It’s no secret. We love Taylor Swift! We’re sold-out Swifties. Taylor fangirls through and through. Both of us. From her country-playing “when you think Tim McGraw” days to her most recent album 1989 (the first we bought in years!) we just. can’t. get. enough. Her writing is some of the most clever and creative out there; and, as two admitted math failures but above-average English students who write five times per week ourselves, we have a lot of respect for that! It’s catchy, too, right? We don’t know about you, but we find ourselves singing (badly) to her beats everywhere we go. We like it so much, in fact, that her CD is the only one in our car’s 6-disc changer! Now, whenever we pick-up out-of-town guests from the airport, Jordan blasts “Welcome to New York!” and makes everyone sing the chorus out loud — except he changes the lyrics to “Welcome to Scottsdale!” He also changes lines like “the lights are so bright but they never blind me!” to “the cacti are so sharp but they never prick me!” It’s worth flying into Phoenix just to see it. Really, it’s something!
never stop dreaming about your big stage
We think her caption says it all.
That night she posted this.
A few weeks before, she posted a photo of her in a park just like the one above, except it looked like this.
And that’s why think Taylor Swift is someone worth learning from. We could probably write a whole book on all we can learn from Taylor, but one thing we want to remember is this. We all have times in our career when we’re playing in the empty parks of life and it feels like no one’s watching and nobody cares. Maybe it’s shooting your first few weddings in church basements. Or eating vendor meals in coat closets. Maybe it’s staying up all night helping with your child’s homework. Or caring for sick toddlers. It’s the stuff that’s not glamorous, the things that nobody sees, the moments we don’t get any public praise or credit for. But you know what? That doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
In fact, it might just count for more, because the small stages of life, those parks where no one is watching is where we get to grow. It’s where we get to make our mistakes. It’s where we get toughened, weathered, and eventually, strengthened. It’s on those small stages of life that we learn who we are, what we’re about, and what we want to stand for. It’s a training ground and a practice field. And the “small stage” isn’t a permanent personal or professional purgatory, like it feels, it’s a stepping stone to significance. So enjoy it. Embrace it. And remember there is NO such thing as an “overnight success.” Our friend, Taylor?
She never forgot what it felt like to be where so many of us are right now: between where she was and where she wanted to be.
She hasn’t forgotten the hustle.
And no matter where we all are in life right now, in this second, in this moment, whether you’re in a cubicle and you don’t want to be, or it’s late at night and you’re fighting for your business even though you wish you didn’t have to, if you feel like you’re in the middle of “forever” even though you’re really just passing through “for now,” whether you’re on a small stage in life or even backstage, never stop dreaming about your big stage, okay? Whatever that looks like for you. Never stop giving it your all. Never stop playing to that empty park like it’s a sold-out stadium. Because there’s something special about someone who came from humble beginnings. There’s something special about the hustle.
If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be but don’t know where to start, we’d love for you to join the thousands of other photographers who are encouraged each week by The Monday Minute, our weekly email that’ll help you do just that — and it’s totally free! We hope it’s a blessing to you and your business!