Podcast Interview Transformed Into Blog Post
Over the years I’ve dine a lot of things I never expected to do. From pursuing my education to falling in love with photography and starting a photography business. And then there’s this really nutty running thing I do.
But of all the things I’ve done they happened because they tied into other interests and passions I had. Now it was time to take on something else I never thought I would ever do.
With all the changes that have come in my life one thing that had remained constant is that I am pretty introverted. I do not talk to people I don’t know. I’m not really into big groups. I’m not going to speak up and make my voice heard. I’m definitely not going to do public speaking.
But if there is one thing I have been trying to do over the years it is push myself outside my comfort zone. My art and my running are all about that.
So when a friend announced they were starting a podcast and wanted to interview people I raised my hand. I reached out and committed to being on the podcast.
If this isn’t outside my comfort zone I don’t know what is. Not only am I going to stand up and make my voice heard I am going to do it speaking to the largest group possible, the entire internet potentially and I’m going to do it publicly, sharing it all over the social media landscape.
I was so nervous. If the video for this podcast ever goes live you’ll see it.
But the one thing that helps me overcome my anxiety is my passion for things I love. And there is nothing I love more than the pursuit of a joyful life. Family, friends, pets, art, running, nature. All the things that make life living.
Despite my nerves I really did have a good time having a conversation about life. To prep for the podcast we did a little QA to get a sense of what things I’d want to talk about. And now I am going to take those notes and try to transform them into a blog post.
Check out my interview on Going Against The Grind:
Not all of this appeared in the podcast and I’ve expanded on a lot of what was in my original notes.
Every podcast needs to start with an introduction. Ya’ll wants know who your listening to right?
Tell us a little about yourself – who you are, what your business is:
My name’s Kyle Reynolds and I’m a little bit of a lot of things. I kinda hate making introductions because I think societal convention is to ask what someone does for a job or to tell people about what you do for a job. But our jobs don’t define us and probably shouldn’t define us. It’s ok to have a job you love but hopefully we are all more than our jobs. That said I’ll tell you that I have a few jobs. My day job that pays the bills at which I’m an analyst. And I have my passion job where I’m a photographer/writer/creative. And last year I started teaching a little bit too.
But more than that I’m just a guy. A guy that finds lots of things interesting and enjoys a little bit of everything.
But mostly I love animals especially our dogs and I love being out in nature, and I love running.
I feel like the pressure to have a good intro is what makes us all grind in ways that hurt us. We want to have a “good” job title to put into that intro when we meet people. But our jobs don’t define us. I wish we could find a new way to introduce ourselves or ask about others. Instead of asking what do you do can we ask what do you love? I love being outside. I love camping. I love dogs. I love art. That creates so much more of a connection than. I’m an analyst.
Once someone I met at a group run asked what I did and when I told them I was an analyst they knew. They just knew that wasn’t who I was. They asked But that’s not what you want to be doing? Nail on head.
What made you decide to become a business owner?
I think I always believed I should do something I loved weather it be my job or not, but for a long time I didn’t know what it was. Then I discovered photography. And I fell in love with it and got pretty good at it. When I realized that I could do this thing that I love and at least get paid in some way or another for it from time to time I decided that was a good goal to have. So I’ve been working to do things I love in photography and make some money along the way doing it.
Prior to getting into photography I never thought about being a business owner. I just thought I’d have a job working for someone. Hopefully a job I liked but still a job as an employee.
What is one of the biggest challenges you find in being a business owner?
For me I think it’s trying to decide what to pursue and what not to. There’s so many avenues available in photography and it can be hard to choose what you want to do with it. I tend to do a little bit of a lot of things without specialization. And at times that can be a trap. Wanting to do it all.
Another big challenge is not trying to chase the money. Some types of photography have a more straight forward business model and process for generating income. And while I do some of that type of work I do it in a very particular style and it’s not the focus of my work.
From time to time I’ll create a photograph and someone will see it and say I should be doing more of that. And maybe following that path would be more profitable its not the type of photography that truly inspires me. And it’s that passion and inspiration that got me into photography. It would be great to be creating photography as a full time job but if I was creating photography doing something that I wasn’t truly passionate about I would just burn out.
What is your way of preventing burnout, or at least finding a work/life balance?
There are a couple of aspects to this for me. Preventing burnout for me means pursuit of only things that truly inspire me. I’ve heard it expressed this way. It’s either a Hell Yeah or a no.
If I am not excited about it I try to say no to it. That also means letting go of things that used to be exciting for me but no longer are.
I think my idea of work life balance has shifted over the years. Especially since I’ve listened to more creative people talk about their lives. I used to think work life balance meant that every day your work life and personal life is in balance.
Now I think it’s more an overall balance. There will be times you are working really hard at your craft. And times you can back off. There will be times where you will be all encompassed by some personal passion. But overall time spent in pursuit of various goals in life should balance. As well as time at rest.
Running fits into this cycle as well. If I have big running goal I train really hard for months. But after that event is over I back off my training and just have fun with my running more casually.
I think one thing that helps me avoid burnout has been learning to accept what I cannot control. I put myself out there to try and bring something into existence and if it doesn’t work out I try not to take it too hard.
Why doesn’t 24/7 hustle work?
I think the biggest thing about a 24/7 hustle that doesn’t work is that there is just a law of diminishing returns on just about everything. There will always be something more you can do, but how much closer does that one more thing get you to your goal.
If you are grinding 24/7 you will never be at your best. Better to bring your A game when it matters most for those critical few hours than your B or C game all day every day
That manifests in a very real way for me. I take way more photos than I can ever sort through edit and categorize. I used to spend all my free time at my computer editing images. Deleting the bad ones and organizing the keepers. But this is a fools errand. I’ll never be done. So now I work on it in set time limits. But only after I complete tasks I can actually complete and that will move my photography forward.
What is your key to success? Why are you still up and running and succeeding even though these are challenging times?
I think for me it’s been an evolution and a willingness to try new things that scare the crap out of me. I have had successes in a lot of different ways over the years, but I don’t keep banging the same drum all the time. If something isn’t working for me I am willing to move on to something else and see how I can succeed there.
What piece of advice would you give to your fellow small business owners?
I don’t consider myself qualified to give advice especially not about running a business but one thing I would sat is if there is something you want to do, do it. Something that scares you but you want to do step outside your comfort zone and try to make it happen. This can be in business or in your personal life. Doing the things that we find personal meaning in is what makes life worth living and it will keep you from burning out. You never know what you can do until you try. If someone told me 20 years ago some of the things I’ve done I’d laugh in your face. Being on a podcast is right up there. I haven’t done anything amazing or special just made choices that lead me to a life I never imagined for myself. A life I never new I wanted.
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