We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Bean and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marisa, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I like to consider myself more of a traditional thinker than an innovator. Usually, innovation means more risk, and I generally prefer to take small risks, or no risk at all.

However, life has pushed me more to find the courage to take bigger risks. I’ve discussed in the past the “10s of courage” rule that has helped me take bigger risks. Once you start down that path, it gets easier and easier to accept bigger risks. You really have to think, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” If you have literally nothing to lose, why not go for it? If what you lose is a little bit of comfort, give it a shot. If you might lose money, can you make it back? how quickly? how much does it affect your life? and if you see something doable, then do it. I saw a movie one time that said “the bigger the struggle, the bigger the victory.”

In many cases that is true, but in some cases the struggle is so big, the victory just isn’t worth it. I usually evaluate my risks with my family. If the decision to take a risk harms or jeopardizes my family in any permanent way, I don’t make it. With every risk, there’s always a bargain. It’s either time, money, or relationships. Try to avoid or minimize risks that harm relationships, they are not worth it.

I took my first big risk in 2009 when I started my first company in the middle of an economic crisis. I decided to be an entrepreneur and become my own boss so that I could have more control over my employment. I had nothing to lose by taking that risk, since at that point I had already lost my normal job. It was a huge risk to take, considering I had just graduated from university, but I was confident I could make it work.

Looking back, I can tell you I had to make really big decisions at a young age, but I don’t regret it. Each risk you take gives you knowledge and experience, and that gives you the confidence to take bigger risks in the future. The bigger the risk you take, the more profit you can make, so long as you work hard, work ethically, and have educated judgement. If you like the adrenaline of taking big risks, go ahead and take the leap, but be aware of all the possible outcomes. Research where you stand before you venture, research the market, have references, ask many questions, seek expert advice. A person who takes big risks, has to have a sense of responsibility, otherwise it’s not risk, it’s roulette.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Corner Studio is a boutique design and photography studio that seeks to find creative solutions for my clients. I dare to say that what sets me apart from others is the personal relationship I build with my clients. For me, it’s not only about money, but about understanding the actual need and story of what my client is trying to achieve. I start my business meetings with a good coffee, and casual conversation.

What I’m currently most proud of is being where I am today, in knowledge and clients, compared to when I started. What I’m most excited about is what my next project is going to be. I got to where I currently am by hard work, ethical values, and increasing knowledge. I remember four years ago, I went to a Pumpkin Patch to do walk-in mini sessions. Each weekend I would pack my little cart with the small set and wait for clients. I remember joking with my husband, “yay, I made $20!” It was tiring because the spot I was provided was sunny all day, but each weekend I had more and more clients. All of a sudden I got people asking “did you take this picture? I want one, just like that”.

Hard work speaks for itself. There’s no better publicity than word of mouth. There have been big challenges along the way, but one call to search for advice can get you out of trouble. Build a network and be loyal to it. Support each other, grow together, and never stop learning. Every day there’s a chance for improvement. Believe in yourself, and be brave. You’ve got this!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would kick the week off with breakfast at the French Market Café in Venice; the breakfast sandwiches and coffee go down wonderfully in a dining area that gives a quiet pause from the busyness of the surrounding city. We would then take a walk through the canals on our way to the ocean front, where we would rent bicycles for a ride to Santa Monica.

After grabbing an ocean front lunch at the Water Grill, we’d spend the afternoon sightseeing and people watching on the Santa Monica Pier and the Promenade. Tuesday, we’d take the morning off and then head into El Segundo to start the afternoon off with a drink at the cozily hidden R6 distillery. Early dinner at Rock & Brews is next on the list where you can always rely on a cold pour and some good food, with a musically inspired menu that has something for everyone’s tastes. We finally close the night with a visit to the Brewport, where you can custom-fit your very own alcohol tasting experience. Wednesday is a recovery day in El Segundo, where we would grab coffee and donuts at Philz and Randy’s, respectively, before taking in some nature on a relaxing walk down the Veteran’s Parkway (locally referred to as the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt, or the wood-chip trail).

Then, finish the day early with a nice relaxing lunch on the Strand at Good Stuff in Hermosa Beach, before heading in for the night for an early Thursday. Which is when we would hit Dive N Surf to rent paddle boards for an early morning float around King Harbor in Redondo Beach, where we may get the chance for a close-up with the local Sea Lions, a clear view of the sea life in the shallows, and the invigorating smell of the ocean. Once we’ve fully worn out our arms, and probably fallen in a few times, we’ll hit dry land to get a late breakfast (Huevos Rancheros as big as your head for under $10) and rousing conversation at the Cozy Café.

Afterward, we’d head over to the Hermosa Pier for an afternoon walk with coffee and pastries from Café Bonaparte. Slater’s 50/50 is my go-to for dinner and drinks at the pier, where they’ve found a way to make bacon a part of almost every item on their menu, including some of the drinks! Friday would be another slow day with trip down to Long Beach for a tour, and possibly tea if there’s time, on the Queen Mary. Lunch would be at the Federal in downtown Long Beach, where a historic bank has been converted into a beautiful restaurant and speakeasy. Saturday is a day for Manhattan Beach, with coffee and donuts (again) at Blue Star donuts for a nice walk along the strand.

Once we’ve spent enough time imagining ourselves in any of the string of houses which we’d never be able to afford in multiple lifetimes, we would settle in for lunch at the Kettle, a 24-hour staple for good American comfort food. After lunch, we’d sneak down to Redondo Beach once more to grab an ice cream at Handel’s. My personal favorite is a combo of the S’mores and Graham Central Station. Sunday, at the culmination of a best week in greater Los Angeles, we would have to head to The Broad, a modern architectural piece of art containing similarly modern exercises in testing the boundaries of what art is and means. Once we’ve completed our tour of the Broad we would walk a few blocks South to wrap up the week at Cassel’s Hamburgers.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to thank God, first, for giving me my talents. Along my career I have had the unconditional support of my parents and brothers, and my husband has tagged along pretty well in the last seven years. They each have a piece of advice, a little push (or rather big, haha) in my career and success. I also want to thank my children, they are the reason I do my best to make a difference in at least one person’s life.

Website: www.thecornerstudio.net
Instagram: @thecornerphotography
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-bean-875883a5
Facebook: @thecornerphotography

Image Credits
Portrait of Marisa Bean by Thomas Williamson (@twilliamsonphoto)