Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tim Grey, Founder of GreyLearning, located in Franklin, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I help photographers optimize their photography and workflow by publishing a wide variety of educational resources, including video courses, a digital magazine, online workshops, and more. My customers are enthusiastic amateur and professional photographers who want expert guidance to help them understand the various tools involved in the craft of digital photography.
Tell us about yourself
I got into the business of teaching photographers quite by accident. I became passionate about photography when I took a black-and-white film photography class in high school. I've also always enjoyed writing and teaching and was a computer nerd from an early age. Through a series of happy accidents that all came together into what turned into my business. I started out assisting another photographer, then started writing magazine articles. That turned into writing books, which led to speaking at many events. The next thing I knew, I had an audience of photographers with a big appetite for expert guidance on the technology related to photography.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To me, my greatest accomplishment has been earning flexibility in my life. To be sure, I have to work hard and meet deadlines, and face challenges. But being self-employed, I also have the luxury of setting my own schedule. I love not having to wake up to an alarm and, for the most part being able to choose which tasks I'll work on, in a given day. I can also take time off at any time (as long as I've met my deadlines) to go out and capture photos, go for a bike ride, or play guitar.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think the hardest thing about being a business owner is that you don't have the certainty of a regular paycheck. You need to take an active role in your business and make sure you are generating a consistent revenue stream to meet your needs. If you slack off when working for someone else, you might be able to slip under the radar. If you slack off in your own business, you might not be able to pay your bills.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First and foremost, make sure your business is focused on something that inspires you. Working for yourself can be a grind, but it is much easier to put in the hard work when you really care about the work you're doing. Second, make sure you really understand your audience. It is important to align your products or services to the specific customers you're trying to attract. Third, learn the critically important skill of saying "no." Many people will want to place demands on your time, and you most likely can't meet all of those demands and still meet your business goals.
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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