It was midnight and although jetlagged, I quietly left Jay sleeping as I tip-toed out of my hotel room in Bangalore, armed with my tripod, iphone, and bluetooth remote to find an interesting staircase to shoot some editorial photos. I remember feeling both the rush of excitement as I headed into the creative unknown and also the rush of fear – would I get caught by the guards??? (by this point in the trip the had already kicked me out of the lobby for shooting several times), would I embarrass myself by going against the etiquette of this foreign culture, would my iphone have enough flash to get a decent shot, would Jay have to bail me out of a sticky situation?
I must have rolled myself over a miles of marble stairs to get these shots, (and yes, I did eventually did get kicked back to my room by the hotel guards) but thankfully as an American I think I ended up scaring them more than they scared me. When I look at what the typical week looks like for a creative like me, it is at least two days of rolling on dirty floors in front of the public, hiking miles to get to that one location only to realize the lighting is all wrong, or seeing my husband’s shocked face come home to a completely chaotic living room in the midst of a shoot. And yet, these beautiful, unglamourous, often uncomfortable moments are the ones that feel the most triumphant. Because it is through the challenges of creating and reiterating in the unknown that we feel the most alive and ultimately accomplished.
I Didn’t Know How to Use a Camera…
I know I talk a lot about my journey, but I wanted to share a couple more things about what the reality of entrepreneurship and a creative career can really look like. I started out as a painter and artist who had no photography background but wanted a way to share her personal style. I first created a blog with my then best friend as a hobby because she was a photographer and I thought I could not create a fashion blog without a photographer. We worked so hard on our initial blog for many years, but it kept feeling forced. One of the hardest things I have faced was realizing that we had different visions and were not compatible co-founders. If you are considering a co-founder, know that co-founder conflict is a leading cause for startup failure!! Now I realize that I made so many mistakes at that time, but it was a great learning experience. Now I understand the importance of MBTI and having a diverse team. Two very similar types of people often bring the same skills and same problems, so that is a lose lose…which we soon found out while working together! Both of us were growing in different directions and sadly not together, so we decided to part ways.
At first I saw this a the end. The end of having the ability to share my vision. I felt very stuck creatively for quite some time, but I still have that deep itch that wanted to find expression and be of service in the world. I still wanted to share my voice and create a community to inspire others. I had just taken the leap to move in with Jay, and we were on our first vacation in Maui when he came up with the name @mscoffeeandcream.
Jay is a strong ENTJ, which means he had the ability to think very clearly, confidently and logically about the pathways forward for me to best utilize my creativity. Although he is not my co founder, he is the support system and business manager when I need one!
Everytime I complained that I didn’t have the money to buy a camera or take a class he insisted that I could do everything with an iphone and have the same results as someone with a professional camera. He helped free my mind of limiting beliefs and so I bought a cheap tripod, and started taking my own shots. It took me a long time to see I was not a fraud. When I see this shot I see my journey as SO much self growth on the inside and out!
Looking back now I am reminded of all the growing pains, the doubts, the small bank accounts, and the questioning. But I am also reminded of pure passion! The passion that got me up at midnight to take these photos, the passion that got me kicked out of so many museums and exhibits because I was trying to shoot and create my artistic vision.
When you look at where you’ve gone this year, don’t just look at numbers, look at how you FEEL, how you LIVED, what you CELEBRATED, how you SURVIVED and OVERCAME things you didn’t even dream of in January.
True growth is measured in things like: confidence, identity, service, relationships, purpose, quality time, passion, resiliency, not giving up. SO don’t get bogged down by numbers, figures, followers and metrics. No one knows what they’re doing and when we step back and realize we’re all just trying to come alive and we’re doing the BEST we can, the ride feels a lot more fun!
SHARE one thing you grew from so far this year!