Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jose Reyes, Founder of Misterfreek, located in New York City, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I started my business, Misterfreek, as a creative and branding agency that works with entrepreneurs, artists, and established companies. Over the last twelve years, we have also grown to include my own personal creative projects, including street photography, illustrations, and, most recently, my documentary project, New Neighbors, which brings human stories about immigrants living and thriving in New York City: New Neighbors. Similarly to Misterfreek, New Neighbor's customers/audience is comprised of entrepreneurs, artists, and immigrants.
Tell us about yourself
I started Misterfreek in the annex of my co-founder's parent's house in 2012. At that time, we had left our promising jobs at an ad firm to search for and build something on our own.
I'm inspired and motivated to do what I do by many constants and changes in my life, including the city, with its unpredictably chaotic but energizing rhythm. My siblings have left their homes in search of a better life, and finally, myself and my (hopefully) never-ending quest will find out "what's next" in my life as a human and as a creative.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as an artist and entrepreneur has been creating and fostering trust in my work and the people I work with. New York City is home to individuals with different cultures and work philosophies, so it stands to reason that speaking and understanding these diverse voices could become obstacles to creating a successful business.
I feel proud of the relationships I've built over the years as an entrepreneur. I know it's easy to think that people in New York are only out for themselves. Still, after almost a decade here, I can see how building trust can lead to fantastic work collaborations and long-lasting professional and personal relationships.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is feeling alone and being the only one who cares about what you're doing. It's hard to think that other people that work with/for you want good things for your project, but I've been on the other side, working for other businesses, so I know that other people can care about - and become champions of - what you're doing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a practice (meditation, a sport, walking your dog, etc.) that you can go to every week to reset. Your mind (and body!) can only take so much hustle and stress! Find time for yourself to take care of yourself.
- Strive for perfection, but be OK with "good enough." Though this might sound like an oxymoron, it's OK to do things as best as possible while accepting that you're human and that there is a tomorrow.
- This is the hardest thing to do for me, but on a similar note to 2, try to make peace with failure. You are going to fail... a lot. Be it with partners you thought had your best interest in mind, deadlines, or... you name it. Sometimes, you will fall and hit your head hard. It will hurt, but you will have learned. I know this one sounds like a cliche - and it probably is one! - but being OK with the idea of failure is taking a step forward into getting rid of the nastiest bits of your ego and will genuinely make your future work - and life - better.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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