When I first started out in the photography business, one of the first things that I was told was not to drag my personal life into my work. Of course I was conflicted because my work is an extension of me, and all of my emotions, feelings and experiences. I am convinced that I would be a very different photographer if I had not led the life I have.
I think that the same rings true for everyone, especially creative professionals. We are a summation of all of the things that we have experienced, and whether directly or indirectly, and that includes our relationship with God (or Buddha, or the Universe, or whatever higher power works for you).
You see, God is something that I was told to absolutely never talk about in my business. My clients have different beliefs than me, but so do my family and friends. Even my husband has a different religious upbringing than I do. I have healthy respect for and, happy relationships with all of these people. I do have a relationship with God, and I am tired of being told that it is inappropriate to bring Him into the conversation. None of what I have accomplished would have been possible without Him, so why can’t I acknowledge that?
While I am responsible for honing my skills and abilities, they were given to me. The stunning family portraits of your children may have been taken by me, but that wouldn’t have been possible if the gifts hadn’t been given to me.
So, if you’re someone who wants to hand out business advice, don’t tell people to keep their lives out of it.
My life is why I am here.
My life is why I do what I do.
My life includes God.
And if that’s not okay with you, and you turn your back on me because of what I believe, or elect not to hire me because you don’t believe in God, guess what? That’s totally okay. I still think you’re awesome.
But, I would rather side with someone who isn’t afraid to be who they are and stand up for what they believe in any day of the week rather than someone who says nothing in the best interest of playing it safe.
Playing it safe never moved me forward or helped me grow personally.
What did playing it safe ever do for you?
Bring God into it. Bring your pain into it, your happiness, your family, your fears and your dreams (but maybe leave the drama at home).
You’ll be amazed at what happens when you start living authentically instead of trying to live out someone else’s idea of what your business should look like.