Mirko Fabian

"It's growing slowly but steady"

Photo by Jeremy Bishop from Unsplash

Starting somewhere …

To start a business or change career and become successful doesn’t happen overnight. It’s oftentimes a long process that requires a lot of effort and hard work. The important thing is to stay consistent. 

When I started changing careers and trying to make a living with what I’m passionate about I had doubts. Not once but quite often. A part of me kept believing in the way I decided to go while the other part (mostly due to the influences of society) was afraid that I can’t do it. Why me? Everyone else succeeded but why should I too? 

However, I kept going and gave a damn to the doubters and the part of me that followed these beliefs. It took a while though but one day I started seeing the first small successes. Nothing spectacular, but enough to get this little kick of motivation to keep the game going. Things like, selling a photograph on a Stock Photography website or receiving likes and comments on my case studies on Adobe Behance. It was the time I realized that even getting paid 1$ for what I love to do is so much more worth than a full salary from a job I didn’t like (and which made me literally sick). 

Seeing the progress

I said to myself “It’s growing slowly but steady.” Every single time I experienced a small success I said this to myself since today. There’s no better feeling than getting recognized for what you create. And it takes time to learn all the basics you need to pursue this (and other) career. 

Big success only comes when you’re passionate about what you do and from consistency. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate even the smallest achievements, no matter how small they are. Being grateful for how far I came and seeing that recognition really helped me to keep going. Otherwise, I would have given up before it even really started to get interesting. 

Doing mistakes

Though I’ve been aware of the mistakes you can make when starting out as a designer through the courses I took, some of them you have to do yourself. But knowing that even my teachers made them really helped me to grow and not take it too personally. Mistakes are an important part of your and everyone’s journey. We humans are making a lot of mistakes, it’s totally normal, so don’t get distracted and discouraged when something went wrong. Nobody is flawless. Just get back up and keep going. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way, but you can be ahead of it by learning from others mistakes and most importantly knowing that it’s okay to do mistakes, to be wrong sometimes. Don’t be ashamed or sorry for being human. 

Mindset is key!

Nothing is more important in life than the mindset we have towards basically everything. When you start a new job, starting a business, or a personal relationship, having the right mindset and being calmer makes life a hundred times easier. Though it’s a long process until you realize it, especially when living in an environment that’s full of negativity, disrespect, and not believing in slow progress. Battling the doubters and keep going is something you can only stand by having or developing a winner’s mindset. Like everything in life, it takes time. But if you want it bad enough everything is possible. Having self-doubts is poisoning not only your mind but also holding back your true potential and creativity. Dealing with self-doubts and external doubters takes so much courage but once overcome nothing can stop you anymore. What really helped me in this way, receiving many rejections in the job application process, this lead to starting a freelance business/career and growing an entrepreneurial mindset. Through the MBA course I’ve taken I learned quite some business stuff and since then I refer to the phrase catch up “Dreamapreneur”. This furthermore relates to the entrepreneurs in Hollywood, making business by creating movies and dreams. 

Final words

By keep going, no matter the odds, and believing in my creative way I grew stronger. Celebrating the small steps, and the small successes gave me new power/drive to keep going. The first client project I got paid for when it comes to video was the image video for “Checkpoint Süderbrarup”. The people actually liked it, though I wasn’t quite happy with it yet. But I appreciated this small success and kept going. I did a few video projects, trying out different styles, and different color grades, and right now is the time people are noticing me. And I still challenge myself, accepting projects I wouldn’t think of to shoot. The truck video for example but it’s a great opportunity to learn and grow. If I wouldn’t have celebrated the small success I wouldn’t have had the courage and motivation to keep doing what I love to do. 

My advice, appreciate and celebrate even the smallest sign that brings you towards your goals. Take small (baby) steps and one day, you’ll recognize growing success. Never ever give up if you don’t see success immediately, it takes time. “It’s growing slowly but steady.”

Mirko Fabian

Self-educated creative problem solver and entrepreneur. Writing about personal development, self-education, photography & filmmaking.