With my finances tackled and my plan to pay off debt well under way, now I had to play the waiting game. Let me tell you, it is difficult knowing what you want but having the patience to wait.
With at least another year to go, how could I best utilize my time, stay focused on the goal and keep my sanity?
Well for starters, there is so much to learn about photography. Even seasoned pros will tell you there is always something to learn. So I dived into reading blogs, picking up a few inspirational photography books and getting out to take photos whenever possible. The more I could learn before making the transition, the better.
What about the business end of things? I knew very little at this point. I had a website that needed work, I needed new business cards with a fresh logo and there was the dreaded pricing to tackle. Having a love for learning I jumped right in, soaking up every bit of knowledge I could get my hands on. The best part, I actually loved learning about business. I thought it would be just another thing I had to get through, but instead, I came alive with every new tip and trick.
My old business card & logo on the left, my new & current card on the right. Thanks to Scott Raymond for the great logo!
What about those long days at the lab? Many tasks at the lab were repetitive and mundane. How could I utilize that time to my advantage and still accomplish my work? Enter technology. I found the wonderful world of podcasts and TedTalks. In the evenings, I would download the content to have it ready to go during my workday.
My trusty smartphone became my best friend during the workday, plus a good set of headphones.
I also discovered audio books at the library. While they were not all business and photography related, I was able to satisfy my other love, reading novels (in this case listening to novels).
While entering data at my desk, I would tune into my favorite informational videos and various webinars I had signed up for. The amount of knowledge I soaked up at work alone was instrumental in my learning process.
At this point I would like to note, I believe in a good work ethic. At no time did I take advantage of my employer. I continued to do my work at a level above and beyond. However, I made excellent use of my time spent on mundane, repetitive tasks. Tasks that required little thought, allowing for education at the same time.
I truly believe, no matter what, you should maintain a good relationship with your employer.
Burning bridges on your way out are never advisable. You never know when you may require a reference or even a job from that same employer. Doing your best work even when your desire is somewhere else is always the best practice.
Of course, I spent countless hours at home in the evenings and on weekends working on blogging, my website, business cards and many other tasks. Staying busy really helped keep me motivated and patient during this time. I was truly excited about the next chapter in my life.
Next up: Knowing when it’s time to make the transition and preparing to do so.