Sunday, October 12, 2008

S U C C E S S that's the way you spell success!

A while back I took a running leap into art as a full time vocation. I'd been toying with the idea for some time but never quite got past the toying stage. What was stopping me? You may well ask that question, it's one that I started to ask myself as well.

Was I scared? Not as such, not about what immediately pops into your head when people start talking about doing something that they really care about; failure, not being good enough, zombies...

OK there was a little of those things in my thinking but when I started to analyze my thinking I soon realized that being scared of zombies was just silly, I mean they're either going to eat your brains or you're going to set them on fire. The first prospect would mean a little rest (as a mother of a small child rest is a very seductive option), the second option offers a chance for roasting yummy marshmallows and singing Kumbaya; either one of these is not such a bad thing. But I digress.

Fear of failing wasn't really my problem. It was the fear of not failing. that would mean change and change is scary. Change means having to figure things out like child care and business licenses and on and on. I began to realize that when I started to think about getting started as a professional I was bogging myself down with plans and small details of plans and bigger plans each getting more and more complex and all of them focusing on aspects of a career I hadn't even started yet. I needed to zoom out and look at the big picture and take it as they say one step at a time.

As it happens not all of those grandiose plans were unhelpful. A few years ago; when My daughter Miranda was still in the infant stage and breastfeeding was her favourite form of entertainment (now it's watching the Wiggles and telling me that I have a bird on my head while holding a stuffed bird on my head); I attended the North Vancouver Breast Feeding Challenge. And as I looked around that the large number of women with babies and toddlers I thought to myself; this is an ideal place to get my name out.

I could hand out business cards to people. I could offer a door prize, I could give coupons for free photographs. The plan began to grow, as my ideas seem to. But I was still on Maternity leave and suffering from Post-Partum Depression, and I was getting caught up in the little details and the concept of starting out was overwhelming. So I tucked the idea away and brought it out now and again to see if it still made sense.

As I mentioned above, I took the plunge this year. I set up two shops on Etsy, one for photography, one for other arty things, and I used my desktop publishing skills to make up a coupon to promote myself as a portrait photographer. Then I contacted Vancouver Coastal Health who put on the event every year and offered sponsorship for the North Vancouver event.

I figured I would get at least one phone call; from the door prize winner, and I would call that a success. If I got any further calls that would be a landslide victory!

The challenge took place yesterday, so far the results are participation of 5119 babies from 196 sites in 16 countries with further results from 157 sites on their way. Looks like a success to me, and I'm proud to have sponsored of North Vancouver's part in it.

As for the results of my participation? One phone call from an interested mother who liked the photo's on my coupon. I'm still waiting to hear from the door prize winner. Landslide!

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