When you obey a technique, word by word and you always use flawless models, exactly, what are you bringing to your work as a photographer? Your pictures are going to look perfect, for sure, but there's going to be a million people capable of reproducing the exact image just because they all assisted to the same class as you, so?
What makes your work unique and artistic? That's what I debate constantly in my mind. I am in a permanent pursuit of a personal language and I desperately try to speak through my photos, even though not everyone will understand why I make my way of expression so complex and clearly not everyone will share my vision or even consider it a form of art or something worthy of attention. The lesson is to speak loud so everyone can hear you and the right people can pay attention and learn.
Also, never stop learning and searching for inspiration. Have this clear, it doesn't matter how good you are you are not the best and never will be, be humble but always give your work its fair recognition. Love and respect what you do or no one will.
Finally, enjoying your creative process is key, feel plenty during your process and you will enjoy your art even if the result is not always what you were expecting.