For years when people asked me, “so what do you do?” I froze.

Lacking confidence that I had the right to so boldly claim that I was pursuing my passion in photography, I would often shy away for a safer response.

“I work in marketing,” I would say.

The answer seemingly felt more tangible and real. I didn’t run the risk of people questioning my ability or right to work in that field. After all, I had an office, a desk, a company computer, travel account, 401K, stock benefits and so on.

In truth, the fear I had was that I did not deserve to say that I was working as a photographer. Perhaps photography purists would look down on me, or others would consider it just a hobby as I was too young to actually do something of my own.

Then something shifted a few years ago. While at a networking mixer someone asked me what I did and my answer all of a sudden became “I work as a photographer and I work in marketing.”

Okay that may not seem huge – but it was an extraordinary step in my career journey.

It was not too long after that when my response simply became “I’m a photographer.” It was empowering and motivating. I have the right to work at whatever I so choose and I chose photography.

Shortly after that I had departed from my marketing job and was only working as a photographer.

So, what is it that you do? Do you have the ability to call yourself what you want to spend your time doing?

Try it and see what happens.

James Patrick