Episode 73 – Brad Barlow, B2X Photo
Taking a Great Leap
Being a Jr. in high school Brad made an aircheck tape and sent it to Z103 to audition to be a disc jockey. Inspired by Phil Collins, he adopted the persona of Brad Collins and his DJ career was launched. For decades we listened to him and on Z103 he defined himself as the go-to morning guy.
When Brad began his career he said was fearless, “I was going a million miles an hour and I was in love with the business and the duties of the job. In love. When I officially became the afternoon guy, I was like ‘pinch me', it was unbelievable,” he said. Imposter syndrome wasn't even in his vernacular, he just loved it and knew he could do it.
“It's funny when I look back at that time, I'm not sure who was driving the Brad ship at that time. There came a day when the people that I'd worked with my whole career left. We got a new GM and now everyone I've worked with my whole life are my competitors. Little did I know what that did to my security, to my self-confidence. When that changed, the eyes were all on us and everyone wanted to see if we've still got it. I got scared. I thought people were going to doubt us. I wasn't as confident,” Brad explained about leaving radio.
“The good part about those last few years was how real I got,” Brad said. He discussed how much responsibility he felt to the businesses he was serving and representing and that pressure started weighing on him like it hadn't before. Despite continuing to rank highest in ratings he still felt like it was the right time in his life to leave.
Prior to leaving radio, he said he had caught the photography bug and started doing photography on the side. “All my extra time went [to photography],” Brad said, “I think I knew I was building something that I knew that at some point I could, if I wanted to, flip the switch. At that time I probably was thinking ‘if radio ever doesn't want me anymore'. I didn't have anything else in mind, but I had this little plan B and after a while, I thought I've done everything I wanted to do in radio and I want to try something new,” Brad said.
Most people know Brad for his action sports photography. “If you look at my best photos none of them are that peak action moment, they are that in-between moment. I was much more about the drama of the sport than the athletic ability,” Brad said. He is hopeful that people also recognize his bold and true style. He sees the “real” part of people and works to bring that out in his photographs. “All I did was put some interesting light on an interesting person,” Brad said.
The word genuine comes to mind when thinking of Brad Barlow. “I think anyone who isn't putting up a front and who will admit their fears and flaws, how can you not appreciate a person for that?” Brad says. He believes that has come as a result of protecting himself. “Once all of your secrets are out and all of your fears are out there's nothing to be scared of anymore,” Brad reveals, “life is easier when you are open like that.” He's the first one to admit he isn't the smartest photographer but the work speaks for itself. “Don't let the fear of making mistakes keep you from just doing it,” he says.
Brad has had the support of his family and fans as he has made this transition. Being wired as a person who owns outcomes, he hasn't found any better balance being his own boss versus working for the radio station. “My work has always been a distraction, it's always on my mind,” Brad says. This adds to his reputation for quality and exceeding his customer's expectations.
When advising those looking to start their own business he says to scholarship your dream. Use the money you make from your real job to set up your business. All of your time and resources need to go towards your big idea.
For more information on B2X Photo, visit Brad's website at https://www.photographersidahofalls.com/. You can also see Brad's work on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/b2xphoto/ and B2X photo on Instagram.
Thank you to James at Disruptive Productions for editing the show. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/disruptiveproductions/.
Business Leadership Moment
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