It's not easy being an entrepreneur (or artist, musician, photographer, whatever label you want to use), but the struggle is fully worth all the effort, time, and work! The entrepreneurial journey is a great opportunity to learn a unique set of skills and look at career life through a different lens than your "office dweller" counterparts. Your schedule will vary sometimes drastically from day to day. That is what builds your resilience, leadership, creativity, and character! Work to live, not the other way around. As I look back on my trajectory over the past five years, it hasn't been a linear path, but rather zig-zagg wandering. I recently finished a 2-month solo road trip to Standing Rock, Canada, the Pacific Northwest, Utah, and back to the "Emerald City". You can read about my photographic travel adventures in the blog post Traveling Canada for a Month.
After graduating with a Bachelor's in Computer Science, I packed a few important possessions into my car and flocked south to Austin where it's warm searching for success and love. Five years later, I've sorta-kinda found both of these core elements. Success means something different to everyone. I rarely think of it in terms of financial means to an end, which is probably a big reason why I haven't achieved success in that area yet. Something divine in the body-mind-soul connection continues to resist full expression of my true being of pure essence. I'm often so focused on all the elements that go into building a successful business that I momentarily lose sight of the things in life that truly matter. Improving search ranking, email marketing, growing my social media accounts, getting positive reviews, all of which funnels into more clients. Don't get me wrong, all of this stuff matters in the long run, but it's not what brings true happiness. I always come back to the importance of healthy relationships, which are key to a truly successful and meaningful life. I've developed a growing supportive community of great conscious loving friends here in Austin, yet I still search for something more! It doesn't matter how many people know your name or brand through social media! That's all merely a distraction from true human connection. We're all connected as one human family regardless of cultural or familial upbringing.
My goal over the next year is to travel more and generate income in the process! Not lone-wolf style as usual, but with friends who support my journey along the way, so we can share experiences and learn from each other, through good and bad. On this topic, I have a unique opportunity to shoot tours for CostaRica.com and explore the country, all expenses paid! In case you're wondering, this isn't something that just fell into my lap. I actually made it happen using my own resources! You can read more about the story in this blog post How To Travel Costa Rica For Cheap: A Spiritual Journey. Although this initially seems like an opportunity too good to pass up, I've yet to decide whether to fully commit.
I'm traveling to Guatemala for the retreat of a lifetime on April 27th! There is a strong intuition calling me to this part of the world, if for no other reason than I haven't been there before. The destination is Lake Atitlán, widely considered to be the most beautiful lake in the world, and my friend's property sits overlooking it all! This will definitely prove to be another life-enriching experience on a quest toward enlightenment.
In the meantime, I am still in the beautiful city of Austin, voted the #1 Best Places to Live for multiple years running. The real estate market is white hot, which is one of the areas where my efforts are being directed - "Austin Aerial Real Estate Photographer". I've built a long list of the top luxury real estate agents and engage them via email marketing. However, it's still proving to be a difficult market to penetrate. So I recently decided to meet with the owner of Twist Tours, the premier real estate photography company in Austin. If everything goes as planned, they will be in charge of finding the clients and I can focus solely on my artistry. I look forward to testing out the Matterport to efficiently scan an entire house for immersive walkthroughs using 3D imaging technology.
I'm currently staying at my friend's place on the east-side while he travels Costa Rica. It's a temporary situation. I will need to find another place to stay after a week. Rather than stress about it right now, I choose to focus on new undiscovered opportunities at SXSW! I'm hosting my first Free SXSW Photowalk in two days, which currently has over 120 RSVP's and counting... I expect to make great connections during the largest tech/film/music conference in the country that is South by Southwest! Is it overwhelming? Certainly! Just take a look at the Top Free SXSW Parties List and you'll get a certain appreciation of the scale.
Many entrepreneurs are optimistic almost to a fault. It's an important trait learned over time in order to cope with the many obstacles. I would rather focus on the the good versus the bad. I'm always thinking up new ideas to grow my business and connect in deeper meaningful ways. The women ("muses") in my life always inspire me to be a better man! We've all become so addicted to staring at screens. I'm no different as I type this blog post on an impressive iMac 6K display. But there's a giant world around us to explore, and I want to experience it with my own eyes!
I will conclude this blog post with a very inspiring video from Hawaii!
Make Your Life Extraordinary!