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  • Writer's picturePhillip Kitts

Focus on You and Your Success

February is here and winter has set in!

When we first put together the idea of relaunching this blog it was our intent to share knowledge and notes that may benefit others. In a little bit of time, while we have been working on topics and we have received lots of emails and private messages wanting to know more about our motivation and our vision.

Since this seems to be a theme, we figured there is no time like the present to share our feeling a little on this.

Let’s go back to the beginning for a minute, when we first started the adventure in pro rodeo, we thought for sure we were ready to be competitive. Like most that pursue this career, we had big dreams of being the photographer walking into the arena with the gold chutes.

Our first action photo during the National Finals Rodeo
National Finals Rodeo 2021

We didn’t understand there is a lot more to good rodeo pictures than just cool action. The fact is we were far from ready to be competitive. Over the first couple of years, our delusion continued but we kept working hard and kept chasing the dream and kept thinking we were “good enough”.

About three or four years into our time, reality began to slap us in the face, the more we looked deeper into the product we were producing and the service we were providing we began to realize that we were just not up to snuff. There is no doubt we were discouraged but the only thing we knew was to keep pressing forward. It was at this point that we were blessed enough to come across a couple of other PRCA photographers who taught us much bigger lessons than just how to take good pictures. They taught us to focus on ourselves, in fact, they validated some of the things we had going on in our operation and that we were on the right course.

It was about this same time that we found ourselves headed down a bad path. It was during this time of our work that we became very absorbed in everyone around us. Every time someone posted on social media, said something or had an opinion we found ourselves reacting and letting these situations dictate our mood and activity.

Then the light came through.

One day while browsing through social media a post came across from a world champion tie-down roper and an all-around great person. The post essentially said, “if you are focused on everyone around you then you are not paying attention to yourself”. These words rattled around with us very quickly and very loud, we realized we were so caught up in “being a part of all the news and less about doing our job”.

It was about this same time that all those years of military training kicked in, in the military the phrase "stay in your lane" is more than a mantra, it is a way of life. See in the military when you are doing live-fire exercises you are told to stay in your lane, the risk of not staying in your lane can result in a bullet to the head.

Between these two things, the reminder set the foundation for a new approach and a new focus. About the middle of 2021, we made the personal decision to pay attention to ourselves, what we were doing, the product we were producing, and our clients. We reminded ourselves that dreams do not pay bills, the committees and clients that hire us are the ones that write the checks.

This is about the time our world changed, suddenly we were turning away even more events, we were finding ourselves with more substantial paydays and we found the stress in our life going down. About the time all of this developed our new view really paid off, now our selection to the big show was a rather muddy sequence of events but we ended up there. The truth is the way were selected may not be the most satisfying, but we put ourselves in the position and we took our outlook all the way through.

The message we want many to take from all of this is you have to work hard and learn if you want to succeed, hard work will develop ability and growth, focus on who you are and what you are doing, if you are consumed with others then your focus is not on being the best you.

We want to thank the great man and roper who made this post, yes we have not named him and if he ever crosses the path with this blog he will know who he is.

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