When building your own freelance career in a particular field, it can be quite intimidating. The whole prospect of building a sustainable business for yourself with no prior experience is ferociously scary. Unlike a “university degree” there’s no set time period or steps allocated. A lot of the journey is figuring it out on the spot.
When talking to a friend who was an aspiring fashion designer, we were talking about the notion of building your own career. As always, I’m going to use my man Kevin Hart as an example. I told my friend that it took him 14 years to build and craft his career to the point where he was “famous” and profiting from the work he was doing, rather than just breaking even or making no money at all. My friend responded by saying “if I was doing something for 14 years and it didn’t work out I would probably take it as a sign and hang it up”. Which I’m sure is true for most. But I just responded by saying “Well for some that's just exactly what it takes”.
In context to goals in our lives, we all want this incredibly streamlined process of it all just working out for us and being a smooth road and everything just feeling very “gravy” for us. Yet it’s often not the case for any matter or measure of success. Especially in a field where you need to forward invest and put the time in. Such careers like an actor, musician or anything creative for that matter; there isn’t a job or set agency that is willing to pay you to be you when you haven’t proved you’re a marketable asset.
Sure our ego can tell us what we deserve, and what we’re worth and how much we should be paid. And sadly us creatives hate hearing the term “you need to market yourself”, but it’s the truth. It can be a grind and quite draining to get into the habit of putting yourself out there relentlessly for many years. But it’s the only barrier to entry when you want to build a career where you can be paid for being yourself. You need to prove to the world your a worthwhile investment.
The other factor that came up in this conversation is; I was talking about all of the hard times in my pursuit and how I’ve given myself the margin to give up. In my head sometimes I psych myself out and feel the pressure get to me and say “well maybe you should just give up then. It’s all a bit much, and you’re feeling overwhelmed just call it a day. What’s the point if you’re not enjoying it? ”. Then about two days into this period of me “quitting” I get the bug and want to hop back onto the horse.
It’s quite natural as humans to want to be free from pain. To be free from struggle and to not endure any kind of negativity. But this is an incredibly unrealistic mindset and one that's far too removed from reality.
So for anyone out there that’s reading this and has a goal and feels incredibly discouraged by trying to reach their destination don’t let the uncertainty stop you from pursuing what you want.
“By any means necessary” Malcolm X