year mortgage, a new car, a boat, etc…) is not the dream, but merely a distraction. I’ve started getting rid of a lot of stuff that consumed tons of my time and required lots of maintenance… I now use that time to pursue my passion of filmmaking. It’s awesome and invigorating. No debt, I enjoy life and everything around me, and I’m happy. Try it. You won’t want to go back.

  22. vernography September 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I’d love to take that chance. It excites me to think about it. The problem comes down to keeping the house and putting food on the table if I jump and break. We will leap anyway.

  23. mirko September 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    I’m wrapping and quitting all my app in Santiago de Chile to find a living in Croatia. We’ll just see :)
    Great advice that comes with some trouble, fears but mostly, filled with experience and growth.

    Cheers to those who take bigger chances (mine is just a small one!)

  24. David Angel September 13, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Preach it!

  25. Jeremy September 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I took it. Quit my (awesome) day job as a Sr. Project Manager to pursue photography. I was completely unestablished, even locally in photography. That was in March. It’s slowly getting there, still a long way to go, and it’s way fun.

    I must say though, I have some incredible support from my wife. She is a (the best in the world!) stay at home mom, looking after our 3 great kids. Sole income from me, mortgage, and she encouraged me to pursue what I love doing. As if I’m not so so so lucky to have her! Yeah! And to be working my ass off at something I love doing and am passionate about.

    Take the risk people. Creative risk.

    Keep preaching it Chase! Your influence was a huge part of my decision. Thanks.


  26. Andy September 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Crap…this hit home in a way that you won’t believe.

    At this very moment, I’m in a place where my day job has become an absolute miserable experience due to tensions between the employer and myself. All weekend I wrestled with just quitting and not hoping I could make it with my camera, but knowing that I had no choice. I think this has helped that decision. Time to hold my nose….close my eyes….and dive.

  27. Matt Dryden September 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more. Me and my Fiance are starting business’s in Design and Wedding Photography. It’s going to be a huge risk to quit our full time jobs and pursue our dreams. There are people who are telling us this is a horrible time to start a business because of the economy and politics and what not, but we have a plan we think will work so we are going for it.

    Amazingly, the people close to us are supportive. They are all encouraging us to go for it. Family and friends want to see us reach our goals. It’s great encouragement. We try to encourage others as well, but it’s hard to see so many doubters of dreams. Encourage people. Share your wisdom. Help each-other out. We can all accomplish great things with just a little help and encouragement from others.

    And Thank You especially, Chase, for Creative live. The Jasmine Star wedding shoot in particular was such an inspiration and was packed with great advice, but all the courses are great for helping others. I love to see people giving back to the community. I give back where I can, but I can’t wait till I can give back even more.

  28. Kay September 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    My wife did it! She was a teacher in France and she quit to be a photographer ;)
    Now she teaches photography, writes books and is a talented photographer!

    You must believe in your dreams to make them come true.

    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
    Steve Jobs

  29. Jose (JoRoFoto | 40/60 Photo) September 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Well said Chase, no matter what the outcome is it’s always worth the risk. It’s only by failing do we know what NOT to do the next time around; I’ve taken some risks myself in the past 2 years and while it hasn’t been easy or stress-free I wouldn’t have changed a thing if I could do it over again.

    Life is all about living and having no regrets, so take as much of a “reasonable risk” as you can, or throw all caution to the wind and really throw yourself out there!.. :D

  30. Raf September 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    There is no word ” fail ” only word ” lesson “. Obviously you need be smart and calculate everything before you make a big step forward, sometimes we need to feel prepared and focused. I’ve been working night shifts in warehouse, but my mind is already setup to achieve my goals and I will definitely take my chance soon. I love encourage people to do this step especially my family

  31. Matt September 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    I takes a lot of courage. Should be planned well. But should´nt be planned to death. And you have to kick yourself in the ass, everyday, every morning every minute.There´s always a risk and always the worst case that could occur. But if you always think in worst case scenarios, you will never find the right moment to jump on the new path. You will always stay on the save side. No happy but save. There´s this old empty phrase, ” don´t dream your life, live your dream”. In this empty phrase is a fundamental truth. Your choice, your crossroad.
    I´m on the start of my path. Leaving safety behind. carpe diem. And lot of hard hard work!

  32. Dan September 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Thank you Chase.

  33. pabloconrad September 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Well said Chase.

    Too many people want the path lad out for them, want the path to be clear of obstacles, yet, it never is.

    It’s like hiking in the forest. Some of the most beautiful scenery you ca not drive to. You must bushwhack through scrub, climb steep and unmarked trails, and scramble over fallen logs.

    But the goal at the end, a breathtaking vista, is worth the effort.

    Thanks Chase

  34. Anna Kim September 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I find this really inspirational. Thank you!

  35. Guy September 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Took that leap a few years ago. I make a modest but successful living doing something I absolutely love…… Being creative photography and design.

    The people that surround me told me years ago, “becareful”, “are you sure you want to do this”, “what if it doesn’t work the way you think it will” and a thousand other warnings.

    When I tell those same people today about my ideas and inspirations of taking what I do to the next level, I still get those same warnings, I still get those comments about being happy with what I have or those terrible economic downturn speeches, I still get all the same words that carry fear AND I STILL IGNORE THEM AND FOLLOW MY HEART! ;0)

    And still encourage others to do the same!

  36. Dustin September 13, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Yeah I needed to hear that too!

  37. nick wilson September 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    i’m one month into my chance… it’s been the best month of my life. :)

  38. Mathias Japri September 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    considering. :D

  39. sweetandcoolval September 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    I’ll admit I am just I’m terrified to take huge chances. The security of a job can be comforting. My partner has taken leaps several times and nothing has stuck, yet. So in our 11 years together, we’ve had to do a major reset several times. That is enough to make you latch on to a job like a barnacle.

    That said, I have contemplated selling my own work for a living. My major obstacle is thinking that I think can’t backtrack on what money is coming in. Combine that with loving the people I work with (mostly) loving my job, making a leap right now doesn’t make sense for me.

    Whatever your goal is, put it out there in the universe. Things manifest in weird ways and take you down unexpected paths to your goals, but you have to start somewhere. Mine is to go to law school specializing in intellectual property. I want to help people protect their ideas and creations.

  40. IPBrian September 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    That is some terrible, but fantastic advice. Funny how the outcome will determine on which side of that a person will end up falling. People need to realize that making it work will be some of the hardest work they ever do. Don’t quit the traditional as a route to the easy life. You will fail! Be prepared for the greatest hustle you can do and then some!

  41. Ophlex September 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Well said!

  42. Travis Forbear September 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    I wanted to be a photographer for years, but ended up going to school for education. Teaching jobs in Michigan are almost non-existant, so facing joblessness I pulled out my gear and starting shooting again. It’s been the hardest yet most rewarding thing I ever did! I worked 14-16 hour days 7 days a week all summer without paying myself, and I would do it all over again. My business is growing and I am booking new work all the time. Self motivation and passion keep me shooting, even if the money is slow to return.

  43. Brusca September 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    I’m taking a chance. I also need some help choosing my adventure. http://www.lovethepano.com/the-photographer/tweet-my-photography-destination/.

  44. Twan September 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Man, It’s almost as if you wrote this just for me.. I’m in exactly this point in life right now.. I ‘want’ to persue a speciffic career and all I need to do is act accordingly! like.. just get out there and het my ass moving! hut hut hut!!
    Thanks man! Thanks for all your inspiration and motivation!
    Twan, Netherlands

  45. Joe Holland September 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Awesome post!

    Quitting my job and moving to Thailand to teach English.

  46. Herve September 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    We are educated in the admiration of free minded people. To some extent, this sounds like fear less people with great talent. What do we admire so much in art? Freedom! Freedom of mind, freedom of vision. And through this freedom, they can share their humanity, their way to be in the world with us. We feel a little less alone, thus.
    We’re educated in the respect of rules and regulations. Full of fears and frustrations and – sometimes real, sometimes supposed – obligations. Getting rid of them is a big work, and taking one’s chance is not as simple as saying ‘look, today I’m going to do my dream job instead of my day job’.
    Even dream jobs have their counter parts, dark corners and boring aspects. Even dream jobs have to be well planed, precisely organized, meticulously executed. So I do not think that you take a chance like you take a plane. You do not take a chance. You live it. More; it lives in you. It pushes you. Naturally. Obviously. One day, an observer says ‘you took a chance’. But you know. You did not. You just worked. Just did your human job.

  47. Mr. Big September 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    “Fear causes hesitation and hesitation will make your worst fears come true” I love this saying, what movie is that from?

    People are driven by fear on some level, most of our beliefs are driven by fear even the ones that seem to be selfless and genuine. political, religious, social, financial, on and on. For all those people making comments about how they can’t take risks because of their responsibilities you need to understand that risk taking is a lifestyle not an occupation. If you are enslaved by your debt then pay it off. Plan for you and your family to make a lifestyle change so risks can be taken and dreams can be pursued.

    They say that money doesn’t buy happiness but it does buy comfort and convenience, are you willing to give that up if needed?

  48. Mickael Tannus September 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Ok, I will do it!
    Just this morning I got a great chance to break loose from my dead-end job as a graphic designer and go all the way with my own business as a photographer and graphic designer. Havnt had the guts before and I have tonight to think about it. This is the kick in my behind that i needed. I think … :)

  49. mervan ayberk September 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    speaking in the light of photography; if you’ve got what it takes.. it’s no risk.. (or should I say very minimal risk).. just make sure the TIMING is right. that’s what crucial.

  50. Teresa September 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Great advice Chase!

  51. Dan Bailey September 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Great post, Chase. I’ve been heavily influenced by a similar observation that Galen Rowell made. He said, (paraphrasing here) “Most of us spend our entire lives working to fulfill someone elses closely held dreams…”

    Since you only live once, why not do everything it takes to pursue your own closely held dreams and ambitions?

  52. Denny Medley September 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I did exactly that – quit my good paying “day job” to pursue my life-long passion of photography and finally make it my life’s work.
    It hasn’t always been easy (almost never), almost always a LOT of hard work, and I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. But, going on 8 years full-time now owning my own business, and I’ve never looked back. I still LOVE what I do, and when you can make a living doing what you love, it’s a good life…

    Denny Medley
    Random Photography

  53. Martin Taylor September 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Taking a chance is great in theory until you’re the bread winner of the family with dependents and responsibilities. If I now take a chance I’m not just gambling my own future; there’s a chance my wife doesn’t get the meds she needs for a chronic disease. Word to the wise: it get’s much harder to take a chance the older you get and you end up having find time to do what you love around the other things you have to do.

  54. Brad September 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Probably because its called a chance for a reason and in some cases its a 2 sided coin, win everything, live the dream and the other side lose all you got by investing in a crazy dream. Persuing a career in photography is no easy business, dropping out of collage probably isn’t the smartest thing to do, we celebrate the unlikely few who do succeed because everyone loves a rags to riches tale. Ooohhhh today is positive thinking day… oh sorry

  55. Raúl Hernández González September 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    And you are lucky to live in the US, where it is true (at least that what it seems from abroad) that chance-takers are celebrated. In other countries (Spain in my case) chance-takers are socially considered with suspicious eyes…

  56. Sudi September 13, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    I’m wondering why did you post this right now… What is going on in your mind to make a post like that because you are a photographer already. This post is just a push for the things running in my head. Were you not scared when you took that chance? Did you think then that it is a chance or did you think that you try it and you’ll see?
    One side is doing something that makes your bills paid and another is that makes you wanna wake up every morning. Which one is the right for all the people who are not Chase Jarvis? What are the odds to have both?
    Thanks for the post(s). They keep me alive…

    • Chase Jarvis September 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

      first. “the people are not chase jarvis”, is who I was before I got some confidence and figured out that most of what worries us all just doesn’t matter.

      before that…I was terrified every step of the way.

      but you get used to the terror.

      and the terror starts to fuel you.

      and the more leaps you take, you get used to crashing and burning or flying…and both are ok.

      i’ve stood in front of plenty of people. been cheered and jeered. and in the end it just makes me want to make more stuff and turn it loose on the world. so that’s what i try to do.

      • Tim Skipper September 13, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

        This is what I appreciate about you Chase, your open honesty.

        I watched your interview with Jasmine Star and you more than once said something that I believe firmly in, “There’s enough for everyone.”

        I think many people never pursue their passion because they believe there is not enough to go around for everyone. The truth is there is more than enough, the hard part for me being new is finding that right niche that I can fill.

  57. Dennis Aquino September 13, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Excellent point Chase!

    Taking a chance doesnt always mean quitting your job and gambling it all in one day. In regards to photography, it could simply mean, photographing your first wedding, photographing your first portrait, or photographing your first fashion show. By doing so, your slowley increasing your ‘chance’ to do what you love, and turn it into a business you enjoy.

    Zack Arias is also a great example of somebody who took a ‘chance’, and is an amazing photographer. Do a search, and you’ll see what can be done.

  58. Brent September 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    I’ve been holding on to a corporate contract position since I started photography about 5 years ago. My contract is up in less than a month. My photo business currently provides about 1/3 of my income. I’ve really been struggling to find the motivation to get another job that I hate just to pay the bills. So… I decided about a week ago to put all of my efforts into building my photography business.

    This article definitely helped confirm that decision. Life is way too short to spend 40 hours a week doing something you have no passion for. Scary but here goes nothing!


  59. David September 13, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Thanks Chase

    I’ve been wanting to make that leap from the second I looked through a viewfinder for the first time some 37 months ago. Since them I have tried my best to get my skills and images up to a level that I feel comfortable with showing them to others. 
    Excuses have been plentiful for not leaping – my images aren’t good enough, landscape photography might not pay the bills, mortgage, if only I had a €5k cushion, I don’t have time to practice because my day job gets in the way, etc. The real excuse is probably more like “I’m afraid that if I take the leap that what I fear will become a reality – my images, and therefore I, will be rejected”. I still hold back the images I love but that I believe others will not appreciate or understand. 
    Slowly I’ve been showing my images to people, close friends and family mostly.   Being a very shy person makes it harder (oh there’s another excuse) but I’m trying. Hopefully I’ll make my 2011 target but I’m still a bit away. 

  60. Kaleb Goff September 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Taking a chance today Chase. spending my summer savings (after a grueling summer at Seaworld San Diego) on a new camera set up (Nikon :D ). Stoked!

  61. Jeff September 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    I wonder if Chase finds time to read the responses to his posts.

    Regardless, people avoid that encouragement because it makes them a participant in something enormous and risky that is not their own. People, perhaps subconsciously, know the hit/miss ratio, and want no part of encouraging something with those odds.


    So we instead say, “I really hope it works out for you. Good luck.” instead of, “Yes!!! You should do that!!!!”

    Not really a surprise, IMO.

    • Chase Jarvis September 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

      Yes I read these responses. And yes I agree with you.

      Werd up.

  62. Christa September 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    I’m about to go back to the full time job from a 1 year maternity leave :(
    I suggested that VERY idea to those closest to me, to not go back and just pursue my photography career instead. Let’s just say I wasn’t encouraged and I go back to the “traditional” job :( in 2 weeks! Ugh…..

  63. Andreas September 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Chase did you’re parents support your career choice?

    • Chase Jarvis September 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

      yes. my strange career path is well documented in the photo industry media…a google or a flip thru “press” section on my site will reveal it if you care to check it out….. anything but a traditional path. my parents were supportive. cautionary and reluctant, but supportive.

      but remember that while I had that support, and I’m grateful, it’s not required. as much as i had the support of my parents, wife, etc, I certainly didn’t have it from lots of channels. but i used it as fuel. and you should too.

  64. Michal Garcia September 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    I’m there man! Looking forward to taking bigger & better risks, failing, then failing better.

    What IS up with this disconnect?

  65. Jon DeVaul September 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    It’s human nature. We are also on the receiving end of this dilemma sometimes. How many art directors out there are willing to take a chance on that new exciting photographer, when they have the “tried and true photographer” that has given them very safe, technically correct work for years now. If you’re that new exciting photographer, you say the art director is scared, if you’re the tried and true photographer, then that art director is loyal.

  66. Chris Mast September 13, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I sit at my desk everyday wishing I had the courage to leave and take the photography chance…

  67. Andreas September 13, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Ya the creative world is a great world to be involved in and I’m also privileged to have parents who will support me, but at the same time, I like exploring other things such as Forestry. I feel like I can only be sure of something until I’ve explored and that is definitely part of the creative process. Its awesome cause it opens up opportunities to make interesting photographs.

    See, I’m young and lucky to have all the resources available like the internet so I can learn from everyone, such as you, and other photogs, and at the same time take advantage of more common path, I’m getting both of best worlds.

    P.S. I’d love to see some more BTS vids, a lot of educational value in them!

  68. Tim Skipper September 13, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    I can really relate to this. When I left a paying job to go full time as a photographer I received several “You’ve got to be out of your mind.” comments and looks.

    But I took the chance and I am very grateful that I did.

  69. Levy Carneiro Jr. September 13, 2010 at 9:22 pm #


    this post is truly inspirational.

    It would be great to see a testimony-kind of post, with interviews from people who took the chance. How did they manage their time (if you have a day job, how can you book a weekday photoshoot, for example), how long did it take for them to break even, this sort of things.

    Thanks for being such a great coach to us all.


  70. Bimal Nair September 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    I guess it has more to do with the trust levels. We never wish to see our beloved in trouble. And thats the only point why we ourselves may pull back from taking a chance. The fear of “troubles to come” is the only thing that makes us resist support for such a venture.
    But we sure gotta break out of mold and take chances, coz thats the only way to know one’s potential and exploit it too.
    Cheers Chase! you are awesome at making a point that irks the idlest of minds :)

  71. David Moore September 13, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I’ve been planning a move to a more intentional working life, and am slowly putting that plan into action now. Stared at myself in the mirror the other day just before I called to turn down some well-paying but dull work to free up time for the photo-related work I really want to be doing. ‘Do you want to go grey working for someone else?’ I asked myself out of nowhere (or rather, out of the core of me).

    It’s taken me a long time to get even to this point, but I’m excited for the journey to come. Thanks for the encouragement, Chase.

  72. diala chinedu September 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Its a very scary thing Chase…I almost quit college last semester to pursue my dream. I did not inform my parents. I was scared to tell them. Up till date, my parents don’t even know I own a camera. I come from a place where anything art or music is very frowned upon. Parents where i’m from are only interested in their children becoming Engineers, Doctors, lawyers, etc…mentioning anything off that path can cause serious family issues…I totally agree with this post but I think taking a step forward to actually pursue ones dreams is very very scary, especially in our world of uncertainty…I’m still joggling my two majors (nursing and chemistry and getting ready for med school) while pursuing my love for photography and i hope one day i find an avenue where all my expertise can coexist in harmony…hopefully

  73. Chad Adams September 13, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    I love the example you used chase, It reminds me of how Walt Disney got fired from “lack of creativity” from the Kansan city star newspaper and years later ended up buying ABC who owned the paper. We can’t grow without failures and we can’t have failures unless we take chances. Only by taking that leap can we learn and grow in confidence.

  74. Rik Martens Photography September 13, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Some years ago I moved from the small town where I grew up to the “big” city of Eindhoven to live there and work as a photographere there.
    It’s always a risk to take a big step like that. But if I hadn’t done that I would never forgive myself. It turned out right for me. But if it didn’t I can look in my eyes and say at least I tried. So take some riks in your life. That’s the only way to succes.

  75. Pablo Espinoza September 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Thank you Chase.

    Cough… Can I uh, fly to Seattle and sweep and mop and clean your studio and carry your heavy gear up the mountain when needed and run to get drinks for everyone and make coffee and smile?

    My photography sucks but I have a strong back and willingness to be serviceable! ;)

  76. jess September 13, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    thank you so much for this, Chase! i recently quit my job (2 weeks ago!) so that i could pursue my photography full-time. most people think i’m crazy, especially in “this economy”, as they keep saying. but i knew it was the only way for me to finally pursue my dream and actually make it work. thank god i have a supportive husband :) i have never felt more free or excited in my life. now i can finally say i love my job! and you were one of my inspirations…in fact, i just mentioned you in another blog post tonight: http://jessrobertson.com/2010/09/irvine-ca-wppi-roadtrip/

    thanks again!

  77. David Redding September 13, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Amen! Take it from a 35 year old father and husband…..Take those risks! quit that job, jump on that plane, move across the world. I have other lives to look after, so I have to take the safe route….But if you don’t have kids or a wife (maybe even with a wife) living out of a card board box so you can make your dreams come true is way better then living a safe life, a life you hate.

  78. John Mathews September 14, 2010 at 12:59 am #

    Isn’t the photo for this post just a little cliché?

    • Chase Jarvis September 14, 2010 at 8:41 am #

      sure… was just the last one on my iphone that was acceptable.

  79. Tom September 14, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    Great post. Inspiring stuff mate, and your on the money! Not a day goes by that I don’t dream about throwing in the day job and pursue the passion…. I guess it’s fear of the unknown that holds some of us back. I’m not worried about failing, but rather unsure where or how to start….. One day……soon!

  80. James September 14, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    Exactly what I love to read but fear doing the most

  81. Rick September 14, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    I experienced that lack of encouragement when I was jumping into photography on a pro level. I decided to go about learning pro tips from actual prod working in the field on Kelby Training. I figured it was better to learn from working pros rather than professors at a college. My mother was one of the biggest doubting voices out there. She said her piece and I still went along… funny she doubted the teachings of Joe McNally, my favorite instructor. After I started making money with this she started to come around. Mom assisted me on a photo shoot recently. She later said to me she had a lot of fun during the shoot. Now she’s my biggest promoter, funny how that turned around.

  82. Daf September 14, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    I don’t think it celebrates all those that take a chance – but only those that take it and SUCCEED. It can be quite harsh on those that don’t make it – and for every Bill Gates there must be thousands that don’t make the big time.

  83. Rick Lohre September 14, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    Amen brotha!

    I spent 11 years in a “Corporate gig” 5 of those of which I don’t regret ;) but wish I had the “kahunas” to have taken the jump earlier.

    Funny thing is Chase, it wasn’t until I heard a podcast on LightSource with you interviewed did I decide to plan the jump into my dream of commercial photography.

    Thanks much man for your encouragement and voice in the industry!


  84. Mark September 14, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    It’s not that easy. How many people like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs do you know of? The computer OS market is pretty much closed to new ideas now. Same goes for a lot of other places. For every 10 people that drop out of college, 1 might become a successful millionaire…the rest, garbage collectors and janitors. It’s a very risky decision.
    Maybe those statistics seem harsh, but the statistics of not ‘making it’ might be even worse. I guess it comes down to how much are you willing to risk AND assessing how your risk plays within the current market. Windows and Mac wasn’t around then yet people were starting to see a rise in computers. It made sense to go into that. Photoshop didn’t really have any (worthwhile) competitors so it was a good idea to ‘risk it’ back then.

  85. Kate Watson September 14, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    Great post! My husband and I live an off-the-beaten-path lifestyle and love it. We always encourage others to live their dreams, whatever they may entail. What else are we here for?

  86. Joakim Eriksson September 14, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    “You need to get an education and a good job in the factory so you are safe in the future”

    I quit my job (not that well payed but anyways) a few months ago to go full time with my company. Dealing with photography design and such.

    But, I do have responsibility for two kids and paying the loans. I think that would stop most people from taking the leap of faith :-)

    I have more to do then I can fit into my schedule, so it turned out well, but you never know :-)

    Keep up the good job!

  87. Qua Veda September 14, 2010 at 6:55 am #

    The successful risk takers are celebrated because it is rare. If everyone took similar risks, the stories would be more common. Its never too late, its always Now .

  88. Matt Beckner September 14, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Fighting to achieve something makes it more rewarding.. I grew up poor and with very little. I have fought for everything. Sometimes people don’t help because they are never asked. Maybe try asking for some help instead of permission..?

  89. Nathan Borozinski September 14, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    Perfect! It’s what so many people need to hear, that they never get told. My wife and I are in the midst of this right now. We’re so close to taking the leap, but just tying up a few loose ends prior to jumping in! Great thoughts Chase.

  90. Ness Ballauff September 14, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Great piece to read on my Birthday while writing down goals for the next year.


  91. Donnie Bell Design September 14, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    It’s the same reason why people stay in terrible relationships — they like being comfortable. I’ll admit I’m not a pure risk taker, but I do take calculated risks often. And sometimes they pay off, sometimes not. But it’s worth a shot.

  92. Michael LaSalandra September 14, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    It amazes me the amount “chance taking testimonials'” to be found here. It comforts me as a 36 year old wanting to make the jump, that there are so many others out there with the faith to at least try to make their dreams realities. An old friend of mine used to say “Sometimes you have to jump in the middle of the river, to find out just how tall you are!”

  93. Eric September 14, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Chase, thank you for this post. It is good to see from all the responses that I am not the only person who is starting a transition from a crappy day(actually night)job into pursuing my passion for photography full time. I have been wanting to make this transition for a while now, constantly making excuses, finding reasons not to I guess out of fear. I am not getting any younger, so its either now(december actually) or never.

  94. Robert Williams September 14, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    I’m going for it as we speak. When the company I worked for downsized I decided at the age of 41 that I’m going to be what I always dreamed of being since I was 15: A photographer. It’s not an easy road and it’s a work in progress but I’m pushing hard and with the backing of friends and understanding wife and even fellow photographers, it’s happening. I may struggle but I’m loving my life now and it’s a wonderful feeling. I’m living my life in art even if it is 20 years late, I thank god it wasn’t 40.
    Thanks Chase for always encouraging us to push forward and take risks. That’s what living really is.

  95. Michael Dyrland September 14, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    I took that chance. I didn’t want to be stuck having a 9-5 job. I decided to quit my job as a TV producer and focus on Photography. I started my own business and have been doing well. I only quit my job two weeks ago but I’m excited for the future. If I didn’t take this step I wouldn’t have the chance to do what I’ve always wanted. I’m 23 and have a long life ahead of me.

  96. Geir September 14, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    What’s “wrong” with us is that we need security, responsibility and food on the table. There is someone else who has to do the hard and “boring” work so that those of us who dream can nurture our dreams.
    Let’s face it, self-expression is a selfish act, but the strange thing is that so many are blessed by it.

  97. Josh LeClair September 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Finally took that chance about a month ago – got laid off from being a full time photo assistant to being my own boss about a little over a month ago. It’s been the scariest thing ever regarding money, but the best thing since this is what I’ve dreamed of doing for so long. Some days you sit and stare at facebook and wonder what you’re doing with your life, other days you’re hitting the pavement meeting people and figuring out your next shoot. Security is a blessing and a curse at the same exact time – and especially since most people are satisfied with security it’s difficult to break that mold. But for those who do, I truly believe that it is the best thing that can happen to a person. Here’s to hard work and believing in yourself paying off!

    Chase – thanks for continuing to be an inspiration and influence, and pushing the bar for photographers.

  98. D September 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    What’s wrong with us is “love” and our survival instincts. We discourages our close ones to take chances, because we love them, and we don’t like to see them struggle in frustration or pain, especially, your spouse or kids, people who we are willing to die for. We want them to “survive,” to be “ok.”

    This jump requires jump from both you and your close ones, and not all of them are ready to take that jump. You may not be afraid, but they are. They fear out of their love, survival instincts, and I guess in ways self-preservation, in a non-selfish way.

    Nothing is “wrong.” This is just part of being this animal called human.

    I think maybe the better question is, do you believe in yourself and your passion enough to take the jump and withstand whatever discouragement from your close ones? After all, they mean well, just not great.

  99. Shannon Wimberly September 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    I’m about to get my ass fired because I am so discontent with this shit…….. I have my irons in the fire, waitin for them to get real hot, then I jump….

  100. charlie September 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I am an architect and left a firm that i was a partner with many years ago to start my own firm. We had no work or clients and it took 5 years to be in a position that we knew it would work and we would be ok. Now I would never work for anyone else. If i screw up in life i want it to be my screwup and not a moron manager who has some other agenda in mind but whose bad decision affects the bottom line for my family. There’s nothing better than to craft your own path and have that feeling of accomplishment.

    Now I get to use my photography talents to shoot our firms work (plus the firm buys my equipment). What else could be more fun than that? I’ve had images in the Chicago Tribune and the NY Times along with many other publications and books. Life is a blast.

    All I can say is to pursue your dream but do it with every part of yourself and you will suceed.

  101. Brice September 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Hi Chase,
    I know exactly what you mean.
    I used to be a very well paid movie editor in Paris, France.
    I dropped everything to become a photographer in Vancouver, Canada.
    I started a year ago and I shot my first big contract for CBC ( Canadian TV Station ) last month.
    Nothing feels better than taking that chance in life.
    http://www.briceferre.com is getting bigger and bigger everyday.
    I’ve had my first exhibition in Vancouver last month as well.
    I think everyone should take that kind of chances, even if it clearly was easier for a guy like me with no kids and no mortgage.
    Oh well…


  102. Aleeya September 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    I see your point and I agree though it is easier to romanticize the risk takers when they have already proven their success like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

  103. Kenna Klosterman September 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    thanks for this reinforcing my decision Chase! I assisted 2 fine art photographers straight out of college and it scared the s*%t out of me. They were in their 50s, their art sat in museums and with private collectors around the globe, they self-published award-winning photography books, and yet struggled financially month after month. After they couldn’t afford to pay my minimal salary anymore, I decided I wasn’t cut out for that type of ‘instability’ and went the opposite direction. Got my MBA and then did what I ‘thought i was supposed to do’ by working for the man in big corporation after big corporation. i was unhappy miserable and out of place. took me 14 years to truly realize that success does not equal a big paycheck and advancing the ranks in a j.o.b. Left that world last year to return full circle to my passion of photography. i believe that the U.S. societal standards of ‘success’ helped lead me astray, but i hadn’t thought it about it in the way that you pose – we celebrate the things that we are most scared to do. but that leads to the deeper question of ‘what is success’? cheers, kenna

  104. marcus grip September 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    I am thinking about that everyday and I am taking already a big chance on my photo and film career though I have a normal day job aswell to keep myself alive and pay for everything that can take me one step closer to my goal, to live on my dream.

    I agree with you fully, and as you say: Maybe you don´t have to quit on the spot but plan out and just do it! I will next year take a really big leap into universe by going to China to work on a documentary on my life there for three months as an English teacher and also develop my photo and film knowledge and style and after that I have decided that I will live on photo and film. I say it like it already happened, to confirm that that´s the way it is going to be!

    Thanks for your every word that speaks to me and that you inspire in a very unique and honest way.

  105. Brian September 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I agree with you, Chase, we celebrate risk-taking even as we shrink from it ourselves. I probably couldn’t say it better than Marianne Williamson (often mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela):
    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

    You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

  106. Beckie September 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks Chase.

    You truly are an inspiration.

    My Hubby and I have been talking about this over and over for the last few months and trying to make plans for “the right time” and just like having kids, there is never a right time! You have to go for it, take chances and be positive. Life is too short for hum drum. The bank own our house anyway so…

    Let’s Go!!!!

  107. Pablo Zanardi September 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    I’ve been meaning to take the step..I guess I’m just setting it up.
    As soon as I have enough money for a camera I’m jumping the crazy-wagon and riding life the way I want to, not the way my family does.

    I guess, it’s just hard having no one to support you at the start.

  108. RSA Course September 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    I promise myself a change, just one small change :) and see where that goes. Very inspirational, thank you.

  109. Reeve September 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    “Steve Jobs and Bill Gates dropped out of college to pursue their passions.”

    Steve Jobs attended college classes after he dropped out, just for his pleasure and just those who were interesting to him. He didn’t drop out to pursue a specific career.. he just couldn’t see the point in taking boring classes. Exploiting Wozniak’s invention was just a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

    Gates on the other hand had already been smart enough to write his code for Basic, the operating system he tried to sell to MITS. He dropped out, because he knew the new industry is at a rise and it’s the life time opportunity.

    None of this has anything to do with dropping out of collage and taking snaps.. something hundreds of thousands people do everyday. It’s like chock and cheese. You can’t compare it to some (after all, lousy) snapshotting.

  110. nataJane September 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    We do know artists and praise them for their risks, however they only represent a tiny percentage of those who have taken a risk and not failed miserably. Because you take a chance on your passion and quite day jobs or schooling does not mean you will become a success. There is a fine line between ballsy and irresponsible.

    We don’t generally encourage our loved ones to spend their nest egg on lottery tickets because we heard of someone who won millions.

    That being said, it does take guts to pursue what you love, and if you are dedicated, there are some risks that are worth taking. Coming across the right ones is the tricky part. I do love your observation, and agree that we are often too comfortable with the “secure” to chase what we really want.

  111. corbin smith September 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Very cool! Thanks so much for sharing. I think I like the intro vid even more than the short film!
    I feel like, (as with any, or most motion picture,) audio will still need to be captured with a separate device.

    • Mark B. September 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

      Hey Chase–Lost my job, turned 60, bought–in quick succession–a Nikon D5000, D90, D700, some quality glass, don’t know what the hell I’m doing but I’m having a blast. Self-taught on Photoshop. Shooting in Seattle and Northern Nevada. You’re an inspiration. Love the videos for the D7000. See you around town.

  112. vincent September 15, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    you’re absolutely right! it’s not just in the US, even Asian are still very conservative. when my relatives knew that I was planning to study 3d animation, some became doubtful of me. My sister recently was getting huge pressure from her work which she has no passion and love for. She works for the pay. I ask her to follow her passion and go after her dream, citing examples of Bill Gates. She said “I’m not Bill Gates!”

    I think the education system all around the world is not working very well in producing risk takers. Getting so many negative words around me really demotivates me in succeding in photography and animation.

    Luckily there’s inspirations like you!

  113. Abhinav September 15, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    thanks for your impressions reagarding D7000 :)

    will it be possible for you to post high iso images from d7000 ?


    • Abhinav September 15, 2010 at 4:20 am #

      oh! no.I posted in the under wrong post :(

  114. Chris September 15, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Well Chase is just writing what I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now but it lacks a) the funds and b) probably the skilll

    So no new inspiration for me. But some stories of people who did this might be cool.

    Cheers from Glasgow, UK

  115. Andre September 15, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    Along the same lines of Take a Chance, a saying that I feel has made a difference for me is:

    The greatest risk in life is to risk nothing

    Be it a big risk or a little one.

  116. Rachael September 15, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Funny you should post this when you did. I live in Florida and my husband started his 3 day road trip to California yesterday. He’s pursuing his acting career. Even though we have a 15 month old son, I completely support him and believe in him and encouraged him to get out to L.A. and pursue his dream. Some people don’t agree with him going without us but right now we can’t afford for all of us to make the trip. So you make sacrifices and do what you can. We say that it’s better to go after what you want than to regret 10 years later that you never tried.

  117. Doug Hubbard September 15, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Thanks so much for this post Chase. In about a month (or – once my D7000 arrives) I’m about to leave on a truly indefinite backpacking journey of the Asia-Pacific region.

    I don’t know when I’ll be coming back.

    I don’t know anyone where I’m going.

    But I am chasing my dreams, and, like Sir Ken Robinson tells us in his TED Talks and books, somehow, we have to trust that in the fullest pursuit of our dreams, success and fulfillment awaits.

    Let me know if you’re gonna be in Borneo anytime soon.

  118. michael September 15, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I am glad you mentioned this Chase. I have been taking a huge chance with my photography project. People have criticized me, people have thanked me, people think I am crazy to branch off and do something different with my life. I went from a successful mortgage broker to a hard working photographer literally overnight. I completely changed my life and I am heading down a different path and it’s amazing the accomplishments and places I have been as a result of being a huge risk taker. Thanks for the inspiration!


  119. Kevin Wrenn Photography September 15, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Great point Chase! Couldn’t agree more. We didn’t get here by being complacent. Birth is a radical process and that’s how it all begins. The real question is at what point does it change. At what point are we indoctrinated into a way of being that makes everyone around us feel safe? Why do the parents of children suppress that which is given at birth (our will and our desire to live life fully)?

  120. Andres Castaneda September 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    “If you don’t risk, you risk it all.” That is what my mom taught me. She is the biggest risk taker I know and the happiest as well.

  121. Claudio September 16, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    > I do find it strange that our culture by-and-large celebrates those people
    > who have taken non-traditional paths to success, but yet it rarely
    > encourages people to take those same paths

    Just a guess: if we were all to follow “non-traditional” paths to success, then there would be no “traditional paths” to success; instead, there would be millions of individual paths to success (and to failure). We would not have any idea of the success rate of any such path, simply because one successful story does not a rule make.

  122. gnohz September 16, 2010 at 2:57 am #

    I think perhaps there is fear involved. People tend to be afraid of stepping out from their comfort zone, and also that they see success as only a result of following a certain path in life. The fact is that there are so many different paths in life and sometimes there is neither a correct nor incorrect road. It all depends on the individual :)

  123. nodderwaak September 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    Sometimes you just need a final push in the right direction.

    > 1000 clicks on my blog and I’ll jump – promise

  124. nodderwaak September 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    . or , does matter :-)

    Sometimes you just need a final push in the right direction.

    > 1000 clicks on my blog and I’ll jump – promise

  125. Simon September 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm #


    Even if I never become as famous, or as successful financially as you, I hope to achieve your level of positivity, drive and balance, and to be able to something that I love more times than not. I honestly think that even if you are not in the best position to go for the ‘big dream’, you should never write off your chances of achieving the other things I just mentioned… who knows, maybe the opportunity you think will never come your way just might – better to be able to grab it with a genuine smile.

    Cheers mate.

  126. Rob September 19, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Well said Chase. My life has been full of regrets and quite a few missed opportunities. When I have taken the chance I have rarely regretted it, I just need to overcome my lack of self-confidence

  127. Phil Balsdon September 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    What stops most people is fear of failure, yet a sure way to fail is never to set out on a journey in the first place.
    Often the best lessons we learn are from our failures, we can learn so much from them and make adjustments.

  128. Calvin Wallace September 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    That’s great and all, but for those of you giving up your jobs, how about getting me one, since I’m unemployed now and can’t make a living from photography. I gave up the dream after going bankrupt. So those throwing your jobs away, give me a call.

  129. Robert Randall September 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Great post Chase. For those of you who are down and a bit afraid right now I can tell you from experience that Failure is Never fatal. In fact what people call failure is not failure at all. I’ve been flat broke twice, survived cancer and lost every member of my family by the time I was 35. The only way you can fail is by quitting.

    The reality is that other than your very close friends and family no one in the world cares about what you are doing. They don’t! So who are you trying to fit in with, or impress, or make happy?

    As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reminds us:

    “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

  130. Ben derhurst September 21, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    I’m 24. I left a $1000/week job to study full time. I survived on tinned tuna and instant noodles for about 3 years.
    Now I work for a major newspaper as a staff photographer. I have been approached by two other papers with possible job opportunities.
    Go for it. But it’s a dog eat dog world. I’ve seen many people fail. I still can’t believe where I am. I take nothing for granted.

  131. Adrienne September 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    I love this post. It couldn’t have happened at a more appropriate time as I contemplate this very action!! Is the Universe telling me something?

  132. Eric September 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Brilliantly insightful post Chase. I thought of this the other day aswell, and still being a high-school student myself and I’m considering pursuing my passion of photography after graduation… It seems that society is against me, constantly urging me to take the less adventurous but more stable path and to get a degree to work a well paying job that probably won’t bring me as much satisfaction.

    Work is called work for a reason. Get a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.

  133. carlo September 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more with you Chase. For a while now I have been taking the traditional route and it pains to know that out of the potential we all have we rarely maximize and utilize our capabilities. I’m really inspired by this post and i hope other people will be inspired too. Thanks.


  134. Suzanne September 22, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    5 years ago both my husband and I quit our jobs, sold our house and started a photobook busines. We are still not making anywhere near as much money as we were previously, we drive an old car, still renting and don’t get any more than 3 days holiday at once, but we have very rewarding jobs and kick arse camera gear and computers. It just depends on what’s important to you.

  135. long.david September 22, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    very well said…

  136. Eric September 22, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Wow! many people is in the same boat like me!!
    Your blog give me a lot of energy to realize my dream.

  137. Jesus Hidalgo September 22, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Hi Chase, of course another great article.
    Since we are born we are “wired” to do what “society” dictates us to do, including success, so therefore we always strive to achieve that success that has been disctated to us by others. Be an engineer, a doctor, have a big house, the dog, the big screen tv, the expensive car, etc, etc…
    It is now, at 35 years old, and after several different studies, that I can pursue my passion for photography full time; thanks of course in grand part to my very supportive wife and relatives.
    I have learned that it really doesn’t matter how much money you make if you are miserable at your work place so that’s what I decided to take my chance this time.
    Hopefully it all will be worth it.

  138. Jesus Hidalgo September 22, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Hi Chase, of course another great article.
    Since we are born we are “wired” to do what “society” dictates us to do, including success, so therefore we always strive to achieve that success that has been disctated to us by others. Be an engineer, a doctor, have a big house, the dog, the big screen tv, the expensive car, etc, etc…
    It is now, at 35 years old, and after several different studies, that I can pursue my passion for photography full time; thanks of course in grand part to my very supportive wife and relatives.
    I have learned that it really doesn’t matter how much money you make if you are miserable at your work place so that’s what I decided to take my chance this time.
    Hopefully it all will be worth it.

  139. Jesus Hidalgo September 22, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Hi Chase, of course another great article.
    Since we are born we are “wired” to do what “society” dictates us to do, including success, so therefore we always strive to achieve that success that has been disctated to us by others. Be an engineer, a doctor, have a big house, the dog, the big screen tv, the expensive car, etc, etc…
    It is now, at 35 years old, and after several different studies, that I can pursue my passion for photography full time; thanks of course in grand part to my very supportive wife and relatives.
    I have learned that it really doesn’t matter how much money you make if you are miserable at your work place so that’s what I decided to take my chance this time.
    Hopefully it all will be worth it.

    P.S:sorry guys I had misspelled my website address the first time. This is the good one

  140. Jason Collin Photography September 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Good point Chase….it seems people who took a chance and become very successful are the only ones that are celebrated because it is easy to celebrate them as they have already acquired something that can be quantified by society’s measuring stick, i.e. money. If you quit your job to become a portrait photographer but are only pulling in $2,000 a month, will that be celebrated? If it’s your only source of income, probably not. Yet if the people you are providing portraits too hang them on their walls for 20+ years and have a good feeling every time they look at the photographs, that type of success cannot be quantified and therefore cannot be celebrated as easily as the bottom financial line.

  141. rix weber September 24, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    Hey, Chase! Inspiring, but I have something to say to this…
    “Go tell your husband that you’re quitting your well paying job to pursue a career in video and film.”
    Well, I think there is a point in your life when you actually can afford to drop everything and go to Burundi or Botswana just to help people there. But the thing is- we usually don’t realize the point is there now. We only get it when it is gone – and then think “oh, I should have done this or that”… Sure, a lot of so called obstacles or limitations are made up and are just excuses to being scared… But people can usually overcome fear when it concerns themselves, it is a lot harder with the beloved ones. Ok, I quit my job to become a photographer. But who’s going to feed my children?
    I am just saying – it is not that simple…
    some of my thoughts also here: http://rixweber.tumblr.com/post/1081278688/being-a-professional

    cheers and good luck!

  142. Jason D. Smith September 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm #


    I just happen to be contemplating that currently (the last 5 weeks) – your post was one of those “higher power” signs. Thanks Chase!

  143. Christian Anderl September 25, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    good point. too many people think that something like “security” exists. nothing is “safe” or “secure”, life can only exist while things are changing. or in other words life = change. standing still = death. if more people would at least try to understand that, i think they would move on as fast as they can ,-)

  144. ahmad September 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    Chase! You know 2 months ago i dropped all of my subjects in university, and i decided to study Digital media!
    No one is supporting me, no one is encouraging me, but yet have chosen my path, and i am not gonna lose the chance i ve got.
    I believe people scared of change…
    I think People couldn’t/didn’t take the chances so they don’t see the ability in others.
    i guess PEOPLE don’t dream!

  145. Jusitn October 18, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    Wow. I’ve never thought of that before. Time to go do what I gotta do.

  146. ScottCorey October 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    there’s no chance unless you take one

  147. Matt Simmons February 17, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    The most common scenario for people becoming succesful small business owners is moonlighting. They start a business part time, they build up a client base, and voila! The bottom of the cliff has a little more padding on it. Like the dark side of the lens. If you’re scrapping by doing what you love – at least the scraps are worth having. I think if you’re under 25 you should definitely leap off the cliff and don’t worry about what’s down below. Sleep on someones couch. Travel on a dime. Live a little. Save college for later when you’ll really appreciate it.

  148. Blueprint RSA May 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    So many people are afraid to take the chance because they are afraid of the negative results that might have a big effects on their lives.. I used to be like them, afraid yet un-contented.. Good thing I made up my mind and changed that attitude. I quit my job and concentrate on a more important matter, my family and now I’m happy with the results because our angel is on the way. :)

  149. John October 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I read this blog sometime in 2010. Some months earlier I had left my well paying job and safety net for a graveyard shift, just so I can have more time to get better in what I love doing which is photography. Along the way I have encountered many obstacles, but my photography has escalated to a professional level ever since. Sadly the biggest obstacle I found was my wife. She would constantly try to bring me down and diminish me because of my passion for this art. I specialize in beauty and fashion photography which requires me to be in contact with models, makeup artists, and stylists. It has been a rollercoaster for me trying to make her understand that it is my passion. You will find people that will make you feel like shit when you “Take a Chance”, but when that rejection come from people so close to you, it will only make you want to pursue you passion even more. So, after 25 years of marriage I am divorcing my wife, and will dedicate the rest of my life to my passion for photography.

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