It was exactly one year ago that I decided to stop working for corporate masters and to go chase my dreams. Here is what I said to my co-workers on my last day of work:
When I stop and think about working for another corporation, I realize that path would be taking me away from what I love… chasing dramatic light, seeing breathtaking locations, and capturing my experiences through photography. So, I am ready to watch the molten lava drop into the ocean, witness a baby osprey’s first flight, stand by thundering waterfalls, and have lunch on the shores of turquoise lakes. It’s time to go make interesting and amazing mistakes, embrace failure, and explore creativity. It will be a really fun ride.
So… how have things gone so far? – Fantastic!! And it’s not because of the fact that business is booming… but because this single decision transformed our quality of life and how we approach our business.
Sure, it was tough getting started. There was uncertainty and doubts about whether or not we would succeed. But the uncertainty and doubts were short-lived.
While creating our first video course in Australia on a warm sunny day at a beach with beautiful turquoise water I realized… I AM AT WORK. I realized that I would call this place my office for next two weeks. After that experience, my office moved to New Zealand where we photographed sea lions on the beach and witnessed the fantastic size of Lake Pukaki. My next work location was Nicaragua where we worked with a group of students to help the kids from a local neighborhood learn about photography.
And, exactly one year later, I am writing this from my office on Hawaii’s Big Island where I’m trying to find some molten lava to photograph.
How is business doing? It has exceeded all of our expectations. We have created fantastic content and are in partnership with several big photography companies all over the world and we have paid guest authors contributing to the success of Visual Wilderness. But best of all, being our own boss has allowed us to explore our creativity (and make few mistakes along the way) while giving us a chance to see some of the most beautiful places in the world.
So, the only question is… Why did I wait so long to chase my dreams? Mostly because of fear and uncertainty that comes from starting your own business. Making a transition to a full time landscape photographer requires a leap of faith…and having an incredible support from Varina Patel made it very easy for me to take that leap of faith.
Oh well…maybe you can learn from MY mistakes and get started chasing your dreams earlier.