You’re Starting point, Photography, DJing, Weight Loss, and Business

I remember when I first decided I wanted to make photography more business than pastime. I tore through articles in various trade magazines and ran up a high credit card bill ordering software and miscellaneous photo equipment that I “thought” I needed.

I also had a friend who started a DJ business around the same time and spent all his paychecks on lighting equipment and multiple speakers to go along with the basic stuff he already had. After his first few paid gigs – he learned he didn’t need half the stuff he bought and it was too much hassle to bring along anyway. Additionally, I know a videographer that has a several items on EBAY that he bought when he first started out.

All of us shared the same issue – we didn’t understand our starting point. Or; as the older folks say; we put the “carriage before the horse.”

Knowing how to do something and actually “knowing”…….how to do something to make money are two different things. When I started my photo biz; I felt I was pretty camera savvy. Well I wasn’t, because if I was – I wouldn’t have purchased 5 grand worth of equipment that I didn’t need. Now it wasn’t that they weren’t useful items, but they were items that I need “yet” at that point in my businesses or just items that weren’t necessary at all.
Part of mastering your craft is knowing how to do it with “just the basics”. It’s an architect who just needs graph paper and a ruler, a cook who can walk in any kitchen and make a 5 star dish, or an artist who just needs a pencil and construction paper.

You have to know your starting point.

The exact same can be said for weight-loss. A person who is carrying 25 percent body-fat with an unhealthy diet will drop 10-15 pounds quickly once they cut out pop and fast-food. But a person who is at 15 percent body-fat and drinks/eats pop and fast-food occasionally will not see the same kind of results if they drop it. Both individuals have 2 different starting points.

When I began my weight loss quest – I cut things slowly, over months and months. Pop was the first thing to go, high gluten bread was the next, 35 calorie bread was the next, processed meats was the next, cereal bars was the next, and etc………. I was not mature enough in my understanding of nutrition to just cut “everything” – so as I learned more, I cut more.

I recognized my starting point.

But recognizing your starting point in business caries a lot of weight because it can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. I put myself in a lot of debt and burned through a lot of savings because I was too “eager.” I wanted my love for photography to go from “hobby” to “profession” in 7 days. I could fill up 30 spiral notebooks with all the mistakes I’ve made in my photo business as well as my poetry/writing career. Almost all of them were because I kept jumping the gun and just didn’t recognize my “starting point.”

Again, I’m not a know-it-all. Just somebody who has made a ton of mistakes and wants to share so others won’t do the same.

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