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Episode 620: A Mindset for Success – Byron Hopkins

Photographer Byron Hopkins wasn’t always a photographer. An athlete, a multi-tour Marine, an author, a speaker – Byron has experienced and accomplished a lot! In this Bokeh Podcast episode, Byron shares the important lessons he’s learned about mindset – and how those lessons have enabled growth and accomplishment in his life!

The Bokeh Podcast is brought to you by Photographer’s Edit: Custom Editing for the Professional Photographer. You can subscribe to the Bokeh podcast on the Apple podcast app, follow on Spotify, add to your playlist on Stitcher, or listen on Overcast.

Show Notes:

What is the most important principle that allows Byron to provide customers with a great experience? (1:25)

What is one tip Byron can share about practicing effective time management? (4:58)

What is one book that Byron would recommend? (11:30)

What does it look like when making decisions about who you want to be and what direction you want to go in? (14:00)

What is Byron’s favorite piece of camera gear? (20:35)

Byron’s introduction and back story (23:35)

How did Byron transition from the Marines to motivational speaking and other business ventures? (35:43)

3 shifts for changing your worldview (45:35)

  1. Don’t be so “Me-Centered”
  2. Seek thankfulness
  3. Focus on serving others

How can photographers who struggle with insecurity work to find confidence? (51:45)

Use “Bokeh” as the discount code for 30% off on any item at burselffirst.com


Episode Transcript

Nathan (00:00:00):
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome back to the Bokeh Podcast. I’m your host, Nathan Holritz. Happy Friday to you. It is good to have you here today. If you’re not following us on Instagram or on social media in general, actually at Bokeh Podcast, b o k e h podcast, please make sure to do so. Keep up to date with the upcoming episodes that we will be streaming, and of course, then pushing to all the audio platforms. I’m really excited, actually, today to introduce a brand new guest to the Bokeh Podcast. Byron Hopkins is here with me. Byron, thank you so much for doing this show, man. I’m super stoked for this.

Byron (00:00:33):
Yeah, I’m super excited, man. Thank you for having me.

Nathan (00:00:36):
Well, and we’re gonna get into a, a conversation that may seem a little bit nebulous to people where we talk about the idea of utilizing mindset for the sake of success. I know that’s kind of a broad topic. We could spend hours and hours and hours here, but I’m sure as our listeners kind of listen in to the conversation, they’ll, they’ll have a little bit more context to why we’re going here. And I’m stok to kind of get your perspective on mindset, not only for the sake of success in our personal life, but also for the sake of business as well. Absolutely. Absolutely. We’re gonna get there in a second, but I’d like to, to just kind of a, as a way to introduce our guests to the audience and, and get little tidbits of information, especially for those that can maybe only listen in for a few minutes. I like to ask a series of just very quick, rapid fire questions. And so I want to get into this first, the first question for you, from your experience, customer experience when it comes to running a business and, and building successful business customer experience is, is really everything at the end of the day. Mm-Hmm. , and I’m curious, from your experience running business is multiple brands, what you would say is the most important principle that enables you to provide a really great customer experience?

Byron (00:01:42):
For me, especially, it’s you work for them, regardless if it’s my business. If it’s someone else’s business, you know, the, the, the number of businesses that we have. It sounds kind of counterproductive, especially being an entrepreneur, but you work for the customer, like it’s a relationship, and nobody wants to walk away from a relationship feeling like they gave more than they got. I, for me, personally, always want to give more to my customer, to my people, to whoever is, you know, agreeing that what I have for them is something they need. That I go, okay, you know what? I’m gonna go above and beyond because I’m gonna give you everything, because I want you to feel like you’re getting everything and more than whatever you paid for.

Nathan (00:02:23):
That’s good. Yeah. One of my values, and it sounds like you can relate to this, one of my values is service. And I, I just, I have it listed the word service, and the way that I define that for myself is the opportunity to make an impact or to make somebody’s life just a little bit better. It could be tiny little things. Mm-Hmm. , the example I always give on the podcast is like, even going through the checkout counter at Walmart and actually seeing the, the name tag on the cashier’s clothing and calling them by name. It’s amazing how even just that little thing can make an impact, make somebody’s day better, just by acknowledging them, paying attention to them. But that idea of service is something that I don’t think we, I mean, we talk about customer service and we talk about customer experience, but a lot of times photographers get caught up in ego. And the idea that we’re number one priority is that we’re here to serve the customer. That we’re here to take care of the customer, to give them a great experience is kind of missed in the conversation.

Byron (00:03:13):
Yeah. And I a hundred percent agree with the Walmart comment. My daughter and my , my lady would say, stop talking to random people. But it takes people off autopilot. Yeah. It takes you off autopilot when you hear your name, the sweetest sound to any human is their own name. Mm-Hmm. , regardless of anything, you know, so it’s like, oh, you go through the check Logan, hey, how’s it going today, man? They, they literally pop up and, huh. What it was like, how you doing today? And actually, like, have the, you know, the intentionality to just listen. I lean in, I do physical acts that I lean in and I go, Hey, how’s your day going? Then I’ll lean and go, no, now you know that physically I’m waiting for your response and this is, I’m here with you. An autopilot response. And you do that really well, naturally. And I love the simple fact that you just watching your podcast watch, just meeting you in person. Like you can tell, like, if you’re talking to me, you’re only talking to me. Mm. So that’s a, that just, you know, piggybacks on the customer service and just in life, just care. Yeah. ,

Nathan (00:04:07):
It makes such a big difference. Yeah. And, and literally, I’m practically on my, I, I use a standup desk for my podcast. I’m literally my toes, ears talking and, and yeah. Leading me in . There is something about that, that physical exercise of engaging, taking a small step forward, keeping your eyes open, engaging with the person. Mm-Hmm. the tone in your voice. When we have that intentionality that you’re talking about, it translates to the tone of a voice, even. Yeah. Number one, people aren’t used to hearing their name called, but then when they actually hear in the tone of your voice that this isn’t some robotic interaction that you actually mean what you’re saying, that you actually care to engage and hear what they have to say. It is lit, literally a change that makes their day and they weren’t expecting it.

Byron (00:04:43):
It’s simple. Yeah. , yeah. Simple but effective.

Nathan (00:04:47):
Extremely so. Okay. That’s really powerful. I wanna keep moving cuz we have a lot to talk about. Okay. And we’re gonna kind of shift here a little bit to time management. We were actually chatting a little bit about this before we started the show today, , but I’m curious, what principle enables you to better manage your time? Just so at the end of the day, you don’t get burnout running a business. You can also have a, a life as well. Do something besides just sit in front of the computer

Byron (00:05:09):
Wake up early. As far as time management, I wake up earlier than everybody else in my house. Because at five o’clock in the morning, five 30 in the morning, no one wants your day because they’re sleep. So as long as I wake up early, I have a ritual, I stretch, I pray, I write down everything. I write down how I feel right away in the morning. Because as soon as I open my eyes, I go, right now, today I feel like this. And then I write an affirmation and I say, this is me today. And then after that affirmation I go, Hey, this is what I’m gonna do to accomplish this affirmation and to feel this way. So not only am I going, this is how I feel, this is my goal for today. You know, and this is what I’m gonna do to get there.

Then I physically write down boxes and I say, Hey, let’s knock out all these boxes today. Cuz for the most part, if you’re a creative, you’re a kinetic learner. We have to touch, we have to feel, we’ve gotta do things. So for me, time management is so important because I have a family, because I run multiple businesses to stay on track. I give my time to, okay, this is what happens early. I have them my, this is my me time, this is my gym time. Now let’s knock off these things. And it feels good to check the box. Like you can do it on notes or anything or Evernote. But for me, I physically need to check a box and then I’m like, oh yeah, I did something. Yeah, that’s great. And then at the end of the day, I look at it and I go, wow, I really, I really conquered the day here. .

Nathan (00:06:28):
Hmm. Yeah. There’s, there is something, and I don’t know, I mean, maybe, maybe some people would write us off as being kind of too old school. But there is something about writing down, like, I have a notebook here. I’m gonna take notes probably while you’re talking a little bit later. And some, something about that tangible process. And more specifically about being able to check something off. You just, you feel like you’ve accomplished something that feels

Byron (00:06:48):
Good. Yeah.

Nathan (00:06:49):
. Yeah. But then, but there is something to be said about starting early in the day and I’m curious to get your take on this because some would say, Hey, I’m not an early riser. I’m not an early morning person. That’s just not who I, they would frame themselves as not naturally being an early morning person. What is your response to somebody who is just very quick to say that to you? What would you say?

Byron (00:07:10):
I would say, you have nothing to get up for. And I don’t mean that in the worst way. A lot of people don’t get up cuz you have nothing to get up for. You didn’t plan the day before. My day today was planned last night. The day prior was planned, the day prior. You know, you have to have something to get up for something that moves you. When people don’t have quote unquote purpose or they can’t feel like, oh, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Find out what makes you happy. Just go down the list. What makes you happy? Okay, what can I do naturally? Okay, what am I really good at? Not really, not what pays me the most. What am I really good at? What am I passionate about? Write it down. Try it. Just try it. I have a little bit of perfection syndrome, so it’s hard to step out sometimes and do things.

But for me it’s just like, just try it. Just try and see what you’re good at. And if you’re not waking up early in the morning, you have nothing to wake up for. Make your why and your goal stronger. Mm. And the stronger your goal and your why is the earlier your brain goes, well, we have to get up and this is why you have to be a no matter what person. Hmm. So it’s like, you know, this happens no matter what. I’m not gonna praise myself for waking up because this has to happen or it has to happen. Hmm. You know, I have a mentor that says that this has to happen or it has to happen. Hmm. Stop focusing on B, C D E F plan A. That has to happen or it has to happen.

Nathan (00:08:29):
I like it. The other thing too is it seems like the idea of being a quote unquote maing person or not is similar to the way that people frame the idea of personality types a lot of times. Yeah. It’s a behavioral pattern. What we’re representing, if we talk about personality types, it’s largely behavioral patterns. And those behavioral patterns are, at least for the most part, they’re learned, right? Mm-Hmm. very similar to this idea of getting up in the morning earlier or not. We tend to develop a certain pattern. And so yeah, it’s a lot more difficult to get up in the morning early if we don’t do that normally. If it becomes a normal part of our life, then it’s really not even a point of conversation at that point.

Byron (00:09:06):
Yeah, absolutely. I agree. And obviously everyone knows takes, you know, in a certain amount of time to create a habit. But the first step is the first step. Just do it. If you’re scared, do it scared. You know, it’s just take that first step and say, you know what, this is me now. Don’t worry about what happened. Don’t worry about, you know, oh, we haven’t been this type of person. So what, who are you becoming? Not who do you want to be? Who are you becoming? My favorite word is it knowledge. Regardless of all the books and everything that I read, my favorite word is unlearned. To be who I am right now to who I’m becoming. I had to unlearn so many things, whether it’s, you know, just myself, whether it’s my religion, whether it’s some other voices in my head that weren’t mine.

You know, it’s a bus in life. We are all on a bus and you ha you decide how big or small that bus is. For me, I had a huge, you know, yellow school bus and everybody was going and they’re telling me which way to turn and where to go, you know? And then for now, you know who I am now I have a sprinter Van , you know, it’s like, hey, it’s only a couple people here and this is where the bus goes. The bus only stops at Byron Hopkins Drive. It does not go off everywhere else. It does not go off to where you want. If you’re on this bus, you know that this is what we’re driving and putting yourself first is okay because you are in charge of your life. If you’re not, figure out who’s driving your bus, figure out voice is screaming in the back of the bus and either talk to them.

You either ride on this or you get off. You can’t tell the bus driver in life right now and say, Hey, make a right turn right here. That’s not our route. You got on this bus cuz you knew where it was going. You have to do the same thing for yourself. You have to do the same thing for your family members. There’s certain things on your bus, whether it’s your religion, whether it’s your grandparents, whether it’s where you grew up, whether ethnically, culturally, the things that you do. You have to figure out how does this serve me now and who I’m becoming.

Nathan (00:10:58):
Love it man. Love it. And, and cherish on Facebook cherishes saying very true. Hashtag facts . And Adrian, Adrian said, well, well said from Facebook. Thanks for chiming in, Adrian. Appreciate that.

Byron (00:11:09):
What’s going on

Nathan (00:11:09):
Guys? And Lelo said yes. Yeah, you, you’ve got, we got a preacher here and I should just take a step back and let you leave. Hi

Byron (00:11:15):

Nathan (00:11:16):

Byron (00:11:17):
That is mom .

Nathan (00:11:19):
Shout out to mom. Well, I, I wanna keep going cuz I know that we’re gonna have so many different directions to potentially go here. Byron, I’m, I’m already pretty stoked about where we’ve been. But let me transition yet again to a different topic. You strike me. I mean, especially with the books in the background as a reader. And I’m curious if you’d recommend to our listeners a, a book, a self-help book, a business book that has made just a massive impact in your life.

Byron (00:11:40):
I wanted to say a couple, like great business books that we all know about, but literally I read this once a year. The Alchemist, Qualo The Alchemist is one that I always go back to. And they, that’s not a business book. It’s a mindset book. Mm-Hmm. , it’s, I love The Alchemist because it is literally telling you, this is how you create yourself. This is how you build yourself. You can have millions of businesses and you know, as well, but if you don’t have the right mindset, if you don’t have the right spirits, where it’s like, oh, can I lead? Do I know how to lead? Nobody wants a half-hearted leader. So it was like, well, maybe I’m gonna question myself. Maybe I don’t know this, you have to know yourself first. My favorite quote, and I do not wanna mess this up, it’s literally in the back of the book to realize once Destiny is a person’s only obligation, and I love that quote.

I have it written in a couple different spots, but your destiny is also what you’re here for. What you put here for. It’s like, what is my destiny? What is my goal? What is my purpose? If you’re not attacking that every single day, what are you doing? So business-wise, this helps. This book helps to go, okay, what is my goal? Not just for business, for me, if my goal is to serve people and feel a space for people who don’t have X, Y, or Z. Okay, let me go after that. But first let me figure out how I can fix me so I can help someone else. You know, I said a couple of times, I say it when I go speak to people as well. You know, it’s the first thing they tell you on the airplane. Secure your mask first before you try to help someone else.

So I can’t pour out of an empty cup to you. I can’t give you information that I don’t have. So let me go make sure I’m good. My mindset is right. I know exactly what I’m going for. That way, when I do start my business, when I do bring myself to you, because I’m here to help you fix a problem. That’s what every single business is. What problem do you have that I can help you with? Okay, now I know, I know myself, I know my goal, I know what I want. Now let’s work together. It’s a partnership.

Nathan (00:13:37):
I love that. Now, when, and this is, I know this is a deep dive and we’ll, we’ll kind of surface level it for the, for the time being. Maybe we can come back and do another episode at some point. But when we talk about the idea of destiny or deciding what it is that we’re, who we’re wanting to be, number one, and then what we want to do to serve the world at large in life, what would you say to somebody who’s like, you know what? I’m just, I’m, I’m searching for that. A lot of people use the phrase I’m trying to find myself. And I think there’s a, a lot of kind of misplaced logic in that notion. But what does that look like for you, Byron? Making the decision about who you want to be or finding your destiny, your so-called destiny. What does that process look like and what would you recommend to people that feel a little bit lost in that process?

Byron (00:14:18):
Yeah, we can literally go a whole podcast on that , but I’ll

Nathan (00:14:21):
Try to,

Byron (00:14:22):
Fair enough. I’ll try to, I’ll try to squish it down. I, I a hundred percent agree. You’re never finding yourself. I don’t like that either, because you’re with yourself 24 7. Where are you lost? You, you wake up with yourself, you go to sleep with yourself, right? What you’re doing right now is trying to figure out what sparks you, what gets you happy, what gets you excited? Think of something right now, what I would tell someone, think of something right now that gets you super excited, like that you naturally, I can just do this easily for me, it’s photography and a couple other things. I enjoy it. It makes me happy. Okay? Don’t worry about a dollar sign connected to it. Worry about what do I do that makes me so happy? And you go, you know what? I really enjoy doing X, Y, and Z.

Now add like, what would a business be for that? What, as, as me as a person, what can I say? Like, you know what? Wow, I wish this was added to this. And it’s something I love. Oh cool, you just figured out a problem. Now fix it. Don’t ever come with a problem without a solution. Don’t complain without saying, well, this could be the answer for it. Now you go, wow I’m good at this. Here’s a problem. I could now figure out how to fix it. The best thing right now is we have an abundance of knowledge at our fingertips in our pocket, in our phone, typing in on Google chat. G p t is big right now. So it’s like, you don’t have an excuse to why. I was like, oh, I don’t know what I want to do. Just ask a question.

Life starts with questions. Just ask a question and try to figure out the answer. And it’s, it’s a beautiful road. Just take it and go, you know what? I got this. All right, this is what I like. People go away from what I like because social media is showing us a highlight reel of, you know, these are the greatest moments for me. Why aren’t they the greatest moments for you? Okay, now show me behind the scenes. Are you crying behind that camera? As soon as you press stop on that record button, what do you do? Do you hand that car keys back to that random person that you just took a picture on their car? Are you really happy with who you actually are? Mm-Hmm. Are you trying to show me a highlight reel of who you want to be? Because you’re not going to get blessed from who you’re pretending to be. You’re going to get blessed from who you actually are. So until you are who you actually are, no one’s gonna really see you.

Nathan (00:16:25):
I like that. Yeah. And there’s, there’s a conversation that we have here on the podcast quite a bit around this notion of, I, I, I refer to it as a big picture view. Julie Morgan Stern in her book, time Management from the Inside Out, she says, the most successful people in life have a big picture view that enables them to rise above the chaos and maintain perspective. And I, and I like that idea. And I think that so-called chaos can very much be represented in what you were talking about in social media. People just kinda get sucked into social media and they see what everybody else is doing, and then they start to feel bad about themselves. But the reality is that we need to take a step back and develop that so-called big picture, view our values, be aware of our strengths, and then ultimately make, just make a decision about what it is, how we want to serve others in life and lead with that. And then all the other stuff can just get filtered out. If it’s not relevant to, to my values, my strengths and my goals, I don’t need to pay attention to it at that point.

Byron (00:17:17):
I agree a hundred percent. And that’s what, going back to writing things down, I don’t get sidetracked. Things happen in life. Things come up, you know, some stuff’s gonna happen. You go, okay, how do I fix this problem? But if you have all your goals written down, if you have your day written down, if you have, okay, this is what we are doing, whether you’re with your partner, whether you’re by yourself, you know what the end goal is. So if something happens in the middle of your road, you’re like, oh, there’s a fork in the road. Well, I already know I’m turning right? So I don’t have a distraction of, well, what happens if I go left? No, you already know where you’re going because you’ve written it down, you’ve researched it, you know the steps to take on how to get there. And here’s a secret cheat code. If you don’t know the steps, the magic word is look it up, , look it up. And then here’s another thing that I did and that a lot of people do find a mentor. Here’s another thing, research the mentor. Make sure they’re actually a mentor and they know what they’re doing. They have proven steps. So it’s like these people are helped from this mentor. You know, I found, I have a few mentors, you know, I weren’t one of their clothings right now, but you know, which I love

Nathan (00:18:26):
By the

Byron (00:18:26):
Way. Yeah. Oh no. Yeah. I’m gonna shout out. Look, rapper, athlete, entrepreneur, you know,

Nathan (00:18:31):

Byron (00:18:32):
Nehemiah Davis. I found him a long time ago. And a lot of the things that he taught and a lot of things that helped me out, just I pass on to other peoples because we’re all in service. You know, you and I spoke about it. Just being in service and two, service two people is huge. Because no one, if you think about it, and I’ll land the plane with this, if you think about it, the richest people in the world are at service to us. Okay? You go, no, they’re not. Elon Musk created Tesla and was like, okay, what does Tesla do? Okay. Energy efficient cars. Okay, what does Amazon do? Jeff? Amazon. Okay, where do you shop at? 90%. I’m so glad that you bring

Nathan (00:19:07):
Up Amazon. Amazon, yeah. I’m so glad you bring up Amazon, because everybody wanted to get pissed off during Covid when Amazon was raking it in all the cash. And yet we were sitting at home conveniently ordering things from Amazon. And our life was great because of it. You’re absolutely right. They’re, they’re providing services that meet needs and desires that we have.

Byron (00:19:24):
Absolutely. It’s like, okay, well then go to the store. If you don’t like it, go to the store. I don’t wanna go to the store. Then Amazon’s good for you, isn’t it? , you know, he saw a need and he met it. Yeah. And that’s all we’re really doing. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or whether you’re just a person in life, like my motto is to shine a light on everyone. My job, my purpose here, I know my purpose. I, and it’s hard sometimes to be the light in any situation you step into in any kind of aspects of life. Like, I like to shine my light and go, are you sad here? Cuz you can’t hide the house on the hill. You can’t hide the lighthouse on the hill. It’s going to shine throughout the entire place. So it’s like, that’s okay, cool. I know my purpose. And it’s tough sometimes cuz you wanna get down and be petty with other people. But it’s like, that’s not who I am. Mm. And who I am is the person that goes, you know what, there’s another side to this. No matter how thin you slice this piece of bread, there’s two sides to it. I’m gonna take the good side cuz that’s who I am. You know, it’s a calling cuz it’s tough. But that’s who I am and I love it.

Nathan (00:20:21):
Oh, well. And, and I love this conversation. PK Mackey says, from Facebook, she says, deep. And this is deep and we’re gonna continue to go deep. But I am gonna take a break from that for two seconds and ask you a little bit what might seem like a trite question at the moment about your favorite piece of camera gear. Because as we’re gonna talk about, oh yeah, you have, you have quite an interesting backstory, but you’re also a photographer and I noticed there’s,

Byron (00:20:46):
Sounds like we lost you.

Nathan (00:20:51):
Yep. There we go. Bring you back in. Sorry. There we go. Hit the wrong button. .

Byron (00:20:55):
It happens. Yeah.

Nathan (00:20:56):
What, when nobody sees us, I’ve got this whole kind of production thing going on right here in front of me. And every once in a while I hit the wrong button. So my apologies to, but what I was gonna say though is we, as much as we’re going deep in conversation you’re also a photographer and, and we’re gonna kind of talk about how you got to that place. But I’m curious for the photographers listening in, what your favorite piece of camera gear is right now in your camera bag.

Byron (00:21:18):
Oh my newest piece of camera gear. My lovely 10, around 35, 1 50 lens. This doesn’t leave my camera now because if I’m going 35 and one 50, especially at 2.8, and you know, a lot of the other cameras are gonna, our lenses are gonna stop. You’re gonna start stopping up at like where do we go? I can go 70 at 2.8 and it’s like, that’s impossible. But it’s my favorite camera piece because I can literally put this on for the entire wedding. The entire wedding. Mm-Hmm. . And everyone’s like, oh, can you, yes, I actually can. I can do an entire wedding. One lens, no switches. And it’s fantastic. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it. . I had some other lenses that I was using, but this one is like literally I don’t have to worry about anything. I can put my bag in a room or wherever I need to put in my bag and have this and just swap out batteries. And it is absolutely my favorite and I absolutely love it. Cause photographer’s 1:00 AM I using, cuz it’s like, why does your camera look weird? Here we go. . I got a cool skin on there as well. I love it. I got a Sony a seven R three. This is literally one of my favorite skins. And it took a while to put it on because it is very, very hard , but it stays weather resistant, all that good stuff. And I know when it’s my camera. But yeah, absolutely.

Nathan (00:22:31):
Good. What company are you ordering those skins from for those that might be curious?

Byron (00:22:34):
Cams Skins.

Nathan (00:22:36):
Cams. Skins. Perfect. Okay. Cam, skin, skin.

Byron (00:22:38):
It’s an easy, perfect name. .

Nathan (00:22:39):
Yeah. That, no, that’s great. And I, I know it’s, we kind of do things a little bit backwards here at Bokeh and that we don’t necessarily jump right into a formal introduction of our guests, but for anybody who’s curious, Byron is a photographer. And I’m gonna pop this up on screen. Candid candid camera imaging.com Make. And the same thing on Instagram, by the way. Make sure you go check it out. I’ll go ahead and pop this up. For those of you that are live streaming with us, if you go to candid camera imaging.com, you can see what, by the way, Byron is just beautiful, beautiful work. Endless examples of Thank you. Really gorgeous work. So major props to you and shout out to you for, for that work. Thank you. We’re we’ll link to this in the show notes@Bokehpodcast.com. And on that note, I kinda wanna segue into the primary conversation at hand bef about this idea of mindset.

And everybody’s listening in. They already get the idea that you’ve got a strong mindset when it comes to a variety of things. But I’d love for you to share not only with our audience, but with myself as well, a bit of the backstory to how you got here. Because you cer you actually went on multiple tours as a Marine. You’re an athlete, a speaker NLP practitioner. I mean, the list just kind of, he seems to keep going. It’s a really impressive resume. But of course it also, our experience in life informs who we become if we allow it to in the best way possible. Will you share just a bit of backstory as to how you got to this place?

Byron (00:23:58):
Oh man. The journey of becoming Byron . Well a lot of mistakes actually. A lot of, a lot of things wrong. To where I don’t agree, when people, right now, the cool thing is to not take ls or you know, oh, look at this l this person took and everyone’s videotaping it. I don’t take losses. I take learning lessons. It’s like, okay, cool, now I know what not to do. So for me it was hurry up and failing forward, fail forward, fall forward so that way you can get up. Really took a lot. , the Marine Corps taught me and gave me a lot of things that I needed as far as the discipline. And it’s helping with time management. Everyone always asked me this question, you went on two tours, Afghanistan, you were in the Marine Corps, you went during a war.

It’s, it’s tough. Would you do it again? Yes. Without hesitation, yes. I would do it again. Knowing everything that would go the exact same way. There’s friends and brothers that I have for life that I would never have even seen without the Marine Corps. Yeah. And how I got here was just a lot of life lessons, a lot of doing things the wrong way. And then finally going, okay how do I fix this? Having enough foresight to go, you know what, there’s a couple things that I’m doing wrong and it’s not helping me. So I got to a point in life where I said, well, if it’s not serving me, then it doesn’t need to be here. Especially during Covid, COVID gave me a really good sit down to where I was alone with myself and my thoughts, which is dangerous for a lot of us, .

And to go, you know, how do I really wanna successfully do this thing? You know, what makes me happy? What makes me sad? You know, what trauma am I carrying with me? Like a backpack? I tell people when I speak to the kids in school, you know, trauma’s a big backpack and you’re carrying it around, whether it’s you or whether it’s one of your family members or anything in life. You’re putting rocks into that backpack constantly. You know, whether it’s like, okay, this is me, this is my religion, this is what my parents think. Oh, something traumatic happened to me. Put a rock in. You know, and veering off to the side a little bit. Finding a person or a group of people that take the rocks outta your pack is so powerful. And that’s why I say a mentor in a strong circle and a strong group of people is important.

And other than finding whatever religion that you have, you know, the second most important thing is finding the right partner. Luckily for me, I found a really good partner, who took almost all the rocks out of my bag and not saying that she completed me. Cause I hate that phrase, when we both go in as a hundred, I’m a hundred percent of a person, she’s a hundred percent a person. Yep. And we come together. Nobody wants 50 50, cuz it’s not 50 50. I don’t want 50% of anything. I want a hundred percent of all of it. So finding that person helped me continue on my journey, which is a lifelong journey of finding the things that grow me as a person and what I can do to help other people. Because I know my entire life is service. I’m in service to my partner. I wake up, I’m in service to, to my kids. I’m in service to my family. So knowing that that’s the case and having a good home base, you know, my circle is pretty much 90% women. I’ve got my best friend woman I’ve got my daughter, I’ve got my mom, I’ve got my lady. And it just really helped to where they’re a great sounding board. They’ll tell you when you’re doing something wrong. ,

Nathan (00:27:30):
Is your partner’s name Camille Byron?

Byron (00:27:32):

Nathan (00:27:33):
She, she chimed in and says, Hey, hey. Yes, he did. So, so yeah, shout out both ways, I guess in this one. Shout out

Byron (00:27:39):
Camille. Huh?

Nathan (00:27:40):
. Thanks Camille for chiming in. That’s awesome. Yeah. Yeah.

Byron (00:27:44):
That, that’s great. I didn’t even, but

Nathan (00:27:44):
What a cool, you know, it, it’s, it’s unfortunate a lot of times romantic relationships. And how long have y’all been together?

Byron (00:27:50):
Oh, 25. No. coming up on three years. Yeah. That,

Nathan (00:27:54):
That’s awesome. But a lot of times in, when, when you hear, when you talk to someone about their whatever romantic relationship they’re in, it tends to go negative. You know, it’s about like this problem, they’re having that problem. We all have problems, obviously, but I just love that you lead with such a positive energy around that, around that relationship, number one. But maybe even more importantly, or probably enables that positive energy is that focus on service. You mention it again, you talked about how you wake up in service to your family and that mindset and that mentality, honestly, in, in the last, even the last few months, Brian, it’s something that I’m really like holding on to tightly mm-hmm. and trying to live out more consistently in my life on a day-to-day basis too, with certainly my personal life, with my team in my company. And it’s a mindset shift that that just really makes a massive, massive difference in our overall attitude day-to-day.

Byron (00:28:43):
Yeah. and that comes with us as men. You know, unlearning what we were quote unquote taught as, you know, to be a leader, you gotta do X, Y, and Z to be a powerful, strong meal. You have to do X, Y, and z. And being at service to them frees them up. Whether it’s your employees, whether it’s your spouse to be at service to you, because you’re not gonna just sit and be like, oh, I’m just gonna sit here and receive everything. That’s one, that’s a bad person. Get them outta your life. But two, you’re teaching them how to love you and they’re doing vice versa, whether it’s a relationship, whether it’s a business relationship. You teach people how to treat you. So I’m telling you right now that these are the things that have to happen for me, for me to receive the kind of love that I, you know, that I need.

You know, and I think for us as males, and no guy , this drives guys crazy. When I say is like, for my partner, the reason why I’m happy, I’m safe. And that’s such a weird statement for a man to say, you safe, I’m safe enough to be me and my relationship. I’m safe enough to be vulnerable. If I need to be, I’m safe enough to tell her my dreams, my, my thoughts, my fears. And then for us, we’re providing the safety. We’re providing this, this cocoon of like, yes, I’m a big strong, I’m six five, I’m 6 5, 2 60. I can protect you. You know? But there’s a certain part of it to whereas men, we have to feel safe too. Cause a lot of ’em, oh, what do you know? Why are you guys so happy? I was like, I feel safe. Mm-Hmm. And I don’t think a lot of men talk about that because we also have to feel safe and secure because I do feel safe with them to go, you know what, I’ll, I’ll run through a wall right now if I have to because that’s what we need. That’s my security for you guys. You made me feel this way. So I’m gonna continue to make you feel the way that you need to feel as well too. So it’s service whether you take that as business, you go, okay, well I’m gonna treat my employees fantastic. I’m gonna treat my customers fantastic. Because now we both feel safe to keep this relationship going.

Nathan (00:30:34):
Yeah. There is, there is something about, and I’m glad that this, this theme of service kind of continues through our conversation. One of the things that struck me over the last number of years is I, I think that just a simple reality, which is that if you have two people in a relationship who are almost obsessed with, they’re, they’re certainly committed to the idea of taking care of the other person. And, and this, we’re not talking about codependence here, of course that’s unhealthy. But what we’re talking about absolutely, as you mentioned, is being two individuals, but as part of our day-to-day lives, making sure that we’re doing our best to help meet the needs of the other person in our life. If we both go in with that mentality of service, then you take away a lot of the other BS that ends up popping up in so many relationships at the end of the day. Mm-Hmm. , because most of that’s driven by a selfish mindset. So we’re talking about developing healthy mindset. And I didn’t expect to get into a conversation about relationships today, but

Byron (00:31:26):
This is great. Neither ,

Nathan (00:31:27):
This is, that is where it’s at. If we go in with that service mindset, things change drastically when we start to make it about ourselves again, things change drastically and for the negative. And at that point, you’re gonna run into all kinds of problems day in and day out. And of course that that relationship is gonna be a source of pain. So I I’d love that you highlight this.

Byron (00:31:45):
Oh yeah. And, and I don’t want people to get lost in the fact it’s like, no, just sir, sir, sir, I am happy with me. I know me. I have my alone time. And the best thing about whether it’s in business, whether it’s anything I know when I need to press pause and I go I need some meantime. I need to go on a walk. I need to go do something. That’s just for me. Yeah. And your partner should know that too. Whether it’s your business partner, unless your relationship partner, Hey, I’m gonna need some time really quick. Mm-Hmm. , I’m overwhelmed. I don’t wanna feel that way. So I’m gonna go take a walk. I’m gonna go do something that makes me happy. If you could see my entire office , there’s lots of comic books and like nerdy stuff everywhere. So I’m very simple.

It’s like if I need a brain break, I’m going to walk, I’m going to read, I’m going to, now what I like to do is build random Lego sets with Marvel stuff. It’s fine. That’s awesome. It’s okay. . No, that’s good. My daughter’s doing it now too. Yeah. And it’s just, it’s weird. But having that personal space to say, I still do take care of myself as well, but that comes along with knowing me and knowing what I want. I don’t need to go to Louis Vuitton and Gucci to make me feel good. I was like, nah, I’m probably gonna buy a comic book that’s like five bucks in reading. Cause , I was like, but that’s me. Yeah. You know? So I am at service, but I know me and I know myself and I know what makes me happy. And that’s what makes it easy for me to tell my partner. Now, when she learns, I know what makes him happy. She’ll go, Hey, why don’t you go do this? Oh, okay. Mm-Hmm. . Does that make sense? Mm-Hmm. ,

Nathan (00:33:07):
I love that. Man, there we’ve hit so many topics. We could literally just do like, probably even multiple episodes on. This has been brilliant. I wanna keep going this. So you talked about, just briefly about your service as a Marine and wow, you mentioned in the bio. And by the way, for, for anybody listening in, we’re gonna kind of touch on this too. But if you go to be yourself, the letter B and then yourself, you are s e l f first.com. We’ll link to it in the show notes as well@Bokehpodcast.com. But be yourself first. This is in the bio there. And you, you talked not only about having been a marine, but also being an athlete. What sports did you play?

Byron (00:33:41):
Oh, football, basketball, , anything that I was like, oh, you’re tall. Get in there. You know, I was like, okay, cool. I absolutely love basketball. I played for a very long time. I played for the Marine Corps as well too. Three different knee surgeries later. I do not play basketball as often, but I am getting back into it. I like to run and do five Ks and things now. But switching marine and athlete around is very it’s so fun. And it also helped with discipline. And I think the Marine Corps is ultimate service, not to self, but to country and those around. Mm-Hmm. . And even on sports, playing sports, playing football, playing basketball you’re a service to your teammates. You’re a service to your team. You’re a service to your coach. Like, I didn’t even notice it, but there is an overarching theme of life, which is service. Yeah. You know, and I really love I’m very competitive as well, too. , as much as I’m a nice guy, I’m very competitive. My daughter is 11, and if we play a video game or if we play any kind of game, I’m not the dad that’s gonna let you win. You better beat . Well, you’ll learn early

Nathan (00:34:43):
. But I love that you hype. Cause you, you alluded to this earlier too, the idea that you can be one who is focused on service, particularly in the context of relationships. But then you can also be an individualist. You can be a strong individual. Yes. you can have your own interests. It, it can be both. And we, we live in this culture, in this day and age where we tend to move from one extreme to the next. It’s always about this kind of black and white think thought process almost. Yeah. And the reality is it can be both. And we can be both be nice and we can be super competitive. We can be disciplined and we can be creative. And of course the list goes on. It can be both. And, and, and you’re an incredible example of this, and I think it’s a wonderful reminder for everybody listening in.

Let’s not so quickly jump to either or. We can have both. Yeah. If, if we’re willing to put the work in and, and the world is a much more beautiful place as a result of that as well. So th this is, man, this is so good. Okay. So just very briefly, because I, I want to get into kinda the core of the conversation around mindset, but how did you go from marine to athlete or whatever order that might have been in and then into this speaking opportunity and, and of course be yourself, this whole brand. Will you give a little bit of context behind that?

Byron (00:35:51):
Yeah, so I just jumped from all of that. Literally, I was trying a couple different things after I got outta the Marine Corps. Just grew my hair out, grew a big beard, and I was like, I’m gonna do nothing for a while. And my brain does not work that way. It absolutely does not. And then just hearkening back to service. For me it’s some traumatic things happened growing up in life in general, being a male, being African American and America, I have to hold in and either cut off pieces of me that I can’t show people or I have to shrink myself in order to make people feel more comfortable when I walk into a room. And that’s not healthy for me. So going, you know what, I want to be exactly who I am. Harkening back to, okay, I’m an athlete, I’m all these things, but at my core, I’m a huge nerd.

I love anime, love comic books. Becoming that person and being who that person is, helped me build Be yourself. Because I know other people would love to just be who they are anyway, without being judged, without being, you know, put aside like, well, you’re supposed to be X, y, and z. When you look at me, you go, well this guy know who this guy is. You have absolutely no clue. And that’s why I love speaking and I love speaking to people. Transitioning into that and having the mental health merch really helps. You know, like, I’m wearing this because this is how I feel today. I want to be me on a consistent basis, always show up as me. And I just want to help other people be themselves as well too, and show up as them a hundred percent of the time and be okay with it.

Nathan (00:37:14):
There’s, and speaking of merchant, I’m glad you highlighted this cuz I, I was noticing this earlier. I’m gonna pull up one of these. For those of you that are live streaming you can check this out. If not, come back and take a look at the livestream or if you just go to B the letter B U r s e l F and then first.com, be yourself first.com. You can see the merch. But I, I love this, the design on this hoodie. Talk to me a little bit about the graphic there. Give a little bit of context to it. I think it’s really cool.

Byron (00:37:40):
That’s my daughter’s favorite hoodie too. A lot of it when I was making it and I made all that so when I was making it, a lot of times we were just wearing this mask of joy. I actually literally got it from social media cuz you can see someone being super happy. Like, all right guys, this is great. What’s going on? This is great. My life is fantastic. And then I’ve seen people turn off the camera and just collapse like a marionette, like something’s holding your string up. And it was like, oh God, thank I don’t have to do that anymore. Yeah. So when it says ask me, and it’s the same thing that you do. You do it naturally. That’s why you gravitated towards that design. You naturally ask people how they’re doing and wait for the real answer. All of us are on so much of an autopilot when you go, Hey, how’s it going?

Cool, fine. How are you? You go to this higher octave, that’s not even your voice. It’s like, why did I say that? ? But to get people off autopilot, I ask them a real question. Hey, how you doing today? What made you smile today? People give you that answer, I don’t know. So asking people how they’re actually doing might save lives and might save the person. And if I’m getting to the deeper meaning of it, you know, we lost zero people on my deployment, my first deployment to Afghanistan. We lost more people coming back than we did on deployment just because of those simple facts. Like, maybe I should have asked this person how they were actually doing. Yeah. Really check on it. I say a lot of times, check on your strong friends. Cuz those a lot of times are the people that are go, okay, I give, I give, I give and I don’t have anything left. And then they just shrink. So ask people, ask your family members, ask your mother, your brother. It says, anybody ask your friend how are you doing? And wait for the real response and then give you a fake response. Like, okay, cool, but how are you actually feeling? Yeah.

That’s where that came about

Nathan (00:39:14):
It. It’s, and I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t get so much like happiness from this, but it’s such a fun experiment to do that thing that you just described, which is, Hey, how you doing? And you’re absolutely right. People tend to give a very quick robotic response and then you kind of give ’em a little bit of look and they can tell that you’re reading through them and you’re like, no, but actually mm-hmm. , like, what’s really going on? Yeah. Tell me something. Good. Tell me something you’re struggling with and, and, and start to dig. And it’s funny, a lot of people are not comfortable with going that deep, especially with somebody that they don’t know that person very well. I’ve had, I’ve had to learn to kind of back off just a little bit in the intensity because me too, some people get uncomfortable with it, you know?

But, but there’s something to be said on the flip side of that one, one of the things that, that drove this quite a bit, Byron, and maybe you’ve had these experiences too, and it’s informed how you behave. But there’ve been two people in particular in my life that I can think about who, when I had a conversation with them, they engaged with me in such a way that one, they actually made me feel like I, they were genuinely interested just at the outset. I can think back to, to Todd, I’ve talked about Todd, I think on the podcast before Todd, who was the partner of a photographer here in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area where I live. And Todd was not a photographer, but he, he was so interested in what I was doing as a business owner and my mindset, the things that were kind of going on behind the scenes, that he would, we would go to dinner as the kind of a photographer networking event, and he’d come along and he’d ask, ask question after question after question after question and dig deeper and deeper.

And not only, again, he wasn’t asking questions robotically, but he was making eye contact. He was, he was listening, he was paying attention. The questions came as a result of actually paying attention. And you just felt like a million bucks. You felt like the only person in the world for, you know, however long that lasted. And it was so impactful because most people don’t take the time. Even people that are close to me in my life don’t take the time to do that kind of thing. It’s such an anomaly. And I think it’s such a gift that we can give other people that we actually pay attention, that we go a little bit deeper and they actually feel heard and seen.

Byron (00:41:14):
Yeah. That’s, that’s amazing man. And that’s the number one thing. And what helped for you is if you notice, you said a word that I think people don’t focus on for so many conversations and so many things that we’re speaking to one another are everybody wants to be interesting instead of being interested, the more times that you are interested in somebody mm-hmm. , they’re like, oh wow. They can walk away saying, well that’s, that’s the best person in the world. Mm-Hmm. , I said, absolutely nothing. I just let you talk. I’m interested in you. And there have been people that I’ve experienced in my life that are like that, that gave me the, the power and the, the intentionality and say, you know what? That’s how you do that. You, you listen and you pay attention to them. There was a, a, a pastor a long time ago that when you would speak to him after the fact, like he would really lean in, he’d sometimes put his hand on my shoulder and go, yeah, yeah.

And just give me those verbal and physical cues. And it was like, oh yeah, you care. And the number one thing we need to do, and this is another thing that leads into me being a motivational speaker. For the most part I talk to the youth because a lot of them don’t get talking to and seen. You just want to see. So a lot of times, I, I tell people as far as my parenting, I don’t yell at my daughter. I don’t do anything like that. I’ll take a knee and say, come here, I’ll get down to your level and say, Hey, why’d you do that? And I’ll, I’ll wait for the answer. And you go, oh, well this person’s paying attention. Well, let me give them a real answer. And that’s how you, you, you take people’s brains, whether it’s a child, whether it’s an adult, when you’re finally actually seen, Hmm.

It blows everyone’s mind. And that’s how you get in a better relationship. That’s how you become, you know, a better person per se. It’s like, Hey, I care. I see you. Our number one thing is who cares about me? Who sees me no matter the age, no matter what, as every single adult, as soon as you see the two things that come from them, who cares about me? Who sees me, okay, this and this person cares about me, this and this person actually really sees me. Give them to me. You know? And those are two things we need to focus on as the people in our life. Whether it’s our clients, whether it’s our employees, whether it’s our family members. Do you actually see them? Do you care about them? When is the last time you asked them how they were actually doing?

Nathan (00:43:20):
Yeah. Take the time. Ask the real question and then pause it. It’s interesting too, the other thing that can make people a bit uncomfortable is that kind of pregnant silence, right? Like, you pause, we don’t just quickly rush to the next thing like so many people would do. Mm-Hmm. , ask the question, pause. And even if they give you a quick answer, pause and, and you start to give ’em that look like, that knowing, look and they know, they know, and, and you give ’em the opportunity many times they’ll keep going. And you’re right, you’re absolutely right. I, I think that a lot of times, because I’m not the most entertaining personality, I’m not the witty guy, I’m not the entertainer of the party in the room. It was k it was actually kind of a safer space for me to go to a place where I’m asking questions.

I guess in some ways, putting the onus on the other person who’s in front of me. Mm-Hmm. . But I felt safer in that. What I realized though, that there was a opportunity to add a lot of value to people’s lives by doing that very thing. And I think we could all stand to do it a little bit more. I certainly need to continue to work at it, even in, I, I love that example that you give about the way that you interact with your daughter. And, and, you know, especially when they’re younger, as you’re describing, but can getting on their level where they’re, go to them, where they’re at, and just being quiet, sitting and, and engaging with them in that way. I know some of the most impactful experiences that I’ve had in conversations with my daughter, who is actually six foot tall and 18 just turned 18 that I, but the conversations that we’ve had in the last couple of years, it’s been exactly that.

It’s been like, sit down on, I’m, I’m in my apartment here and I’m, I’m pointing over here. There’s, there are a couple of benches in the background right at the bar and, you know, sitting there at the bar and just sitting and talking or maybe sitting in the couch or in, in her room, wherever it might be. And just sitting and quietly taking the time for that conversation and, and engage with them where they’re at. Mm-Hmm. . It makes all the difference in the world. That’s good. I, man, I could spend so much time there. Absolutely. . Hey, Adrian piped in. You said from Facebook, check on your strong friends. Love that. Yeah. And that’s definitely not a narrative that we hear a whole lot in this world. And, and I’d liked the angle on that, which is those who seem strong, part of their effort in life is service.

And there’s a lot of energy that we’re giving out in that process of service. A lot. Don’t think about that. They’re so excited to get the attention or the service from us. Yeah. They don’t think about the other side of that, which is that it takes a lot of energy to make that happen. So. Absolutely. Oh wow. Pay attention to the strong people out there. Let me transition yet again here and, and kind of dig further into this conversation around mindset. So on, on that website, be yourself first.com. There’s a quote that says, during his speeches, of course, referring to your speeches, he shares what changed, his worldview and more importantly, his view of himself. And I’m curious to dig into the, the worldview, kind of the shift in worldview that you’ve experienced over the years. You mentioned to me before we get started, you’ve got kind of three shifts, three ideas here to share mm-hmm. . What are those shifts in worldview that you experienced that have made a really big impact in your life?

Byron (00:45:58):
The first one is not being so me-centered. I was very, me-centered at a, at a young age. You know, young, you know , affluent male. Like, I can play sports. I’ve got a good personality. I can make people laugh. Like, it’s all about me. Everyone look at me. I need the spotlight. What really? And just being not as grateful for not just my gifts and who I am and how I present to the world. All that changed. In the Marine Corps in Afghanistan, there was a interpreter we had with him. Shout out to Bobby . He we were going on a mission one day, and I remember it vividly. We were riding through, and then we were, we were on a patrol and , the turp was with us. And then he was looking over to the right and there was a family of children.

And one of ’em was crying like hard. And I was like, oh, something must have happened. Somebody must have passed. And I was like, Hey, Bobby, what’s up with him? And he’s talking to the little boy, and he keeps pointing at this mud hut and this big dirt mound on the ground. I’m like, okay, it’s, it’s just, it’s just about my height. And I’m like, okay. And then Bobby comes back smiling and he was like, I was like, what happened? He was like, oh, they’re building a room for him and I’m looking to the right, and they just have sticks and mud and clay, and they’re building this little tiny room for him. That’s his bedroom. There’s no light, there’s nothing there. And I’ve never seen anyone happier than that in my life to this day. The joy and just the like, love that he had on his face, that his family was building a room for him blew him away.

And I was like, I just complained. Cause my iPod, that’s how long ago my iPod died. Yeah. And that changed everything for me. Not only did it, you know, harken into the service, but it’s like, what are we really complaining about in life? My worldview became, it, it, it stopped being this and it started becoming okay, how do you put that smile on other people’s faces? But first, how do you put that smile on your face? So I went inward, fixed a lot of things for myself. And then the last thing I’ll say is like, really figuring out my place and what I’m here for. And it’s the opposite of the first thing I said, because it’s so self-centered to just be, wanna be the guy. And then now who I am, it’s just like, whether I’m speaking, whether, you know, I’m doing anything in life, it’s, I would love to help.

It’s a lofty, lofty idea, but it’s like healing the world. I would like to be a person that leaves my stamp on the world to where it’s like, if Byron was not here, this would not have happened. You know? We didn’t fix X, Y, and Z because of this. I’m an emotional health advocate. You know, when you speak about be yourself and it’s all about having EQ and knowing your feelings are there, knowing that you have them, but knowing that you are in control of them. I’m in complete control of my feelings. I can sit and visit these feelings, but they’re not driving my bus. They’re not in charge. I’m in charge of my feelings. Hey, anger, I’m gonna visit you for a second, but you’re not at the controls anymore. One of my favorite movies is Inside Out. Cuz it really shows you as an adult, like who’s in control.

Anger, you’re not how to control. Excuse me, joy. Joy is at the stake now. Okay. Sadness, I’ll visit you for a second, but I do not live there. You know what I’m saying? Living there is the worst thing that you can do. Have those feelings, acknowledge them. Yes, they’re here. Awesome. Now what the most powerful thing to ask yourself. Now what? And that’s just helped change my entire worldview. Love Byron, the adolescent, to, you know, that’s why a lot of times it is just being Byron because a lot of the times on social media, people are being someone else. I’m just being Byron and I’m being myself. Shameless plug. . Oh yeah. Shout out. That’s, that’s what I enjoy .

Nathan (00:49:55):
Well, and and we’ll link to your, we’ll link to your Instagram as well in the show notes@Bokehpodcast.com. It is just be, it’s just being Byron underscore correct.

Byron (00:50:04):
Yeah, that’s it. If you type in just being Byron, there is no other just being Byron

Nathan (00:50:08):
. . Fair enough. Just to kind of rehash to what you were just talking about. So it started with a, a shift from focusing inward, focusing on yourself to focusing on others. Mm-Hmm. . Secondly, a shift to thankfulness. And you, you described that scene so beautifully. It’s, it perspective really begins to, if allow it to inform our worldview and ultimately translates to a change and a shift in behavior. And, and a lot of what will drive that change is a level of appreciation, certainly for the small things. But just a level of appreciation for what it is, what opportunities, what, what it is that we have in general. And that then it absolutely enables us to, to your third point, be able to shift to serving others as, as a, a desire and then ultimately behavior that drives an effort to serve, to make a difference in the lives of other people.

And I, I like that progression. That progression makes sense. It needs to start with a shift from focusing inward to going outward, a shift to appreciation, and then, and then that will enable us to more effectively focus on serving. But the other thing that that quote mentions though is that your, your view of yourself shifted. And I want to kind of use this as an opportunity to highlight something that I’ve just seen as a theme for the, for a number of years in the photography industry, which is a, a consistent insecurity either spoken very specifically re referred to or maybe kind of subtly and subconsciously communicated from photographers in the industry. But there’s so many photographers that struggle with insecurity at a really, really deep level. And I’m curious from your perspective, what you’ve learned about how you see yourself if you might be able to share some perspective as it relates to those that might struggle a little bit with how they see themselves, how they feel about themselves, and how they might be able to address that.

Byron (00:51:54):
Yeah, I think for a lot of people, a lot of photographers in general, it’s, it’s tough because you’re comparing yourself to your favorite photographer. Everybody has their favorite photographer where they go, I need my pictures to look like this. This is amazing. But at the end of the day, we all need to know that, whether it’s with a paintbrush or whether it’s with a camera, we are artists. And your artistry is through your lens, you know, no pun intended for the for photography, but this is through my lens. Mm-Hmm. , you hired me to do your wedding because you saw my pictures and you saw what I do. Mm-Hmm. , this is what I do, and you want me to do that for you. This is a service I’m giving to you. But for all of us looking at everybody else, there’s a reason why you are here.

There’s a reason why they click your button. There’s a reason why they picked you. Weddings aren’t cheap. There’s a reason why they paid for you, do the job that they want you to do. Now, obviously, you’re at service to them. So you go, okay, let me make sure I get all these shots and all these other things. I had a wedding that shut me down a little while ago because they were just like, I didn’t like any of this. While, while I was like, wow, really? Do I suck now? and different portions come up in different parts of it. And it’s like, well, you’re never gonna a hundred percent satisfy everybody. But hearkening back to the perfection is like, but I’m really good. I did these things. It’s like, well, you missed this and this and this shot. I was like, you really wanna say something like, everybody’s like really drunk and, you know, but you can’t give those excuses.

You gotta go, okay, well all right, fine, I’ll adjust. You know, and set these different expectations and if you have a problem with it, what I learned for all of us, were photographers say it right there in the moment, Hey, so we’re not gonna get the shots we really want because everyone’s inebriated. So these aren’t gonna come out perfect. Tell yourself and tell the other person and communicating that way and just not comparing yourself and knowing that you are a dope artist. Literally say that to yourself. I am a dope artist and this is why they got me here. I’m not comparing myself to this person and that person and that person. I’m good at this. That’s why I’m here.

Nathan (00:53:56):
And I was starting to take notes here as, as you were talking, and I wanna kind of go back just a little bit. So if, if we’re not, if, if we need to avoid comparison that then hearkens back to earlier in our conversation the importance of knowing, again, not trying to find yourself, but knowing who it is that you want to be. Make sure that you’re clear about your values, your strengths. If you need feedback from those who are close to you, ask for that feedback about what those strengths are. And then set a few goals. So this is, we’re gonna, what we’re gonna call who we are, are encompassed in those three things. At minimum, if we understand who it is that we’re trying to be, that that’s a better way to say it, who it is that we’re trying to be, then it will more aptly enable us to be able to avoid that tendency to compare on Instagram or, or whatever other platform that might be there.

But then when we do face difficult situations, particularly interacting with clients a a theme, and maybe I’m kind of projecting a little bit here, Byron, but a theme that I, or at least what I was thinking as you were describing that scenario where a client’s giving us negative feedback and the natural response is to kind of be defensive. Yes. If, if, if it is, if we’re trying to be the better person at the end of the day, there’s also an opportunity to there to ask the question. Okay, yeah. I understand the context here. And the reality of the situation is these people were it drunk as could be. And it makes difficult, it makes photography difficult. But the flip side of that is, how could I have been better in that situation? You talked about managing expectations that would be one opportunity to potentially improve for future clients in the process of communication previous to the wedding. How can I better manage their expectations so that they actually know what to expect as a result of this particular scenario? Always looking for those opportunities to improve. I, I think that’s just a really healthy mindset to maintain, isn’t it?

Byron (00:55:40):
Yeah, absolutely. And that taking the onus on yourself isn’t the easiest thing a lot of the times. Cuz first it was like this is the reason why this is the the ouch to the pinch. There’s always an ouch to the pinch. So this is why I set Ouch. But you take a second and go, you know what? I probably should have communicated better. And then if I’m frustrated and I’m venting, having a good partner saying, Hey, you probably should have communicated that better, babe, at the time this and this and this. It’s like, ah, okay. You’re right. Having a good sounding board and having a good, having good intentionality saying, you know what, this was my intention and it didn’t come across this way and this is why I get it. I’ll take that onus on myself and say, you know what, next time I’ll communicate better and I’ll let them know like, Hey, this is a situation, this is where I’m setting these expectations for. And it, it helps. It’s very helpful. .

Nathan (00:56:27):
Yes. Well, man, this has been such an incredible conversation. And again, we could have, we could have easily spent three, four hours digging into these various topics, , and, and if you’re willing, maybe at another time we can come back and do another episode. But I think absolutely, really fitting to finish our conversation with a comment from mom, from lean Angela who chimed in and said,

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you too. And, and I think this is really, really powerful and and curious that phrase and, and those words, you know, believe, believe in yourself. This is something that we hear a lot in culture, but the reality is, you so wonderfully described it today, is that if we can develop a certain level of confidence in who it is that we’re trying to be, that will enable us to be more effective leaders, whether it’s in our family, in our local community, as a business owner, maybe working with a team, it will enable that. If we’re just willing to do the little bit of homework that it takes to be clear about who it is that we’re trying to be able to put us in a position to much better lead and make an impact in the lives of those around us, would you say Absolutely.

Byron (00:57:26):
I agree a hundred percent and that’s why I hate the term fake it till you make it. Cause it’s not fake. Believe it till you see it. I believe that I’m becoming this person. So how does that person act? How does that person view things? And I’ll land the plane kind of with saying this, this is my NLP training coming into place. A lot of peoples do, a lot of people do the vis visualization. They do the, oh, I can see myself doing this X, Y, and Z. Okay, now take a second, place yourself into future you. So future Byron, what car does he drive? What does his house smell like? When you wake up in the morning, spend an entire day with your future self. This is what the coffee smells like. This is what the house smells like. This is what my wife is wearing.

I’m dropping off my kids at this time. I’m picking them up at this time. I’m going to sleep at this time in the middle of the day. Do you play basketball? Do you eat what is for breakfast? What is for dinner? What is for lunch? And then you start focusing in on that person. You don’t look up to anybody else. Matthew McConaughey, Hey, had the greatest Oscar speech ever that says Future me is who I’m looking up to five years down the road, 10 years down the road. Hmm. And you have to figure out, how do I get to that person? What do they act like? Whether do they look like, who are they? Okay, if I’m becoming that person, let me become that person. It’s not fake. I’m becoming this person and this is what they do. So being who you are, and my mom’s always been my number one fan, so obviously she would say something like that. I appreciate that. Just being who you are and having other people around you champion that as well. It’s, it’s an amazing thing and it’s how you become who you want to be and who you actually are.

Nathan (00:58:58):
Well, and I’m glad that you added some context to the conversation around you talked about affirmations earlier and, and even just a simple idea or relatively in the moment, simplistic idea of believing in ourselves. It’s, it’s not as simple as we’re just saying these affirmations, the follow up to that or focusing on who we wanna be, the follow up to that is what you just described, which is working backwards from that. Okay, if, if this is where I want to be in five years, then these are the steps that I need to take in order to to, to go there. So the affirmations, the focus on what that looks like in the future is helping us shift our mindset, but we also can’t mm-hmm. just kind of sit on our ass and expect that to happen automatically.

Byron (00:59:34):
Right. .

Nathan (00:59:35):
Exactly. We have to go put the work in. So yes. Mm-Hmm. , visualize that. Be aware of who it is that you want to be and now go do the work, work backwards, figure out what those steps are, and little by little take the steps necessary to get there.

Byron (00:59:46):

Nathan (00:59:47):
Brilliant man, this has been so cool. Okay, . So just as we’re finishing up if you don’t mind just rehashing where our listeners can find and follow you online, everything that you’re doing.

Byron (00:59:57):
So if you wanna follow me on social media, it’s just being Byron and there’s an underscore there as well too. So just being Byron and I have a link to my photography, I have a link to be yourself as well there too. And if you want to purchase any of the gear or book me for any of the conversations, that we’re having here go to be yourself first.com. Be your sell first.com. I’m actually going to do something for your podcast. Sir. So I’m gonna let you pick the password for it. So I’m gonna give your listeners 30% off everything in the store. And then together we will figure out what the what the password and the code is for that. And I’ll give that all to your listeners and 30% off everything in the store and have fun with that.

Nathan (01:00:43):
Whoa. Brilliant. We’ll just use the word Bokeh, b o k e h, that’ll be the password that work for you. So

Byron (01:00:47):
Bokehs on there and it’ll be, it’ll be up here in about 10 minutes.

Nathan (01:00:51):
. Brilliant. Thanks so much, Bryron. Thanks so much for everybody listening in, chiming in today. Really appreciate it. Make sure that you go follow Byron, message him. Thank him for contributing to our community today. Thanks. Thanks again, Byron. It really means a lot.