The 24 Hour Rule

I am constantly trying to grow, adapt and live out of my comfort zone. I made up this saying when I was a teenager and I still use it today. “Will it matter in 24 hours?” I used to use this line when trying to convince friends to do something stupid, inappropriate or something that could potentially get us in trouble. For instance I would stand up on the cafeteria table and do my impression of Pat from Saturday night live. Did it matter that I made a huge scene while simultaneously making my friends to laugh till they cried? No.

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To be honest, I really didn’t give a shit about rules or consequences when I was younger and I would never say I was a bad kid but I tested the limits for sure. Having this lack of fear gave me a free ride to some amazing life experiences. This behavior has been instilled in me but the older I get the more consequences matter. Little by little they creep up on me. Things like bills, my health and well-being and overall anxiety sometimes gets the best of me.

Rewind to my early twenties, still using this motto, my stepmom gave me her question: “How do you want this to end?” Brilliant, right? Think about the outcome you really want and then find the shortest route to it. Boom! Life changing stuff right here.

To be able to run a small business you have to be a risk taker. By the way, I’ll be writing a separate blog on how I built the business from the ground up, so no worries! Sticking to the rules is for the birds and corporate America. Some of you may not know that I worked for corporate America for 6 years before I made the big move to do Capture full-time. I was a marketing manager for a magazine. When I first got the job I loved it. When I left the job I absolutely hated it. That was a good thing though, because it gave me the push I needed to make the leap to work for myself.

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I look back and realize I could have made that jump probably 1-2 years before I did but it never felt right. Even the day I gave my 2 weeks notice (as amazing as it was) I wouldn’t say it felt 100% right but being at that job felt 100% wrong. The last twelve months of my job I spent my time contemplating how much I could be doing for Capture if it was my only job, where I would travel with my down time, how I could look busy while simultaneously doing nothing and positioning my computer so it looked like I was reading the screen but actually taking teeny tiny naps throughout the day.  By the way remind me to delete this blog if someday I find myself needing a job outside of photography.

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Sometimes the answer to the 24 hour question isn’t always a clear yes or no but if it’s close to a no, I do whatever it is. Here are a few examples of when I said no lately:

  • Will it matter if I have the guts to tell a stranger they are beautiful? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if purposely get lost in Greece to see the sights off the beaten path in hopes of amazing photos? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I ask for a photography job I want knowing there is a big possibility of rejection? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if play hooky from work one day and take a boat ride because life is short and June in New England is beautiful? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I ask help from a friend when I really needed it? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I don’t make money on one job because the photos of a families adoption day are more important than income for an hour? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if tell a white lie to make someone feel better about themselves? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I attempt to cook a new meal and fail miserably? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I ask a stranger on a train to switch headphones with me for a minute to hear what they are listening to? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I tell someone I love them after years of not saying it to them? Yes? Good. Done.

So your mission from me is to ask the 24 hour question this upcoming weekend. See what you find out and think about why you are saying yes or no. And for the love of God and Pixel say no at least once and do something out of your own comfort zone because as we already established- comfort zones are for the birds and corporate America.

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