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My Philosophies

Lesson 3 from: The Method to a Successful (and Fulfilling) Photography Career

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

3. My Philosophies

Lesson Info

My Philosophies

(dramatic music) In this episode, I walk you through what are the rules and beliefs I live by. This matters, because if you don't have a set of life values, how are you supposed to achieve anything, or be happy and fulfilled? (tranquil music) Everything we do every day is based on our interpretation of the world, and a philosophy is a way of life, and it saves us from making bad decisions. It increases our output, and it makes us overall better persons and professionals. We all have some rules that were given to us by our families and friends, but have we ever taken the time to sit down to see if they still really match who we are, or if we even still live by them? (tranquil music continues) I'm going to share what my philosophy of life is here. Insights and values that I've either picked up from smarter and wiser people than me, or that I've learned through failures. (tranquil music continues) Number one, regularly reflect on the best days of your life. Now ask yourself, are you wor...

king towards these kind of days, or away from them? ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number two, life is not measured by how smart we are, but by how much we've connected with others. So it's not about getting ahead of everyone else, or being the smarter, the richest, or whatever. It's solely about connecting with others, and thriving through that. We've all heard it. Happiness is only real when shared. Number three, failing at something is just how not to do something. That's it. No need to resent it forever. You've learned something, now take that insight, and don't do it again. (tranquil music continues) Number four, often reflect on what you wanna get done in life. Don't only think about tomorrow, or next week, or next month, make a 10-year plan, 20-year plan. Number five, what's your end? Why do I do what I do? Well, personally, I wanna work with clients that I'm proud of, and collaborate on projects that fulfill my creative aspirations. I just want freedom to live where I want to live, manage my time, and not be told what to do. This, and only this, fuels all of my decisions. My goal is to make good work, and to help people change. (tranquil music continues) Number six, make commitments short. Best if they are in the form of regular deadlines that you have to meet. Break down the tasks in small steps, and plow through them. Number seven, ask yourself the hard questions. Why am I doing this? Am I avoiding anything in my life? Am I adrenalizing? Is this really that important? Number eight, meet people, especially in person, or one on one, and be reachable, but firm with your time. (tranquil music continues) Number nine, exercise clears the mind. It helps you think, and makes you happy. You have to leave time to process life's events. If you go from computer to phone, to phone to computer, day in, day out, when are you actually processing anything? ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number 10, this is gonna be controversial, but I don't follow the news. I only read from a few select sources, and get newsletters to my inbox. That's it. Number 11, start a business and separate the expenses. This is to give you freedom to buy what you need for your practice, so this money is not the one you need to pay rent or eat. It is the one you've allocated for your craft, and that makes decisions easier. (tranquil music continues) Number 12, invest in yourself. You are the asset. I have a yearly budget for education. I enroll in online workshops, just like this one. I take cooking classes, barista classes, free skiing lessons, snow study lessons. You know, it's called continual personal development, and it's very fulfilling. (tranquil music continues) Number 13, get a log book. The log book is for documenting the day's events. So every morning after breakfast, I sit down to write about the day before. Simple, what did I do? Who did I talk to? And where did I go? Ship captains used them in the past to track their progress in their journeys, and still do to this day. ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number 14, keep a journal. It helps you process life's events, and make better decisions. Journal daily, and as much as you can. This is about your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. I personally do it every night before bed, with a good cup of herbal tea. Number 15, don't take yourself too seriously. In the end, we're only on earth for a few years, and as I've said before, it's only about connecting with others. No one wants to connect with Mr. Bigwig. You know, our work may be important, but it's not the most important thing in the world. So smile and laugh at yourself sometimes, or often. (tranquil music continues) Number 16, create a healthy life balance. Business and life will be intertwined as a freelancer, so decide what's the balance you want. What is the life that makes you happy? Number 17, save your favorite thoughts and things. Have a great idea in the shower? Okay. Put it down on paper. Realign somewhere that reflects what you're thinking, type it in your journal. See this amazing photograph somewhere, save it on a dedicated note board, or Pinterest, whatever you use. (tranquil music continues) Number 18, have someone represent you. This is relevant, especially as an artist. Get an agent or a friend to represent you in front of your clients. They don't need to be pros if you're starting out, just speak to someone who has a sales background, and is likable. (tranquil music continues) ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number 19, don't focus on nailing it, focus on the technique, and the form. And this applies to any crafts, sports, and games. The idea is to get out of your head, and focus on the steps and movements needed to do it well. I think about it when shooting, for example, composition, angles, focusing, all these little things that make the whole great. (tranquil music continues) Number 20, mix passion with methodology and determination. For anyone pursuing a creative career, passion is never too far in the equation, but it's not enough. Without clarity and deliberateness, you won't get much done. The critical work that you want to do will require your deliberation and consideration, not your passion. (tranquil music continues) Number 21, build a damn schedule. Schedules empower you to get things done. Whenever I have a job coming up, even if it's in six months, I like to put a schedule down on paper. It can be loose at the beginning, but I break down the steps and actions needed, and then I tighten as they go. ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number 22, seek people to disprove your plans and ideas. Actively seek out people who are not afraid of saying what they think, and surround yourself with them. They're gold. Pick people who have an established track record in this field, or a similar career, or just have plain old wisdom. (tranquil music continues) Number 23, never touch things twice. And this is from the book, "Emotional Intelligence" that I picked that up. Never put anything into holding pattern, because touching things twice is a huge time waster. Don't save an email or a phone call to deal with later. As soon as something gets your attention, you should act on it, delete it, or pass it onto someone who can do it. ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number 24, focus on the things that don't change. This one is from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. I have it printed above my desk, actually, in Montana, and it applies to a lot of things. In photography, I use it to decide what stories to go and tell. It just brings me back to essential human values, like sharing experiences, constantly learning, finding shelter, or interacting with the outdoors, family, love. These things have never changed, and never will, and they resonate with people, and always will. Number 25, visualize failure in advance. This has helped me a lot, and it's well known in the business and sports world. It's simple. Before you go and do the thing, whether it's pitching a brand, printing a new photo book, or jumping off a cliff with your skis on, fast forward to the moment where you failed that thing, imagine what that is like, and try to come up with the causes before you go and do it. How does failure feel, and how can you prevent it? It will help you make sure that your project truly is ready. ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number 26, be a perpetual optimist. That's it. Focus on the positive. Believe that things will work out always. Even when they don't do, it'll still keep you moving. ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ Number 27, stay humble, avoid pride, avoid listening to yourself, listen to others, and remember, it's all about meaningfully connecting with others. (tranquil music continues) ♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

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Ratings and Reviews

Janelle Dransfield

A helpful combination of mindful and technical! I loved all aspects of the lessons Alex taught in this workshop! They were well thought out, specific, and easy to follow. Each category had numbered lists of steps, followed by more specific descriptions of them. The lesson about the art of negotiation, as well as the one out in the field with his dad were both full of really helpful first hand knowledge. (Also, side note: loved how his dad did NOT care about the production hahaha. Just a man about his business. A perfect example of someone you document and direct when you can!) The only reason I didn't give this five stars was because of the uncut interview episode with another photographer about how to find motivation. It was the longest episode, but there wasn't a lot of content there, and the video was really drawn out considering how much was actually being said. Maybe if the person being interviewed had been given an idea of the questions before hand, or if all the dead space had been edited out in-between, it would have felt like a little bit less of a filler? That being said, I really enjoyed this course overall and got a lot out of it! Well priced, and I would definitely buy again.

Oswaldo Martinez

Phenomenal guide to find YOUR reasons to be better This might be my favorite workshop from Alex. He shares amazing insights and provides frameworks to help you understand the why behind what you do, and plenty of valuable advice into how you can improve or find your own motivations. Loved this one.

Tommaso Novi

Absolutely amazing. You can see the works these community put in this course, is simply amazing and incredible. Inspiring is the right word!

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