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For Pro Photographers, the Hustle Never Ends

“It was constant hustle for me the first three years (in business) full time.” I read this quote from a photographer-turned-business coach. It was advice in a Facebook group. I’m not certain the question that elicited this reply, but it doesn’t really matter. The statement stands alone.

And if the response from this photographer-turned-business coach had been:

“It’s been constant hustle since day one.” OR “I’ve never stopped hustling.” OR “Girl, get some comfy shoes and stock up on wine, ‘cause the hustle never ends…”, then I would have never written this article. But it wasn’t. And therein lies the problem with so much of today’s business advice given to the newbies in any field.

See, “It was constant hustle for me for the first three years,” implies that after three years, the constant hustle is no longer required. That one can sit back. Relax. Take it down a notch. And, to be fair, that’s probably part of the nonsense being peddled in the coaching: “With MY help, we can take you to that next level where constant hustle is no longer needed. And here are my payment plans.”

But, friends, the truth is what the truth has ALWAYS been: In business, THE HUSTLE NEVER ENDS.

Once more for the people in the back: THE HUSTLE NEVER ENDS.

I, like many of you, have been hustling all my life. Literally, I have run my own business all my adult life. I do very well in my business. Very well. But it comes with a price and that price is blood, sweat, tears and coffee.

There has NEVER been a time that I could sit back and say, “Okay. I’ve arrived. I can stop planning and marketing and worrying and working so hard.” It wasn’t true 3 years in and it’s not true 30 years later.

It’s always hard work, but what you’ll find is the harder the work, the greater the joy when you succeed. To quote Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own, “the hard is what makes it great.”

So work hard. Plan. Worry. Learn. Market. Fail. Learn some more. Day in and day out. 24/7. It’s how success is achieved. I suspect anyone telling you differently has something to sell you, giving a whole new meaning to the word “hustle.”

About the author: Missy Mwac is a photography satirist, a lover of bacon, a drinker of vodka, a lover of sparkle, and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her website, Tumblr, and Facebook. This article was also published here.

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