Do you remember the first camera you ever owned? For me, it was a Kodak 110; the kind that took cartridges. I think it was a Bar Mitzvah gift.
At the time, I probably thought I was quite the photographer snapping up pictures in the neighborhood or on a family vacation. But because I had to spring for the film processing, I recall my future as a professional photographer was short-lived.
Even as my cameras became more sophisticated (think small digital cameras you could carry with you), my skills didn’t really develop.
I was always forgetting to bring that damn camera. Who needs one more thing to keep up with. But as anyone with more than one child can attest to, the first child gets all the pics taken of them. By the time you get to the second, you have used up all of your energy on schlepping a camera and getting your kids to pose.
Seeing Life Through a New Lens
Fast forward to modern times. The iPhone has revolutionized my camera game. Since smartphones come equipped with some pretty high-resolution cameras with a ton of bells and whistles, it’s easy to pull out my camera and snap a pic or two.
Whether it’s vacation, beach or food pics, I have found myself building albums of all sorts of things.
About two years ago, I observed a better photographer taking some incredible photos of sunrise and sunset at the beach.
What made their pictures better? Perspective.
We are conditioned to look at things from a simple lens; whether it is a picture or a business problem.
Lessons From the Louvre
As I write this, I am looking out the window with a view of the Eiffel Tower from my Airbnb in Paris. It’s an older 5th-floor apartment that requires a hike as there are elevators in the building. A small price to pay for a coveted view.
This trip was a last-minute surprise for my dad who is here with my daughter. In fact, there were multiple surprises as my son surprised him, and I my son.
Yesterday we all went to the Louvre Museum. This trip is more about living like a local to me than fighting tourists for things I’ve already seen.
Within fifteen minutes, I was ready to leave. It took forty-seven minutes for my dad and me to figure out how to exit.
The highlight of The Louvre was the picture I was able to capture above. Though National Geographic won’t be beating down my door, it definitely doesn’t look like the run-of-the-mill pics being snapped yesterday.
The camera angle gives the sense that the heavens have opened up and bestowed the old world architecture of the palace and the modern design of the glass pyramid as a gift from the gods.
Ever since I learned about the use of perspective (lots of hacks on Instagram), I have worked to make my pictures have a better perspective... composition, if you will.
How to Gain Perspective on Your Life
Now I have always used a different lens to evaluate business problems and solutions. I think it’s a combination of my educational background and being left-handed. Left-handed people look at things a little differently.
Sometimes being in a different physical location gives me some perspective. This can be a coffee shop you’ve never worked from or a vacation.
My friends come to me with their business ideas/challenges, and I give them an entirely different perspective. Not always welcome, but appreciated.
My daughter Jordyn just finished her Master's in Accountancy and passed her CPA exam in a year starting with EY this fall in Atlanta. She is starting to read books about building wealth via cash flow, investments, real estate and businesses. I think long-term she’d like to work for herself and have freedom over her schedule.
I find myself a better parent to adult children, as Jordyn and I have spent lots of time discussing business and investments. Specifically, I am giving her a different perspective on evaluating opportunities.
How are you evaluating the opportunities and challenges in your business?
I know a lot of our clients were forced to make some major pivots and came up with some incredible perspectives to do a 180.
Every problem/challenge you face needs to be evaluated from all sides. Think about a cube. Six sides and multiple angles. There’s a lot to take in and consider.
If you’re not wired that way, who in your circle or mastermind group is?
I’ve always been a part of formal and informal mastermind groups. My friends in business have been a great sounding board and have given me some great perspective to “plus” my ideas or scratch them.
As my college buddy and co-owner of Gentleman Bartenders, Mark Moskowitz says, “One plus one equals three!”
And that’s the value of a different perspective; your own or others.
My challenge to you moving forward is to seek a different perspective in life. It will add a tremendous amount of value.