One of the secrets to living a happier, more productive life is to learn how to become extremely resourceful.
What is ‘resourcefulness’?
First of all, what is ‘resourcefulness’?
I would define resourcefulness as:
The ability to maximize your desired effect with what you already have.
For example, as a photographer, being resourceful means to make the best photographs with the gear you already have.
As an entrepreneur, to be resourceful means to use the resources you already have, and to exploit those resources to the maximum potential. For example, if you don’t have a lot of money, tools, or access to resources — how can you make the best of what you already have?
Maximize your (current) life
In life, that means making the best of what you already have. As FDR once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
For example, I personally love going to the gym and having access to equipment to barbells and heavy weights. I really enjoy doing deadlifts, squats, and heavy dumbbell presses. But when I am on the road, I don’t always have access to the gym. In these situations, I make the best of what I already have — my own bodyweight. I will do one-handed pushups, dive bomber pushups, one-legged pistol squats, chin-ups, or yoga wherever I am.
In photography, I have actually discovered that by being more resourceful with the equipment you already have– you can innovate and come up with interesting new, novel, and creative ways to make better photographs. For example, when I was on the road with my RICOH GR II and slower MacBook Air laptop, I was frustrated with the long time it took to process RAW files. Thus, I started to experiment shooting with only JPEG to speed up my workflow (instead of just buying a new, faster laptop), and have sped up my workflow as a consequence.
I am also addicted to coffee, and prefer to drink espresso. But of course, I cannot travel with an espresso machine or a grinder. Thus, I have learned to be resourceful to travel with a ‘Clever’ coffee dripper, and just travel with our own (pre-ground) coffee beans. All I need is an access to a hot water boiler, and then I no longer need to waste time hunting down hipster coffee shops in town, and usually do most of my creative work at home or at the AirBnb apartment doing work.
You can become an entrepreneur with little money or resources
When I got laid off my job in 2011, I wanted to figure out how I could pursue my passion in photography as a living. I had less than $1,000 in the bank in my savings, and used my lack of resources in a beneficial way. I thought, “Doing workshops in photography would be good, because the startup costs are pretty much nothing.” I didn’t waste any money on paying rent in a studio — whenever I wanted to do a photography workshop, I was able to find a free space (at a gallery or a coffee shop) or pay a small amount of money. I did most of my work from my home, to save money, instead of renting a desk at some co-working space.
A resourceful lifestyle
Being resourceful is a great way to live life. For me, it allows me to be more creative, to make fewer excuses, and to maximize every possible opportunity I have in my everyday life.
For example, whenever I lack access to a certain resource, I always ask myself:
How can I use this disadvantage to my advantage?
Or, how can I be extremely resourceful, and best maximize the tools I already have to the maximum benefit, or how can I rely on my own skills and genius to come up with a novel solution to the problem at hand?
How to innovate (from having nothing)
I believe that you can only be ‘innovative’ if you are forced to. I think there is a reason why many entrepreneurs who are successful have come from poverty or from nothing (consider JAY-Z who came from the projects, and is now a billionaire). JAY-Z was resourceful, because he used his skills of hustling (working hard, and being resourceful), and his skills of rapping/poetry/storytelling to build value. JAY-Z initially grew up where he didn’t have access to writing down his rhymes in an unstable environment, so it forced him to memorize all his raps in his head, which helped him massively when he would go to the recording studio (he wouldn’t waste time in the studio, because he had all the rhymes memorized in his head already).
How to be more resourceful as a photography entrepreneur
Practical ways you can be resourceful as a photography entrepreneur:
- If you want to start your own YouTube channel, do it with the equipment you already own. Avoid buying new gear. Use your smartphone, iPad, or digital camera to record yourself. Sound-proof your room by hanging up carpets on the walls, and keep your setup simple (just record yourself against a simple background).
- Make the best photographs regardless of where you live or are: if William Eggleston can make interesting photographs in his boring town, so can you. If anything, use “boringness” in your advantage– Martin Parr took photographs of ordinary things and made them look interesting (I recommend his book ‘Common Sense’).
- Think of yourself as an underdog: Even though your camera equipment isn’t the best– how can you make the best possible photographs with the gear you already own? Use your disadvantage in a positive way, and shift your thinking. Don’t feel like you’re missing out by not having access to the best camera equipment– you can make even better photographs with the camera equipment you already have, you just need to think hard about ways to maximize the functions and abilities of the camera equipment you already have.
- If you don’t have access to as many resources, tools, equipment, or money, out-hustle everyone else, work harder than anyone else, and deliver better customer service than any other photographer. Your personality is the best asset you have.
- Best leverage your skills, strengths, and talents, and focus on building yourself and your character to build trust and a following.
- Start your own photography website/blog, and write about what you already know, and focus on empowering other photographers. Start your own newsletter (I recommend mailchimp.com) instead of relying on “free” social media networks.
- Focus on your own niche in photography, and become #1 in your own category on Google from content marketing.
Maximize your own personal skills/resources
Ultimately, the best resource is you. Not money, tools, or equipment. Your ingenuity, skills, strengths, habits, and ways of seeing the world.
Your skills as a photographer might include your ability to share, teach, educate, interact with people, make your client feel comfortable, being organized, making great photography book layouts, by being able to design a great photography website or portfolio, or your ability to make beautiful images by seeing the world differently.
In other words,
Don’t rely on other people, or having access to more money, resources, or tools. Rely on the most important resource: yourself.
- How to Create Value as a Photography Entrepreneur
- Why Become a Photography Entrepreneur?
- Why You Must Ignore Nay-Sayers to Succeed in Entrepreneurship, Business, and Life
The Modern Photographer: Tips, Strategies, and Tactics to Thrive as a Visual Artist in the Digital Age
Marketing, Branding, Entrepreneurship Principles For Success
MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER is your new philosophical and practical primer to succeed as a modern photographer in today’s digital world.
- Open Source Business Model in Photography Entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneurship 101: Growth and Innovation Over Self-Preservation
How to Monetize Your Photography
- Photography Entrepreneurship 101: INFLUENCE
- Should I Monetize My Passion for Photography?
- 10 Practical Photography Monetization Strategies: Pricing, Google SEO, & Entrepreneurship
- How to Make Money From Street Photography
Why Become a Photography Entrepeneur?
Take control of your own photographic destiny:
THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER
- CREATIVE CAPITALISM
- How to Monetize Your Photography
- 5 Practical Photography Career Tips and Advice
- 10x Thinking
- How to Hustle as a Photographer
- How to Become Your Own Master Marketer
- The ‘T’ Technique of Success
- Go Ahead and Sell Out
- What is Your Unique Voice?
- Why You Must Self-Promote Yourself
- What is Your Unique Angle as a Photographer?
- Photography Content Marketing 101
- Why You Must Become Your Own Publisher
- The Art of Cross-Pollination in Photography
Photography Entrepreneurship Articles
- Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Pictures to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Flickr
- How to Make Money From Your Photography
- Photography SEO and Blogging: How to Become Number One on Google
- Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
- Now is the Best Time to Be a Photographer
- What Is The Value of a Picture?
- Your Photographic Labor is Not Free
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
- Why You Must Be a “Personality” in Order to Succeed
- 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 Have More Followers?
- 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
Unleash your creative potential:
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.