Finding your real passion

Finding your real passion

Recently I was asked few questions by some of my friends about the desire to switch from regular software job to photography. And they were at the cliff where I was standing 6months back. So I thought why not share my opinions with others. I believe that these question will apply to pursuing any passion.

Here is a small checklist,

  1. Do I have all the equipments already. If not, Where will the money to buy/rent that will come from?
  2. Have I decided what I want to click?
  3. Can I immediately get work (or at least enquiries) when I leave the job?
  4. Am I just running away from my current job? (I just want a holiday/break from my job. )
  5. Do I have people which will help me connect to others?
  6. Do I have dependencies in family or any other financial burdens? (parents, wife, kids, drinking … etc etc)
  7. How important money is? (When the cash flow stops it becomes a tough thing and not everyone can handle it)

These are the questions I came up with, for which there is no perfect answer as such. But they can be just food for thought.

So now coming to the questions that were asked to me.

1. I have the finance Which could probably last me 6 Months without a Job.
A. Sounds great. But I believe there has to be some money flowing from photography already. I would always prefer to not touch my backup money. Also when I calculate backup money, I also have to consider some hidden costs for equipments.

2. I am not too sure If I am good enough
A. I wish there was a medical test to tell ok now you are good enough to be a photographer. Sadly there is no such test. And only way to know is to show to some professionals and to review things yourself. Just ask that what makes this picture different from others. Can this picture be easily taken by someone else? What am I doing differently?

3. I am quite Mercuric in nature, so dunno for sure What is good for me.
A. Every artist is Mercuric, they like some things at one time and hate it other time. I don’t think that it can be answered by anyone. (sounds too philosophical .. but can’t help that)

4. how could One Identify the true passion ?
A. I wish there was one medical test for this too. The way I would do it will be to ask myself following questions, the answers to which can not be a perfect yes/no
a. What I enjoy most (currently )?
b. Can it pay me, if not immediately then in future? (with onion prices fluctuating randomly, you would want to earn well immediately)
c. How good I feel I am at it compared to the competition in the market? (identifying competition is the biggest challenge here)
d. Do I have people to help me with my decisions?

These questions can decide feasibility of a passion. Like when I was doing theater I liked it a lot, but it failed at b,c.
So when I decided to quit my job, I can tell you my condition,
a. 100% yes.
b. 75% yes. (I was confident that I can take out my monthly expenses out of photography)
c. I had no clear answer to this, as I did not really know who my competition was. I just wanted to take a break and try out things.
d. 100% yes. At various stages of my life, I had friends who questioned my decision to quit my job. But when I decided to quit, my Brother-in-law and my sister were biggest support. My parents never opposed my decisions, they questioned it but still they did not force me to take decisions. Also I had people from fashion industry who had noticed/liked my work. So I had HOPE of getting work from there.

5. One thing I know is : Praise gives me happiness, even if doesn’t earn money. but then again Money is Necessary, One can not live off Pure fame.
A. Praise gives happiness to everyone. I think the answer to this question is done in 4th question.

6. Can i start part time and see how the response is with the time and when i gain confidence i can quit my regular job and go pro?(I seriously think of this ALL the time :) )
A. Obviously confidence and part time work go hand in hand. On one fine day I can not just say that I wish to be a photographer. For some people time to gain confidence takes time, for some it never comes.

7. For how long this business would survive?
A. Business?? What business?? I am just following my passion. Well, When you quit your day job and start something on your own then it does become a business. I have never done a course on business management. So I am still getting a hang of “How to get more business”. And frankly I do not know how long this will survive. I do ask/think about questions like, what if everyone becomes a photographer tomorrow? You might get such dreams too :D . (I still keep getting dreams about the theft of my old camera ;) :( )

So unless your business is something that is necessity of people, and will keep growing, it can end any day. Also one thing I would like to mention is that people might/might not get you business, but they would surely get you thousands of ideas :D .

8. What if it didn’t worked out for me after some time say a year or so?
A. You need to think about getting an alternate job, which is not an impossible thing. When I had quit my job, I had given myself a timeframe of 1 yr. And post that I would have joined another software job (I would have hated myself and others too :D , for it).

I still think I would become Papa in one of Ekta kapoor serials in case photography doesn’t work for me :D . (I will Just try)

9. Should i have some backup plan too in parallel of this?
A. Everybody would love to have more money. So if I have cash flow coming from somewhere else. I would be more than happy. I would have loved to have the software job which would just take 3/4 hours a day and rest of day would be for me only. But sadly there is no such provision.

I think the final answer always lies within you. That should I do this or not?
So I hope this solves some of the questions. In case you have more questions, feel free to ask me.

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