When I think about the first presentation I had to give, I honestly don’t have the fondest of memories. I recall being nervous, fumbling over my works and speaking without much life or enthusiasm.

When I go back and read the first published articles I wrote, I far far from impressed. My vocabulary was weak and my sentence structure was average at best.

When I listen to the first podcast I recorded, I feel slightly embarrassed by my lack of ability to think on my feet and respond quickly and accordingly.

And when I go back and look at my first published print work as a photographer I am a bit surprised at how I was ever hired in the first place. My lighting, composition and approach all reeked of amateurism.

Thus with public speaking I got even more involved. I joined a Toastmasters group and presented at more conferences and seminars. I continued writing my blogs, additional articles and marketing pieces. I recorded more podcasts spending additional time on the mic. I took even more photographs, testing out new ideas and concepts, interning with other photographers, reading voraciously on the topic.

There was no clear sign as to when I started to improve in each category. The change was gradual until one day I could look at it in hindsight and realize that a shift occurred based upon the number of hours I invested into each craft.

How many hours have you invested into your trade? Image where you could be in a few years if you put in even more hours. Unless your goal is to have a flash in the pan success – true success will not come without the hours.

James Patrick
IG @Jpatrickphoto