Why! What is YOUR Why?
Your WHY is your origin story. It’s the reason why you get out of bed in the morning. It’s the thing that inspires you and the thing that drives your passion.
~ Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek – My current obsession – I love reading his books, I’m listening to his podcasts and his books are continually on my audio loop too. I love his ethos, his philosophy and the way he explains his thoughts – along with Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell they make me think.
Along with the quote above, this one resonates with me as well…
Happiness comes from WHAT we do…
Fulfilment comes from WHY we do it.
And it is so true and both quotes have got me to thinking…
Welshot will be ten years old in 2019 and it has been the most amazing journey of my life – full of happiness, laughter and learning but also a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and disappointment too. It has meant hard work, making sacrifices, compromises and even more hard work – but I’ve never been more satisfied and more ready to get out of bed in the mornings than I am nowadays.
Until ten years ago something was always missing – I was lost, I needed my Why!
I didn’t know what to do or what I wanted from my professional life. I’d left New Zealand having worked in the New Zealand Foreign Office for over 15 years, then Thomas Cook Travel, to move back to the UK (I was born and lived in Liverpool before my parent emigrated when I was seven years old) to travel around the UK with my husband, the idea being to take temporary jobs and move around. I was soon to learn I was not that sort of person and after feeling immediately at “Home” in North Wales I put down roots – this suited the OH perfectly being of NZ farming stock… In fact, the only rule the OH has now is that I can do anything, go anywhere, as long as he does not need to leave Anglesey.
In 2007 I was asked to leave the local camera club – I didn’t fit apparently. A couple of months later I, and my husband lost our jobs and with it, our home – we were homeless and jobless. It would have been SO easy to hop on a plane and fly back to NZ – but that would have felt like a failure to me and I’d already put in place some shallow foundations of what were to be the beginning of Welshot Imaging Limited.
Two year previously, feeling disillusioned and wanting more, I’d already sat myself down with pen and paper and made a list, what I was good at, what I enjoyed, what I loved, what I thought I could do, what I thought I could learn, what my hobbies were, what I wanted from life, what I thought was missing, what I thought people would need and want, what my values were – and at every turn I took, it came right down to photography, organisation, helping people, being with people, travel and writing…
I had an idea – all I needed was a partner in crime – enter, stage left – Eifion Williams, now known affectionately as The BossTog, named by Welshotters themselves. He’s a walking, talking, human camera manual and devours camera instruction books just for fun. yeah, I know, weird but that’s WHY he makes a great business partner.
I told Eif my ideas, and looking back, they were pretty big ideas and must have really scared the pants off him, and then, not being shy about it at all – asked him to take redundancy so I could have his money! He said yes! And from that moment – every waking moment we have done nothing but eat, sleep and live Welshot, and now, The Kiwi Social, the Sister organisation for Welshot which helps Business Men and Women grow their business on Social Media.
Welshot was the most important thing in my life – living in a campervan and surviving on baked beans was no sacrifice if, each day, We could see those foundations setting and brick by brick the walls going up and a business idea developing into a fully fledged organisation that was designed to help people grow into what it is today. A thriving, happy, friendly, knowledgeable community for photographers.
Welshot is a long way off from those original ideas I had when I approached Eifion – which was originally to create a “Stock Library for Photographers”
On Saturday 4th April 2009 we launched the Welshot Photographic Academy – with an Open Day at The Anglesey Arms in Menai Bridge. Opened by Will Cheung FRPS the then Editor of Photography Monthly and with 120 people attending it was ambitious for our very first event – we weren’t even sure if it was going to work – with a website having just launched the week before, would people even join. Lucky for us, they did and The Welshot Photographic Academy – a Membership based organisation designed to help those with a passion for photography to get the best from their camera was born.
And we’ve never looked back, continually growing, developing, listening to our Members and bringing to fruition a platform for those, who can’t find any place else to help them, a safe, affordable, non-competitive environment to help them with THEIR passion for photography.
It’s our passion, it’s our life and it’s what makes us get up in the Morning – it make us happy but most importantly, it gives us fulfilment.
I can honestly say, when you do something you love, love with a passion, it will never feel like work and being fulfilled with what you do, how you live your life is, to me, the most precious thing you can have.
Like Seth Godin says…
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
And that, that there, is our WHY.
This blog was previously posted on Lee’s own Personal Blog – Photography & More.