A little while back, Jay and I decided to see what all of the “La La Land” hype was about. Everyone had been absolutely raving about this movie, and it was just been nominated for a whole bunch of awards. So off to the theater we went.
In the beginning, I wasn’t so sure how I felt about it. I’m not typically a musical type of girl. But by the end? We were both totally hooked and fell head-over-heels in love with this movie. It’s rare that a movie makes me feel something. Like truly, deep down, feel something inside. I think any creative will absolutely connect to this movie – heck, even my attorney of a husband raves about this film.
Living the life of a creative can be an extremely hard road. I think “La La Land” depicted this perfectly. You can sometimes feel beaten down and defeated, especially when it seems like everyone around you is “making it”…..much more quickly than you are.
One scene in particular hit me hard: Emma’s character had just finished her one woman play, and she could overhear someone in the hallway say “she better not quit her day job” – well that struck a nerve with me, to my core.
Let me tell you guys a little story. When you are starting out as an entrepreneur of any kind, it’s all about the hustle. I hustled hard in the beginning. I worked constantly. So when I finally made the decision to quit my day job almost 7 years ago, it had been a tough road to get to that point. But I was ready, and I had this strange gut feeling, where I just knew I could do it. And thankfully I have the best husband ever, who was completely supportive. When I approached him about quitting my day job, he only asked me one question: “Do you think you can do it?” My answer was “I know I can do it.” And his only other response was “Ok, then go do it.” (I can’t tell you how much I love this man.)
So I put in my 4 week notice at my day job. About 2 weeks later, I meet up with a well known wedding planner in Philly. I had never met this person before (they will obviously remain nameless), and we were just meeting up to chat, and tell each other about our businesses. I brought some of my sample albums to show, and I was super excited for this meeting.
To put it lightly, this person was kind of nasty. And by “kind of”, I mean extremely. I felt like I was being critiqued the entire time, and after they looked at my work and we chatted for a while, they actually had the nerve to say to me: “I don’t think you should have quit your day job.”
**Insert knife, twisting in my heart, here**
That one little phrase felt like such a slap in the face. I obviously left, immediately after that. It was nice and awkward. I had a good sob session in the car, and another one on the phone with Jay.
I got mad.
How dare someone say something like that to another person? If I’m being totally honest, all I could think from that point forward was “F YOU. I absolutely CAN do this, and I’m going to show you exactly what I can do.”
There’s nothing like being pissed off to light a fire under your butt. To push you. To make you work harder. To prove yourself. And here we are 7 years later. I’m still running my full time photography business, and I couldn’t be happier.
So my heart was singing when we got to the point in “La La Land” where Emma’s character had “made it”. Despite all of her crappy auditions, feeling beat down, and being tempted to give up.
To any of the entrepreneurs and hustlers out there, I just wanted to share this story with you as a way of whispering “don’t give up”. Whether you’re trying with all of your might to get your business going, or getting so overwhelmed that you just want to stop….I hope you keep going. Keep pushing. And keep dreaming, my friends:)