WHY PROVING YOURSELF & OTHERS WRONG IS THE BEST THING EVER.
Only a short eight years ago I was a stay a home mom to a beautiful 3 year old daughter. I was loving life as a stay at home mom. I’ll be honest though, for a stay at home mom, I was never really home. Watching her grow, taking her to play dates, music class and the playground was more fulfilling than anything I ever knew existed.
She was my world, and I was hers.
My daughter was now in preschool and she wasn’t a baby anymore. I was ready to add to the family. The universe had other plans for me. First a miscarriage and then, an ectopic pregnancy. Needless to say, it was a very tough time in life. I felt hopeless, sad, and shameful.
What kind of woman can’t protect her babies? Even in her own body? The negative self talk and frustration was overwhelming at times.
I needed a distraction. My husband had bought me a camera a year or so before. I barely took it out of the box at the time. One day, when my daughter was in school, I decided it was time to unpack the box. Teaching myself photography was an escape from my world. It gave me hope. Made me smile. Allowed me to witness other people’s happiness when I was having a hard time finding my own.
As fate would have it, a photographer friend called me one day and told me she had booked a boudoir shoot for two sisters and asked if I would come along and help. I jumped at the opportunity. Everything about the shoot was a mess.
The hotel room was horrendous, with bright yellow walls and yellow carpet. We didn’t have the right equipment; we knew nothing of posing or direction. It was just a hot mess. I LOVED it. I ran home with an excitement I hadn’t felt in ages. I announced to my Husband “Honey, I know what I want to be when I grow up… a BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER”.
From that moment on, I had a mission. My plan was to start a photography business that was only about boudoir. I was going to turn my bedroom into a studio and nothing was going to stop me. Within 48 hours I had a website up and I was ready to rock and roll.
The naysayers quickly stepped up to the plate at that point. I heard all sorts of things from them. “You can’t make a living doing something so niche like that!”, “No one will come to your house – that’s unprofessional”, “Who on earth would take their clothes off for photos?”, “You don’t know enough about photography to be doing this professionally”. These are only a few examples of all the negativity I heard from people.
Here’s the funny thing about it, they were right. All of them were 100% right.
No one had really done what I wanted to do before. I most certainly wasn’t a good photographer yet. I had limited business knowledge and yes, convincing people to come to my bedroom and take their clothes off wasn’t always an easy task. I had a big choice to make in this moment. My vision was riding on only one thing. Would I believe them or not?
It’s easy to believe the naysayers, because they are RIGHT!
But I kept recalling the great adventurers of the world. What if the Wright brothers believed their naysayers and never tried to fly? What if Christopher Columbus believed the world was flat? What if Susan B Anthony believed women shouldn’t vote?
I chose not to believe them. I chose to use the naysayers as fuel to my fire. If I can prove them wrong, I can do anything. The truth is it was proving myself wrong too.
We all struggle with that voice inside that tries to knock us down. I learned to silence her along with all my other non-believers. I started my business in my bedroom, and a few years later I moved to a studio in NYC. I still only shoot boudoir.
No one believed that a photographer can make money only shooting one type of photography. Turns out, it was the smartest thing I ever did. By concentrating on one area of photography, I got good at it much faster.
Fast forward to today, I am proud to say I am one of the leaders in the industry. I have sponsors; I travel the country and teach others what I do. I wrote a book this year and I have been featured in such places as Good Morning America, MSNBC and just this past year I was invited to give a Tedx talk.
My journey isn’t over. For the last 8 years, I have been helping women become shamelessly feminine from behind the lens. Now It’s time for me to take it out from behind the camera into the world. The naysayers are peeking their heads out again. I need the naysayers. They motivate me! I can’t wait to prove them wrong.
When you're struggling to not give in to the naysayers, here's my advice:
Remember what makes you an Entrepreneur.
For me, an Entrepreneur is someone who recognizes where there is a gap and fills it or someone who takes something that is already existing and makes it better. My boudoir journey was a little of both.
Wildly successful people never play it safe.
They all have stories of risk and reward. They all had naysayers too.
Having big goals makes other people uncomfortable.
It might be because they love you and don’t want to see you fail. It also might be because they are too afraid to live their own dreams and want to hold you back too.
Proving people wrong is satisfying, but proving yourself wrong is life changing.
It’s most important that you show yourself you can do anything you put your mind to over showing others.
It’s a journey, not a destination.
We all have failures in our journey. Don’t let a setback be a deal breaker. Keep moving forward and try new things. Thomas Edison, who failed thousands of times before he invented the light bulb, said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Trust your gut. It’s always right.
You know what is right for you and your business more than anyone else.
How have you fought back against your own self-doubt and the doubt of others when pursing your dreams? What you make is worth it. You've got this.
Jen Rozenbaum embraces her femininity while allowing women to embrace their own. In just eight years, Jen has found a burgeoning audience in the intimate photography market and is now taking her Shamelessly Message movement to women across the globe. She proves that you can own your world if you live fearlessly, think audaciously and act spontaneously. Jen has been featured in such places such as Good Morning America, Entrepreneur Magazine, MSNBC and TedX. You can find Jen on her site, www.jenerationsblog.com. Catch up with her work and let her know we sent you! Facebook | Instagram