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

And, friends, if you only follow ONE celebrity Instagram account, follow Taylor’s. For real. It’s one of the reasons we’ve grown to love her even more. Why? Well, we’ll tell you the biggest reason in a minute, but for starters, she loves her cats! And Instagrams them all the time! And cats just aren’t received NEARLY as well as cute little fluffy poodle mix puppies who look like perfect stuffed animals against white and teal backgrounds on Instagram! (That means YOU Bokeh the Bichpoo! We love your face! ) So it’s nice to see Meredith and Olivia (yes, we know the name of Taylor Swift’s cats) soaking in some social media love for the rest of the closet cat people who
are all about #BringingCatsBack. Taylor posts about her personal life on Instagram, too. One of our favorites? A 15-second clip of her and her brother competing in a family Easter egg hunt this spring. We might’ve watched it ten times. Maybe more. And now we’re telling you about it. Six months later. Because there’s something special about someone so spectacular who hasn’t forgotten her roots, where she came from, and what made her who she is — and there’s no better example of that than something she posted online a few weeks ago: a photo of one of her first concerts in the middle of a park with almost no one watching.

Taylor Swift Instagram_0001

We think her caption says it all.

That night she posted this.

Taylor Swift Instagram_0002

A few weeks before, she posted a photo of her in a park just like the one above, except it looked like this.

Taylor Swift Instagram_0003

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.

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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!

12 comments
filed in: Education, Personal

    Amen friends <3 Taylor is my life. I have a heart tattoo on my foot from when she was going through that "drawing hearts on foot going to get it permanent if my album goes platinum" but didn't phase. I seriously need to come to Scottsdale now because I'm dying to see this Jordan!!

    Amy & Jordan

    Haha we love that!! Thats a #swifite4life right there!! You'll definitely have to make a trip out to the desert!

    Shelly Booker

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    I decided last year to commit to wedding and I did 5. But I do not have anything for 2017 on my books and am trying to be patient.

    Amy & Jordan

    That's amazing!! Keep being patient and working hard! We're cheering for you!!

    Tonie driscoll

    I have not begun to make a website I have been told my images are not portrait material
    So I'm trying to build up a portfolio before I make a website

    Amy & Jordan

    You can do it! Hugs!

    Ruth

    I'm a new wedding and portrait photographer. I've been a photographer for over 3 years now but just now started promoting and getting out there (my website is a month old) since I just graduated with my bachelors and finally have time to commit to my photography business. I'm not booking as many clients as u wish to and sometimes I get discouraged from but this article helped and I know my passion for photography is so big that I'll get there.

    Amy & Jordan

    Keep pushing!! We're cheering for you!!

    Zady Verdecia

    Hi guys, you have a great talent writing and maning peole feel better. I'm currently in that first stage of starting a part time photography business, however starting from cero and having my day job where I'm the head of technology in my company and also do graphic design. Mother of a 3 year old boy, and wife. My husband go to Cuba 4 years ago to marry me and while in Cuba I got pregnant but thanks to god I was able to travel to the USA with 8 months when was not suposed to travel and I made it!!; and my baby boy was born here in 2013. My first year was very struggling for us alone here only the 3 of us, only my husband had a work of $9/hr, but we were happy, we are so happy of how we continue fighting every day for a better future. I finally decided this past December 2016 to buy my camera and 2 lenses (nikon d610, a 50 mm 2.8, and 24-80 mm). And I guess God helped that I see your add in facebook announcing one of hour free webinars and after seeing the first I subscribed for the 2nd and was the when I purchased your course which has been a blessing for me to improve and learn about photography. I feel like this these days like afraid, when wilk I get my first client, I've inly do 4 photoshoots all for free, but like you said the small stages of life, those parks where no one is watching is where we get to grow. And sometimes is. Etter to grow slow and do it right. Thank you guys I really admire you. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    Jessica

    Needed this as I have been through numerous growing pains in my business lately. I dream and do until I have no energy left while taking care of my super awesome son & hubs along with working full time. Some days it's hard to listen to yourself when you say, "It takes time and you'll get there." Thanks for being that place of calm and also 1,000+ brownie points for incorporating T-swift.

    Amy & Jordan

    Hi, Jessica! Thanks so much for sharing that with us! We're so glad this post was encouraging to you! Aw!! We love Taylor Swift! We're cheering for you, Jessica! Hugs!! <3

    Alton

    Definitely a TSwift fan too! Haha. Thank you guys and yes it was a blessing for sure. Like many youngsters these days I have an issue with patience, and slowly I'm realizing I can't choose what to be patient with, and what not to be patient with because most times my choices are the wrong ones. You see, I don't choose to be patient with my business, I choose to be patient with the microwave since I want my food hot all the way through. Haha. Yes, thank you so much for this and you two be INcouraged as well.