Seeing Roadblocks? Here’s Motivation to Keep Moving…

stories & musings
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Title graphic for Hillary Weiss blog post titled Seeing Roadblocks? Here’s Motivation to Keep Moving….

I’ve been a self-employed creative for 12 years and I cannot COUNT the number of times I’ve been told “No.” in my career.

Back when I got my start as a copywriter (the first step in my Creative Director/coach path) in 2011, I didn’t know a single successful freelancer, let alone someone who’d built a creative career that wasn’t brick and mortar/agency related.

I was warned by so many friends and family members who clucked their tongues pityingly: “Don’t do it. No one really makes a living at it. You’re too young, anyway.”

Surviving One No After Another

Blessedly somehow, so strangely, I started to find my place in the new fangled “online space”.

But the no’s kept coming.

First, it was “No, you’ll need a real job soon enough,”

Then it was “No, you’ll never make any real money at it,”

Then it was “No, you can’t keep revenue growing without an agency,”

And then it was “No one wants to pay you for your strategy without your labor,”

And then it was “No, copywriters don’t become creative directors,”

And then it was “No, without formal visual arts training you’ll never make it work full suite,”

And then it was “No, your ideas are too big and weird, no one’s gonna wanna take that risk.”

And yet, here we are.

With me, thanking the powers that be for my selective hearing every day.

Go Ahead and Let ‘Em Tell You No

Not sure who to thank, really — my long line of incredibly stubborn ancestors? My lack of any real skills beyond the creative? Or my disco-flavored streak of rather festive arrogance that keeps me pounding on windows when doors are closed in my face?

It’s less about SEEING a way than MAKING one — being so dead set on what you want that you become a bloodhound for opportunity and possibility.

Then, Be Brave

It’s about seeking out patterns others don’t spot because they’re not immersed in it all.

It’s about practicing valuing yourself enough to take another damn swing, even when you’re tired.

It’s about letting yourself be who you are (in my case: rather strange, one-track-minded, and utterly unemployable) and understanding that means you’ll have to be brave for yourself sometimes.

So truly; let ‘em tell you “No,”.

Then tell ‘em to move aside.

Because you’ve got work to do. And they’re in your damn way.


Photo by Debby Urken on Unsplash

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