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What do people want from me?

I have been blogging for years. I started blogging in 2005 and have written about a large variety of unrelated topics over the years. My blog started with updates about my life and my opinion on things that I was experiencing at the time. Though I have not always been a consistent blogger, this blog has over 1,100 posts. I am a very resourceful person. If I need to do something, I will figure it out on my own or I will find someone who has written about it online and follow their instructions. This is how I taught myself how to be a website designer and a professional wedding photographer. Whenever I can not find an answer online and figure it out on my own, I post about it. I feel that it is my way of giving back to the internet which has given so much to me. The only problem is that each article I write on a problem that I solved is unrelated to the other articles. Articles I have written have ranged from resolving problems with my Mac, video editing, photography, Photoshop, fitness, traveling and the list goes on. Some of those items could be categorized together but if I was to organize it, the list of categories would be so long they would run off the page. I have always envied niche bloggers who solve related problems all day long on their blog. Many of them do it so well that I don’t want to enter the space and be just another person writing about the same situations.

I have considered writing about Photography many times. Through tutorials and workshops, I taught myself how to be a professional photographer by trying things I read online refining them until the end result was appealing to me. The problem is that there are many websites that teach photography and even more websites that curate great photography related content. There are a lot of voices online regarding photography. Though I have been producing some online photography courses, I have not felt lead to produce a blog and attempt to write original content all week. I have also considered writing about Website Design. Designing and building for the web is a lot harder to teach than photography. I feel that there are also a lot of great sites out there that teach website design and curate fantastic content on being a better website designer.

I think that my problem is that I don’t consider myself as much of a professional as I am in my chosen crafts. Those of us who are professionals in a certain job or function have professionals that we look up to. There are photographers who are much more knowledgable than I am and there are website designers who could code into a corner. It’s not a matter of self-confidence. I am confident in my abilities to produce quality work even though I practice two professions. I get bored easy, so I have to keep myself learning different things to keep my attention.

I envy those who find one craft and are all about it. Our world has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Many will completely change careers more than once in their lifetime doing something completely different than what they were equipped to do after the completed their schooling. People like me, who did not have the attention span for school left on their own path and may even see more career changes over the course of their lives. So how do you decide what to focus on when you are focusing on so many things?

What it comes down to is that I want to add value to the world in a similar way that it has added value to my own life. If I was born in the 50’s it would have been much harder to do what I am doing today because the information was more difficult to come by. Back then you had your local library, today we have the internet and Youtube. There is no excuse for not knowing how to do something anymore.

What I have found that is unique to me and very few others is the understanding that when you set out to do something, you need to own it. When you commit to something, you have to be the best you can be. When I say that I will do something I do and when I want to do something I figure out how. I am one of the most resourceful people I know and I can say this because all I hear from more than 90% of people I come in contact with is words confirming their inability to do something. Most people are convinced that they are dealt certain cards. They know that they have more ability than some but less ability than most. People accept only a small amount of responsibility for things these days. Job descriptions are very specific and if it falls outside of what is on paper then that person most likely won’t do it. We live in a world where people take very little responsibility for anything anymore. Two weeks ago a guy side swiped my wife while driving down the road and he denied responsibility. Every day people complain about being given tasks stating that it is not their job. We all sound like kids who was just asked to clean the dishes when our only chore was to take out the trash. On top of that, we all feel that we are entitled to so much but will take responsibility for so little. No wonder our Grandparents shake their heads at us.

Now I don’t want this post to turn into a tangent on what the world should be but I do find that I take responsibility for what I say I will do and I own every task. Sometimes I may take longer than anticipated but I always get things done. I encourage my clients to think big because I want them to go big and achieve goals now that they thought were a couple of years away. We live in a world where you can go big now and achieve great things in a fraction of the time it used to take even ten years ago. I had a thriving wedding photography business in less than six months after shooting my first paid event. I started an app discovery website for the iPhone that took off a few months after starting the site and has been a constant income source since then.

I often buy into the glamorized appearance that are most publicized  Sometimes I think that my businesses are to small to talk about but in reality they are big enough to support a relatively comfortable lifestyle for my family and I have two full time employees on payroll. The only consistant goal I have had for myself other than to try to stay in shape is to be able to have a family and support them and so far I am doing that. Honestly, I don’t know where life will take me as far as that goes, I hope that I don’t cause any struggle or hardship for my family but I believe that I am a hard enough worker and resourceful enough person to not have to worry about that very often.

Perhaps what I should be blogging about is personal responsibility. The idea of taking ownership for your actions and promises is dying. People blame any easy target for their situations and it is why our nation is having so many issues. What I don’t want is to be some soap box guy touting my thoughts as if they are some sort of religion. I don’t want to sound like I am preaching to people and I definitely do not want people to feel judged by me. Earlier today I posted a photo on Facebook of a giant “We accept EBT” sign on a Papa Murphy’s Pizza simply making the joke that I would love an EBT card so I could get free pizza. Many people took my post as a jab at the less fortunate and the comments under the post turned into two sides: One side recognized that the welfare and assistance programs in the US were flawed and agreed when I stated that if you are needing assistance that you should choose a more humble way of feeding your self and family. I mentioned that things like buying prepared pizza is a luxury item that should be seen as a treat. The other people attacked me with unemployment details and disability situations that were obviously one of a kind situations. Don’t get me wrong here, I am all for a system of assistance that is well moderated. As long as there is accountability in place, the system should operate fine. The problem is that it is too easy to take advantage of the system so people are doing it. The result is ever increasing taxes and burdens on those who do chose to work. I am all for helping those who are unable. As a child, we had to accept assistance for a short stent due to extenuating circumstances. It just happens, but you do what you need to do to get off of it as soon as possible. It was hotdogs and chili for months but we survived…

With that said, there are many things that I am passionate about and some I even get emotional over. Some of you know me pretty well and many of you do not know me at all aside from what I post on this blog. Most people enter this blog from a Google search that resulted in a link to a post or article on this website. Not nearly as many people enter this website because they anticipate what I have to say next. This is what I want to change. I love the open-ness of the internet. I am a very transparent person and do not mind sharing aspects of my life to either help someone who is going through something I did or inspire someone to do something they did not know how to do. I am not perfect, to be honest, I am just as flawed if not more flawed than the average person. The only difference is the decisions I make and the responsibility I take for my actions. I have drastically change my life from the course that it was headed in my late teens and early 20’s. I am personally responsible because of people who have either shared their lives with me either personally or online. The only thing I have to get over is the fact that I often think that I don’t have something unique to offer. Each of us have something unique to offer, it’s just hard to find a comfortable way to display that publicly and honestly.

If you made it this far, what do you think? Should I pick a topic I am considered a professional in and chronicle my experiences and lessons learned into educating articles, posts and videos? Should I try to bring back personal responsibility by showing the world that if you take ownership in what you do you will already be 3 steps ahead of the rest? Or should I just post cute pics of my kids and make jokes like I do on my personal Facebook profile? Most probably don’t want anything from me at all, and I am ok with that, but I know that there are some people that I would connect well with out there. Those are the people I want to create for.

1 Comment

  • Me
    July 8, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Jerad, I commented a couple of years ago on your blog. You are dedicated and energetic, however, your grammar needs improving. The first sentence alone, ” . . . I have wrote . . . .” is off-putting. A sixth-grade teacher would red-line “wrote” and correct it with “written,” as in “I have written . . . ”

    A professional photographer-writer, I am telling you for the second time that you MUST proof your text for elementary school grammar mistakes.
    Also, get a fresh pair of eyes to edit your stuff.
    Bad grammar is off-putting–trust me–and turns off people.

    Professionals are not insulted by edits or editing.
    If you can’t be bothered, find an editor, a wife, a somebody to proof your copy.
    I sort of stopped reading after the first sentence because to me it appears you don’t care about the quality of your writing.
    I’ll check back now and then to see–hopefully–that you have tweaked the grammar, etc.

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