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Vagabond Journey

The Doyle Way

Be your own story.

To be successful at something you can either do it better than everyone else or you can go way out into left field and do it differently than anyone.

To try to be better — to replicate, imitate, and then push the bounds of current trends — is a fool’s game. There is always going be someone better; there is always going to be someone who can sell themselves with more flare, who knows the right people, has more money, and hogs the feeding trough of opportunity. You can whine and say, “not fair,” and you would be right but nobody would care.

There is one thing that everyone of us has that is our biggest asset, our most valuable point of sale, and our most sought after attribute. It’s something that we so often try to hide behind our art, our work, our product, but it is what is actually wanted the most: ourselves.

Nobody gives a shit about what you can do, we are interested in who you are. You are the rarest thing in the world, but showing it is something for which there is no model, no manual, and no proscribed path.

It’s scary out in left field because you’re all alone.

But this is precisely the point.

Christopher Doyle:

“It has been a question: “Do we make it look how we want it to look and risk being fired? Or do we make it look like anybody can make it look, and work again next year?” No, we make it look how we want it to look. You have to make that affirmation of faith. You have to be true to yourself. Otherwise, its just a job. Why would we dare to have people look at our work if it’s just another Big Mac?”

“If you’re just another cog in a wheel, they’re going to change the wheel. That’s not just a cinematography thing, that’s a life thing. If you are not who you are, then you’re disposable. If you’re just doing stuff to keep a client happy, then of course then the client is just going to choose who they want or who sucks their dick longest. And if you think it’s just a business, or just a career, well, go ahead. But be realistic. Even IKEA or Volkswagon lay off people. You can be laid off, ’cause you are dispensable. So why don’t you become indispensable by being special, by being somebody who has their own vision?”

Filed under: Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3424 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Prague, Czech Republic

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