The story begins with me as a 12 year-old youngster trying to find his way around the hectic environment of the stock market and ends with me starting a YouTube channel about design, photography, and creativity.
Tags: draw my life, graphic design, graphic designer, photographer, photography, how to, photoshop tutorial, photography guide, photography tutorial, inspiration, inspirational, life story, business development, small business, adobe, adobe creative cloud, creative cloud, tutvid, nathaniel dodson, LSID
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Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.
- When I was 12 years old I started dabbling in the stock market and played around a little day-trading some stocks with the help of my mother and her knowledge of investments and this stock market thing and amounts of money that sounds so big to my 12 year old mind they were of mythical proportions. But it wasn’t more than a few months after beginning this money-making process that I realized I was interested in business. Like very interested in business.
- By the time I was 13, I got this idea in my head that I would try to start a new business of some sort every 12 months. The first  thing I did was sell old, used books on eBay and when I got tired of doing that, I thought it would be more fun to sell paintball gear and video games instead, but I ended up losing an average of something like $400 a day. After about a month of that my parents told me that $400 a day was a lot of money for a 14 year old to lose. Now, I don’t know about you, I’m not 14 anymore and $400 a day is still a lot to lose.
- After I shut that operation down, •I tried to find the right kind of business to start. •My problem was I was 14 year old kid who didn’t have enough money to buy a bunch of stuff to resell, • but I had lots of newfound free time on account of the fact that my parents were no longer bankrolling my lose-$400-a-day eBay operation. •The solution was hiding out there in the form of something that let me use other people’s money • while I would offer the only resource I had–TIME.
- I came up with an idea and I found friends, • friends of friends, and friends of family around my town who I could convince to buy things • at local flea markets, garage sales, online bulk lots of stuff • and let me resell them on eBay • and take 20% of the profits. • They handle the buying, I handle the merchandise and selling it online, and they could handle the shipping of the sold products. They did a little work, I did a lot of work, • they made some extra money with little work. • The whole operation worked pretty well. • That is until I almost got killed in a car accident one snowy night while riding my bike home. • That’s right, I wasn’t the one in the car, I was the kid on the bike. It was a terrifying and exhilarating experience. • As they say, some days you’re the hammer, other days you’re the nail. • But we’ll save that story for another time.
- It was time to take some of the money I’d made and start buying my own products to sell and look into building a website and a visual brand to go with • my company (note: my company was just myself, but I talked a big game so it was always “my company”)
- I had been dabbling with Photoshop since the release of Photoshop 4.0 that I found on my parent’s computer when I was a youngster, but now I was serious about learning to use these programs • called Photoshop, Illustrator, and Microsoft’s-then-WYSIWYG website builder tool called Microsoft Frontpage so I threw myself into them and worked when I could and played with these • programs, searched up and down the internet looking for tutorials, articles, magazines, really anywhere that I could find info on how to use these tools.
- The more I learned about both web design and graphic design, the more I got interested in photography and filmmaking, too. • I was already doing lots of really crappy product photography, •I knew my businesses in the future would need logos and websites and graphic stuff designed for them so I decided to really learn what I could about • how to be a better designer, photographer, and overall creative person because it would be something that would help me start these • new businesses every year and save money upfront because I could-in theory-do all that graphic and web design work.
- Fast forward about two years to 2006 and • I started dabbling in creating video tutorials because I realized that I couldn’t find much tutorial help and the stuff that I had found was usually not very helpful. • Thus was born tutvid. • I worked hard at it for about two years and then stopped to focus on design and photographer • from late 2008 until the end of 2015 when • I decided to come back to tutvid and get this channel going.
- Those years away from making tutorials and working as a designer and photographer taught we so much and gave me such awesome experiences that • have really shaped and continue to shape my design worldview.
- I never wanted to be a designer or photographer,• I always wanted to be a business owner, I wanted to create an empire, • create jobs, give people work, and build something from the ground up. • I just happened into the creative field and it clicked and I love it.
- When I was a kid I wanted to start a roofing company or a landscaping company. • I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t choose this design life, this design life chose me.
- Looking back on my foray into design and photography, the sort of up and down, back and forth kind of work path that has taken place in my life: it’s taught me • not to worry or • stress out about where I’m headed • or what kind of future there is in the thing I’m working on at this very moment. • Even in cases where things might seem bleak or stale. Sometimes things open up and change when you fully commit yourself… to whatever it is you’re doing. • Be the best garbage collector you can be, sell the living daylights out of that thing your boss thinks is “the next big thing” but you’re pretty sure it’s crap, or be the best CEO you can be. • You never know what’s around the corner.
- Remember, I was dabbling in the stock market when I was 12, then I wanted to start a • website that would compete with amazon.com before I came to my senses, I built websites, I animated logos, I dabbled in UI design, I animated characters in Macromedia Flash, I built WordPress themes, I did wedding photography for 18 months, then portraits, then a few music videos, then more portraits, and eventually came back to tutvid and committed myself to building this channel.
- I guess what I’m trying to say–aside from sharing my little story • about getting into a creative field of work–is that sometimes stuff doesn’t make much sense in the moment and thankfully for me, • I was too naive to be concerned or worry about a future in what I was doing. • I just threw myself into it with that youthful exuberance and let the chips fall where they may.
- It was crazy and would be even crazier for the person married with a couple kids • and maybe a steady/boring job, • but sometimes crazy is just what you need, • be different, don’t be afraid to stand out and buck the system, look for the pockets of chaos where nobody wants to venture, in those scary places lies the treasure we call success. • And looking back on that aspect of my life as a business builder and a young entrepreneur I can’t help but be reminded of that famous quote by Steve Jobs, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”