What is The Unconventional Life?
The Unconventional Life is simply this-
“You doing business and life in a way that is “Unconventional” to others in your industry.”
Right now you might be thinking to yourself, could this be me, am I Unconventional? The answer is YES!! How can this be?? Because, you are you! You are different than anyone else around you! You are not supposed to be a cookie cutter business man or woman, you are too unique to be like someone else!
Our purpose at The Unconventional Life is to help you and others like you find their voice and identity in being The Unconventional.
My name is Luke and I’m the co-owner of Luke & Ashley Photography. As we enter our 5th year as wedding photographers I want to go back and reflect on our humble beginnings. Back in 2011 we were on the verge of bankruptcy. 3 kids, on food stamps, and barely making ends meet with a $12 per hour job and $86,000 in debt. During 2011 we discovered something amazing. We realized people would pay us $25 to take their family pictures and deliver the pictures to them on a CD!!!! Our minds were blown! I am a entrepreneur at heart so immediately we went into business!! With a basic camera in hand and a simple ad on Craigslist we went to town!! We booked family sessions, high school senior sessions and our first wedding at $200! Man, we were bringing in the dough! We were desperate to do whatever it takes to get us out of our financial situation.
Soon after that we discovered this amazing world of other photographers in our local area. Immediately we thought, we are horrible! Self-comparison sprang up, doubt, and intimidation came pounding on our door.
It was like we were standing at the foot of a massive mountain thinking to our selves, how in the world do we even start climbing this?
We began to look around at others in the industry, everyone was all at different stages in their own business, and we felt small. Who were we to think we could even do this? Yet we felt so determined to make this business work that we knew we had to climb the mountain, but how? We saw some people take the path to the right, some people were going left, others seemed to jump in a rocket and just take-off over the mountain! Yet our business just seemed to crawl as if we got the slowest pack mule possible to take us up to the mountain. I’m sure many of you have felt this way, the going is slow or it is not moving at all. You feel stuck at the spot your in, looking around at others as they accelerate to success. We felt the same thing, then one day it occurred to us;
“What does it take to be successful?”
Is it looking like someone else, booking 25 plus weddings in a year, being a full time photographer, attending every workshop and meet up in our area? Spending hours behind a computer neglecting your family, creating a image on social media thats fake, not being true to you?
None of those “identities” brought us success or made us feel like we have finally “made-it”. If anything they drove us insane! Chasing the latest fad or trend in the industry will kill your spirt and destroy your creativity. Your probably thinking I have heard this before from so many others, this is nothing new. Your right its not, but if your not careful you will end up like so many, burnt out and defeated. We want you to know there is hope and here is how we found it!
Take a good look at the following definition and really spend some time thinking about it-
adjective un·con·ven·tion·al \-ˈvench-nəl, -ˈven(t)-shə-nəl\
Full Definition of unconventional
: not conventional : not bound by or in accordance with convention : being out of the ordinary <an unconventional outfit> <an unconventional thinker>
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary
We saw the mountain and decided to climb it, UNCONVENTIONALLY.
Ashley and I realized that if we want to be successful in our photography business and life we need to do things that fit our lifestyle and allows us to be different from others. Imagine for me everyone you know that has a business is standing at the bottom of this same mountain that was I talking about earlier. Everyone starts on the same equal playing field. There is a ref standing at the starting line of this race that we all are about to run, he raises the gun, there comes this hushed silence as everyone anticipates the shot from the gun and POW there it is. Everyone takes off knowing that they all have to climb the same mountain to get to the other side. There is no path, there are no instructions and there is nothing standing in your way but your will to climb. Immediately there are people who have the creativity to build a vehicle out of mid air, climb in and drive up the mountain, Then there are others that build that rocket, climb in, take off and blow us away in their smoke. Others just start running looking for the best foothold to grab onto, others follow them. As you stand there looking at all that is happening in front of you, you start to second guess your capability to even get started, or maybe you climbed up the first 50 feet and hit your first little hurdle and panic! That was us. We saw others move up this mountain of life and business and it caused our heads to spin. In that moment of second guessing our purpose in this journey we decided to be different, not just Unconventional, but to live a Unconventional Life!
And it is funny that we use the term unconventional.
Unconventional is actually everyone. We are all different. We all have different minds, cultures, ways of thinking. Yet, for some reason we tend to think that we are wrong for being different. We are wrong for not looking like the masses. Beauty is the differences of our society.
It was amazing to see what happened next! As we planted or feet firmly on the idea to lead an Unconventional Life our business took off! We looked up the mountain, saw leaders, saw failures, had a few failures our self, took from what we saw and created us! Not a cookie cutter of others, but us! We created a couple, a business, a family and a life that is Unconventional to those around us. Nothing is wrong with those around us, we just knew that their definition of success wasn’t for our family.
As we move forward in this direction in our lives, as we create this Tribe of like minded followers, we want you to know that its okay to be different. Your success will never look like someone else. Someone else’s success will never reflect in your success. The sooner you realize that it has to be about you, your drive to climb the mountain, your desire to be uniquely creative in your approach to success, the sooner you will embrace this grand adventure that this life has for you.
The team here at The Unconventional Life wants to help you find that creativity, to help you climb that mountain not in the same way we did, but in a way that allows you to be you! I will leave you with this-
BE, UNCONVENTIONAL. LIVE AN UNCONVENTIONAL LIFE.