Becoming the Best at Anything - Lessons from Femi Abolude

Femi Abolude holding a camera

It was just a regular weekend birthday party, and Femi was supposed to be just a regular guest. But no… Femi went with a plan. He packed up his new DSLR camera, made sure the batteries were fully charged and that he had more than enough memory cards. Then he loaded it all in the trunk of his car and drove to the party. It sounds ridiculous, but not to Femi… “you just never know when an opportunity will open up,” he said.

Well, it turned out there was no photographer at the event, and so Femi pulled out his camera and - click, click, click - he snapped away. Interestingly, Femi didn't even know how a DSLR camera worked, but no one at the party knew that. All they saw was a confident and fun-looking man with a camera that looked legit, and that’s all that mattered. After the event, Femi ran to YouTube to learn how to edit photos and sent them to the celebrant who was ecstatic upon receiving the pictures. That was all the validation that Femi needed to start his photography journey. 

Bride in wedding gown by a building

Today, Femi is a prominent wedding photographer and videographer in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region. Though he is a photographer, his story is relevant to many entrepreneurs and business owners. So here are a few takeaways for anyone who’s passionate about an idea.

  1. #SeizeTheMoment. Or in Femi’s case “create the moment”. I mean, who thinks to go to a birthday party with a professional camera, just in case there is no photographer there. Femi shows us that you don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you. You keep at your grind, keep an eye out, and always be ready so that once the first sign of an opportunity shows, you can immediately jump on it.
  2. Start where you are. You don’t need to know it all, and you certainly don’t need to have expert training in order to start. Remember, everything is “figureoutable” once you get in the game. Femi did his first photography gig by shooting his camera in auto mode… which for all the photography gurus out is a big taboo. It’s almost like taking pictures with the infamous Nokia 3300 phone. But guess what? The clients loved Femi’s pictures, and today he is one of the top wedding photographers in the DMV area. So ladies and gents, start moving… this world belongs to those who start and improve as they go.
  3. You were born to do this. That is, after you’ve put in your 10 thousand hours of practice, constantly learning and improving. Even now as a celebrated photographer, Femi still clocks in those hours in order to get better… whether it’s editing photos on the train during his commute to work, or taking photos of sceneries in Washington, DC during his lunch break. So a lesson to everyone out there who has a dream... we have no excuses! Let’s start piling up those hours.
couple sitting on a couch

Alright, these are just a few nuggets from the podcast interview with Femi Abolude. Click here to listen. Have you ever had a window of opportunity to build your dreams? Did you seize it or miss it? Share your experience in the comments.