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From $0 to $134,000 a Year: The Remarkable Journey of a 30-Year-Old Food Photography Side Hustle

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How Sean Audet Turned His Food Photography Side Hustle into a Lucrative Career

Starting Out in Food Photography

Sean Audet, a former fine-dining chef and culinary researcher, stumbled into the world of food photography while working at Red River College in Winnipeg, Canada. Initially, he staged and photographed food for the college's clients as a way to help them advertise their businesses. Recognizing his skill and passion for the work, Audet began taking on his own clients and eventually invested $20,000 CAD in new equipment. This marked the beginning of his journey from a part-time photographer to a full-time career.

From Side Hustle to Full-Time Success

In 2020, Audet made the bold decision to quit his jobs and fully commit to his photography business. While it was a risky move, he knew that pursuing his passion was worth the effort. As he focused on growing his freelance photography career, he found a significant amount of his business on the platform Fiverr. By building a strong reputation and continuously raising his prices, Audet saw his income increase exponentially. In fact, last year he earned roughly $133,900, more than he ever made as a chef or in higher education.

The Challenges and Rewards of Freelancing

Transitioning from a steady 9-to-5 job to freelancing wasn't without its challenges. Audet recalls working long hours and juggling multiple roles, which left him with very little free time. However, his dedication and willingness to continuously learn and improve paid off. He embraced automation tools like ChatGPT to streamline his communication with clients and to create personalized business plans for his side hustle. While there are limitations to using AI in his workflow, Audet recognizes the potential impact it can have on reducing his workload and attracting top-tier clients.

The Future of Sean Audet's Career

Despite the costs associated with hiring additional professionals for his photo shoots, Audet's business continues to thrive. He has no plans of changing careers again and remains committed to expanding his skills and interests. Currently, he is exploring the use of artificial intelligence to further enhance his workflow, but acknowledges that the technology is not yet advanced enough for professional use. Audet's story serves as an inspiring example of how a side hustle can evolve into a fulfilling and lucrative career in the creative industry.

The Potential Impact of Sean Audet's Journey on New Businesses

Unleashing Passion and Taking Calculated Risks

Sean Audet's transformation from a part-time photographer to a successful full-time career offers a "hot take" for new businesses. It highlights the importance of identifying one's passion and taking calculated risks. By recognizing his love for food photography and making the bold decision to quit his jobs, Audet found fulfillment and financial success that surpassed his previous ventures as a chef and in higher education. His story encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to assess their own passions and embrace the possibility of pursuing them as viable careers.

Embracing Online Platforms for Business Growth

Audet's use of the platform Fiverr showcases the potential impact of online platforms in growing a business. The digital landscape opens doors for entrepreneurs to reach a broader audience and attract clients from around the world. By building a strong reputation and gradually increasing prices, Audet was able to exponentially boost his income. New businesses can take inspiration from his journey, recognizing the opportunities provided by online platforms to showcase their skills and attract clients on a global scale.

The Role of Automation in Streamlining Operations

Audet's adoption of automation tools like ChatGPT demonstrates the benefits of utilizing technology to streamline business operations. As a new business, embracing automation can help reduce workload and improve efficiency. By optimizing communication with clients and creating personalized business plans with AI assistance, entrepreneurs can free up time to focus on core tasks and deliver exceptional services. However, it's important to be mindful of the limitations of AI in professional workflows, ensuring that human creativity and expertise remain central to the business.

Continuous Learning and Adaptability

Audet's commitment to continuous learning and willingness to adapt underscores the importance of staying agile in the ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape. As technology advances, new businesses must be open to exploring its potential impact on their operations. Audet's exploration of artificial intelligence in his workflow reflects the mindset of keeping up with emerging trends and seeking ways to enhance productivity and attract top-tier clients.

In conclusion, Sean Audet's journey from a food photography side hustle to a lucrative career offers valuable insights for new businesses. By following their passions, embracing online platforms, leveraging automation tools, and remaining adaptable, entrepreneurs can carve their own path to success in the creative industry. Audet's story serves as an inspirational reminder that with dedication, strategic decision-making, and continuous learning, a side hustle can become a flourishing and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.

Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/15/millennial-spent-0-dollars-to-start-side-hustle-now-brings-in-six-figures.html

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