The other day, I visited my former high school photography teacher. I found out he was retiring and in my 2 years out of high school I've only visited him a handful of times, once for a job, another just to visit. I figured now is as good a time as any to catch up with him, and I ended up talking to his class and giving an impromptu lecture.
I talked to the kids about my job, what I do, the joys of it all, some pitfalls, and of course, some numbers to get them a little excited and engaged. Then I found myself centered around two topics: self-motivation and resourcefulness.
Starting off with self-motivation, I've learned that it is a major part of being an entrepreneur. When starting your own business, there are always ups and downs. Sometimes those downs are very low, leaving you feeling discouraged, dejected, and questioning everything you've done thus far, almost to the point of quitting. That's why you'll need to keep yourself motivated, keep your eyes on the prize, and remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place. It's not easy, it's still a job, and it arguably is more stressful than any 9 to 5 because you are always on call and always have work to do whether it be late at night, early in the morning, during the birth of your first child, you are always on call. It's not for everyone, but if you want to try it out, you have to be self-motivated especially during the rough patches that will come up.
Then I went into resourcefulness, stressing the fact that you don't need the best gear or equipment to get yourself started, it's the skill and knowledge behind the camera that gets the best picture. When I started out, I didn't have natural talent that could take me to immediate success. Heck, I didn't have any talent at all, just a strong interest. I learned everything I know from my teacher, and I wouldn't be where I am without him. He is their most useful resource, and although many of them are just there for a filler-class, an easy A (which actually isn't easy), or any other reason besides an interest in photography, there are some students who are interested. I wanted them to realize that this man is an oasis of knowledge, which would help them make a few extra bucks doing something fun. Many of the students were disrespectful though, they distracted other students from learning the content, and I noticed one shy student raised her hand when I asked if anyone wanted to become a photographer, who was then quickly interrupted by a rowdy student who just could not get enough of his own voice.
Trying to stay on topic, I shut a lot of their mouths by trying to be relatable and mentioning some monetary value, and I hope I made some of them respect their teacher more, as he taught me everything I know, so they may want to pick his brain about it instead of being disruptive.
It is my biggest hope that the students had at least gained an ounce of respect for their teacher and will make his last few weeks a more enjoyable experience, and that I would help at least one student get over a hurdle in the path to becoming self-employed in whatever area their interest is in.