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Episode 49: Just Show Up! | Photographer Chris Carlson from the Associated Press

Chris Carlson has done photography in more than 40 different countries covering some of the world’s greatest sporting and political events.  He’s been involved in the business a long time but attributes his consistency and reliability to be one of the keys to his success.  Learn how to just show up in Episode 49 of the Defining Success Podcast.

Associated Press Photographer on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Chris Carlson

Chris Carlson has been a staff photographer at the AP in Southern California for the past 6 years, Prior to that, he has been on the staff of the Orange County Register where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage. During his career, he has been on assignment in over 40 countries.

Chris’s family was in the newspaper business.  Early on he realized his spelling was so bad that the only way he could stay in the newspaper business was by becoming a photographer.  Like any field you get into, you have to hone your craft. Chris was very lucky to work with people who were very skilled.  Many people took Chris under his wing and helped develop him into a world class photographer.

When Chris started in photography, there was a huge delay between the time he took a picture and the time he had it developed.  In some cases it was several hours.  Now, photographers know very quickly whether or not they have shot something great or not and they have the ability to take more if they are not happy with what they’ve shot.  Twenty years ago photographers were not as lucky because if they took bad shots, they would not be able to recognize this until hours later and in some cases this meant the opportunity was gone for good.

In photojournalism, they have deadlines and now the deadlines have sped up excessively.

One thing that Chris thinks many people in photography may not realize is the way that professional photographers are able to effectively use lighting to create a better picture.  The average person would be able to look at a picture and say it’s beautiful, but the professional photographer would be able to understand why the picture looks beautiful.

Some people get into journalism because they want to get into the world. Chris got into journalism because he wanted to see the world.  Being a photographer has given Chris the opportunity to see how the world has unfolded before him.

One of the best assignments Chris ever had was the 2007 U.S. Open where Tiger Woods won in a 19 hole playoff and watching him make a put on the 18th hole to force a playoff was probably the most exciting thing he had ever seen.  Watching the crowd react and watching Tiger’s reaction and seeing how competitive that day was was amazing.  And he felt very fortunate that photography was the vehicle that gave him the opportunity to witness the experience in person.

A lot of pressure comes from being a photographer.  Chris works hard to capture special moments, but sometimes many factors can contribute to the missing of a moment which can be lost and gone forever if he doesn’t capture it as it’s happening.  The stress of capturing these events can be a burden.  Over time the stress of having to capture that one moment can weigh on you a bit.

Chris attributes his success to luck, good decisions, hard work and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, something happens that you couldn’t plan for and in his case he feels very lucky.  Somebody once told Chris that a key to success is just showing up.  If you show up and do work you’re already ahead of your competition.  He looks at his colleagues that are very successful, he sees that it’s because they have a very strong work ethic.

One of the biggest mistake Chris has made was that he didn’t know if he enjoyed it enough in his time.  He wonders if when he retires if he’s going to say that he enjoyed it enough while he was doing it.

Working at the Associated Press, Chris feels fortunate that they cover big stories and the one event Chris wants to go to that he hasn’t yet is the Masters Golf Tournament.  Every year Chris covers the Kraft-Nabisco women’s golf tournament events which conflicts with the Masters, but he hopes he can make it to the Masters.

Chris has done countless brush fires, earthquakes, civil unrest. He was on the presidential campaign with President Obama and he’s done the Iowa Caucus and recommends that if anyone has an interest in politics that they should visit Iowa during that time because they are all very knowledgeable about politics.

If you’re interested in becoming a photographer you need to decide what kind of photography you’d like to do and then position yourself to be able to do that.  Sometimes it means starting at the high school level and hone your skills to build up to the big time.  Photography is incredibly competitive and in order to be successful you must love photography and if you have a good work-ethic, you’ll have a chance to be a good photographer.

When they started introducing digital cameras, your competition grew and the ability to make a living in photography is a lot tougher than it used to be.

Associated Press Photographer Chris Carlson Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What does it take to make a great picture?
  • How important do you think being reliable is to business?
  • Would people say you just show up?

Links to Great Stuff:

AP Images – “AP Images gives you access to the world’s largest collections of historical and contemporary photographs, so you have all the imagery you need, right when you need it. AP’s timely, powerful and informative images cover topics ranging from breaking news and sports to business, entertainment, weather, fashion, travel, royalty-free, rights-managed, microstock and more. You can purchase the images you need immediately on our site or set up a subscription service with your sales representative. And with our new API delivery method, you get images in a more flexible, fast and reliable way, within your own interface. AP’s Assignment & Publicity Services is also ready to assist you with start-to-finish planning, execution and distribution for all your promotional needs.”

The International Center of Photography – “The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to the practice and understanding of photography and the reproduced image in all its forms. Through our exhibitions, educational programs, and community outreach, we offer an open forum for dialogue about the role images play in our culture. Since our founding, we have presented more than 500 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes, providing instruction at every level. ICP is a center where photographers and artists, students and scholars can create and interpret the world of the image within our comprehensive educational facilities and archive.”

MSNBC – Pictures of the Week – “NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse and visually engaging stories on your platform of choice. NBC News Digital features world-class brands including NBCNews.com, tv.msnbc.com, TODAY.com, theGrio.com, NBCLatino.com, NBCPolitics.com, Nightly News, Meet the Press, Rock Center, Dateline, Newsvine, Breaking News, and the existing apps and digital extensions of these respective properties. We provide something for every news consumer with our comprehensive offerings that deliver the best in breaking news, segments from your favorite NBC News shows, live video coverage, original journalism, lifestyle features, commentary and local updates.  NBC News Digital reaches an audience of more than 58 million unique visitors who generate more than 1.2 billion page views and 140 million online video streams each month.”

New York Times – Lens Blog – “Photography, Visual and Video Journalism.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is balancing my career, my family life, my social life and my future.”
  • “I got into journalism because I wanted to see the world.”
  • “The one thing that separates amateur photographers from professional photographers is the way they handle light.”
  • “Photography is about capturing the moment.”

Special Requests:

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Chris Carlson at the Breeder's Cup Just Show Up

by Robert Hanashiro

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Episode 10: The Business Breakthrough | Entrepreneur On Fire Host John Lee Dumas

Fire Nation ignites seven days a week in John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire podcast.  He has interviewed some of the most successful entrepreneurs and shares the takeaways from his podcast with us.

If people are telling you something is impossible, or you’ll never be able to do it . . . take that as a sign that that is something you should do.

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas

Recap:

John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of Entrepreneur on Fire, a business podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs 7 days a week. Entrepreneur on Fire is a top ranked business podcast generating over 150,000 unique downloads a month in over 140 countries. His lineup includes Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki and hundreds more. All the magic happens at EOFire.com so be sure to check them out.

John went to college in Providence, RI on a ROTC scholarship.  He spent 8 years in the U.S. Army as an officer with a 13 month tour of duty in Iraq.  He tried corporate finance, residential real estate, commercial real estate, tech start ups.  In June 2012 he started his passion of sharing the journey of other entrepreneur’s with the world where he interviews some of the most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs.

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas

American spend so much time commuting to and from work which is where John Lee Dumas had his AHA Moment for Entrepreneur on Fire.  In 2009, he discovered podcasts and became hooked because he could find the content he was looking for and the content had zero commercials.  He started listening to Wall Street Journal and found another unique podcasts to listen to.  At some point, he ran out of content and realized that there wasn’t a podcaster who was posting a show once every day and he’s been posting it every single day since September 20, 2012.

Entrepreneur on Fire follows a format for his podcasts and John wanted to hear about the journey of successful entrepreneurs.  Every episode starts with a success quote and how they apply that quote to their life.  Then he discusses obstacles and failures they’ve had in the past and how they’ve overcome those obstacles.  Then covering the AHA moment that turned them into successful entrepreneurs.  Then they talk about their current business and what’s exciting them now and their plans for the future and then they have a lightning round which usually consists of five questions that pull out great information and resources for the listeners.  The podcasts typically last 25 to 35 minutes.

John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 200 entrepreneurs and one of John Lee Dumas’s favorite interviews was with Barbara Corcoran who is on ABC’s Shark Tank.  Hearing her story about how she was living in New York as a waitress and never thinking she was going to be more than that and how she had her AHA moment which led her to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneur’s in America.

The process began for Entrepreneur on Fire in June 2012.  He quit his job and went all in deciding to start his podcast.  He went down to a conference called BlogWorld in New York City where he met Pat Flynn, Derek Halpern, and Adam Baker who were willing to be some of the first guests for his show.  He planned appropriately and had 40 guests lined up and ready to go by the time he launched his podcast in September, 2012.

Consistency has been one of John’s greatest attributes which have helped him build his following.  “Fire Nation” has been a group of loyal listeners who have come to expect and appreciate the daily posting of podcasts by John Lee Dumas.  As a result of his planning and consistency, he’s getting 175,000 downloads in over 140 countries every single month.  Just six months after the idea of Entrepreneur on Fire John was asked to speak at BlogWorld as an expert in podcasting.

John says the most important thing you can do is to have a high level of quality.  John has always tried to produce the highest quality of show that he can possibly do.  And every episode he creates he produces higher and higher levels of podcasts.  So when people come across his podcast they know that the podcast is high quality and that he is someone who is working hard to bring an exceptional experience to them.

When he’s talking about podcasting one example of how he strives to be the best is having high quality audio and the actual content has to be high quality.  The guests and the topics have to be valuable to the people who will be listening to the podcasts.

One thing John points out in his interview is the existence of his “Avatar” or the target market for his podcast for John, his “Avatar” is 25 to 45 year old “Wannabepreneur” and they haven’t done it yet, or maybe they just started it.  His goal is to help entrepreneurs by motivating them and giving them motivational boosts along the way.  If you have a clearly identifiable target market it’s much easier to reach them.  Asking for feedback from that group is also a great way to enhance your podcast to make it better.

Entrepreneur’s are very transparent and love sharing their stories about how they’ve overcome mistakes.  At the beginning John was very nervous to reach out to entrepreneurs and he learned that it was okay to reach out to people.  His big takeaway was that people in the online world are very friendly, welcoming and willing to help.

If you’re interested in podcasting, John Lee Dumas highly recommends buying Podcast Launch by John Lee Dumas.  It goes through every step of the procees, it comes with 15 video tutorials, it’s $5 and it’s something John wish he had when he started podcasting.  He wanted to come out with a book that was completely transparent about his process and he wants to further the brand of Entrepreneur on Fire by giving away great content and helping others.  Right now, it’s the #1 podcast book on Amazon.

One of John’s greatest success stories came from a captain in the Marines who didn’t know he had a story to tell, but because of the podcast he had his own AHA moment who came out with his own podcast called A Dose of Leadership where he interviewed some incredible leaders all over the world.  His name is Richard Rierson and he’s interviewed some successful leaders and is having his own impact and he started all because of Entrepreneur on Fire.

From Day 1, John always wanted to turn Entrepreneur on Fire into a business.  And set out to become just a podcaster and now that he’s getting close to 175,000 downloads a month he’s getting sponsors who are providing a significant revenue for Entrepreneur on Fire. Once you have a big enough audience people start to take notice.  Audible.com, Legal Zoom and SquareSpace.com are currently sponsoring Entrepreneur on Fire.  But, John is also able to add books, products and services which have helped create a great income stream.

John’s determination has been his greatest asset.  Many people told John that doing one podcast a day was not doable and he had tons of people who were telling him that he couldn’t and shouldn’t do it.   John was determined, passionate and was able to take over his niche of providing daily content for “Fire Nation.”

Entrepreneur on Fire

Entrepreneur on Fire

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Have you had an AHA moment?  What was it?
  • Has anyone told you something you wanted to do was impossible?  How did you respond?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Entrepreneur on Fire – “John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of EntrepreneurOnFire, a daily podcast that interviews todays most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs.  EntrepreneurOnFire tells the journey of the spotlighted guest, sharing their early failures, AHA moments, and insight into what is working for them now and why.  Every show ends with a 5-question “Lightning Round” that pulls priceless nuggets of information from these incredibly successful Entrepreneurs.  Subscribe to iTunes via http://bit.ly/RX3yMa and Prepare to Ignite!”
  • Podcast Launch – “Have you ever considered creating your very own podcast? Podcast Launch will take you through the entire process, from step one to step done. This book comes with 15 video tutorials where the author, John Lee Dumas, will walk you through the more technical aspects of podcasting. These tutorials will make your podcast experience enjoyable and stress free.”
  • Barbara Corcoran – “Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three.  It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1000 loan to start The Corcoran Group.  She parlayed that loan into a five-billion-dollar real estate business which she sold in 2001 for $66 million.”
  • Seth Godin – “Seth Godin has written fourteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.”
  • Tim Ferriss – “Tim has been featured by more than 100 media outlets–including The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, CNN, and CBS–and has been a popular guest lecturer at Princeton University since 2003, where he presents entrepreneurship as a tool for world change and ideal lifestyle design.”
  • Gary Vaynerchuk – “Meet Gary Vaynerchuk, a 36 year old New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author who is also a self-trained wine and social media expert. From a young age, it was clear that Gary was a businessman. At 8-years-old he was operating seven lemonade stands in his neighborhood and by 10 he had moved onto selling baseball cards at local malls. In high school while working at his family owned liquor store, Gary started reading The Wine Spectator and wine books, and realized collecting wine offered an allure similar to his previous hobby of collecting baseball cards. With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary spent every weekend of his college years at his parents’ wine store. Recognizing the importance of e-commerce in 1997, Gary launched Winelibrary.com and helped grow his family business significantly from $3 million to $45 million by 2005.”
  • Guy Kawasaki – “Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki is the author of ten books including Enchantment, Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.”
  • Audible.com – “We’re here to establish literate listening as a core tool for anyone seeking to be more productive, better informed, or more thoughtfully entertained.”
  • Legal Zoom – “Every year, Americans spend millions of dollars on routine legal needs, from incorporations and trademarks to last wills. Others put off creating essential legal documents because of the inconvenience and high fees. As attorneys, we knew there had to be an easier, more affordable way to take care of common legal matters.”
  • SquareSpace.com – “Whether you need simple pages, sophisticated galleries, a professional blog, or want to sell online, it all comes standard with your Squarespace website.”
  • A Dose of Leadership – “Hosted by Richard Rierson, the Dose of Leadership Podcast is the ultimate resource of inspiring & educational interviews with relevant and motivating leaders; real-life leadership & influence experts who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the truth,  common sense, & courageous leadership.”
  • BlogWorld – “The BlogWorld/New Media Expo Blog is a prolific new media industry news and information site that offers a diverse array of content – covering social media for business, blog, podcast and video content creation, distribution, and monetization, the latest social networking tool, tech and trends –– and also covering topics in all vertical niche areas of blogging (tech, business, parenting, sports, real estate, military, politics, etc).”
  • Pat Flynn – “I’m Pat. I’m a 30 year old dude from Southern California who makes a living on the internet. I consider myself the luckiest person on Earth.”
  • Derek Halpern – “I show people how to turn web traffic into leads and sales. And if they’re not getting any traffic, I show them how to get that, too.”
  • Adam Baker – “At Man Vs. Debt, we hope that by sharing a transparent and honest account of our own journeys to remove barriers – primarily our debt and excess clutter – we can empower and inspire others who find themselves on similar paths.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is the gradual realization of a worthy goal.”
  • “When you hear people talking strongly against an idea, that means it’s a great idea.”
  • “Once you have an audience in place, the sky is truly the limit.”
  • “The mission of Entrepreneur on Fire is to inspire millions.”
  • “If you want to make millions, you need to inspire millions.”
  • “The online world is a very friendly place.  We are in this huge marketplace where helping people is only going to help ourselves.”
  • “Help spread the word and get more people motivated and passionate about following their dreams.”
  • “She definitely flirted with me quite a bit throughout the interview so I definitely enjoyed that.”
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