We had the good fortune of connecting with Andres Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andres, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe risks are necessary for any type of growth. Whether it is personal (physical/mental growth) or business growth. Without risks, there is no growth – but you probably already know that. A lot of the time, risks are surrounded with fear (that’s why they’re so damn uncomfortable!) As humans, we fear the unknown, and oftentimes, we fabricate situations in our heads. We fear that “worst-case scenario”. We’ll imagine a situation in which we fail and we’ll have that situation stuck on repeat in our minds. But oftentimes, that “worst-case scenario” isn’t as bad as we make it seem. And most of the time, those situations don’t even play out! So, stop living your life in your head. I took a pretty rewarding risk about 2 years ago. I remember looking at my bank account and seeing the last $400 I had. At the time, I was struggling to book clients and pretty much had no leads. I did research online and decided to give Facebook ads a chance. I didn’t dwell on the idea of my bank account hitting zero because I know that with my last $400, I could book at least one client. I knew that if I didn’t take this gamble, my bank account would hit zero either way. I put my last $400 into an ad and to my surprise, it actually freaking worked! I booked a handful of wedding clients and was able to multiply my money with my investment. With time, I rinsed and repeated the process and learned how to run my business better. I learned how to market myself, what kind of ad copies worked and didn’t work, and I was able to find an audience that resonated with my brand. Had I not taken this risk, I would have had to quit my business in exchange for a job. At the same time, I decided to DM a handful of wedding vendors in the Atlanta area. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable reaching out to people… but realize that the worst thing someone can say is “no” – and that applies to any type of outreach opportunity. I spent days finding vendors, learning about them, and sending our personal emails and DM’s to each person. The majority of those messages were either ghosted on, left on read, or just declined and ignored. But that never seemed to discourage me. I knew that at least one person would reply and be interested. I reached out and offered value to others in the form of content. Content that wouldn’t directly benefit me, but content that other vendors could appreciate for their personal use. I shot a handful of videos with florists, makeup artists, and wedding venues. From there, I grew my network and met other talented vendors to work with. In the long run, this helped me get more word of mouth referrals and gain more credibility as a wedding photographer/videographer. So, what did I take away from this process? The solution to fear behind risks is to not dwell or think about the consequences of that risk. Sure, you should analyze your situation and think things rationally. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t act on emotional factors and that includes fear. Instead, think of “what if I don’t” take this action. We should be more afraid of what happens if we don’t take risks. If a business isn’t growing, then it’s shrinking. Take for example, a company will never make the exact same amount of revenue in year one as in year two. The same principle applies to a person. You’ll either achieve more than you did or less than you did the year before. And that comes down to you taking risks. Once we break out of that initial fear, we enter a learning zone. Here is where we learn new skills and extend our level of comfort. Taking risks is a “rinse and repeat” process. The more you do it, the more comfortable you feel swimming in the ocean of risks and the easier it gets. After the learning phase comes growth. After growth comes discovering your purpose. The whole premise of taking risks should be about embracing your discomforts. How else do you expect to find your purpose in life?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from others in my industry is that I provide value to not only brides, but also to other creatives in my industry. I like to keep my content very raw and direct. I try to provide relatable but also inspiring content to other creatives. Being a creative often times means that you lose motivation in what you do and can often feel burn out. Through my content, I push motivation and shed light onto topics that may feel uncomfortable but need to be addressed. I’m most proud of the success I’ve had at my age. I started my business my senior year of high school, I’ve grown exponentially, and I’m not even 22 years old yet. I’m excited to see where I will be in the next 5 years. My next goal is to start booking destination weddings. I want to travel more and leverage my business outside of Georgia. I don’t think success in itself is easy. If it were easy, then everyone would be a millionaire. The best way to describe success is challenging. What’s helped me most is being passionate about what I do and enjoying the process. It’s also helped to ignore distractions and other peoples criticism or judgement. Sometimes, you’ll need to disconnect in order to reflect and understand yourself and your business in a deeper level. The best way to overcome challenges is through experiences, learning, and having an open mind. You’ll realize that a lot of challenges are reoccurring and they get easier each time they occur. When you face a new challenge, the best thing to do is adapt. It’s ok to fail as long as you bounce back each time from a different angle I’ve learned how to market myself better, communicate to clients, and stay consistent with my content over the years. I’ve come to learn that everything we accomplish comes down to our discipline and willpower. I want the world to know that anything you want to achieve is possible as long as you have two things; Patience, and enjoyment in your passion.
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?
Ponce City Market: Great restaurants, great drinks, and an amazing rooftop to enjoy a sunset in Atlanta Aria: Great restaurant with amazing flavor! It’s on the expensive side so save this place for a special occasion Lottafrutta: This place is in front of an aesthetic staircase so it’s great for Instagram pics. The drinks there are also so fresh and delicious!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Gary Vee – For keeping everything real and inspirational
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.