The transcript for Episode 6- You Are Going To Shoot Who?
What I have found in this journey of teaching and helping people build their careers and their businesses is that people respond a lot more to the stories of failure or of struggle than the ones have anything to do with success. And I feel the same way. Like it kind of bores me a little bit of like, how do I talk to somebody who built a billion dollar business and how did you go from this many million to this many billion? To me, that’s boring because I don’t think that’s something that most people struggle with. I don’t think that’s even most people’s dreams is to have a billion dollar business. But I think what most people want to do is they want to have a successful business so they can live the life that they want. So I notice that the struggles, the daily struggles, the stories about what it’s like when you’re starting. That really seemed to resonate with people as it does with me.
I love hearing the grit stories that grind it out, stories from the really successful people of what it was like beforehand. What was it like before everybody knew you? Because I’ll be honest with you, you can meet a lot of people and once you have a lot of success, people will invest in you or buy their stuff, even if it’s not very good. But that just leads to more success even though it’s not possibly your best work or your best stories. So I love bringing stories, whether it’s from you or it’s from me, or it’s another entrepreneur, another freelancer who had struggles along the way, who overcame the obstacles, the obstacles that you’re possibly dealing with right now and what it was like then that helped get to what it’s like now. So I can tell you, I’ve got pain stories, I’ve got struggle stories, I’ve got beginning stories that go on forever it seems like.
And I remember those way more than the successes. The successful ones are like, okay, yeah, we got there, but these ones, these really are fun to tell and they’re fun to look back on because it really showed that with no guarantee of any type of success, what you will go through to get what you really want. So way way back when I was starting my photography career, I was a waiter at a place called the Spare rib on Long Island in New York. I worked there at night and some days I worked at a photo lab as my second job and I was going to school, Nassau Community College for photography at the same time, still interning at Bruce Bennett Studios, trying to shoot hockey here and there. So I was very busy young man doing a whole lot of stuff and I was very ambitious and what I lacked in skill and money and connections I made up for in hustle.
So there wasn’t an event that was going to happen in New York that I wasn’t going to be at or close to or trying to get into. And none of these events I was invited to, I didn’t have press passes. You know, being an amateur, there’s something to that. Well, when you’re an amateur, you really have to push through and, and challenge yourself through things that it’s so much easier as a professional, as a professional. You get the press pass, you walk in, you complain about the press food, you do your job and you leave. But when you’re an amateur, I have so much respect for the amateurs that have to go through this because you have to overcome so many more hurdles to get there. So this story, I was working at the Spare Rib and I saw on the news that the Pope was coming to New York.
This was Pope John Paul II, this was back in the mid nineties and I was like, man, I really have to go photograph that. Like it’s the Pope. The one time he is going to be here, you know I have no credentials. I’ve got to get there on the street, have my cameras ready. So I checked out the plans, I saw the route, I figured out where in Manhattan I would go to. I knew that over by St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is where he would be. I knew that on the corner that he’d be able to come down. I would get a decent shot of him. But the problem is I was scheduled to work at the Spare Rib the same day that the Pope was coming to New York. So I went to my boss and I told them that I need to get the day off and he wouldn’t give it to me.
They were short staffed and didn’t have somebody to work, so I had to work and I came back to them the next day and I said, no, I really need this day off. And again, they wouldn’t give it to me. I came back to them the next day and I said, no, I really need this day off. And again, they wouldn’t give it to me and I was frustrated as I came back the third day, which was the day before the pope was supposed to come to town and I went up to my boss, and this is in the middle of the restaurant now. It’s like one o’clock in the afternoon, they’re serving lunch. The place is packed and I’m getting into it, not an argument with my boss, but I’m very adamant that I have to go photograph this event. I kept bugging him, I said, I need to get tomorrow off.
And he says, what do you need tomorrow off for? So he yelled at at me, cause this is like the third day that I asked him, he wasn’t saying yes and I looked at him and I said,” I need to go shoot the Pope!” And I saw his face just drop, eyes go wide open. Literally the sound in the restaurant, everybody just got quiet and all I saw was heads turned towards me and stare at me and I’m almost, and I just didn’t know what was going on. I was like, what is everybody looking at me for? And then I saw like the look of horror on everybody’s face and then I realized what I had said and I said, no, no, no, no, no, no. And I paused and I tried to reframe what I was going to say and I said, “I need to go photograph the pope!”
And they were all like, ah. And a sighI went over the crowd. Everybody went back to their meals. It was almost like the music stopped and it came back on. And then just laughter of all my coworkers. And that was like the only talk of the night. But you know, that’s what I was known for as long as I worked at the Spare Rib. So they gave me the day off. I went into New York City the next day, still laughing about the story and then went and got into a decent spot. I got the picture of the Pope, I shot the Pope and I got the picture of him. And all’s well that ends well. It wasn’t a great picture, but it was a start. And the problem is though I can’t find the negatives to that. I don’t have the negatives and I don’t have a print of it.
So there’s actually no recorded history that I photographed the Pope. There’s no history that I shot the Pope and there’s no real redeeming quality for the story except for the humor that came with that. And realizing, choose your words more carefully when you talk about photography, because a lot of times it can get you a little bit of trouble, and I’m glad it just worked out the way it did to all of our new listeners and subscribers. Welcome. Welcome to the Total Life Freedom podcast. I hope you’re gonna enjoy this. It’s going to be a seven day a week podcast. Hopefully we can inspire you and make you laugh a little bit and get your business going better than ever.