Grafting is my favourite word at the moment. For me it means working as hard as you possibly can.
It means getting up before daylight, giving up drink and women and money and luxuries and working through until you fall asleep. Working on stuff that you love just because you love it. It means working smarter and harder than your competition and giving it everything that you can at all times.
And any celebrity or successful business person I have met over the last four years have told me the same thing: There are no lucky breaks. There’s preparation and respect, that’s it. Opportunities don’t exist and luck has nothing to do with anything. You just need to do what you have to do to be successful and use no foul play…that’s where you gain your respect from your peers and other competitors. You shake hands always after the job is done. That’s why I love rugby…there is no place to hide out there.
And dya know what, I bloody love what I do. I love taking photos and acting and working in my family business and dancing and singing…and I’m not ashamed of it in the slightest. And I work hard every day to get better at them. So here’s my new job.
About four years ago I started working on TPJ. I wasn’t happy in my job that I had just started and I knew I needed some happy distraction. Taking photos and writing stories of different people and places had always made me happy so I decided to run with a combination of all of it. Somewhere along the line I got all right at it. I suppose years of taking rubbish photos makes you recognise a good one when you take it. It’s not called ‘having the eye’…it’s a skill that you learn through working.
The photos aren’t about the Tiger’s great life or how much better he is. It’s about the happiness he creates when handed to any person and asked for a photo. There’s no subterfuge or money making opportunity. It’s just a moment in time that is honest and lovely. I tend to snap three photos in any shoot. One before the shot, the shot, and the one after. The happiness in the former and latter make the awkwardness of the shot itself seem so real…and I tend to use the first or third because they are so life-full and real.
Words piss people off. Nobody likes to read anymore. I had full on verbal fight with the head of a large web and social media company the other day. He said proudly that used an app to summarise all the important bits in any book he selected (according to the editor) so he didn’t have to read it fully and it didn’t waste his time. I lost the plot internally. A book fully read is not wasted time. Being on your phone by yourself is a waste of time! I tried to convince him of the other’s sides point of view. That the climb to Everest would suck if you got a helicopter. He was having none of it and is successful at what he does.
I work on the paradox that I dislike social media so use it to show everyone what it’s like to make real memories…then document those memories via social media. It’s fun but it’s a lot of work. Anti-social networking and encouraging courage through chaos mean it’s fearless and tiresome. Work for me is my life at the moment and, of course, I do look forward to the day where I can settle down with a missus and pop out a few kids and try to look after them as best I can. ‘Settling’ for me is just a bad word at the moment.
To all the people out there who like to tell me that I should do things differently and I shouldn’t be publishing material which is considered inappropriate, I do apologise but I don’t really listen to people like you. I love positive ideas, you don#t construct anything. If you have an idea, I’ll happily listen. To the people who like to talk about us behind our backs, seriously you piss me off so much… please stay there behind us talking badly. We love you behind us. We’ll be out in front of you doing what we do.
I would say maybe just concentrate on you for a little while and do something productive for yourself instead of destructive for others. Just let people do what they do.
Constructive criticism is rarely listened to (unless you are in a really respected position) and it just makes the hearer seriously angry at your negativity and lack of knowledge.
Our team at TPJ is as solid as I could ask for. I couldn’t ask for a better support and creative system. We also unbelievably welcome new ideas or original writings that we can publish. If it’s for you and you like what we do and want to be part, please feel free to contribute your best. I look forward to hearing what you have to bring.
To summarise for all you scrollers, Tiger Paws Junior’s Stories is now a business (TPJ Productions LTD)…and I’m really happy and proud to be it’s editor. We’re going to try get get involved in a bit more charity work and events so holla if you’ve got some fun going on and we have a few really brilliant ideas floating around so hopefully some come to fruition in the coming year.
Our team is strong and our competition is fierce. We’re delighted about that. We’re not really the type of people to shy away from a fight. I can guarantee we”ll also be in the shake up at the end of the day though…It’ll just take some grafting.
Best Wishes to all from Limerick,