What is success? Where do you want to be? How do I answer this question after 8 years of being a photographer?
When you turn down a paid job because you don’t feel it’s going to benefit your direction. When you value your work to the point where you consider it a credit to a potential gallery, magazine, publisher, and not just ‘any that’ll have you’. When it’s beyond delusion or mere insistence now: it’s true belief. Things start to slot into place and make sense. You go out actively to seek the entity that deserves you and do not stop looking because you know your work’s worth: it’s just a matter of time. Rejection means nothing, it just adds to the journey of finding the people and things that gel with your work at a certain timing – you don’t take it personally, we’re all humans with arbitrary quirky opinions.
You know your level, but you also understand the evolution ahead to get to the next level. All in good time, we are endlessly learning. You’re confident in what you’ve done yet know your best work’s always to come.
But success might be when you know, above all, that no handout is worth more than your desire to succeed. It is not the pile of money, but the money tree that is the real asset, in the garden of life where there are plenty of other trees too… money is after all, just a necessary thing to get us through this system, and real wealth is spiritual. Your work constantly reminds you of that, for you did not choose it for money, and yet it has the potential to make as much as you want – or as little as you need. In rags or riches, your life is rich from the inside. Now that is success, that is the place to be.