Why are you in the photography business? What’s your personal and business philosophy with regard to where and how you fit into the world as a creative professional photographer? Are you living an “intention-based” life where your business is designed to serve your higher purpose – or is it designed to conform to the standards and ideals of others?
Business Philosophy: The Pursuit Of Everything
If you’ve ever asked yourself the question “how can I inject more meaning, intention and purpose into my personal life and business” then you’re really going to like what I have in store for you today, and it might just lead you to reevaluate your whole business philosophy. In fact, it might even fly in the face of the traditional mindset for business that most of us start out with.
I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with Mr. AJ Leon, who proudly describes himself as the “chief trouble maker” of Misfits Incorporated, a nomadic creative shop that specializes in changing the world. They’ve worked on unique, game-changing projects in places as far away as England, Sudan, Tanzania, Indonesia, Kenya, Ethiopia and all over the United States.
AJ left behind a lucrative career in finance to pursue a more meaningful life, and to find and work on projects that he felt really mattered and could make a difference… this is a radically different business philosophy than the one most commonly found these days!
One of AJ’s driving forces is his belief that none of us were put here to live a life of conformity and mediocrity, and that anyone and everyone can change the world in some fashion…
Something I believe in as a business coach for photographers is to infuse the industry with as much knowledge and expertise as possible from outside – bringing in new strategies, ideas, and concepts that can help photographers reach the next level in their business and also in the way they think about business.
AJ certainly fits the bill as a creative thinker and doer, and I know you’ll find a great deal in here that will help your personal and business development.
Listen To the Interview
How Will This Change Your Business Philosophy And Perspective?
How has this changed your personal perspective on how you approach your business? Share your thoughts, opinions and questions in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them for you!
The Life And Times Of A Remarkable Misfit
AJ defies conventional conformity in almost everything he does in business – using his amazing skills for good and the benefit of all – and his latest project is a pure embodiment of his refusal to ‘sell out’ or be tied down to a mediocre way of doing things.
Take a look at his new venture to self-publish his book, which I highly recommend, at The Life And Times Of A Remarkable Misfit – this is your chance to join in the revolution, become a misfit yourself, and help get this project of the ground!
You’d better answer the door, because it may not come knocking again – worse still, it will probably knock on your competitor’s door to see if they are listening. Opportunity is blind in the sense that it doesn’t really care who answers, as long as someone does.
When Opportunity Knocks
Here’s a great quote I saw this morning:
“The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” Benjamin Disraeli
What does this statement really mean? There is certainly more to it than first meets the eye…
Firstly, the literal meaning suggests that we should have our eyes and ears open so that we can recognize an opportunity when it does come along. If we aren’t looking and listening for these things, we’ll never be aware of them and they’ll simply pass us by. There’s no fanfare, no drumroll, no thunderbolt from the blue to announce their arrival; instead opportunities are often presented to us in subtle ways that we have to learn to interpret by ourselves.
Secondly, what does it mean to be “ready”? I’m sure it could have several meanings, but the one that seems most appropriate to me is that we should have the proper attitude and mental state to enable us to recognize, accept and meet the challenge of an opportunity when it’s presented to us.
Finally, there’s another truth hidden in this simple-looking statement; perhaps the most important one of all:
“There is no such thing as the perfect opportunity.”
If there is, then I’ve never seen or heard of it. Like everything else in the world, no opportunity is perfect. The timing may not be quite right, our financial position may not be as solid as we’d like, the idea may not be exactly what we were expecting, we might lack some of the knowledge we need to execute it properly, we’ll wait until the kids are out of school, and so on…
Truly great opportunities are presented to us very rarely, maybe only once in a lifetime. But, if we wait for all the conditions to be just right, or stall out of fear of a failed photography business, we’ll miss out and we could be left waiting for a very long time.
To make it even more interesting for us, opportunities often come along during the most challenging and difficult of times, often when we feel at our lowest ebb. Take the current economic climate, for example. The world is in the grip of a recession but, if we think about it hard enough, we realize that it’s only by rising to new challenges and seizing appropriate opportunities that we’ll be able to discover a brighter future. The time is now; it is often in adverse times when new innovations are born and creatives fires burn brightest.
I’m not advocating that we should blindly seize everything that comes our way. We still need to apply due consideration and risk assessment before we make any big decision. However, few people have become successful without some form of risk, and many have faced down a tremendous personal fear of failure in order to win.
Meet Thine Enemy
Perhaps being “ready” also means being strong and prepared for a battle with our worst enemy: ourselves and own inner demons. This is a fight against the tendency of our own mind to raise obstacles and whisper inner words of doubt and discouragement, all born out of insecurity, fear of failure or looking foolish.
In order to be successful and to seize the right opportunity when it comes, we have to win this battle before we can even start. In the end, it all comes down to one simple thing… a positive and receptive attitude.