Yesterday, in the Brand Campers community (which consists of all the peeps coming to Brand Camp), a very dear camper got very, very vulnerable.
I wanted to share Kate Griffin‘s story, ’cause I have a feeling it applies to roughly 3,422 stories out there — and I wanted you to see that YOU’RE NOT FREAKING ALONE. Even if you feel alone, and scared, and desperate and miserable and useless and hopeless.
In Kate’s words, then — her story follows. Read the whole way through and I promise you’ll fall in love with her. (And maybe even with yourself, too.)
Tales from historical interaction with Kristen Kalp #1: About, hmmm, (I just checked and the reality has made me heave) OVER 2 years ago, Kristen was trying to help me out of a big black pit of money despair. Leading me through some steps to tap into other avenues of income and using skills I already had. She gave me an idea, a plan, and a pep talk. Problem is my money despair often goes hand in hand with some serious other despair despair, the unable to think straight, work at all kind. I was very close to bankruptcy and feeling helpless. I doubt I properly conveyed this to her at the time, thanked her profusely for her help and marched on with it.
Well the black well of despair opened up and swallowed me – I got on with the work, did some notes, wrote up the waffle to launch the thing – and then shelved it. Why? Still desperate for money, recognising this could make me money, shelved it. I’m pretty sure I did this out of hopelessness – it won’t get better, this won’t work, this will FAIL. So it was the fear monster under the bed, dragging me under.
But what it did do for me was give me something else to focus on, doing something small, however unfinished, just gave me a little bit of structure back, enough to paper the cracks until the next portrait work came in, the next small amount of money avoided disaster.
So fast forward to last week. I get asked by someone with a blog for photographers to become a mentor and offer 1-1 in an online market place thing. I do birth photography, it’s very new in the UK, she wanted me to sell chats with people. I was VERY uncomfortable with this idea, because I am hardly an expert, I have a small amount of experience, I haven’t made a success of that side of the business yet. So I said no. I want to be proud of everything I put out there, so I said no and explained why. She was still keen to have me be involved, so asked about anything else I could offer.
Then we had the masterclass Friday. And Kristen did a little cry about me being fearful and not just doing. I know I need to worry a lot less about perfection and just get things done or going. Just started.
So I said a very British “fuck fear” and dug out my notes from 2 years ago and got to work.
I emailed the website, said I could offer copywriting help for photographers and would they be interested in that. They were. So I flung together what I had, added what I needed to and just got the fucking thing done.
It is not perfect. I have no idea whether it will work. But by buggery bollocks it is done. Finally. After 2 years of languishing away in notes, I decided to just do it, ignoring the negative BUTS and just getting on with it. And because I had to get it done that night for launch the following Saturday, I just got on and did it.
So this is part ramble, part thank you to the mother ship, part prod for anyone else to go through old notes, dig up old threads and start something but just putting it out there. It may come to nothing, but I am trying at least, and on this occasion not letting fear get the better of me.
If you’re at all like Kate — if you’re ready to say “fuck fear” and get on with doing the work you were put here to do on this earth — let her know in the comments below. Tell her/us/the internets what you’re going to do, and when — and let’s get very, very vulnerable together. (It’s easier that way — like skinny dipping in a small herd instead of all alone.) ;)