Oftentimes, we can't help but to define success based on how many people know our names and sing our praises. Successful people are thrown in our faces every day. But, that isn’t always what a successful life is all about.
What does a mediocre mind and an innovative genius have in common? Both of them have someone, somewhere saying some pretty bad things about their work. You have to develop a thick skin to make it in any industry. As I write this, I know that someone is skimming over it and thinking this is the biggest piece of crap they have ever read, and that's okay.
There are people who will be judgmental, rude, or just plain nasty. No matter what, we have to keep our eyes on the prize and keep giving our best because many of us have signed on for a lifestyle that involves public scrutiny.
"There's only two types of people in the world. The ones that entertains and others that observe." – Britney Spears (And yes, I really just quoted Britney Spears).
Don't just surround yourself with admirers. This is a surefire way to become defensive towards constructive criticism (the kind we all need) and not be able to recognize some of your shortcomings. Sometimes your best work will come after you throw an idea out there and someone questions it or tells you why they disagree. Having this type of open mind also helps you to hold on to humility and makes you more dedicated and fair.
"The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment." – Elbert Hubbard
Sometimes I take on projects where I find myself in good company, company so good in fact, that I find myself wondering how I got into the situation. Next comes the fear and paranoia of wondering if I’m in over my head or on the verge of embarrassing myself with work that will suck in comparison to my better-known peers.
Then I have to remember something important that we all must keep in the back of our minds. When we find ourselves in blessed positions, we ended up there for a reason. Even if we come from the most humble beginnings, it doesn’t define us. Our talent and hard work can carry us many places and earn us the respect we deserve.
"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision." – Neil Gaiman
If you really want your passion to become profitable, there are three things you have to invest.
Your whole heart
Yes, that money from your first big accomplishment can't all go to celebrating. Some, if not all, of it has to go back into bettering your business. A good friend of mine recently brought to my attention how many people don’t understand this concept, or just refuse to do it. For those who do understand, it’s still much more difficult to put into action when that time comes.
But money spent on your business can easily pay you back because it makes your brand more professional and attracts the right people. You’ll soon find yourself making much more than you put back in.