We had the good fortune of connecting with Jashim Jalal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jashim, what matters most to you?
I was born in Bangladesh and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Education was the biggest pillar in our family and anything short of “success” was not acceptable to my immigrant parents, The work ethic instilled in me was to always work hard and do more.
In hindsight, this wasn’t the healthiest mindset, but as I’ve maneuvered through my career, my approach to work ethic has empowered me to be ambitious, take risks, and stay hungry; through all of that, I’ve realized that no matter how successful you become or where life takes you; who you are is defined by how you treat other people.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
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?
My parents were learning business, and surviving in America on their way to running two different restaurants. Unfortunately, all of that effort and the eventual the failure of the businesses has lead them to believe that a “stable 9-5” job was the only way to enjoy living. It was an uphill battle to get my parents to believe in an entrepreneurial journey. However, I was determined to pursue my passion in the arts (photography). As a photographer, I got lost in perfecting my craft. Learning the business side of things was the hard part.
I understood early on that in order to do what I love (photography), I needed to learn and understand how to run a business. I studied as many successful entrepreneurs I could; following their daily habits and trying to think like them, and perceive opportunity and risk like them. (book suggestion: The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J Stanley).
It was through consistent effort and dedication to read, learn and understand business, that I’ve accumulated an abundance of business knowledge. Theory and knowledge is great, but it was through application and experimentation that I found the most success. I realized early on that what worked for someone else may not work for me, so I would implement different practices from influential people into my daily lifestyle until I found a good balance of what allows me to be the most productive and efficient version of myself. Paired with some luck, I found these intentional decisions to create favorable opportunities for myself.
When It comes to my business as a wedding photographer, I was able to build on the business knowledge and my passion for photography to deliver an unparalleled service, because I care about my couples as people and not as Invoice ID. Going back to my philosophy that no matter how good my photography or how profitable the margins are, people will always remember how you made them feel.
As a creative it’s hard to emotionally detach ourselves from our work, but the best thing you can do for your livelihood is to “Feed the business, so the artist doesn’t starve”. I haven’t heard this anywhere, so I’m coining this. But I started saying this to myself, when I noticed the common expectation of a creative entrepreneur was that they would be a broke artist. My advice to all creatives starting a business, is to pursue knowledge relentlessly and face fear head on. The fear may be the obstacle in your life that makes you think “what if” or it could be the lesson that teaches you the endless possibilities once you conquer it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m glad I get to do this in NYC!!
Let’s stroll through Central Park and go to one of the many many amazing museums.
Enjoy the views and creamy ice cream from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (DUMBO, Brooklyn).
Places to eat:
Mahmouds Corner Halal Food Cart (34th Ave and Steinway St) THE BEST!
Up Thai (Upper east side)
Kanafe from Al-Sham Sweets & Pastries (25th Ave and Steinway St)
Bengali Tea from Premium Sweets (Hillside Ave)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to my mom and dad both have unwavering entrepreneurial spirits. After a few failed restaurants and still being able to accomplish their vision of the American Dream of owning their own home. I’ve learned that failure is one of the best parts of living. They’ve taught me to embrace failure and continue to aspire, learn, and grow. Huge shoutout to my wife! Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, my wife has taught me the immense value in a strong support system. It’s with these core values and support systems that I’ve learned to respect and appreciate the self growth and self discovery of the process.
One of the best books I can recommend: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
It has taught me how to be compassionate towards others and empowered me to be a critical thinker
Jashim Jalal Studios, Inc