Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Patrick Rife, CVO of Pixilated, located in Baltimore, MD, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Pixilated. We manufacture photo booth kiosks and write the software that powers them. Our customers are as diverse as a mom planning a birthday party for their daughter's Sweet 16 to Fortune 100 companies looking for a scalable photo solution that they can use across the globe.

Tell us about yourself

I am an entrepreneur and creative who spent the first part of my life making music and art before finding my way to starting my first business. I live in Baltimore, MD, with my family and have a deep love affair with making music and art, reading, spending time in nature, and pursuing the art of entrepreneurship. I first started pursuing entrepreneurship as a means to put myself through college in my mid to late 20s. I started to look at building my own businesses as a long-term option when I didn't see a career path that was enticing with the degree I had gained. When faced with the decision to return to school, more debt, and pushing off my future plans or grabbing the bull by the horns and committing to building my own company and career, I chose the latter and have never looked back.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My greatest accomplishment as a business owner, aside from still being in business 10+ years later, is never having compromised my vision for creating my own world and making it in the likeness of what I wanted it to be. It's easy to give in and do what popular advice suggests. It's much harder to double down on your convictions and stay the course. I'm proud to say that sticking to my guns has proven the correct path for me, although it isn't easy, to say the least.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The single most difficult aspect of being a business owner is that no matter what, it never stops. There will always be another challenge, another problem, another victory, and another failure. The mark of a "good" businessperson is perseverance. Without that, I would be lost.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

If I had to choose three tips for any budding entrepreneur, they would be:

  1. Get started now. Do not wait a single moment longer. Ideas of shit, execution is everything, so just get on with it.
  2. The most popular wisdom is trash being written by folks who haven't done it. Don't trust the consultants. Trust yourself.
  3. Find a good sounding board and stick with them. Be it a business partner, confidant, or mentor. Having a good pair of ears to tell you to hold fast or that you're full of shit is priceless. Find that person and pull the cord.

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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