Revealing the Beauty beyond the Noise

Hamish Niven

[vc_row color_scheme="white"][vc_column][vc_single_image image="2293" img_size="large" alignment="center" style="vc_box_rounded"][vc_column_text]Part of my journey has been the deliberate choice to have a coach. Why not? Most of the best Sportsmen and Sportswomen in the world have coaches. Most of the top business people and CEOs have coaches. So I decided that I would get one to help me with my business.

I asked Steven Levy from DARE2BE Coaching & Beyond if he would coach me, and the journey began. He explained he would guide and support me, and answer questions, but, I have to do the work, put in the effort and work on myself.

Challenge excepted

And it was a challenge. I had to be honest with myself; I had to find my strengths and values. I had to work to them, with them, not against them as that disempowers. I quickly saw the benefit of working with Steven.

Early on in my journey, he mentioned to me the value of a Vision Statement - something to define myself by, to define my business by. He posed some questions that a vision statement would help me answer.

  • What do I do?
  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • How do I want to be perceived? 
  • How do I want to treat my clients - on a personal level as well as a business level?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my core values?

While I worked on these, he gave me other homework to do. I was so hungry to learn from him, to grow my business and build my business up again.

Being Creative

I surprised Steven during one of the exercises he asked me to work on. He gave me a 2 page PDF of words and I had to sort them into 5 groups, and then prioritise them. It was immediately obvious this would involve writing lists, crossing out and rewriting. My train of thought would be interrupted by the actions.

So I ripped up the 2 sheets of paper, and sorted them and piled them into the priorities I felt they needed to be.
He had never seen anyone work like that way before.
[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2534" img_size="medium" alignment="right"][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2533" img_size="medium" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]“It’s so visual and creative; ‘it is so Hamish’ he said.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2532" alignment="right"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]

The Quest for a Vision Statement

In September 2019, Steven suggested it was time I started to find my Vision Statement. So I duly started researching.
Google came up with a definition of a Vision Statement that resonated with me :

"Your vision statement should be an audacious dream of a reality based on what you do... Your vision should inspire people to dream."

I looked for the best examples of Vision statements. I found plenty.
I looked at ways to write them; I found sites upon sites with ideas and tips.
I found do’s and dont’s.
I thought about what I wanted to write. 

…To be the best that...
 …To achieve the...
 … to show the magic… stuff just out of reach... 

These did not flow; they were either too fluffy or missed what I wanted to say.
“To become the best” - compared to who?
“To be the best” - according to what rules and what exceptions?

And so began my journey.

I was not too worried about finding this, life goes on, and bills need to be paid.
One afternoon I was out running and listening to a podcast. The conversation moved on to social media; “So many photographs on the Internet. “ “So much mediocrity in photographs and blogs.” “So much noise.”
“And that to be noticed; to be seen, you have to move your business above that noise. Fortunately, it is not very hard to do if you are prepared to make an effort.
I stopped running and re-played that section of the conversation a couple of times. I had found part of my vision statement; “Above the noise” became what I do. I just had to find out how and what I did above the noise. 

It was only a few days later that I was discussing my work as a photographer with a friend.
I photograph beautiful architecture. I photograph beautiful interiors. I bring out the personal beauty in someone when I photograph them. My job is to show the beauty in products I photograph, from jewellery to food to clothes and accessories. 

I photograph beauty.

This became “I reveal the beauty” the logical finale to the statement “beyond the noise.”

Revealing the beauty beyond the noise

Steven was delighted when I told him.  

“It can never be finished… it is timeless… it is not a comparison… you can not complete it … there is no perfection involved… it is always a journey.”
This definition; this vision statement has helped to define me as a photographer; to focus what I do. It has helped me to concentrate on the positioning of hamish NIVEN Photography. It helps me to work to my strengths and values. It helps me to chose what I am willing to do and not willing to do as a photographer.
It has helped me to define who I am as a person; choosing not to be negative, not to be unkind but to be honest and truthful even if some to take offence.

Revealing the beauty beyond the noise does not say I am a photographer. It does not compare me to another photographer; it does not tell you I strive for perfection.
It simply says;

Hamish encourages you to see the beauty all around

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