Roadblocks

These days it seems like roadblocks are the norm. New York makes you work, work, work for whatever it is you want. Even the little things, at times, seem to take an enormous amount of effort. Freelancing, launching a perfume line, writing this blog, well, together they can sometimes all add up to too much pressure. But I suppose that’s just the hazard of the profession; everything has pros and cons, but the entrepreneurial lifestyle is one with sweeter rewards, as they require getting through more bitter problems.

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Taking a step back is the only way to reassess what’s going on. To take stock of dreams and see if the journey is still worth the destination. Sometimes roads change along the way, even if we think we’ve been following the same map we left home with.

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Sometimes you just have to muscle through. Get in there and work. Learn to bark back when the world seems like it’s coming for you. Part of being in New York, at least for me, has been learning about when to speak up for myself and set boundaries. My grandfather and my great-grandmother were powerhouses — very loving and protective of their families, but they knew precisely when and how to stand up when they needed to. Growing up I never was that person, but in the last few years I feel like I’ve become a bit more like them, and I’m proud to say I’m quicker to stand my ground instead of letting things slide when they shouldn’t.

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I think that’s the point of these roadblocks: they make sure you’ve grown enough to handle what’s coming next. Along the way we all need to learn to stand tall with our shoulders back and heads held high. Life is about growing into yourself and your skills, especially as a creative freelancer. Every project should teach you something new, and along the way you should slowly start to feel more and more like things are settling in just fine. So while the roadblocks aren’t fun, they do happen for a reason — if you accept it as part of the process, you’re that much closer to your destination.

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Photos courtesy Kristin Booker

Jeff Smith

Jeff started in photography and short format video, and he's been at the forefront of the web tv movement. He’s worked on haute couture shoots in Paris, shot street style in Milan, and is currently developing a steady roster of beauty, fashion, and digital clients in NYC.