Last night after Stacy and I finished our short conversation about the presidential election, we started talking about small businesses, and how most of them fail to turn a profit in the first or even second year. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that most entrepreneurs understand this even before starting up. So whats the point then? No one wants to be poor. For me, it was the ability to do what I loved, exactly the way I wanted to. If that meant taking a hit financially, so be it. Selfish? Yes, but it was also the only way I knew my long term career path would ever work out, so I thought of it more of a compromise of money and passion. Want to get there too?

Cut the Fat

For me, trimming my own hair afforded buying a camera flash. Not eating out afforded a EF 15mm f/2.8 fish eye lens. Not updating the wardrobe every few months afforded a faster computer. Cutting cable afforded a set of studio lights and remote triggers. Driving my older vehicle afforded a Canon 5D MKII. While that may seem unreasonable, here is why it wasn’t. Each one of these sacrifices paid dividends besides just saving money. For example, less time sitting in a restaurant, allowed me more time to read about off-camera lighting. Less time spent watching TV, allowed me more time to build a photo booth.

Read More

In every profession, you have to educate yourself, so shut off the TV, and read. I’ve found that if someone has taken the time to reiterate what they know on paper, it likely has more intention and knowledge behind it. I would venture to guess that 90% of my understanding in photography has come from reading, so do yourself a favor and buy a book.

The Plunge

The plunge into self-employment isn’t really a plunge, but timely process. Small businesses aren’t built overnight. They take months of planning. Set monthly or even yearly goals. I was several years into photography before I ever quit my 9-to-5 job. Do not use credit as a means for speeding this process up either.

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