To live a happy life

Sunday, October 10, 2021
Some personal reflections on the last few years of business, the future, and how its now time to fly.
Post by Big Mark

To live a happy life.

I started my first business back in the early 2000's. It was a catering business, we tried to turn it into a cafe, didn't end well. I ended up in a very bad place, and I hurt a lot of people.

So when I started Big Mark Photography in 2011, I wasn't sure how things were going to end up. I had been working in the conference and events industry for over fifteen years at that stage, and my heart was no longer in it. It was time to do something different.

And so I started a little photography business. It was just me at the beginning. Then I got a bit of help along the way. I decided to focus on conference and events photography: do what you know, as they say. And it went really well.

In 2016 I had a pulmonary embolism. The doctor told me "the good news are not dead." I was in hospital for about a week, and I still haven't really fully recovered. It meant that I had to bring other photographers in to shoot for me. We rebranded from "Big Mark Photography" to "Big Mark & Co."

Conference and events have always been the cornerstone of our business. But not being able to cover most events myself put a big dent in the margins. And covid has hit hard as well. We bounced back after the first lockdown...but things have been very different since the second.

I started to think about what it was I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. My body is starting to fall apart. :) I'm getting old, and things have stopped working. 😁

I needed a path forward. To do something different.

So I started to work on my mission statement.

The process looked a bit like this:

It wasn't quite 25 pages. It didn't have a cover like the Catcher in the Rye. I didn't  didn't run down to the Warehouse Stationery in the rain to get 110 copies printed by a man who said "that's how you become great, man."

But I've figured out what I want to do.  This is the "me I've always wanted to be."

Our mission is to help people and businesses be the best they can be.

And our vision is to live in a world where people can do the things they love, so they can live a happy life.

It's a change in strategic direction for Big Mark & Co that will impact both what services we offer and how we deliver them.

It means that after 10 years Big Mark & Co are no longer going to be focusing on conference and events photography. We will continue to cover the annual events we have always covered: the Dragonboats, the Circus, etc. But from now on I'll be passing on any conference/events enquiries to my trusted friends and associates Abbie Dorrington and Masanori Udagawa. Abbie and Masa are the best in the business. Both outstanding photographers with great attention to detail, friendly and polite, and two of the best people I know.

But it also means that I get to start a new chapter in my life, to take a new road forward on a clear and certain path. Over the next few weeks I'll be talking about that a bit more, but in the meantime click over to our front page and have a look around. I've rebuilt the website from the ground up over the last couple of weeks.

It's been a long 11 years, and 2021 has tested me in new and interesting ways at every turn. But I'm still standing :)

Thanks to everyone for their support on my journey so far.

Now it's time to fly.

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