So You Want To Be A Professional?

So you want to be a professional?

Photographer. Director. Golfer. Belly dancer. Designer. Waiter. Model.

If you’re wondering if you’ve got what it takes to go pro, try it. Seriously. Quit what you’re doing now and go there. You’ll know soon after you’ve tried to go there whether or not you’re in the right spot. If you don’t have what it takes, it will be obvious – going pro will be too hard, other things will seem more interesting, more pleasurable, more fun.

On the other hand, if you do have what it takes, you will be reborn. All setbacks will seem small, all goals achievable, all hurdles put there only to keep out the others. You will know you’re on the right path.

One thing for certain is that both paths–trying to go pro and steering clear of going pro–will be full of fear. In one case the fear is that you’ll fail and not be good enough. In the other case the fear is that you’ll never have lived your dream…

When you think of those two, which one is worse?

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99 Responses to So You Want To Be A Professional?

  1. dustin April 5, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    well said man

  2. joop April 5, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Couldn’t agree more. You’ll feel it in your bones when you are on the right track!

  3. jefgibbons April 5, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Thanks Chase… I needed some words of encouragement today, things seemed to be conspiring against me! Now I just need to look into what being a pro Belly Dancer entails!

  4. Matt Jones April 5, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    This is something I think about every day. As a Dallas resident, all I think about is moving to a place more suited for what I love to shoot, fly fishing and action sports. If and when I quit, I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the motivation.

  5. Mon April 5, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    thank you :)

  6. .monti April 5, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    i think there is only one way to discover it: go for it
    if not you will be your whole life wondering if you should have tried it

  7. Mel Reyes-Abbey April 5, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I think if one focuses on the fear, he is paralyzing his opportunity to grow in their craft or profession.
    Rather than questioning and thinking about fear, I say, be motivated by your passion. Set small goals and with each success, you are closer to reaching the pinnacle.

  8. amanda April 5, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    well said, chase.
    I’m turning 33 next week and I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. time to start living the dream :)

    • Alex April 5, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      I too just turned 33 and I also found what I wanted to do when I grow up! :D

  9. Mike Ponce April 5, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Well said… I’ve been trying to tell my friends this for some time. If they really want it do it take the jump its worth it. 100%.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  10. Orly April 5, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Go Pro everyday I’d rather fall on my arse time and time again. Then be one of those ppl who has never tried anything. War wounds from going to market are badges of honour and its the only time being different will help u survive.

    What ya waiting for ?

  11. Dan Amezcua April 5, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    The fear of never accomplishing your goals is the greater fear!

  12. RB April 5, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    no guts, no glory! another great motivational post Chase!

    Thanks!
    Raph

  13. Dmitry April 5, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Chase, as you are right! You are afraid to risk for those reasons which have described in the questions! But one is exact it it is necessary what to risk. And thus максим to try to make it well and to be in itself assured! Only in this case you will understand that is necessary for you…

  14. diala chinedu April 5, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Just what I needed to hear even though my appreciation has to do with school rather than photography

  15. Will McGregor April 5, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This means YEAH! with great enthusiasm and approval in Scotland so…..

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Will

  16. mirko April 5, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    In little time, you will be able to say full concepts with few or no words in this blog. As soon as one takes these leaps, the question rises “was all of this really this big/bad/heavy/impossible?”.

    There is no price to answer that question for yourself.

  17. Vuoko Vuorinnen April 5, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    I think you just said the words I needed to give it a shot myself. I have always been planning on trying out being a professional photographer after I graduate from university, but this has turned me from “I’m gonna give it a shot” straight to “yes, we’re going for it, let’s start planning”

  18. Nik April 5, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    My last day at the day job is April 29th! We’re doin’ it!

  19. debraschell April 5, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Not trying at all due to fear is the worst mistake you can make. No matter what you do, strive to master it, even when you don’t know what you are doing. Learning from others and trying to do better everyday. But don’t call yourself a professional. If you are one, others will call you one. Being able to diversify and do things out of your skill set is also vital to survival. I learned to be a writer, I am not the best writer, but I try.

  20. sam April 5, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    do you think ive got what it takes?

    @exandwhyphoto

    http://exandwhy.moonfruit.com

  21. Chris Bartow April 5, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Posts like this make me really want to ditch my paced route at possibly going pro and jump into the fast lane. I have a career burn out and photography is the only thing I can possibly think of doing that I would enjoy and not just do it for the cash.

  22. Liam S April 5, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Now if only the bank understood “living my dream” when asking for my mortgage check. :)

    But seriously inspiring, Chase. Food for thought.

    • Paul Pratt April 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

      Yeah exactly. It’s all very well preaching this ideal Chase but when you have a family, kids, rent it’s often not fear that stops you but real life.

      • Garrett April 6, 2011 at 2:50 am #

        I agree I am 38 with 4 kids and I solid job I have held down for 15+ years. It would be irresponsible to my family and detrimental to my retirement to go chasing after pie in the sky. I once heard from a long time photography professional say “if you love photography, never do it for a living” this is pretty sound advice. It is a great hobby and I even make money once in awhile…why mess up a good thing? The industry is saturated with so-called photography “pros” and few customers are willing to pay a fair price for the work we put into it. Having said that…without these life obligations/REWARDS I would jump in feet without thinking twice.

        • Brian April 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

          I think that’s the whole point! You, and the photographer that said not to go pro, don’t have the undeniable passion and drive and inner I-WAS-MADE-FOR-THIS to commit to it and love it with abandon.

          To me, that is what going pro is about.

          Of COURSE to follow your dream should also mean that you can pay the bills. If not, maybe it’s not the right dream to follow. But ‘professing’ something isn’t about being able to pay bills. ‘Vocation’ (calling) is more than getting a paycheck. We should do what we were designed to do, and for me that’s being creative.

          • Craig Pulsifer April 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

            Left engineering in 1999… now, 5-kids, one wife… scary mortgage… 90% of my gear fits into a Lowepro 400AW Trekker.

            Anxious moments? Definitely.
            Regrets? None.

            I’m never going back into the Box… never.

  23. Chris Hughes April 5, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Exactly what I needed to hear today. Perfect timing Mister Chase.

  24. Jimmy April 5, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    With the above said, it won’t be easy. Pursuing your passion requires a lot of sacrifice and and conviction. You need to be determined yet humble and able to accept criticism. You will also find out who your true friends are. Just as dangerous as the naysayers are the ones to allow you to go with the wind and don’t challenge you. Lastly, don’t go it alone. Have somebody(s) to keep you accountable of your priorities.

  25. Suki April 5, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Personally for me it would be the second, never knowing if I could have made it one day.

  26. Dow Jones April 5, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    great post man, its often not what you do to be successful but what you give up in order to open your self up to new and greater things. Sacrifice usually always brings great reward!!

  27. Doug Robertson April 5, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    My fear about becoming a pro is actually quite different. I love what I do right now. I love photography.

    Now, this is likely beyond the scope of your post Chase, but I’ll carry on. For the record… I agree, if you’re going back and forth on becoming a pro or not, pull the trigger make a decision and go forward.

    However, I want to talk a bit about the ‘fears’ you mentioned Chase…

    More then failing, I fear that doing photography for money would force me into one niche of photography to try and make a living at it. I like too many aspects of photography to be a good pro.

    Simply put…. I don’t want to specialize.

    Photography for me is an outlet. Something I do to ‘escape’ from stress, Something I do to create something that brings life into perspective. The act of seeing through a viewfinder is therapeutic for me as it forces me to look beyond myself and see others, to see the world and to stop navel gazing.

    I like taking photos of everything. My family, social events, cheesy photos of coffee cups and sunsets, birds, stars, kitchen utensils, everything. I like long lenses and wide ones, I like strobes and available light, I like almost everything. I find old screw mount MF lenses and with adapters paste them on the front of my dslr as a franken camera. It’s for fun for me, I don’t want to resent it with deadlines and other people’s expectations.

    By necessity, a pro has to work primarily work on one thing. It’s a full marketplace and it’s competitive. You have to be good, at business, at treating people well, at making images when they count.

    My fear, is losing what I already have in photography. A passionate hobby. I’m not the best photographer in the world, but that’s not why I shoot photos. I shoot them for me. For the journey of doing something creative.

    I have considered doing some photo gigs, to supplement the income, to pay for another lens. I have been offered little projects for money here and there. I almost always turn them down.

    Now, I love my job as it is, so my situation is different then some people. I come to your blog Chase not because I’m looking for advice on going pro, but because I see a passionate guy and his team, working hard to do what they do and having fun while they do it. You cater to the outdoorsy part of me, the artistic part of me and the gear head. You are open and honest and care about the job and about people. THAT’S why I’m here.

    I’m willing to be that there are many many more like me. Sorry to go off on a tangent there. Long comment, but I just wanted to say it. No offence to anyone intended, just the view from my office chair. Cheers!

  28. Mike Berk April 5, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    this post made me want to get up and quit my job right now and try to become a the best photographer i can be(I love golf – but i cant shoot in the 60′s or 70′s). But i have fear that i wont be able to pay my mortgage and bills if i quit my full time job.

  29. cc April 5, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    so true. fear is the biggest hurdle for me, although i want to quit and just do it- i have to work my job another 12 months to stay in the country i want to shoot in! cannot wait for that day i can start my dream..
    well said Chase

  30. Chris April 5, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Wow, great advise! Easy to say when you’re already a millionaire. While I’m trying to become center fielder for the New York Yankees will you pay my mortgage and feed my kids?

    Kidding of course.
    I’m sure Chase’s advise wasn’t meant to be taken literally but just in case…

    Don’t quit your job today. Plan and transition into your dream life, go hard at your goals and you’ll get there. Being a pro takes an obscene amount of practice at whatever craft/skill you choose but will be worth the it. By all means, we should all love and be passionate at what we’re doing to make a living but respect the process of what it takes to be great!

    That’s some real world shit!

  31. Pete April 5, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I’ll be putting this into practise over the next year. I’m as scared as I am excited, but that sure beat being bored and wondering what if. There’ll be a transition for sure, but I’m absolutely determined that by the end of 2012 I’ll have handed my boss my letter of resignation.

  32. // Dani April 5, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    thanks chase. this drives my motivation today. but as chris said, there needs to be some transition time. otherwise it is just scary…

  33. Armand Dijcks April 5, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Great post! The only way you can really fail is by not trying in the first place. Also, I found out that you don’t always have to know exactly what your dream is before you start, but can fine-tune along the way, as long as you know your general direction. The only thing that doesn’t work is make decisions based on what you do NOT want (out of fear).

  34. mattbeaty April 5, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    As many before me have said: That was exactly what I needed to hear.

  35. Jason Bassett April 5, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    I recently went through some tough times in my life and I shined through adversity. I decided to reinvent myself and reconstruct the foundation for the respect I was eager to thrive upon. I just started my new website which is getting great feedback , and I am going to go to local agencies, boutiques, shops and enter the professional commercial world.

    I am interested in editorial-commercial, and even delve into deep artistic personal work. And other times I just like to have fun and shoot whatever.

  36. mpianka April 5, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    That’s my biggest fear; reaching the end of this life, looking back and realizing it was full of regrets and lost dreams. That fear will always outweigh any others that come into my life. It sounds cliche but life is too short to let fear get in the way of your dreams. Yea it’s scary, yes it will hurt, yes you’ll sacrifice and yes, pursuant to Chase’s point, you will know right away if that dream is worth living or can be lived. The important thing is that you look can look back with confidence and say you did it, or at least tried.

  37. Jonny April 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Went “Pro” in early 2009. Went from a guaranteed $75,000 / yr day job to self employed after signing my first 6 month, 10K contract. Scariest thing I ever did. In fact, it’s been scary since then.

    Last year we were so far in the hole that I wasn’t sure we’d get out. I learnt that fear isn’t wondering if you are ‘good enough’, fear is wondering how you are going to buy food for the week.

    However, at no point did I stop loving what I was doing… and thanks to a shit-ton of encouragement and understanding from my wife… breakthrough this spring: Signed a huge contract to build a large startup project, getting our first significant deposit in a week. Covers all our debt, and puts enough money in the bank that we can pay ourselves for many months to come.

    Going pro sucks. But man, it’s worth it.

    • Praveen April 6, 2011 at 1:43 am #

      Congrats!! stories like yours are motivating, to say the least..

  38. Mats April 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Its great to read a post where you just start to nod while you read it :)

    Thanks for a very encouraging and enjoyable blog! :)

  39. Luka April 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    That was an important thought put in simple words. Thanks Chase!

  40. O'nev April 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    I don’t know whether it’s just a strange coincidence but I was thinking the same last night when I came across this video http://vimeo.com/studiobotes/going-solo

    As they say great minds do think alike.

  41. Anne-Marie April 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Well said and encouraging words to soothe a restless soul :-) I’ll keep this in mind, in fact I feel inclined to print it and frame it!

    Thank you Chase, it’s always a joy to read your posts!

  42. Will Foster April 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    this is EXACTLY what I am dealing with right now. Going PRO. It’s so hard to just give up, and get a real job and be “safe” but every day is a reminder of just how blessed I am to have the ability to make money doing what I truely LOVE doing! Photography! I get opportunities every so often to implement my love for graphic design, web design, audio, and much more! But, the life as a creative is VERY hard, but very exciting! So stoked for the challenge.

  43. CallumW April 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Take the path that has no regrets…. it will always lead you to your dreams :)

  44. jez sullivan April 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    I agree, but in the UK we have the class system, so even though 7% of the population went to a posh school, they occupy 54% of all media/Creative jobs in the UK. I belive in the American dream, but not in England.

  45. Don Cudney April 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    #1 – Don’t forget this is a business and just like opening a restaurant one must do their homework. I hate the fact that so many new photographers have no business license, no business insurance and no idea how to produce and estimate a “real” job. This “jump in and see what happens” attitude is killing our creative fees and established photographers reputations as a whole.Thank you for the “words of encouragement,” but what most beginning professionals really need is a business education. If you hate your job – quit already and stop bitching! My two cents – and years of experience.
    Don

    • TroyK April 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

      so true Don and it’s the same in any profession that has a very low threshold for entry. “Self Employed” means that your are running a business.It doesn’t matter how talented you are if you cannot run your business properly. Let that fear that Chase is talking about move you to do some thorough planning before you quit your day job.

      My 2 cents also – that makes 4 cents of good advice!

  46. Juan Jose Marquez April 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    I have lived both ends, first when I start in photo I feel the fear of not being so good enough. Then I´m starting to feel that something is missing, but the worst part is this new feeling, I´m working to back on track.

  47. ddiamond April 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Thank you Chase- This helped me through a big decision today.

  48. SuperKev April 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    So here’s a question, I’ve been hitting the pavement every day, caliing businesses on the phone, etc etc trying to get businesses to be interested in the packages I’m offering & I’m getting slim to no reponse regularly, I’m pretty discouraged but I love Photo/Video and I believe this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Any suggestions?
    SuperKev
    Amarillo, TX

    • Adam April 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

      Keep at it SuperKev! Just snooping these CJ blog pages would give you about a million ideas to try, and references.

      • SuperKev April 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

        Thanks a bunch Adam…and yes, agreed! :)

    • Brian April 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      The only marketing/ad I do is:
      1. word of mouth
      2. good website with pretty good SEO for my town
      3. facebook page with facebook ad (less than $1/day)

      Now I should add that I’ve done a bunch of shoots and projects for free, just to get my experience and portfolio up. But it pays in the long run! Calling, knocking on doors, mass mailings, they are all so 1900s. I bet Chase does none of those.

      One of my fav quotes of all time is from Steve Martin: “Be so good they can’t ignore you”
      !so true and effective!

      Best of luck, Kev. Be encouraged :)

  49. Gábor baska April 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Nice one.

  50. Adam April 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    I’m reminded of your “create, share, sustain” concept Chase, which was very eye opening for me. I was inspired by your Seattle 100 book, which got me to jump out there and create/share, trusting that the sustain would come also. There was no initial payoff for my pet project, but it’s paying off nicely now in indirect ways. It’s nice to spend some time in the photography that I most love, rather than things that are less interesting. Thanks for posting the encouragement to all of us out here.

  51. Eric Reichbaum April 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Which is worse? Obviously never having lived your dream. Even if you go “pro” and still are living paycheck to paycheck, it’s better than never having tried. Although lots of folks are content with photography as a hobby or a part time job, for those of us that are intent on making a full time living from photography, you have to give it a try. I decided to devote all of my time and effort towards photography less than 2 years ago, and in that time I’ve been published in the New York Times, signed contracts with MPTV and Retna, and have been selling photos through Getty as well as other stock sites. I’m not bragging, but just saying that it can be done. All it takes is some (read LOTS) of time and effort, plus a little bit of luck. Go for it! No Regrets!

  52. Phat Photographer April 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    No disrespect to someone who is a far better photographer and far more successful than myself, but there are inherently less risky and equally valid ways to see if you’d like a particular career path as a profession: talking to people in the profession, trying it part time, internships, research, in the case of photography (unlike say being an astronaut) doing it as a hobby. Just saying as a guy with responsibilities, that while this makes for a nice, concise, blog post, it wouldn’t hurt to do all of the above even if you do quit your job. By all means, live the dream, but do it smartly which will make it a lot more fun too.

  53. Paul Beggy April 6, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    Nice bit of inspiration on the train commute into the day job :) I’d love to down tools and go full time pro! For me I need to build something whilst I do the day job! Fear should help you do the things you want to do and it does, but I need to keep sensible hat on initially!

  54. Andy R. Garcia April 6, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    What are the odds? I’ve been debating this for the last month! My goal is to become a commercial photographer. I live in Albuquerque NM, where becoming a commercial photographer is almost impossible! My plan is to quit my job, invest into what other equipment is necessary, drain my savings and go to California to look for work! I am 19 going on 20 years old in May & have nothing to lose! If I fail, at least I know I went for it! This is exactly what I needed to read! Thank You So MUCH!!

    • Jiang April 7, 2011 at 12:30 am #

      Do it man!!! Just like JoeyL

  55. Michael April 6, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    What fantastic timing on your post Chase, thank you. While filled to the brim with fear and self-doubt I had handed in my resignation yesterday to do just this. Your post reminded me of why I have to do this. I can’t stomach the thought of waking up an old man wondering what if? I know the road is going to be long and arduous, littered with failure. The alternative simply isn’t acceptable. If I have to go back to a day job someday, it will be with my head held high, confident in the knowledge that I will grow old knowing that I had a go.

  56. Thom Gourley April 6, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Chase, I have done exactly that. Quit the godawful day job to turn pro. It is indeed a challenge, but I’m still hanging in after a dismal 2010 financially.

    I would offer some advice to those who weren’t born into money, rich, trust fund babies, etc: Save enough money to support yourself for at least a year – more like a year and a half in this climate. Or have a spouse or partner who can support you financially (and morally) until you get some money coming in. And if you’ve already built up enough photo biz to support yourself while working the day job, then what are you waiting for??? ;-)

    Best,
    Thom

  57. Jenny April 6, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Amen. It’s definitely worse to not dare to try. Still, it’s so hard to jump.

  58. Sergiu April 6, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    It’s not easy to call it all in , especially when the place you live doesn’t exactly have the market or the visual culture to support many careers as a photographer.I don’t want to be a wedding photographer but it seems that’s what 98% of the people around me do ( I mean those who make a living with a camera).It’s not very encouriging.I have a dayjob in a photo equipment store .It helps pay the rent, but the dream is out there.

  59. Jon April 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    You da man, Chase!

  60. ranger9 April 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Case 3: You pursue your dream and it turns out to be a nightmare. I used to really want to be a graphic designer. Now I am, and it’s just another kiss-butt hack job.

    The introduction to the Elliot Erwitt book “Photographs and Anti-Photographs” contains an excellent essay, “The Man Who Kept Something for Himself.” Unfortunately, not all of us manage this as successfully as Erwitt.

  61. DeShelia April 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Chase – Awesome post. And so timely for many personal reason. Thanks for always sharing your insight and truth in such a meaningful way. Keep it coming.

  62. parris April 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow! Been toying with this for years… you just NAILED IT!

  63. Joseph Richardson April 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Well said. Thank you for that.

  64. fas April 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    While the encouragement is good, its not that easy as getting back to where you are can be very dangerous.

  65. Jiang April 7, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Thanks for your words!

  66. Ryan Watkins April 7, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Great post! Inspirational.

  67. David H. April 8, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    No. I have a job, one that I enjoy and one that pays extremely well. I get to live in a foreign country. I have several hobbies and one is photography. Another is cycling, and I enjoy lots of amateur races. I do not want to become a pro-cyclist nor do I want to become a pro photographer and ruin my hobbies by turning them into a very difficult and likely less-than-as-wonderful job. “We need you to take a creative photo of our new and improved bag of potato chips.” No thanks.

    And that does not even begin to address the difficulties of entering a field in which everyone and her uncle wants to enter, where even established, experienced pros are suffering.

    Had a friend here in Tokyo whose father was/is a professional photographer and who did everything possible to discourage his son from following that path due to the extreme difficulties in making a solid living. He became an architect.

    Ever wonder why so many pro photographers have so much free time as to run around teaching for fees?

  68. Christian Held April 9, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Going pro I think is the biggest fear as you would embark on a journey which is unknown to yourself. Never have lived your dream is less worse as you might have had a fulfilling live in the first place.

    However, if I had the equipment (digital SLR) and some talent I would probably try it. But I wouldn’t quite my job and try and start afresh. I’d rather start to become a second shooter and see what my mentor would tell me and what I personally would think of my pictures. Would I like it?

    Something to test I assume. When I quit my life in Germany to move to the UK I embarked on a similar journey as I left everything behind and started completely afresh. Something that didn’t work out in the first place but I fought my way through all obstacles. Now I’m quite happy but not younger. The will to try something new might descrease with life experience and therefore age. I’m not saying that nobody would try that step but some people might want to play the safe card and worry about your fear number two.

    Would I try it personally? Yes, at the weekends and see how I get on. Would I move to photography one day? If my business model was good and the competition in this respect not too big than yes. My worry is that I can be creative, but would it suffice to make a living out of photography? I honestly can’t answer that question.

  69. John-Mark April 10, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    Couldn’t agree with what Chase said more, however these words are only words unless you live by them. As people are society has instilled within us the fear of failure for it is far better to try and fail then to never try at all.

    Last year, I quit my job in live TV, spent what I thought would be a month in Europe turned out to be three, now I just bought a one way ticket to NYC, I couldn’t be happier or more afraid, point is though I’m getting though it and each day I feel closer to my goal and my ultimate destiny.

    Thanks for the words Chase!

  70. Keith Taylor April 11, 2011 at 3:56 am #

    Nice post. Chase. Back when I was a struggling freelance writer waiting for my big break I returned time and again to Security, a short essay written by Hunter Thompson as a young pup. If you don’t mind I’ll post it here rather than send people off-site.

    Security… what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut?

    Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? Has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better. What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?

    Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.

    As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?

  71. ejlsquared April 12, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    True. I am on the right path indeed.

  72. Chase L April 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    I hate the phrase “if you love photography you should never do it for a living”. I love both photography, and I love doing it for my income.

  73. Meredith Phillips April 15, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I haven’t figured out what path I’m going to take, but when I do I’ll know it’s the right one.
    Thanks Chase!

  74. David July 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Dunno about that one…

    I chased my dream, I struggled to get past the gatekeepers. I made it in to the promised land. Now every day is a heavy burden and I have one less hobby to provide an escape.

    Sometimes you need to figure out if you love doing something, but just for fun.

  75. Zane Kiefer January 5, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I received an e-mail concerning first a website for a tiny problem. I don’t yet have a business nevertheless I would comparable to start my own private website..

  76. Lisandra Furry January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

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  77. clinics to lose weight January 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Obesity is a huge problem for a lot of people. There are so many weight loss treatments on the market.

  78. 39609 June 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    I’m amazed at how easy you make this topic look via your articles, but I must admit I still don’t quite fully grasp it.
    It seems too complicated and extremely exhaustive for myself.
    However, I’m excited to see what you have to say in later posts: hopefully I’ll be able to grasp it eventually.

  79. bavaria April 16, 2014 at 12:07 am #

    I like looking through a post that will make men and
    women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

  80. Rajesh April 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Go all in. Ad I mean ALL IN. Once I totally committed the universe i felt the universe flip inside out and everyone was trying to help me. Its like people loved me dying in the effort.

    This ain’t no practise life folks. Do it.

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