I went to bed last night feeling less than awesome about myself. In fact, I was quite frustrated. I had the realization that I have been actively working towards building my photography business for over 5 years now, and I still feel like I’m just not. Quite. There.
Although according to the numbers, I am only $600 shy of beating last year’s revenue, and about $3,000 shy of meeting my goal for 2011 (which I can TOTALLY do).
But I don’t feel successful. Even though I am showing that I have shot over 50 sessions to date. Even though I am actually in the black for the first time in who knows how long. Even though I am booked solid for the next month and I have so much work to do, I’m trying to decide how many hours I can afford to cut back at the day job so that I can focus on taking care of my clients and growing my business. Even though I just opened up a retail space! I still feel defeated.
I realized last night it’s because I feel like I’m in constant competition with everyone around me. I look at my friend, who when I met her last summer, told me that she’d just gotten a new camera and had an interest in photography now has a thriving photography business, just a year later. Another friend is debating on which camera to upgrade to, while a third is booking weddings into 2013. And I realized that the green-eyed monster is coming out with a vengeance. And I don’t know why. I am genuinely happy for them, I am.
And I shouldn’t be comparing myself to them. I shouldn’t. It’s not a fair comparison.
For my friends that are investing in their businesses, I realize that they are likely doing so on credit, where I operate on a strict cash budget. I realize that many of them have husbands (or wives) that have “real jobs” that cover their basic needs like food and shelter so they can focus on their dreams. I realize that they are not me, and at the end of the day, all things considered, I’m pretty freaking successful in my own right and I should be proud.
But I still can’t help but feel like I’m not good enough and I’m not ever going to get where I want to be.