We had the good fortune of connecting with kyle jeffrey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi kyle, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
With every decision you make you’re weighing risk vs reward, and risk is inherently scary. It’s the reason why most of us end up living mundane lives – the least risky path to follow is the one with the lowest amount of resistance and the most predictable outcome. That might work for some people but for me, it’s always been much more exciting to take big risks that could end up being potentially life changing. Of course I don’t recommend living life this way for everyone, I just happen to get bored really easily so I can’t stay in one place for too long before trying something new. The biggest life risk I’ve ever taken was moving across the country from NYC to LA with no place to live, no job, and no friends. I will admit, it was incredibly stupid so I definitely do NOT recommend people choose homelessness over stability when moving to a new city. However, I placed a bet on myself that paid off because I knew I had what it takes to hustle and find my way. And I did. It was not fun initially but it was always exciting.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There is one piece of advice that I give to everyone no matter what industry they’re in. It’s what has always helped me and what I truly believe everyone can benefit from: always lead with kindness. I know it’s corny but people want to work with people they enjoy being around. And kindness is infectious. Think about how often you encounter rudeness and arrogance, generally speaking. Now think about the people in your life who always put you in a good mood and make you feel like your best self. Be the latter person for someone else. Be that person when you order your coffee and be that person when you interview for jobs. You’ll see that more often than not opportunities will find you when you have a reputation for being an awesome person. I know for a fact that I have gotten jobs over more qualified people simply because I’m a generally nice person who’s always trying to brighten up the room. That has been and always will be the greatest lesson. The other piece of advice I’ll give is to stop copying other people’s styles and instead focus on creating your own. It was always my intention to make sure my work stands out in an endless feed of photos and I believe I achieved that. When everyone goes right, go left. If you do that, client’s will start hiring you because they want YOUR style and no one can do you better than you can 🙂
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
At the top of my list would be the Huntington Library. If you’ve ever been, you know why. If you haven’t been, stop reading this and go now. Then there are the usual things like hikes and beaches. When people come here I actually like to take them outside of LA – The desert in the Spring, Big Sur in the summer, Oak Glen or Julian in the Fall, Wrightwood in the Winter, etc. But if you’re hanging out in LA and plan to eat at any point, go to Oui Melrose and order a Tony Khachapuri (also known as a cheese boat). You can thank me later. 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?
I’m one giant sponge so I have absorbed ideas and wisdom from lots of people throughout my life, too many to name. But one writer/entrepreneur that has had a huge impact on my life and world-view is James Altucher. He has written a bunch of books (all of them worth reading), lots of blogs, and has an interview podcast. He just has a wealth of knowledge about starting businesses, making and losing tons of money (and then making it and losing it and making it all over again), to figuring out what to do with your life and the best ways to find success in the new gig economy. One of the running themes of his work is “choose yourself,” which is also the title of one of his books. It essentially means the best thing to invest in for the most promising long-term return is, yourself. If you spend your money on learning a new skill, for example, you will automatically become more valuable to potential employers simply because you have a greater breadth of knowledge and skill than someone who is only good at one thing. Or if you want to do your own thing you can diversify, thus creating more revenue streams. And with the way the economy is changing, diversification is your greatest power. Think of it this way: if you put 100% of your energy into being good at only one thing and that door closes where will you go? I like to know that if one door closes, there are 3 more I can walk through if I need to.
Copyright Kyle Jeffrey