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Johan Ståhlberg

The payoff of the daily grind

The daily grind. A somehow awful and at the same time a lovely word. The day to day struggle of getting somewhere. To stand strong when things don’t go your way, to fight for something that you so strongly believe in. The grind is one of the toughest and most challenging things for your mind to do, but it is also so very rewarding…

The ups and downs of a constant grinding. One day you are full of joy and enthusiasm for a new project, a job well done or that idea you had in your head is finally taking form – life is great. Suddenly, reality hits and you don’t feel that happy any longer, exhausting is a more correct word. All that energy you had and the wind in your sails – gone!

Never stop pushing forward

But the thing with grinding is that it always pays of in the end. Just like Rome, a successful business, project or whatever isn’t built in a day. As many of you maybe know or have noticed I’m currently working on my third book together with Balkong Förlag (as a freelance photographer in my other business). I will try to tell you about my grind so far without saying too much.

It all started a couple of years back, on the other side of the globe in Perth, Australia, with an idea. Coming from the action sport industry as a photographer I enjoyed shooting things that moved. But I had moved on creativity wise to fashion to expand my body of work into something else. By an accident I stumbled across ballet at the university (ECU) where I was studying communication and arts, and I was hooked. I saw a way to somehow combine my love for action and movement together with the beauty and artistic freedom of fashion photography.

A long and winding road

Fast forward until today. My idea has matured over the years and gone from a vague image in my head to a solid piece on paper. But it has been a lot of grinding along the way:

–      The companion I was supposed to create the book together with had to leave the project due to an upswing in her career (congrats Hannah!). Back to step one again.

–      Having a hard time finding new people to shoot for the project. Asking a lot of people, getting not so many answers back. Everything feels like shit, this won’t work.

–      Starting to get a few answers back and manage to land a real-life-world-famous-legend. Keep pushing and keep asking. Never give up.

–      Real-life-world-famous-legend number two stops answering together with another participant. Back to (almost) the start again. Feeling again that this won’t work.

–      Real-life-world-famous-legend number one opens a lot of doors and connections. Getting in touch with many great people to shoot for the book. Real-life-world-famous-legend number two starts communication again and a date for interview and shooting is set. The grind starts to give results. Still a long way to go.

A pair of worn out ballerina shoes on the floor.

Worn out ballerina shoes after a long grind.

The grind is a real rollercoaster with ups and downs like nothing else. But if you are persistent and don’t stop, no matter what obstacle comes in your way, you will achieve your goal, guaranteed. You just need to be able to handle the downs and don’t give in to your doubts.

I’m very interested to hear from you and about your grind. Do you have a story to share? Send it to Johan@fashionstories.nu and I’ll post it on the blog!

Love,
Johan

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