Its been a great week of creativity & collaboration. I am thankful for the quality of the people that I get to work with.
The power of pause.
In an age where media is more often than not tearing us apart, can you imagine a technology platform to help us make real social connections? In turn, which leads to having conversations that connects us to each other.
Meet Jordan Corcoran founder of Listen, Lucy.
"Listen, Lucy is an outlet where people can express themselves, creatively. Post and read contributions from people who have something to say. Listen, Lucy's main goal is to give everyone someone to lean on during difficult times."
Please turn down the noise in your world today and take some time to digest the message that Jordan is sharing.
My “ask” of you today is to share this film with somebody who needs it.
Rebrand yourself to stay relevant. The world is changing. The world has changed. However, you earn your income that is not what you do. You are a media company before you are ... x?
The Attention Economy is flooded with noise. Stop fighting to be heard. The Persuasive Economy is the NOW. Tell your story. Your story matters. The narrative is everything. Traditional “whatever-thinking” has gone away. The new dawn of business that we live in is arising anew every day. I love that. Create your market.
Stop throwing spaghetti at the wall. Consistency is what sticks.
Fast forward to the pain. If I do not do this ...? I will not achieve this ...?
I create marketing films. Films that have persuasive designs built into them.
I blend wit and wisdom, education and entertainment, heart and mind...I help you communicate the best of you to the world.
Sunday morning. The house is cold. On my second cup of coffee. Everything is quiet except for the dryer. Pick up a book to fill my time. My wife left for work. My daughter sleeps. My thoughts leave the page. Need to write something in my journal.
Confronting the dull ache of being bored. Artist seeking a sense of awe. I wonder what it would be like to... That is the starting point for creating something new. New, my favorite of all the creations.
Been thinking about this story that was told to me last week. The story of the restoration of a single life. Imagine what if your life was at the end then suddenly it wasn't. The mystical bugger of grace stepped into your life, yet you would never really know for sure. Why? Drugs. Drugs that were flowing through your veins. Not the drugs of a junkie the drugs of a slow drip from a clear bag on a stainless steel stand to the left of your hospitable bed.
Obedience, messenger and promise are the only words you can use to describe this sense of wonder.
I wonder what it would be like to... I was told that is the most powerful sentence one can say to themselves. It's a sentence in which all you have to do is allow yourself to have a sense of awe.
I got an idea. What if the future is yours? Now you have to do something about it.
My daughter awakes. I can hear her footsteps as she comes down the stairs to me.
I wonder what I will make her for breakfast?
We are becoming more and more like machines. We have to produce in real time. Just the fact that real-time is now part of our language is proof enough.
Today, the work of the artist is countercultural to the emerging world view.
The artist asks us to slow down, stop, reflect, pause and to be moved to what's in front of you. The artist asks you to question traditional narratives, to slow down and make meaning in what you observe. You can not achieve this in real-time. You will need to take your time.
Much of the real-time commercial works focus on fear and tearing each other apart online. Red vs. blue, me vs. you, us vs. them, walls vs. bridges. We are training each other to fear and reject.
Art asks you to stop and reflect.
Let go of the conventional norm so that you/we can learn to experience what is arising at this moment.
The answers are only good if they bring forth new ideas, thought and better questions.
Do not give up on being human, yet.
1) Networking is not randomly handing out business cards to strangers at an event hoping to get jobs. Networking is building relationships and making new connections. Networking is building your local community so that in turn you can help others grow while your business grows.
2) See & Be Seen. Most likely at this point in your career, you are working out of a single city or regional area. This is where networking can/will grow your business fast. People will recommend/refer somebody that they have made a personal connection with way before somebody they simply follow on Facebook.
3) Taking Social Media to the Street. Yes, social media is crucial to building your audience, yet as in tip #2, you are selling locally. Having 10k fans on social media is great but if you live in Miami and your followers are spread out over the globe, that does nothing for putting money in your bank account. Act global, think local.
4) There is the famous statement by Kevin Kelly that talks about only needing "1,000 true fans" to be a working artist. For building a local business I am telling you 100 true connections locally will take you far. In truth, a tribe of 10 trusted friends/connection that recommends and refer you will grow your business exponentially faster than any amount of ad money you could spend on the local level.
5) Let us get into the how. Find two different groups locally to be part of. This may (it will) take time & experimenting to find the right fit for you. Find a group that is solely entrepreneurial focused. I recommend using the website Meetup.com to find a networking group in your city. Second, find a group that is a social/fun/community focused. It could include any interests of your own: hobbies, running club, community clean-up...you get the point.
6) This next one is hard for people to grasp. You do not need to network with others in the same business as you. Yes, it is important to have a small group of friends that you can recommend and refer work to each other. They are trying to build there own business. This is where social media is great if you love chatting with other photographers because you can join a group. When it comes to networking locally you want to be known to everyone in the community. Florists, hairstylists, restaurant owners, startups will refer business your way before long before advertising will work.
7) What to do at a networking event? Listen, learn, share, offer advice. Do not complain or gossip; networking is not business therapy. Show up consistently. Attending consistently will put you on the local map. This is where most people fail at networking. They show up once or twice, hand out some business cards and get nothing. Again, networking is community building, not high-pressure sales.
8) It's a great way to find a mentor or become a mentor to somebody else in the community. There are all aspects of our business that we struggle with and there are all aspects of our business that we excel at. Share your strengths with others and do not be afraid to share your weakness with others. People who consistently show up to networking events are the people who care about growing your community and your business.
9) Side projects & collaborations: You have a skill that others do not. You can create exceptionally... We live in a visual and online world; a great photo is King. Your iPhone can grow you local-connections: When you go to an event, take your camera. Document the event. Take a couple of group shots. After the event upload 5 to 10 photos to social media making sure to tag the people in the photos. Right there you have contributed to their business giving them something to share and talk about and at the same time spreading the message about your business.
10) Create, connect & grow: Blending social media with local networking. Can you imagine walking into a room and people walking up to you telling you how much they enjoy following your work online?
This is successful networking: blending your online work with real life.
“No matter how far you may dig into the the depths of your soul, eventually you will come out an asshole” -Norman Mailer. Great things come out of shit. Remember that. -Me
In the art world, if you are not failing then you are stealing someones else’s work.
This is the story of “lessons in accidental success.”
Failure is an odd word. Failure is often used when “not showing up” is the accurate word choice. In life we have morals, ethics, sin and grace, yet there is no failure in nature, so why do we place it into our man-made-culture? Is a volcano a failure? Is a melting iceberg a failure? It’s all process. Perfection is found in the doing. Creative human beings: it’s an oxymoron. Drop the word being, drop the word creative…human defines the process.
Doing or not doing. That’s it…nothing, no others words (or judgment) needed.
The photos in this post today all came out of a failed project. For weeks I had conceived this composition in my mind. A multiple exposer of light, water, architecture and 30 seconds of time. I set up my gear, composed my shot, hit the shutter and then was saddened by my own creation. Discipline of repetition for the next twenty shots I reframed, refocused and still nothing but failure.
After giving up on the original idea, I gave myself a “create” test. Go for a walk, but every shot must be accomplished using the multiple exposer technique. With a blend of inspiration and hunger I stumbled into lucky accidents in success.
If you’re not growing then you’re dead. Art is dead without mistakes. Beautiful accidents in success. Picasso knew that, Miles Davis knew that. There is joy in repetition only when you f’ up. The mysteries are only revealed in the searching. Grace does not come to those who ask. Grace only shows her face in the times of struggles.
What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.
On the Shortness of life by Seneca. This is the book that I recommend to everybody. It’s everything you will need to make it in life & business. It is by far a complete business self-motivational book all-in-one. The best thing is that it’s 2,000-year of time-tested wisdom.
Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?
That is hard to pinpoint into only one answer. Every book has at least that one sentence that I will carry with me forever. In Peter Thiel’s book, he asks the question “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” If you can answer that question it will give you the direction on how & where to grow your life & business to the next level.
What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)
Without a doubt: Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life. I am paraphrasing here: The opening of the book starts off with the sentence, “Life is long if you know how to use it.”
Here is my second favorite: “It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much… The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”
What I have taken out of this book is to enjoy life and to enjoy being of service to others. That is how business grows & the secret to personal happiness.
What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)
Photography is an ever-expanding field, yet the fundamentals never change, also this is where many fall short.
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is the book that I recommend to anybody starting off.
You can probably guess by now that I recommend “On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca. The fundamentals never change, even after 2,000 yrs.
I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?
I read two books a month on average. I use my local library to feed my addiction. I like paper books the best, it is simply the feel of holding a book that I love the best. I also keep my Moleskine journal next to me while reading for note-taking. This is how you can get your Ph.D. in life if you become a good note taker.
How do you make time for reading?
I have no direct answer for that. Watch less TV?
Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?
Moleskine journal; it worked for Picasso & Hemingway. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Writing your thoughts/notes down in paper & pen just seems to keep it right there in my waking consciousness.
How do you choose what books to read next?
BrainPickings.com & New York Times books section helps me a lot. Also, I find one book leads me to the next book, reading in itself is a path to discovery. Oh, yes, friends. Your entrepreneurial friends are readers; ask them what they are currently reading.
Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?
The only book, or should I say author, that takes priority is Haruki Murakami. He is a Japanese novelist that takes me into the next world. His style is surreal. Check it out. Start with Kafka on the Shore.
Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?
Books mentioned by John Craig in this interview: