How to make a million-dollar photography business?
This week was busy - as usual. Finalizing the lease contract for my new studio literally excited me for a few days!!! The day I went in to get my key, I met Chris, a veteran photographer. When I was about to leave, he asked, all of a sudden, do you know how to make a million-dollar photography business? I stared back and wasn't sure if he was trying to test my business skills or photography skills. He said - you don't know, do you? I was like - hmmm.... so please tell me. And there he went: "It is very easy. You start with two million!"
In the evening, I carried this with me to my alumni event at University Club. Professor Roger who is Kellogg's star professor of entrepreneurship flew in from Chicago, and we had our room full. While he started the evening by saying "as Elizabeth Taylor to any of his 6 husbands, I would not keep you too long here tonight", the rest of the presentation was pretty inspiring. If there is one class I regret not taking while at Kellogg, it was Prof. Roger's entrepreneurship finance class. He was way too popular and too expensive to bid.
I wonder if he would answer the "million dollar" photography business question differently? But the key take-away for any successful entrepreneurs (esp. in the hard economy), as Prof. Roger put it, is to create more jobs.
So I started to ponder on my own entrepreneurship trajectory: as I migrated my life from management consulting to photography, from Asia to the US, I did create one job - for myself. So far I can only describe it as - I LOVE IT! If somewhere down the line, I could help more people to find themselves and create "dream" jobs for themselves, I would feel REALLY fulfilled, and maybe at that time would call myself a "successful" entrepreneur in Prof Roger's term. Or even better, if everyone ends up being a happy photographer, then the one million photography business is possibly achievable, even without starting two million? :-)
By the way, did I mention this? Before I said goodbye to Chris, I asked "so what do you do now?" , wondering if he ever made up that one million shortage. He said "Oh well, I decided to be a golfer".