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Feeling Out of It? Top Ways I Stay Motivated for Success // On My Mind Monday

Jan 9, 2017

Feeling Out of It? Top Ways I Stay Motivated for Success // On My Mind Monday

Hello World! Welcome to the second edition of On My Mind Monday! Thank you to everyone who stopped by for last week’s entry and thank you to everyone who has been texting me kind words! I really appreciate it! We reached over 600 readers within the first few hours of it being launched!! And, despite some unforeseen website malfunctions, people still returned! It is so exciting to have readers & engagement.
With that said, let’s begin . . .
This morning I am answering a question I get asked frequently by family, friends, and clients: How do you stay so motivated?
Well, first off, I really do, whole-heartedly L O V E my job. I am so lucky that I have been able to build a livelihood based off something that started as something I loved to do. Mark Cuban’s words could not be anymore on-point: “Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.”
For me photography is an obsession. I never want a day to go by where a photo is not taken, looked at, or planned.
Loving my job really does make it easier to hustle away each day, but other key elements for my success and motivation include . . .
Having A Space of My Own
I have been working from a home office for more than six years now. My career has taken quite a few twists and turns, but one consistency is that since the day I started Studio 29 in July of 2010 I have worked full time or part time from home. I love it, and thankfully it has continued to get easier and much more productive since the day I stared.
When I first started, I had a little desk set up in the basement of my parents house or occasionally I would set up shop in my parent’s kitchen. Needless to say, both of those locations were full of distractions and responsibilities that could easily derail a productive work day. One big necessity for me is having a definitive space to call “my office.”
Today, I find our home to be the most productive place to work. I love my office. I love my work station. I love how organized my work space is and that is separates me from the rest of the house.
A few tips that have helped me stay on-track are keeping strict working hours and keeping my to-do list and calendar by my side at all times. When creating my schedule each week, I block off certain days for “at home” work so that I can complete editing deadlines in a timely manner and dedicate time for email and social media in between photo sessions, consults, and phone calls.
For me, consistency is very important and I am the most productive when my weekdays stick to my routine. I make coffee, tidy up the house, shower, and then sit down and boss through my day.
Getting Inspiration From Others
We all need a pick-me-up every once in a while. If I am ever feeling uninspired, I switch off my Spotify and I search online and read about the people I admire. I find it so interested to learn from other achievers. Watching others success is inspiring to me. My other go-to is listening to entrepreneur podcasts. My current favorite: Ready. Aim. Empire. I also love listening to audio books as I work. I am a subscriber to Audible and a huge fan of Self Improvement books. I am currently on chapter 4 of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Taking A Little Break
I actually have Kenzo doggy to thank for this. He nudges me a few times a day to go outside, chase him around the house, and give him belly rubs. Making a conscience effort to take a break from staring at the computer screen all day is really important. I usually do a few squats and push ups every time I take a break as well. Sometimes “a little” break can mean an entire weekend. Sometimes it is fine to take a break from my blog, from editing, from social media. I find that taking the odd weekend off really helps me get excited for Monday to come back around.
Finding New Locations
I am constantly exploring our city and looking for new locations to work. If I were to do sessions at the same place every day I would lose my mind, because I would memorize the lighting and the horizon and all of the angles. I would not be challenged as much, and I am always up for a challenge!! Constantly changing my scenery for sessions challenges me to play with light differently, make the most mundane scenes interesting, and give variety to my work. For those readers who are not photographers, changing up your scenery could apply to: visiting different coffee shops, selecting a new running route, up dating your playlist, etc.
Constantly Look for New . . .  
I am constantly looking for more opportunities, responsibilities, and new challenges. I love learning, I love growing, and I love being able to have more experiences due to my job. Photography is such a wonderful outlet and I love finding more ways to share my talent with the world.
Thinking Positively
This one is a super important one, folks! But, I think it is very important to think positively. Positive thinking does not mean I am ignoring any negative situations, it just means that I try my hardest to approach all situations in a positive and productive way. I try to think the best scenario is going to happen, not the worst. I also take time to think about what I am thankful for and what I have achieved. Along with being proud of Caleb and I, I also take time to give gratitude to those who have helped us along the way. I am nothing without my family and friends and I am forever thankful for having such a wonderful support system both in real life and online.
Make + Chase Your Goals
This may sound cheesy, but I think about my goals often. One of my favorite part of having goals is sharing them with Caleb. I love discussing my plan to reach my goals. I love envisioning and discussing our aspirations for the future together. Whenever we have these conversations, it really gives me the boost to keep going. It gets me excited and fuels my fire for whatever project I am working on.
That pretty much sums up how I keep up my high level of motivation. But, before I go, I guess I should mention I drink a lot of coffee. And by a lot, I mean like, 4-8 cups a day. Preferably iced.
How do you stay motivated? Do you think any of these tips were helpful? Please, leave a comment below – it will make me smile!!
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  1. Shawn says:

    Love this Ren!!! You are amazing 

  2. Amanda says:

    i stay motivated by having a game plan to achieve multiple personal goals…. For example, Before we even take off for our first family vacation of the year, i have started to plan our second. While i can say i live fully in the moment once we set off, i like to know that there will be more. there is always more. and my family is everything to me. 

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