Time for a little personal blog post, a little reflection, and perhaps even a little business advice for those that follow me looking to get to new heights (no pun intended). So, although you likely could not care any less about some fancy model airplane.. read on, because I am going to make some pretty interesting points that I think just about everyone can take away from. Especially if you own your own business, as I do.
First, it’s my birthday (5/22) and I just turned 36. With my wife at work, and my 4yr old son in pre-school I had the day to myself (like I do most days).. but instead of “working” I wanted to go and have some fun outside of the office.
I called my production assistant Jorge, and he came over and we headed out to get coffee and I then told him what we were going to do…
Now, I have been “into” model aviation since I was about 8 years old growing up in Vermont. Seriously, I remember building rockets, planes, you name it.. if it would fly I did it. This is one of those things that will die with me as an old man. In fact, I would go as far to say that my second greatest talent beyond “photography” is based on a very, very technical level of designing, building, wiring, and constructing projects just like this.
To be honest, the irony is that it’s THIS type of experience and interest that actually helps makes me who I am today as a talented photographer & entrepreneur.
This is very much reflected in my “style”, which is very refined, technical, and dare I honk my own horn and say… impressive. These same charactoristics can also be found in other areas of my life, both inside and out of my business.
I think it’s very interesting to look at people, see their “core” talents and abilities and then if you are observant enough.. you can actually see how this has a hand in EVERYTHING that they do. Good or bad, it’s this observation and global thinking that can help us understand why some people are in fact the way that they are.. and when you pay close attention you can see the patterns over the years from when they are just little kids.
As adults.. seeing, understanding, and relating our core talents and abilities is what can give us security, and confidence for anything the future may hold.
This in a way, becomes our own “framework” for life and will support whatever challenges we are faced with. This is what “trusting yourself” really means.
SO… I promised some business advice.. and here it is, and I am going to make it with my fancy plane.. you ready?…
The very fact that I am able to maintain, and enjoy my exotic hobby of building and flying some of the most impressivly designed planes in the world.. (which… not only cost a small fortune, but more importantly takes lots, and lots of TIME to complete), is a direct reflection of the hard work, dedication, and said “framework” that I have established within my business.
The point is that I am not ever “busy”, I am –PRODUCTIVE– with my time.
Plain & simple.. I GET SHIT DONE! I get the things done that need to be done, when they need to be done. I take action, I stay focused and I control my future by EARNING time to do the things I truly enjoy doing in life.
I don’t have any backlog of work and most weddings are turnaround in days not weeks. I am very clear with my communication with client’s (and they love me for that).. and this is because once again.. I get shit done, and I keep “client expectations” at the heart of all that I do. This is my personality.. I am very direct, honest, and know whats important. I know what people expect of me, and I sit down with them, wipe the slate clean and draw out a plan that supports just that.. What THEY want, and expect.. and then I cut away all the “red tape BS” and go and do it. DONE, and DONE! 🙂 I keep things very clear, and simple.. and that’s so refreshing in a world where everyone thinks “they can do it too”.
SO MANY other “photographers” or creative “professionals” drown themselves in post work, or ill communication that it just makes me roll my eyes and laugh. They are the ones that take weeks / months to get back wedding photos, and videos.. (if at all).. they are also a slave to their own business.. and a common sign of that is on social media when they “brag” about how “busy” they are all the time. Being “busy” and being PRODUCTIVE are two very, very different things (for any business) and I don’t think most people take a step back and really, truly understand the difference. (perhaps this is why I am alone at the flying field most of time time LOL! and… I Love it that way!).
Seriously tho.. when I take a day off, and go to fly one of my planes.. and I am alone at the flying field on a nice day enjoying something that I love.. what do you think goes through my head? I’ll tell ya.. I feel like I am apart of an “elite” club (and I am in many ways) because standing there alone at the flying field in the middle of the week with no one else around me.. is MY idea of where fun and success come together. This tells the real story, and kinda foreshadows how I see the business landscape overall. It’s alone at the top, and very, very few “get it”. This becomes my “star on the wall”, and is how I know I am on the right track.
The whole point of owning your own business and “doing what you love”, IS the fact that you can find yourself —actually— doing what you love, and that needs to includes things OUTSIDE of your business!
So……………., this is what me flying an exotic plane on a Monday in some field should mean to you. This is not just some pointless video of me playing with a toy that few will understand. NO! It’s a reminder, a symbol, and a beacon of what’s possible when you have things inside of your business dialed in, and truly running smoothly. It’s not about “making” the time for the things that you love.. but, rather EARNING that time. You need to stay smart, sharp, focused.. UN-“busy”, and very methodical in how you run whatever business it is that you own. because.. if–you–don’t….. it will end up owning….. you. 😉