Dear friend, if you want to succeed and thrive as an entrepreneur in today’s competitive climate, you GOTTA be a PERSONALITY.
Part of PHOTOGRAPHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101
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What is a personality?
Ok, I’m not telling you to just copy these ridiculous “personalities” we see on the internet who are obnoxious. My suggestion, to be a “personality”— just be yourself. Don’t censor yourself. State your own opinion without hesitation.
Don’t be boring. Be opinionated, follow your own gut, and be “controversial” by following your own opinion, even when others might think you’re crazy or disagree with you.
That means, taking risks for your own opinion. To take risks to say what is really on your mind, even though others might hate you and try to burn you at the stake.
We disdain boring people
Some truths I’ve discovered through my career：
- All press is good press.
- All controversy is good for you as an artist.
- The more brave you are for your opinion, the more people will respect you.
I am probably the most hated photographer on the internet
For example, I’ve said a lot of things over the years, or done a lot of things over the years which causes people to hate me. For example,
- Shooting street photography with a flash (I was called an asshole, or a Bruce Gilden wanna be).
- Shooting street photography with permission(I was told that “street portraits” weren’t “real” “street Photography”).
- Encouraging people to shoot JPEG
- Saying that sharpness is overrated in photography
- Making all my images free, open source, and full resolution… available to download (I was told that I was fucking up the Photography economy, by harming people who make a living selling their images).
- Publishing too much
Why is ERIC KIM such a dick?
Anyways, a lot of people call me egotistical, self-centered, controversial, and I am. Why? I have faith in myself, my own opinion. I don’t force my opinions down the throats of others, and force everyone to be like me. No. I just give tips, suggestions, and share my own opinion. Everyone has the power to ignore me, disagree with me, or just ignore me. I’m not a tyrant; I’m not telling you to be me.
I’m telling you to be you.
Only mimic people who you admire
Anyways taking it back to the topic of being a “personality”— be YOU. Don’t try to mimic the style or the success of anyone else, who is not you.
Of course still find inspiration in others. Let their personality perhaps influence, augment, or empower you… in a good way.
For example, my heroes who empower me…I try to emulate them. I believe what they believe in. I see myself in them. And I see them in me.
For example, when I write, make art, or do something that I’m afraid that other may hate… I think of them. I channel my inner Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, JAY Z, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Seneca, Diogenes, Nietzsche, Josef Koudelka, and Richard Avedon. These are strong characters and role models who I admire, and look up to.
But ultimately, I just try to be me.
HOW DARE YOU NOT BE ME!
“HOW DARE YOU NOT BE ME!” – Artwork illustration by Barbara Kruger
A lot of people will hate you for being you.
They think you should be them. Meaning, your “haters” will see their own ideology, and world view as “correct”. And you are “incorrect”. Therefore, whenever you act in a manner against their opinion, that makes the, upset. They want you to think like them, act like them, and behave like them.
For example, a lot of people say I shouldn’t curse. Why not? Because they don’t curse.
People tell me not to publish too much. Why? Because they think it is “spammy” or it annoys them. But there are others (like myself) who like getting a lot of content and information.
People tell me they don’t like my pictures, or how I process my images, or how I shoot my images. Why? Because I shoot photography differently from them. They don’t like that. They want me to shoot like them.
How I’ve learned to have more faith in myself
To become more of an individual and personality, to succeed and thrive in today’s world… here are some suggestions. Things which I do.
- Ignore everyone else：Only lend an ear or listen to your close loved ones and few friends. But, you have the power whether to ACT or change your behavior based on their feedback. See the words of others as “suggestions”, not commands you must follow. That means, ultimately… integrate the suggestions of others, but YOU have the ultimate authority in terms of what to think and how to live your life.
- Ignore the comments of random folks on the internet. I personally have a browser plugin called “Shut up” on Safari which doesn’t display comments on YouTube, and other popular websites. This means, I don’t get distracted by the “opinions” of others. It helps me stay more true to my inner voice, and the opinion of those few people who are very close to me… and whose opinion I actually care and respect.
- Useful plugins: I have also added a “Facebook demetricator” plug-in to Facebook which hides like numbers. Also, I added a “Facebook newsfeed eradicator” to ignore the happenings of people on Facebook. For real friends and family, I keep in touch with.
- Don’t use social media: I deleted my Instagram, and I don’t check Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or anything. This helps me stay more focused on creating and producing what is really on my mind, and for me to develop my own personality and world view, and not get distracted by others.
- Fuck the algorithms: Posting a lot to Facebook penalizes you. Don’t care to “optimize” your page views, or impressions. Also, I disabled statistics on my blog, so I don’t know my page views, or visitor statistics. This helps me stay more true to myself.
Conclusion: So why be a personality, or yourself?
Your opinion, your thoughts, your ideas are important. It is your duty to share your beliefs with the world.
To be frank, your message will probably fall on deaf ears. But if you spread your seeds of ideas, and even one of these seeds lands on fertile soil (the mind of one other person), it is worth it. This is the parable we learn from Jesus.
In today’s world, you gotta meaningfully differentiate yourself. That means, fuck the “rules” or tradition. You gotta pave new ground, and do it furiously, with a bulldozer, and your own grit and tenacity.
Never doubt yourself, and always be strong.
YOU GOT THIS,
If you want to make a living (or a killing) from photography, download:
PHOTOGRAPHY ECONOMICS 101
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101
- Chapter 1. How to Make a Photography Blog
- Chapter 2. How to Price Yourself
- Chapter 3. How to Find Your Market
- Chapter 4. Why Teach Workshops?
- Chapter 5. How to Build Trust
- Chapter 6. How to Market Yourself
- Chapter 7: Why Should Someone Attend Your Workshop?
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- THRIVE OR DIE.
- Impatience is a Virtue
- Create Your Own Category
- HOW TO DREAM BIG.
- Will Not or Cannot?
- Why Not?
- How to Think BIG
- How to Stay Ahead of the Curve
- How to Invest in Yourself
- The Two Camera Rule
- MEANINGFUL DIFFERENTIATION
- Advice For College Students
- How to Thrive in Uncertain Times
- CANNIBALIZE YOURSELF.
- DO AND GROW RICH
- Does Fear of Punishment Hold You Back?
- HOW TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS
- How to Innovate
- How to Build Your Own Empire
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO HARD WORK.
- PICK YOURSELF.
- OWN YOUR PLATFORM
- 10 KEYS TO SUCCESS
Table of Contents
Learn how to make a living from your passion:
- Preface. BRAVE NEW WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY
- Chapter 1. How to Create Value
- Chapter 2. ZEN CAPITALISM
- Chapter 3. Scarcity
- Chapter 4. How to Brand Yourself
- Chapter 5. How to Build a True Following
- Chapter 6. The Blueprint to Success in Photography
- Chapter 7. HOW TO BE BOLD
- Chapter 8. How to Sell Out
- Chapter 9. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
- Chapter 10. EXTREME ABUNDANCE
- Chapter 11. Photography Experience Economy
- Chapter 12. Why You Should Make Money for Your Photography
- Chapter 13. How to Become a Famous Photographer
Photography Business 101
How to Make Money with Photography
- How to Charge More Money in Your Photography
- Why You Should Not Pursue Photography as Career
- Can Photography Make You Rich?
- How I Earn $200,000+ a Year From Photography
- How to earn $10,000 a month as a photographer
- Why you must be an expensive photographer
Photography Marketing 101
- Why You Should Do Photography Work For Free
- How I Became an Internet Famous Photographer
- Photography Blogging Ideas
- Why You Should Promote Your Own Name
- How to Build a Following
- How to Stand Out as a Photographer.
- HOW TO GO VIRAL AS A PHOTOGRAPHER.
- How to Master Marketing
- How to Sell Yourself
How to Hustle.
- Entrepreneurial Advice to My 18 Year Old Self
- How to Become Insanely Productive.
- 5 Lessons From Hesiod on Hustling
- It is Better to Beg For Forgiveness Than Ask For Permission
- The Free Way to Become Rich
- JUST DO IT.
- 7 Steps: How to Make a Living From Your Passion
- How to Do What You Love for a Living
- How to Create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
- How to Fail Big
- How to Invest in Yourself
- How to Be Bold in Photography and Life
- Mission: Cover Your Rent and Food
- 1,000 True Fans
- The “10x Principle”: The Only Difference Between “Success” and “Failure”
- Make More Value Not Money
- We Live in a Photo Utopia
How to be a Full-time Photographer
- How to Make a Living From Photography
- The 3 Principles of Making Money With Photography
- Advice for Aspiring Full-Time Photographers
- Don’t Go Into Debt For Your Photography
- How to Brand Yourself as a Photographer
- Trust: The Most Important Thing You Need to Succeed as a Photographer
- How to become rich from photography blogging
- How to Make a Living with Blogging
- 50 Blogging Tips For Beginners
- How to Start Your Own Photography Blog
- A Photographer’s Guide to SEO, Blogging, and Social Media
How to Teach Photography
- How to Become a Photography Teacher
- How to Teach a Street Photography Class
- Why I Teach Street Photography Workshops
- Why I Deleted My Instagram
- The Social Media Blackbook for Photographers
- Why Do You Need More Likes or Followers?
- Instagram is Going to Be the Next Facebook
- Don’t Trust “Free” Photography Social Networks
How to Save Money
Take your street photography to the next level:
- August 27 (Friday): SEATTLE MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NOW LIVE!]
- September 11 (Saturday): DOWNTOWN LA ADVANCED STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NEW!]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.