In 2019, I came across a profound book, Company of One, by Paul Jarvis, that has since acted as a compass for my professional journey.
This pivotal read, paired with my affinity towards the principles outlined in Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants and my financial planning background, has significantly shaped my vision for my professional future.
As I embark on a new solo venture as a photographer and filmmaker, I want to share my thoughts on this significant transition.
My previous role as a financial planner has shaped my professional values. I spent a considerable part of my career guiding my clients in answering a crucial question—how much is ‘enough’?
During this time, I realised the importance of this question, not just in financial terms but also in personal success and happiness. The awareness that ‘enough’ can be a fulfilling destination rather than a limiting one has been transformative.
For the longest time, societal norms have dictated the trajectory of success.
In Company of One, Paul Jarvis asserts:
Society has ingrained in us a very particular idea of what success in business looks like. You work as many hours as possible, and when your business starts to do well, you scale everything up in every direction.
The statement resonated with me deeply. Running my small creative agency, I was entrapped in this ceaseless cycle of scaling and expanding, pushing towards an undefined epitome of success.
In my mid-40s, however, my understanding of professional success has evolved. This pivotal shift in perspective led me to question the status quo and reconsider my professional ambitions.
I began to reflect on what truly mattered to me and realised that it was not the size of my work but its quality that was significant.
I started to prioritise time freedom and flexibility, elements that had always been essential but were often pushed to the back burner in the relentless pursuit of growth.
My admiration of Small Giants by Bo Burlingham influenced this newfound mindset.
Burlingham’s celebration of companies that chose to be great rather than big underlined the validity and value of my evolving professional ethos. It provided an inspirational template, demonstrating that success can be reimagined outside conventional growth and expansion constraints.
The decision to transition from running a creative agency to being a ‘company of one’ as a photographer, filmmaker and content marketing coach was a natural evolution in this journey of self-discovery and professional maturity. It felt liberating to align my professional aspirations with my personal values finally.
The photographer in me relished the possibility of capturing moments of truth, while the filmmaker looked forward to weaving stories that mattered.
Stepping into this new role, I am acutely aware that my journey does not fit society’s conventional success narrative. But I’m at peace with that.
I am committed to doing great work, not necessarily big work, and deriving fulfilment from the quality of my output rather than the size of my business.
Looking forward, I am excited to embark on this new chapter in my professional journey, driven by the understanding that success is not about being the biggest but being true to one’s values, creating work that one is proud of, and ultimately, knowing when enough is enough.
I’m hugely grateful to James and Kathryn for their contribution to the Bear Content journey to date, and wish them every success as they both embark on the next stage of their careers.
In the end, it is all about redefining success on your own terms.
It’s about understanding that you can be a small giant, or a company of one, and still make a significant impact.
Here’s to the journey ahead and the exciting stories yet to be captured and told.📸 Transitioning from running a creative agency to being a solo photographer, filmmaker & content coach, I've redefined my professional ambitions. In my latest blog, I discuss this pivot & the freedom it brought me 👉… Click To Tweet