Once upon a time, if I wanted to win big in a particular profession, I had to wait to be picked.

A musician, an author, an illustrator, a photographer, a model. A CEO, an advisor, a presenter or commentator.

I would diligently present my work in front of a panel and they would say yes or no. I would create my CV and send it off whilst keeping my fingers crossed. I would approach publisher after publisher and wait by the phone. I would respond to adverts. I would wait to be signed. I would play the lottery with my career every single day and it wouldn’t be solely in my hands.

Now I can choose myself. I can be anything I want to be. A musician, presenter or adviser on YouTube. A photographer, model or make-up artist on Unsplash. A product designer or artist on Etsy. An author on Amazon. An investor on Vanguard or a property mogul on Airbnb. A CEO of any company I can dream up. Rather than banging down the doors of those hard-to-reach people that hold all the cards, I can build my own house and soon there will be queues at my door.

The wide range of options creates freedom but comes with fear. What if they don’t like me? What if my music isn’t enjoyed or my art doesn’t resonate, or my photography isn’t loved? What if my investments don’t pay off or my book gets bad reviews?

Before, a budding artist of any sort could hide behind the excuse of not being picked. “I couldn’t get a publisher,” “Someone else was chosen for the role,” “I never got my big break.” But those phrases aren’t relevant anymore.

It begs the question, which excuses are left?