Everyone – maybe besides travel blogger - sits at a desk in front of a computer and is ONLINE these days. But Social Media is not only the enemy. It is not only time consuming and leaves the door open to be copied. If you are a blogger or entrepreneur, you might even say, Social Media has not once made you any money. The people who approach you on Instagram maybe not relevant to you now, but they are now engaged in your brand and might be your future customer and Social Media gives you a wonderful platform to connect with people, you would not meet in everyday life.
Is Social Media the enemy?
On the other hand, we are living in a throwaway culture. Even the idea of a LIKE is instant and in the next moment it is forgotten. There is also quite an attitude among people nowadays, that if you sell it hard enough, people will believe you. I mean, I know how to hold a camera, that does not make me a photographer. Instagram filter make life easier for people like me, but they certainly do not replace the skill of a photographer. But because many may not recognize what it takes to create - for example - a city guide, they also may not fully understand the value. After considering all of the time spent visiting the countless venues across the city, selecting only the best, collecting detailed information about each, and tailoring all of this to a simple pocket-sized custom map, it becomes more apparent that your time saved by investing in a city guide is well worth it. Similarly, when I go grocery shopping and my mind begins to wander about the price of butter, I quickly remind myself that I’m not much for churning, so 1 Euro is more than fair.
In this throwaway culture you have to remember that whatever product lies infront of you, did take time to design and create. We often forget this, but since I am standing on the other side of the workbench, I am aware of this more than ever.
But are you making any money?
In my opinion this is the wrong question. I remember when I first started with WALK THIS WAY, a good friend said, „It is going to take you five years before you start making money.“ You have to be consistent. I had the feeling that the first year was the hardest, but if you make it through, it pays of. Sometimes you should not estimate finacially or timewise, but how fulfilled you become. But this is also the reason, why you have to choose to do something what you love.
A lot of people seem to just want fame, but only few of them are willing to do the work. Apparently, the source of happiness is not the fame. It is the joy and the happiness, which you derive from work well done, that makes you happy. Priceless.
„Apparently, the source of happiness is not the fame.“
I found my happiness in creating folding maps for and about Berlin, called BertaBerlin and QueerBerlin. Finding the hidden gems, "testing" the restaurants and cafés, learning about interesting places and creating walks for my travel guides - often with friends - means I wake up every morning literally with a smile on my face.