With the arrival of 2018 I am now putting some much needed focus in ensuring my 'What If?' does not become 'If Only?'
A Bit Lost - So Was I
If you are wondering what the hell I am on about then this video from photographer David Eustace can explain better than I can.
Having been fortunate to meet David, I was inspired to really think about my 'What If'. I have to admit that I was also scared. I realised that for too long I have hidden behind thinking 'What if it fails' not 'What if I don't'. The problem I have found with my passion for photography, is that the majority tend to judge themselves against those at the very top. They completely miss the point that it is about pushing yourself and delivering work you care about, some will love your work others won't. So having taken some steps last year to put myself out there, I was pleasantly surprised by the positive response to my work. Taking that small step along with the video above really challenged me to work on stopping 'What if' becoming 'If Only'.
My What If
What is my 'What If?' Well I actually have a couple, I have made a conscious effort to close the sport and events chapters in my life. 2017 saw me experience what I would call the ugly side of sport and events, perhaps some of the the worst treatment I have had in my career. Whilst upsetting it has triggered me to look at what next. One new chapter in my life involves working part time for a small charity, I want to use my business skills to help make a positive difference in the third sector. In additional to this part time role, I am now on the Board of Homeless Action Scotland. I look forward to working with them to make a positive difference in the effort to reduce homelessness in Scotland. In this day and age it is shameful that we still allow children to move out of our care system and into homelessness. How can we expect young people to suddenly be able to look after themselves at 18 (when they have been in a structured environment), when most of us struggled with that well into our mid twenties. So now my first 'What If' is creating a career in the third sector helping drive good practice and maximising delivery of charitable aims and objectives.
My second 'What If' relates to my passion for photography. I have for the past five years been dabbling in this, and over past year have found I really enjoy the challenges it brings. So Tom Chambers Photography is now real. I will focus on taking portraits and also on selling landscape prints. I have had some initial success and will invest time and energy in ensuring my 'What If' takes me to new places as I get closer to my fifties.
So there, I have made it public that I am now a photographer (Not getting into debate about use of word professional or not. I take photographs and provide a service, that is good enough for me). I have to say that without the support of my wife Cara, I would not be doing this. She introduced me to David and also put up with my self doubt over the past year. As someone who has enjoyed success in previous chapters of my life, I am looking forward to seeing where 'What if' takes me. Exciting times ahead.