For me 2013 was in a word…..Amazing!!!!
Since the end of 2010 I have been focusing on becoming a Travel Photographer, a pretty ambitious goal when I already have a full time job in the pharmaceutical industry. In order to achieve this goal 2011 and 2012 were spent traveling around the world camera in hand, learning and building my portfolio and presence on the internet. Along the way I met incredible people who taught, inspired and motivated me, from the amazing group I shared time with in Cuba to the travel experts and enthusiasts I had the pleasure to mingle with at Book Passage, every single person added a different dimension to my journey. At the beginning when I decided I wanted to be a Travel Photographer I was slow to tell people what I was doing, afraid people may laugh at me (which of course some people did!), fearful that I would not be a good enough photographer, unsure if I could follow through with such an ambitious goal. 3 years later and you really have to stop me telling everyone that I am a Travel Photographer; I’m proud of my accomplishments, proud of my work and proud of the journey it took me to get here.
My most ambitious goal for 2013 and what took most of my time and energy was showcasing my Travel Photography Exhibition in all 3 major airports in Ireland, Cork, Dublin and Shannon (where it is currently being hosted).
And so early in 2013 I set my sights on this goal, decided what I needed to do to acheive it, planned how I would do this and I went ahead and did it!
This shows the power of planning. Of course executing your plans is also crucial to success but if you do not have plans in the first place best of luck with that execution!!
My Travel Photography Exhibition – Cork Airport
These exhibitions would not have been possible without the help and support of the following people whom I am ever grateful to.
Kevin Cullinane (Cork Airport), Ciara Carroll (Dublin Airport) and Dorothy Quinn (Shannon Airport).
A very big THANK YOU to Kevin and Cork Airport for not only hosting but also sponsoring my exhibition.
Thanks also to RightBrain fine art printing studio, Cork City, Thomas Street Framing gallery, Limerick City and Barbara Hubert Bookbindery, Cork City.
My Travel Photography Exhibition – Dublin Airport
My Travel Photography Exhibition – Shannon Airport
As well as Photography goals (portraits, wedding, commercial and press work) my plan included the following goals,
Spend more time with my family and friends,
Give more to charity
Read more books
Have more of a presence on and learn more about Social Media
Meet people/authors whom I admire and who inspire me
Attend amazing workshops
Basically do everything that adds to my happiness and wellbeing and remove everything from my life that doesn’t!!!
I completed almost all of my ‘non travel’ photography projects and enjoyed working with and grateful to those who chose me as their photographer.
Sharon Shannon at the Shannon Airport charity Christmas concert
Samhradh ‘Irish Summer’ from my friend Yvonne Twomey’s perfume range ‘YVE Perfume‘, launched in 2013.
My other goals were a bit hit and miss, some I completed, some I did not, I was happy with how some went, I was less than happy with how others went.
Ironically one of my goals for 2013 was to travel less, giving me more time to dedicate to my Airport Exhibitions and also giving me a chance to pay back some of the finance it has taken for me to become a Travel Photographer. However I did manage to leave the country a few times this year and rediscovered the immense beauty of Ireland by taking weekends away in my homeland.
Combining my love of travel with my plan to meet inspirational people I travelled to Oslo for Chris Guillebeau’s End Of World party in April. I have been following Chris on social media for a few years now and it was an honour to meet him and celebrate his amazing achievement of visiting every country in the world. Chris is as nice and kind as he is inspirational. It was an amazing gift to meet him and share a weekend with people who are also following his path.
Me, Chris Guillebeau and Angela Petersen
A much shorter journey to London to attend the Lean Academy Lean Summit helped me combine my love of travel, meeting inspirational people all things Lean. At this Summit I was lucky enough to meet Art Bryne (author of The Lean Turnaround). He is a wise man with a motivating opinion on Lean and Leadership and a great sense of humour. Knowing I am Irish he signed my book saying ‘Kaizen is good for you’ imitating the popular marketing phrase from Guinness!!
A shorter journey again to Dublin took me to my first ever TBEX….I had heard of TBEX from fellow travel enthusiasts that I met at Book Passage in 2012. This was a super few days immersed in all things travel. I was so delighted to again meet up with the legend that is Don George (author of Lonely Planet’s guide to Travel Writing) and fellow Book Passage friends Candace Rose Rardon and Gary Arndt as well as many more amazing speakers and attendees. As with all good conferences I learned that I have a lot to learn!!!
There are a few charities I have been sponsoring for years and some I have been involved with for a short time. In 2013 I raised money for and gave my time to these charities, I could have done more and this will be more of a focus area for me in 2014. The Hope Foundation is a charity I thoroughly enjoy working with, not only because they have amazing people working with them but also because the work they do is most crucial to the well being of so many children in Kolkata.
I was delighted to exhibit my Hope Foundation images from Kolkata in my airport exhibitions and also at the 2013 Rose Of Tralee festival as The Hope Foundation are sponsors of The Rose Of Tralee.
Me with the winning Rose – the Texas Rose Hayley O’Sullivan (next to my Hope Foundation exhibition)
There are so many books on my bookshelf that I wanted to read but didn’t read as many as I would have liked. Again this will be more of a focus area for me on 2014. One of the books I did read was ‘The Power Of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. If you read one book in 2014 let it be this book. It is a life changing, perspective altering book. It’s not easy reading but anything worthwhile is never easy eh!!
I fell in love, hadn’t planned on that one but I had spent so much time working on myself when someone special turned up I was more than ready to welcome them into my life!!
There are many reasons why some of my goals were not reached but my best guess would be I underestimated the time it would take to carry out all of my goals. It’s one thing setting goals and another thing executing them in a defined timeline. One of the key lessons I have learned this year is to be a little more realistic about what one person can achieve.
My goals for 2014 will be more realistic but every bit as ambitious.
I hope you are setting your goals and plans for 2014 and that it is your best year yet
Thanks to everyone who has shared this journey with me, each and every one of you have a made a difference to my life.
x x x
How did your 2013 go?
Did you set out a plan with goals at the beginning of the year?
Did you reach your goals?
What did you learn from reaching/not reaching your goals?