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Motivation Photos for the Self Employed

"All the tools are out there, the only thing that limits us is our imagination" according to Erik Johansson, a professional photographer and retoucher originally from Sweden.This was his closing line from his recent TED talk on 'Impossible Photography'

Eric's skill is to take some very ordinary photographs and make them into something extraordinary - an image that has more meaning, impact and creativity than any of the original photos ever had. Self employed people have a similar perspective to Eric - they see things differently. Mostly they do not want to be seen as an ordinary picture - but want to be involved in a project that is more exciting and challenging. They want to take control of their journey - as the picture above - they want to not only pick the road they take - but make it.

This image is the perfect image to describe the journey of someone starting out as self employed - the perfect motivational photo - the perfect image to describe the journey they are taking. It can be a lonely road and often they are the only one's doing the work.  So how do you stay motivated on this journey? 


HAVE AN END GOAL / TARGET. You need to know where you are going - what you are aiming for? Otherwise how will you know when you get there? Set a target - aim for it. Often we hear a quote telling us if a target or goal is not measureable - then it is not going to happen.  For the self employed - this is even more important - you need to be disciplined to set your own goals, measure and celebrate success. Visualise your goal at every opportunity - set your screensavers to illustrate your goals with photos and images - so when you stop working and the slideshow starts-it is a gentle kick to remind you of why you became self-employed.  


IGNORE 70% OF WHAT IS AROUND YOU. It's noise - if you were to focus on the top 30% of your urgent, business changing work - and achieved this daily - the results will be superior than any effort to cover 100% of your To Do list. Do you spend 8 hours (and the rest) a day completing unimportant tasks - which really have little or no impact on your business?  Imagine 8 hours on the most important points that you achieve every day  - in the evening you will be much more satisfied and have achieved so much more for your business. The challenge being self employed is that you have no one to delegate tasks to - if it's not important do not worry - ALWAYS DO THE IMPORTANT STUFF FIRST. A quick closed list (one that is not 3 pages) but has the most important things that will make your life as a self employed person a lot easier - this is the list you need every morning to work on.


TAKE A BREAK!! We will be honest, we are very bad at this...but getting better. Reward your efforts, your hard work - celebrate getting some major work off your To Do list. Even the Self Employed machine needs some time to rest and recover. Being Self Employed it is very hard to take holidays - sometimes we work weekends and very late evenings. But you have a nice boss - talk to them it's very important to take a break from work and relax. No one can do everything, so do not think you can. It is impossible...but if you have completed the most business critical tasks today - you have achieved more than most. Eric Johansson's photo here is showing us if these guys can take a break - well so can you!

REVIEW AT NIGHT or better if in the evening! How did your day go? - what did you tick off your list?...what is on your list tomorrow? As part of your winding down process - this is a great way to see all the points you achieved for the day. Quickly note the most important points for you to start with in the morning  - and switch off!.


That is it - 4 points that will help you maintain your motivation throughout the day - if you are self employed or not. There is no need to look at lists of 100 Tips - focus on less, and master it. Again if we recall Eric's quote 'All the tools are out there, and the only thing that limits us is our imagination" Eric has clearly mastered the skill of taking the ordinary and creating something amazing - he has blocked out the noise and focuses on the key elements of his project, planning , sketching his idea out to finally taking the photos and merging as one.

Being Self Employed - the only person who can do this for you - is you. You need to block out the noise, focus on the important points, achieve your short and long term targets. Lastly do not forget to celebrate success. A little treat perhaps? How about talking a dog for a walk with Eric?  

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Check out more of Eric Johansson's amazing images and videos on his website,


Aleksandr Yazviin 2 months ago


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