*Disclaimer – I wrote this after a few small whiskies, so the language may be a tad colourful for some :)

2018 – Well I don’t do New year resolutions, so that can piss off. Back about mid November I made my own “New Year Resolutions” as such.

My life has changed significantly. Well, not that much has really changed per se, but my outlook is much more positive, and I am happier within myself. I had a horrible 2017. Without going in to detail, it sucked, and I was actually happy to get to the end of the year still here. One reason that happened was the changes I made in my life. So what am I doing different? I strongly suggest everyone tries at least some of these.

  1. Stop giving a fuck about what other people think/say. I have spent years, in fact decades, avoiding doing or saying things for fear of being judged. I have had so much abuse in recent years that it has made me lose confidence and disappear into myself. I have become less and less likely to promote myself and crucially, believe in myself. This is partly my own fault, and partly the industry I am in, where a few people don’t mind ripping you apart if you are seen as a threat. I have decided to stop giving a fuck about what people think, and now if I feel I want to do something different, speak out, aim for the stars. Whatever. I am doing it. What’s the worst that can happen? Some arsehole you have no respect for is going to laugh at you? Fine. That shows their insecurities. The people who matter, and that may only be a select few, will support and encourage you in your endeavours. Positivity all the fucking way.
  2. I gave up working 9-5. Now I have no axe to grind with people who are happy with that lifestyle, but I have realised it is not for me. Not at the moment anyway. I want to be in control of my own life. I want to be able to sit down on A sunday and plan out my week, day by day, fitting in the fun stuff, like cycling, meeting friends etc, as well as the critical work tasks. I have been more productive in the last few weeks as a result, than I have been in years. I was in an environment where my creativity was being destroyed, along with my confidence. It was a good place to work in some ways, nice people (mostly) and it taught me a few lessons in life. It made me realise what mattered to me, and what makes me tick.
  3. My phone. I have to confess, I am not where I want to be yet, but have made big changes. I have deleted my messenger app, so can only access Facebook messages on my laptop or PC. I want to get rid of all social media apps off my phone eventually, and I will. Apart from bloody Instagram as I have to post from my phone, please change this Instagram peeps. I have turned off the sync setting on my emails. I check my emails 3 times per day, morning, lunchtime and early evening. If I am waiting for a reply to something I will go on my phone and do a check, but have to manually download. This has made a huge difference as I no longer get distracted, upset, stressed, etc when an email comes in when I am in the middle of something else. If someone needs you that urgently, they will call.
  4. People. I have very carefully, started to get rid of people who are toxic. It takes a while to figure out who to keep and who to lose, and also how to do it. I have a very small network of people who I can genuinely call close friends. I can probably count them on one hand, just about, but they are all fucking amazing people, who support me, have my back, and will encourage me to reach my goals. This is a two way thing, and I like to think I am the same to them. Anyone who makes me feel shit, negative, stress me out, or just don’t understand me, can just go. That could be family or friends, but people close to me know who matters. I feel energised from hanging out with my tribe. They inspire me, believe in me, and make me feel bloody amazing.
  5. Every night I write a short list of jobs for the next day. I actually do a week plan on Sunday, but being self employed my diary changes at a whim, so each night I write down the following day’s list. Absolute maximum of 5 tasks but aim for 3. I generally set aside a couple of hours which involve being in a coffee shop working on admin, writing blogs, whatever. Every day I have a couple of hours or so of me time. It could be cycling, walking, meeting friends, whatever, then I go back to work for a few hours. I find I can’t focus on doing 6-8 hours solid, so I split it. But – no more 14-16 hour days, unless it’s a wedding day. Those are different, and will always get my 100% effort. But other days, I work around the jobs, and make sure I am enjoying my life. Work and life balance is now more important than ever.
  6. This: Do I want to live poor to die rich, or live rich to die poor. Bit of a no brainer when you write it down, but 90% of the people I know are saving and being miserable so they have money when they are 70 and too fucked to actually enjoy it. Fuck that. I am living now, and I have no bloody money and starve to death at 60, with some bloody good memories, so be it.

I think that’s about it but to be honest it is constantly evolving as I move forwards. 2017 was a big year for me. A learning curve. A brutal year, only coming runner up to 1988 as the worst year of my life, but hey, I’m still here, and still shooting images I feel are pretty good. Bookings are up on recent years, people seem to like what I am doing and I am ready to take life on big time. The main thing is to stop giving a shit about what happens in twenty years, as I possibly/probably won’t be around anyway. I know I have been a dick myself in the past. Not proud of it, and not making excuses, but I am pretty good at admitting I am wrong, and always try to do the right thing. If I make a mistake I will apologise, and try to fix it. Not always successfully. We all learn and move on. Well most of us. There will always be a few arseholes that just like a good moan about people, be it me or some other poor bugger who happens to be doing better than them. I stopped caring about five months ago, when I realised how fragile life is.

I am focusing on doing the things I love, and not being treated like shit by anybody. If people take the piss, try to take advantage, make me feel crap, I’m gone.

This is now. This is what matters. Today. Make shit happen.

Comments very welcome.

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25 thoughts on “Making Changes”

  1. Screw the lot of them, get your
    rhinocerous hide on and go out there
    and show them just how bloody good
    you are, because you are bloody good.
    I’m in a similar state of mind at
    the moment, in the second half of
    last year I decided to ditch some
    clients I really wasn’t enjoying
    working for in terms of the amount of
    stress they caused me. I’m busier
    than ever and my current work queue
    includes a series of interviews with
    a load of models, agents and lawyers
    about harassment and assault in the
    fashion industry, which is
    fascinating, and Sharon Stone talking
    about her role in the new HBO drama,
    Mosaic. Beats six hours of focus
    groups about instant porridge hands down!

  2. Brilliant read John, keep on flying, I’ve really adm
    ired your success and work and enjoyed your m
    any early press releases highlighting your achiev
    ements which I’m certain inspired many North p
    eople to take the unexpected of self employmen
    t. I look forward to hearing many more great thi
    ngs to come…

  3. Good Blog, John!

    You are an *Amazing* photographer! Quite right to put
    distance between anyone negative. I have done the sa
    me over the years… only genuine, kind, honest friends,
    and anyone that shows themselves to be a false friend,
    or jealous, I politely distance myself immediately.

    Postive thoughts, words and actions… that is what chan
    ges a person’s life! Always focus on the positive, and av
    avoid negativity.

    If they don’t sleep w you, write your evaluations, or pay
    your bills… then who cares what they think?!!

    The most toxic combination is a person who is jealous,
    mean and petty. Those type of people live to bring other
    s down… so don’t let them. Completely ignore this type
    of person… to do otherwise is to give them power over
    you. The payoff for them is the reaction they provoke fr
    om others…so don’t even let them see ANY emotion or
    reaction from you. Practice a neutral face and Imagine
    you have Teflon skin, when anything anyone says just r
    olls off and doesn’t matter. Over the years, I have worki
    ng will incredibly difficult people, and by Relaxing my bo
    dy) instead of tensing up, keeping an absolutely neural
    face, I WON every time- because often whomever was t
    rying to provoke me was trying to get me in trouble, out
    of jealousy. So don’t let anyone win! Completely ignore
    them. Once there is no payoff (your reaction), they will
    usually get bored & go away. If they don’t then they are
    likely a Narcissist/psychopath. Eventually even they will
    go away.

    And as Dr Suess once wrote, ‘those who mind don’t ma
    tter, and those who matter don’t mind’. Wise words, ind
    eed! You are a star & they know it! 💕

  4. Love love love this… never question how good y
    ou are at what you do… the world is full of arseh
    oles, sheep, people who are all the same be bol
    d, be different and be happy being you. No-one g
    ets a practice shot in life and your right enjoy ev
    ery second of it and if you dream something ma
    ke it happen… I’m glad u beat 2017 xXx

  5. Love number 6 John. Ha ha I’m ALWAYS skint but I’m happy. Great read and please don’t ever allow
    anyone to clip those wings – you keep flying. Your photography is awesome and the only ones to think
    otherwise are – in my opinion – either blind or jealous x x Looking forward to getting a chance to catch up
    for a cuppa and a blether. Take care. Your “old” friend Karen x

  6. Great post JB, I had a similar 2017 and am trying
    to walk down the same path as you in 2018.

    It’s proving slightly more difficult tgan I thought bu
    t I am making changes to try and put that right.

    Keep strong my friend and you’re talent and drive
    will keep you on the path to glory again

  7. Well said john…… Knowing your work and following you for 11 years I can see that you are a man on the
    change and cannot wait to see the man that emerges out the other side, it has been great knowing you
    and look forward to speaking soon.. Stay strong and give them hell, you are a better man than most, keep
    your focus and stay the course, you will get where you want to be quicker and with us all behind you
    supporting you all the way..

  8. So honest and refreshing and undoubtedly there will be
    many people who feel exactly the same. Life and pictur
    es through Facebook and Instagram are not always wh
    at they seem.

  9. Good for you! I really enjoyed reading this as a lot of it struck a chord with me. Many of the changes you’ve
    made were made for the same reason that I left my job and we sold our house and moved onto a boat. We’re
    less well off financially, but so much happier than before. We too are living now rather than worrying about
    what’s to come. We have no real plan for the future but, as you said, there’s no guarantee that we’ll even be
    here by then so we’re living for today and loving it. Thank you for being brave enough to share this.

  10. Given that you were a little tipsy I’m surprised to read probably the most sensible and positive words I’ve heard
    from you in a long time (well apart from recent weeks). This is bloody brilliant and very wise words indeed. I’m
    so pleased so see you in a much better place and genuinely hope this carries. Good luck to a very positive and
    fulfilling year and I hope we can both celebrate together sometime this year. P.S. Thank you for your support
    and encouragement. I hope to follow in your footsteps myself.

    1. Bit of a backhanded compliment in there…hahaha Thank you and you know I am proud of your achievements. Catch up soon.

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