Podcast Episodes

040 | Growth: How defining personal values leads to business growth with Nathan Holritz

November 1, 2022

Nathan Holritz is talking discipline, curiosity, passion, and how defining your values leads to growth in your life.

I'm Dan!

Photographer, podcaster, extreme empath, and certified life coach. I help photographers enjoy more family and personal time while growing their business.


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As photographers, how do we stay curious, passionate, and driven in our careers? In today’s episode, my guest Nathan Holritz is sharing his knowledge on how he has continued to grow both personally and professionally over 20+ years in the wedding photography industry. Nathan is the CEO of the Photographer’s Edit, host of both the Bokeh Photography Podcast and The Noobie Photographer Podcast, plus so much more. He has some truly incredible advice to share in this episode about defining and living by your values, and staying in a state of growth. 

The Focused Photographers Podcast was created based on the idea that the most incredible tool for learning is a deep dive into any given topic from multiple perspectives. Join us every other week as we explore important topics, with host Daniel Moyer and a variety of guests offering different perspectives! Make sure you’ve hit that follow or subscribe button on your favorite podcast player to get notified each week as we air new episodes!

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Nathan’s growth in the wedding photography industry (3:36)

Continuing to expand with Photographer’s Edit (7:00)

Creating the drive to show up intentionally and consistently (14:15)

Cultivating and living by your values (22:30)

“Growth” defined as curiosity (26:10)

Defining your values and realistic goals (27:40)

Designing your days to live out your values (31:18)

Practicing gratitude in business (36:00)

The significance of belief (42:43)


Re-Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins


Websites: www.nathanholritz.com / photographersedit.com

Podcasts: Bokeh Podcast / Noobie Podcast

Upcoming Projects: cheezoo.com



Wedding Instagram: @DANIELMOYERPHOTO



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Review the Transcript:

Dan Moyer
Hey diver friends welcome to the focus photographers podcast where photographers gather. I’m your host Dan Moyer and today’s episode is brought to you by the focus five newsletter, which is a weekly business newsletter written specifically for wedding photographers and is delivered into your inbox every Thursday morning. I know y’all are trying to spend less time on social media, but I know you’re constantly in your inbox. So join me every Thursday morning where I’m going to drip some sensible business advice, relatable stories from my 13 years and counting as a full time wedding photographer, and maybe sprinkle in some hype for your wedding this weekend. So you can check that out at Focus photographers.com/newsletter subscribe there. It’s purely educational, you can unsubscribe anytime, and I promise I’m not going to spam you. My guest today is Nathan hole Ritz, which you might actually know as the host of the Boca podcast, except this time, I got to give Nathan a chance to share so much of his knowledge on how he has continued to grow personally, as well as professionally over the last 20 plus years in the wedding photography industry. He’s the CEO of Tarvaris edit. He’s the host of the book, a podcast, like I mentioned, he’s got another new podcast called The newbie podcast, which is specifically for photographers in the under three years area. He’s also creating a conference called the newbie conference. He has a lot going on, and he shares a lot about how he stays fresh, how he lives, his values and how He cultivates a curious mindset. So with that, let’s get into the show with Nathan Horowitz.

Dan Moyer
Nathan hold it’s here he is the man the myth, the legend. How’re you feeling today? Man? You ready?

Nathan Holritz
I’m ready. I’m excited. Yeah, just telling you before we get started, I’m not used to being on the other side of the mic. So this is kind of fun. Yes, I

Dan Moyer
was gonna ask is like how do you feel about like not like relinquishing control, like I get to run the boat. Now it’s really fun.

Nathan Holritz
Well, what you don’t realize is, and this is in part due to my empathy for, I guess, other podcast hosts being a podcast host is when you sent me some questions ahead of time talking points to think over. And I’m very intentional, in at least attempting to be a good communicator. Yep. And part of that intention involves preparation in advance. So even though likely most of our conversation, I could, I could take it off the cuff. And it would be I’d be able to offer some value, hopefully, and it would be a good conversation, I still am very intent on even preparation and thinking through how to respond to certain things. Because I’m thinking about the end listener. And I think it’s important, not just for podcast hosts, but anybody in business at the end of the day, we have to be a good communicator in one form or another. And being intentional and kind of practicing that on a regular basis is important.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, I’m really excited because, you know, you are often the one who is you know, asking questions, getting things from your your list or getting things from your speakers and your guests. But you’ve got this wealth of knowledge. And when I was recording or when I was getting ready to record for this series on growth, you were the one of the people who like really popped up in my mind out because, you know, I follow you on Instagram, I follow photographers edit, you know, I follow the book or podcast, all this stuff, and you’re just somebody who’s so hungry. And you know, you’ve got like that little you have your blog that shows you kind of before and after pictures. So you’re like hustling on the personal side, you’re hustling on the business side with all these different things. But before we get into that, I really want to dive into a little bit about you and who you are and and then tell me a little about your story. And we’ll go from there. Sounds good.

Nathan Holritz
Let’s do it. Um, so

Dan Moyer
as we get into it, or what’s uh, what how did you get to today? Who is Nathan hauritz?

Nathan Holritz
Man, that can be like a 15 hour conversation. I’ll take it from the business side, because I’m assuming that you’re gonna have listeners who are business owners in one form or another as a, let’s see about it. Well, I got married when I was 20. And at the time, I got access to a an inexpensive SLR a film camera, a 35 millimeter camera. Yeah. And I started taking some pictures. And my my partner at the time were no longer together, but she had prepared a portfolio of images, a physical portfolio, old school. Yeah, and this is around 2000 or so. And a friend of mine that I was working with, had seen those pictures and recommended me to a friend of theirs a couple that was getting ready to get married, and said, Hey, you should check out this guy’s photography. And so I ended up photographing their wedding. And I borrowed a second camera went photograph that. And long story short, what was initially just kind of an interest in a hobby. And it turned into about 15 Weddings photographed in the next year and a half or so which then the following full year turned into something like 30 weddings. And the wedding photography business took off my partner at the time ended up joining me and we offered what at the time was unique and the wedding photography world which is two photographers photographing an event. Of course we’re partners and so we knew each other that well We’re playing off of each other and different strengths on both sides, as photographers, and it turned into what was ultimately a pretty successful wedding photography business here in the Chattanooga Tennessee market. Yeah.

Dan Moyer
And then And then so where did you know? Obviously you’re not a wedding photographer anymore. But then you you saw another need, which was outsourcing and all that stuff. So when did because start was that it was your first baby that you kind of opened up outside of the wedding photography world. Is that right? Correct. Yeah, when did that come into play?

Nathan Holritz
2007 2008, we officially launched in 2008. So I guess it kind of started really, in 2007. I realized, well, first of all, that I needed help editing my images. So we transitioned from film, to digital, and we’re shooting, you know, 3040 weddings a year, have two little kids at the time, want more flexibility, more freedom. And I it stressed me out to do the editing because I was an Uber perfectionist. So the idea of being able to hand that over to somebody else to do was obviously quite appealing. The problem was at the time, there were maybe three solutions in the industry that were promoting the services and the kind of primary option, it was like six to 800 bucks to have them process a wedding, which is just not realistic for most photographers, actually, not only that, it was super complicated. So there was an opportunity to launch a competitive service that simplified the whole process for the photography community, it made it more accessible by lowering the price point. And also an intention behind that business model, which was scalability, because these other companies were kind of launching out of their garages and had waiting lists. And I wanted to create a solution that was more scalable. So long story short, 2008, we launched that service. And it turned, it grew honestly, pretty quickly. And a lot of that had to do with connections in the industry. We’ve been in the wedding photography industry for some time. And so super thankful and certainly lucky that we had those connections that helped kind of launch the service. But we were able to offer something unique to the marketplace as well.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, I’m curious about that. How did you did your business sense from the photography world? Did you feel like a lot of that knowledge that you had transitioned over into this other thing that is not just let me go out and have a product and come back, edit it and give it to a client? Because it’s a totally different business model? And there’s a lot of skills and all kinds of Did you feel like that already prepared you? Or do you have a lot more to learn from that like, transition to running another business with employees and all that stuff?

Nathan Holritz
Yeah, good question. And honestly, most of it was learned on the go, yeah. If I get somebody that’s highly complimentary of my business sense, or business skills, I’m like, no, no, no, no. There’s this really cool tool called Google, and YouTube, you know, and I’ve taken advantage of those tools I really has just been, I guess, that’s the story of a lot of entrepreneurs, right? You just kind of figure it out, you jump and build your wings on the way down. And that was kind of the that was a lot of the backstory of photographers edit, I had learned I had the practical understanding and knowledge of being a photographer, and then as a result being able to interact with photographers needs. Yeah, but as far as launching a whole different business model and learning how to build that, that there was a massive learning curve for sure. Yeah,

Dan Moyer
I mean, I can imagine I just, that’s like, alright, so you like start out you have this wedding photography, business, then you sort of like, see a need, and you leverage your knowledge there and you learn some more, and then you get this other thing. And then you just see him as somebody who like I’ve followed you the last couple years from just coming stumbling upon you from the book or podcast, but you just seem like you’ve sort of like got this momentum going, right, like you’ve got the newbie podcast. Now the bulk of podcasts, you’ve got the newbie conference, right? Like you just keep adding more. And like I said, when we first start recording that I, you know, when I was researching for this, you popped in my mind because you have so much going on. And you’re always like posting about your early morning workouts, and you’ve got your before and afters and you’ve got all this stuff going on. I’m just sort of wondering, like, where does that drive and that passion come from? Was Was photographers edit the catalyst? And did that like was that the changing point for to like, kind of launch you on this journey of continuing to help other photographers and all these different senses we’re doing? I’m saying?

Nathan Holritz
Yeah, so there’s a bit to unpack there. But yeah, I think going back to photographers edit, in the early days, a lot of the intention behind starting that outside of the personal need that I had, and then just kind of on a basic level, understanding the business opportunity was a desire to create a business that gave me more freedom and flexibility as a business owner. And at the time, around the time that I was launching the business and trying to build a business. There was a book that came out by an author named Tim Ferriss called The Four Hour Workweek. Yeah. And as I was in it, a lot of people have heard of this book. And I think a lot of people also have scoffed at the title because they’re like, oh, four hour workweek, whatever. I have to work 60 hours a week, and that’s just absolutely unrealistic. By the way, the author Tim has come out since and said, Look, it wasn’t about a literal Four Hour Workweek. It was about learning how to work intelligently to leverage your time and when most effective way possible, what we do with the kind of so called free time that we are given as a result is going to differ from person to person as well. But ultimately, I wanted to do something. In fact, as I was reading that book, the similarities between the thought process that Tim had, and what it was that I was trying to achieve was really interesting, literally not just like making this up for the sake of conversation, literally, within the span of about three years after starting photographers edit, I was at a place where I was putting in about four hours a week into photographers edit, and it was continuing to grow. Now, there are a variety of reasons for that. And first, I have to give massive praise to the team back then. And certainly my team now, that has enabled that growth because of course, I can, I can talk about whatever I may have done to help kind of get that off the ground. But at the end of the day, the thing doesn’t happen, the company doesn’t run without an incredible team. Right, right. And so we get massive thanks to the team. But there was certainly intention behind that business model and trying to create something that was sustainable without me having to constantly have my hands in it. Now, the reason that I bring this up, is because you asked about the drive now that I have now, which by the way I didn’t really have back then in the same way, the drive that I have now is is here for a number of different reasons. One of those reasons, though, is just the realization that I had, I put a little bit more work or work ethic into what I was doing. At that point, let’s just say instead of the four hours a week, I’d put in 1520 hours a week into that business, I’m super lucky to again, with my team have built a multimillion dollar company. But we would be you know, three 5x Maybe what we ended up becoming had I just put a bit more into it at that point. I had a little bit I mean, to be clear, there was a lot of hard work involved. But at the same time, maybe there was a little bit of laziness, in association with that attention to create something that was you know, again, that added flexibility in my life and generated I’m going to put in air quotes passive income, that’s just looking back and like man, had I only been if I had only shown up and done some work consistently. Where could I be now. And then if I go back even further, actually, and I think back so I played soccer starting in about fifth grade. Yeah, and played into college. And again, long story short, I know that the the primary component that was missing, that kept me from going to, you know, just playing in college for ended up only playing for a year because of my knee injuries, but kept me from going from college to at least semi pro, if not further, was work ethic, I had the skill set, but the work ethic, the willingness to push beyond the discomfort to push beyond the pain, and really throw down and to do so consistently, is really the major missing component in my wannabe soccer career when I look back in hindsight. So those are a couple of pain points, if you will, in hindsight that I can learn from. And, you know, there’s there’s a guy name you familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk. Yeah. And I know people have different opinions about Gary, I like him a lot. I will say that, and I actually have mixed opinions about him as well. But I will say that one of the things that I’ve learned from him, and it was really a turning point for this, this work ethic and this kind of drive to show up and to work hard and to do so consistently, was two or three years ago, maybe even actually, probably before that, maybe four or five years ago anyway, listening to Gary’s content and the realization that look, if I’m going to actually go somewhere with my company or companies, I’m going to need to show up at a need to show up consistently I need to put the work in and the kind of starting, or what kind of help launch that effort was the podcast, the book or podcast, we’re now about 600 episodes in a ton of content over the last six years. And that was really the turning point and the begin the beginning of a mindset shift for me, which was you know, what if you’re going to accomplish something, and again, I was lucky to have accomplished what I’d already had at that point. But if I’m going to go next level, I’ve got to show up consistently, no excuses. I’ve got to show up consistently. And so that began with the podcast, it certainly began to translate then with my health and what I’m doing taking care of myself physically. And it certainly is translated to my work ethic with my company and the various brands that I’ve been working with that I’m going to be building as well.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, man. Wow, there’s a whole lot in there. I’m very interested in the oh, if I just would have done this during this time, if I just want to put more effort in in the soccer part of things. Is that like it? Was that a lesson that you had to learn in order to sort of be where you’re at now to say like, oh, you know, that’s just a lesson I’m going to learn and I’m not going to make that mistake again. Right? It I saw what it’s like where if I don’t put the work in, I don’t get the results, but then there’s this little clique that happens with their Gary Vee or I don’t know if you’re a fan of David Goggins or like Jocko willing those guys, right, like same sort of message, some business, some personal, but to say, You know what, I’m not going to let that happen again, it’s time to get to work. Is that sort of where you’re coming from on this?

Nathan Holritz
That’s it? Yeah, that’s it. And to be clear, I’m not then talking about going and working 80 hours a week. cuz I have no interest in that it kind of, to me, it feels pointless on multiple levels, including why I’m even in business for myself in the first place, right? I do want that freedom and that flexibility, I kind of went to the extreme at the outset with photographers edit, and again was lucky enough to be able to do that because of my team. But I’m just realizing, in hindsight that had I approached it a little bit differently. And again, it didn’t have to be extreme in you know, four hours to 80 hours, four hours to 20 hours. And I still have all kinds of freedom and flexibility in my life. Had I done that more intentionally. And more consistently. Where could I be right now? And so yeah, that question mark. It’s not about, you know, kind of reveling in the regret, if you will, right. But it’s like, Oh, hey, this is how I behaved. This is the result. Now I’m beginning to change that behavior and look at the comparison contrast. And man, I need to make sure that I’m showing up moving forward.

Dan Moyer
Is it is it discipline, is that because all right, let me put it this way. So I mean, I follow your stories. I’m up hustling in my basement, I’ve got little tiny babies, and my my basement gym is where I, you know, my pain cave, right? I’m trying to get some workout in on the runs. And every single morning, I check Instagram, and there you are, right, you’re going to use B, Planet Fitness. Now you’re at some new fancy gym. But it’s like, it’s like you get a little bit hyped on that, like I know, Nathan’s getting NAFTA today. And I’m just wondering, Is that is that discipline? Is that motivation? Do you Do you still show up on days you’re not motivated and inspired? And how do you sort of create that drive to show up? Even when you’re not feeling it?

Nathan Holritz
Yeah. Well, so again, there are a number of factors at play there. Yeah, I have to, I have to actually say first that my my dad growing up was and still is an example of discipline, and certainly work ethic. And so I had that I had mixed feelings about it, though, because because he worked so much and so hard, it also interfered with the time or more time that I wanted with him as his kid. And so there part of me was like, Man, I want to have more freedom, more flexibility, so that I can give time to the important relationships in my life. And that’s really important. But at the end of the day, regardless of that, and I think I’ve at least been working on a good balance between the two, I did have a good example of my dad of what it meant to put the work in. But yes, then following some of these other people, that and others as well, that you’ve talked about, that are representations of what it means to show up and put the work in has certainly been an inspiration for me. But I had to do deeper work than that. Because here’s the thing, like, it’s easy, especially in the age of social media to be to be able to go on Instagram, or Tiktok, or Facebook, wherever it might be and get some level of inspiration, listen to a podcast, be all hyped up and go do something for three days, and then fall off the wagon. Right, right. So what I realized and I read a book a number of years ago by Tony Robbins called RE Awaken the Giant Within fact, he wrote, the first book he wrote is called Awaken the Giant Within, it’s not always about 700 pages, I read through about half the book. And it’s kind of funny, actually, because I never did actually finish the book. But it made such an impact on me, to the extent that I in fact, the tattoos that I have on the inside of my wrists here, I got as a result of of reading his his content, but there is a what I would recommend to everybody is not to go get that 700 Page versus get the 100 page ebook that he his or his team rewrote, is called RE Awaken the Giant Within. And if you just Google that you can find it free download. That is an amazingly impactful book. And one of the reasons that it is impactful is because he talks about the significance of values, and values at at just kind of a simple level are the most significant ideals in our life. These are principles or a big ideas that are so meaningful to us that they create an emotional response, which then results in action. Right? Right. And so I realized, okay, in order to, or at least part of what is gonna enabled me to be a better human being, is to clearly establish what my values are. And these values need to be so significant in my life that if I don’t live them out, I’m going to be pissed at myself, there’s going to be again, there’s that emotional response, which is, I am disappointed that I’m not living up to my standard, this is my standard. These are the ideals that I want to be if I were to die today, and somebody talks about me, I want them mentioning at least 234 of these principles, these values in my life. One of those certainly centers around health. Another though, that has become more and more important to me is this idea of reliability. And the notion that I show up consistently representing these various values. That’s, that’s part of it is just the certainly at the base level value set. And I have 12 Actually, that I’ve made no for myself at this stage in my life, and I’m glad to go into those but one is showing up in my values consistently. The other two, one of the reasons that I pushed myself is I enjoy tension, and it’s a longer story, but there is there is this tension that comes from doing something that is uncomfortable, or that again, creates an emotional response, some sense of discomfort or anger or frustration or whatever it might be but tension that in by past life represented itself in a very unhealthy way. What this does now is give me opportunity to, to experience that tension. But ultimately, that tension is a source of growth of motivation in some cases. So the idea of pushing myself beyond the comfort zone to improve even, you know, by a second, or by a quarter of a mile, or whatever it might be, whatever the thing is that I’m attacking, or certainly business, we can, we can make similar analogies, but making small improvements on a regular basis, pushing myself competing against myself on a regular basis, I enjoy that process. Right now I’m in a mastermind group, one of the challenges that I’ve taken on is the 943, just to give context to everybody listening in, but there is a there are the minimum physical requirements for Navy SEALs, yeah, if they’re getting ready to go into that program, there’s a minimum set of requirements. And then there’s also the above average set as well. And my goal is as a 43 year old, or maybe within the next six months to year to not just get the minimum physical requirements for navy seal. And most of those Navy SEALs are, you know, 18 to 20 years old, probably. But to go to the above average standard, that’s what I’m working toward. So it’s giving myself those challenges to continue to get better as an individual. And then again, doing something similar as a business owner that I find appealing both for the sake of growth, which is one of my values, but also because I enjoy that that the challenge the sensation of I’m pushing against something that’s difficult,

Dan Moyer
that whole idea of getting really comfortable with being uncomfortable, or like your intention you talked about of like, whenever I noticed, that’s a hard shift to make where you say, like, oh, I don’t, I don’t want to go running right now. Because it’s it’s raining outside or it’s cold, it’s like, it’s hard to change that to know, I’m actually going to go running now or, you know, I don’t like to run. But this is a shift that I’ve had over the last, you know, six or so years is, when I don’t like to run, it’s like there’s like remember this way, if there’s 300 pounds on the floor, you can either lift it or you can’t. That’s it, right? There’s like you can grind it out. But it’s like if I’ve got 11 miles on the on the agenda for today, and I’m six miles in there. It’s only this and nobody can see this because it’s a podcast, but I’m putting into my head. It’s only the mind game, right to get you through to that next port to get you through the next five miles to get home. I think that’s where growth is. And I love that you mentioned that because it’s such an atypical thing to like to say, Oh, I’m going to lean into what makes me uncomfortable. And I guess from that you’ve said, you know that that tension that leaning into the thing that’s uncomfortable? That’s part of your values? Was that an intentional thing where you said, You know what, I’m going to sit down and write out these 12 values. And I’m going to live by them. Can you tell me a little bit through that process of like how people can start to cultivate that mindset and and maybe this is an activity for somebody to do to say like I need to refocus back on getting myself on track and working towards my values?

Nathan Holritz
I think so. And again, for the most context possible, I still recommend that book, even if you’re not a fan of Tony Robbins, per se, just the book because it doesn’t cost anybody anything, go into that section about values, because it’ll lend a lot more context to the conversation. But for me, what that’s looked like practically, over a period of time is Yes, exactly what you were saying, make a list of what in the moment are the most important ideals in my life, these ideals that bring me a sense of satisfaction, a sense of joy, genuine happiness? What are those things, and I’ll just run through them really quick, please give context it to everybody. And I can break them down even further. Because the way that I have these written up for myself, I’ve listed the value. And then I’ve defined what that means to me. And that gives me again, there’s a lot of intention there, right? If I just write a word down, it can mean different things at different days, depending on how I’m feeling. But yeah, let’s briefly go through each one. I think that’d be great. Okay, awesome. Yeah. So, first of all, choice, choice. And the way that I have this defined is anytime I own the privilege and power to choose my beliefs, which affects thoughts, feelings and actions. So that’s number one. Number two is belief. Anytime I own the privilege and power to frame a situation, experience or person as I choose, and that’s a loaded conversation, a really powerful one and glad to come back to that. Number three is thankfulness anytime I’m showing or expressing appreciation. Number four is health. Anytime I take care of my body in a way that helps me stay lean alert, and energetic. Number five is connection anytime I have the opportunity to connect with someone through conversation, and or touch and of course that would be with my partner. And by the way, you’ll notice that the way that I have these definitions phrase that’s anytime I and then dot dot dot, right? So the reality is, I’m not going to be thinking about all 12 values at once all day long every day, but the intention is to consistently live out these values and so I’ve defined them as such service number six anytime I’m making someone else’s life a little better. Number seven is time anytime on maximizing time for the sake of connection, adventure and rest. Number eight is proactivity anytime I’m moving forward, right, we don’t want it it’s it’s very easy to fixate on something or a set of things and get Stuck in life, I want to make sure that I’m continuing to move forward regardless of what other area of my life I’m talking about. Number nine is charisma. Anytime I’m engaging with people in a spirit of presence, power, and warmth, number 10 is reliability anytime I’m keeping my word and or are consistent in my values. Number 11 is growth. Anytime I behave with curiosity, try something new, push myself outside my comfort zone or improve as an individual. And then number 12 is simplicity. Anytime that minimize the number of moving parts, or words spoken written, I have a tendency of talking a little too much that is so good for the sake of the 8020 principle.

Dan Moyer
Hmm, interesting. So all right, so you said these were sort of a work in progress over a couple years, you’d write them all out at once. Now, they’ve

Nathan Holritz
shifted a little bit and, of course, to each his own right at the end of the day, but what I would suggest when it comes to the notion of values is we might we may realize, even as we continue to grow as individuals, that there are certain priorities that we have in life that shift over time. So many of these have stayed relatively consistent, but I’ve you know, taken one or two away out of this one, or adjusted the, the terminology that I was using, or the definition of refined them over time, but ultimately, I’ve ended up with these 12. For now, for the sake of, you know, staying in this episode, in this whole series that we’re doing, I’m particularly interested in growth defined sort of as curiosity, right, that you’re staying curious to, to things and you talk a little bit about that, and, and how you sort of cultivate that curiosity, in your in your daily practice or daily life, things like that. Yeah, and that’s a tough one. Honestly, it’s a learning this is a learning curve for me, because what I’ve realized is that there’s kind of a fine line between open mindedness to the extent that we are even compromising our own values, right under the guise of being curious about somebody else’s perspective or somebody else’s value set. But at the very least, I can make the comparison to the photography industry, because I’ve been in it long enough now to see the difference between somebody who keeps an open mind toward the shifts and changes in the photography industry. And as a result, make changes in their own business and business model and approach to business, the way that they interact with clients, the tools that they use, etc, for the sake of continuing to evolve with the industry versus those that essentially say, this is what I’m used to, this is what I like, this is what I’m comfortable with. And we talked about that notion of proactivity earlier, instead of continuing to be pro, instead of being proactive, they’re stuck where they were or where they were comfortable. And so the notion, at least for me behind curiosity, is that I keep an open mind for the sake of learning, continuing to learn and to progress. That’s my intention behind that.

Dan Moyer
Hmm, interesting. What kind of things do you do on this, like, on the daily to sort of continue to stay in this place of growth and curiosity and, and really live out each of these 12 values that you did? Is it? Is it things like, you know, you’re intentionally setting up habits and rituals and meditations? And because I know exercise is part of that? Is it goal setting for you? And then how can how do you do that on your sort of regular life, and then what can people take away from that, as they are trying to design their own life and sort of build their own growth mindset and things like

Nathan Holritz
that, I would say, and this may seem simplistic, but what I would encourage your listeners to do is, first of all, to establish those values. And, you know, 12 values is a lot, it’s kind of a, they feel like a lot to keep up with, right? My suggestion on that when it comes to creating the values and I would suggest starting there is to maybe start with three to five and and pick those values, those ideals that are the truly beyond anything else, the most important to you and focus on those. Because if we take on, and this is a theme that I’ll get to explain a little bit more in a second. But if we take on too much at once, the likelihood that we sustain the effort, whatever the effort is, is not nearly as high. So of course, the easiest comparison I make is with the Gym, New Year’s resolutions, I’m going to get in shape, I’m going to spend three hours a day in the gym, and I’m going to lose, you know, 50 pounds, and whatever, we create these really wonderfully sounding goals, but they’re not very realistic, we have to take on we have to take on a or set sustainable goals. And when I say sustainable goals that we can live out consistently or make an effort toward consistently. And if we’re overwhelmed by a goal that is too large, there’s a good likelihood that we put it off or that we ultimately just give up give up on it altogether. So first establishing values and that what this does is help give us clarity, what is it that we want out of life and for me, that’s what that’s what the values mean to me. Certainly they are the ideals that are most important to me that translate to a sense of fulfillment and joy. But ultimately, it is what I want out of life. And the cool thing is those those baseline values mean how I get there can look a million different ways. The key is that I am clear about establishing and living out that set of values I start there. And again for your listeners that recommends starting with even just three to five, because it’s a little bit more manageable, a little bit more sustainable. That would be number one. And then number two, it’s really as simple and to go back to my original point I was saying may seem a bit simplistic but just reviewing them on a daily basis. And where this has fallen for me at least in months past is going to the gym, one of the gyms that I go to has a massage chair, right? So I could go do a workout. And then I can go sit down and kind of the the status quo for me the workflow, if you will, was to sit in that massage chair for say, 1015 minutes review, I have a certain set of newsfeeds that I review for the day, both industry and tech related. A little bit of design a bit of motorcycles because I like motors, right? Yeah. But I take in my news for the day and then I review my value set. And this is just a it’s a way to kind of I hate to use the phrase or word because it’s overused but recenter myself, can I bring the focus into okay, hey, just Nate, FYI, remember, this is what it is that you’re trying to accomplish to live out. And that that reviewing process helps keep those values front and center. So in a way it almost becomes second nature to be attempting to live those out on a regular basis. And by the way, this is very possible even with a larger list like like the one that I have.

Dan Moyer
Gotcha one of the things that I I see a lot on your your personal social media your Instagram stories and stuff is your emphasis on on fun and and being able to be very fulfilling for yourself, right? You post about the motorcycle posts about playing soccer, I think maybe a couple times a week or some with some buddies or something. You’re always hitting the gym up. How does that part play into sort of like maybe maybe like a week, right? Like, what does the week look like for you? Are you intentional about breaking it up? Like, alright, this day, I’m working on these things. I’m making sure I’m scheduling in time for fun and things like that, can you can give a little bit overview on that. Because I’d like to hear what it’s like in practice for people who are, you know, really trying to push themselves? What does that week look like? How did they design that for themselves,

Nathan Holritz
there’s kind of a mix of it mix for me in that there is intention behind the daily workout, because it really ends up being six, seven days a week. Yeah, there were times where I was like, oh, five days or six days, and I’ll take a day off. But I just enjoy it so much at the end of the day that I don’t mind doing it seven days a week, I just have to keep an eye on making sure that I am getting the rest that I need. Yeah, and recovery as well. So the specificity as far as daily schedule is that getting that workout in starting out with kind of understanding of where the industry yet is that where the where the tech world is at. Because that does influence my understanding of what I’m doing in business, it kind of gives me that big picture overview. So I’m not just kind of head down blinders on working in my own company, I’ve got a kind of a big picture perspective, and the choices that I’m making, the business that we’re getting ready to launch, the first part of the year is is very much one that I need to be aware of not just the photography industry, but the tech side as well. So there’s that piece of it. And then the intention with my with my day to day schedule. And this is where there’s we’ll call it there’s more flexibility involved, but is that I start with three MIT’s which is kind of most important tasks. And the idea there is to focus my time and effort energy on something that takes a little bit more creative effort, and energy and resource. Before I get into some of the more mundane tasks, some of the communication that might have to happen, a little bit of the busy work that even as a CEO, I still have to, you know, the handle occasionally. But that’s kind of the the intention is start with the creative stuff early on in the day. And then and then kind of work into the some of the stuff that doesn’t take as much creative mental power later in the day. That’s something that I still need to work on being more consistent with. But as far as the the, the, what I see works best for myself. That’s kind of what it is. It’s the creative stuff early on, the more resource intensive stuff early on, and then moving into the afternoon, but communication meetings, podcast, hosting, interviewing, etc. As far as the the relaxation, I enjoy not having a schedule with that, in that, hey, you know what if I’ve got an hour here, and I want to step away from my desk, and I can go get on the motorcycle and just take a breather, kind of mix things up, hit the reset and refresh button. I love the flexibility innate to that because I had been putting in the work more in the last two to three years. And so the idea that I can break that up when I want to goes back to that freedom, that flexibility that we were talking about earlier, and I’m actually taking advantage of that versus feeling like I’m you know, chained to my desk all the time, by like breaking up the day and mixing up the schedule and not doing the same thing all the time in that regard.

Dan Moyer
I feel that on a spiritual level I love I mean, that’s part of my favorite part about being an entrepreneur is saying like, Okay, well I get to manage my schedule. And if I feel like laying on the couch for an hour with my daughter who’s not feeling well, I can just be like no pause. But that whole idea that you went back to before about the like sort of understanding your energy Do you levels and like hitting the gym getting like awake right away, but then spending a lot of your creative time as like the first couple hours of the day, like early in the day where you have to do things that require a lot of thought process and then doing some of the mundane stuff later, because it’s easy for us to get into that zone of Oh, who needs my attention right now? Right? Let me answer emails, first thing or whatever it like. Totally, I know plenty of friends of mine who that feel that makes them feel like they when they answer emails that makes them feel like they’ve gotten something done, right, because their whole job is communication. But I’m in the same vein, and there’s a book called Manage your day to day, build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative minds ever see, this one might sound super familiar, I might have mentioned it on when I was on your podcast, because it was a huge, huge game changer for me. But that’s exactly what they say in there is to pay attention to your natural energy flows. And after you do these like big intensive work, to take a break and get outside and ride your motorcycle and things like that. So you have given quite a lot of things to think about here. And I feel like I want to dive in on just one more of these. And it’s because it’s the one that sort of sticks out to me as, as not necessarily always associated with business. And it’s thankfulness, like a gratitude mindset, because it’s not something that you you always hear like, go hustle, go get, you know, hard push hard hustle, productivity, all these things, service to others value add value to other people’s lives. But this thankfulness one is the one that stuck out to me. And I want to just dive into a little bit of that, and how you practice that. And what then redefine it again, for us.

Nathan Holritz
You know, it actually started for me with the way that I was raised. And there was I think it was maybe almost more of a formality in a sense that like it was it was a rule that was something we were supposed to do as kids, I have three younger brothers. And we always were pushed to say thank you in response to any and everything. And it was a wonderful habit, because what happened was it carried over into my adult life. And I didn’t realize its significance as much I don’t think until probably the last I don’t know even three or four years in particular. And you know, I’ve had the opportunity to, to experience some financial success in my life. And as I’ve grown up a little bit, and I realized how much I might have compared to another person. It’s it’s just been a humbling realization that man, I’m why it’s just been humbling period. That’s just it. And so I don’t ever want to take for granted what I have, certainly on a financial level. But I don’t ever want to take for granted what I have with my health I don’t ever want to take for granted what I have with my kids. And my my my romantic life. I just, I don’t ever want to take it for granted. And I think what that does is it helps maintain perspective. And as a result, my attitude in life, but it then also helps in the way that I interact with others as well. And, man, I wish I could add more depth to that. But that’s that’s kind of the simple summation of my perspective on thankfulness. And I just don’t ever want to give that up.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, that’s really beautiful. I just think that whole I mean, I think it’s coming more into normal talk to talk about gratitude and gratefulness and practicing that in the evening of thanks, you know, thinking about something good that happened today. But you know, we do see a lot of things like misery loves company, people complaining for the sake of complaining. And I often wonder about this, like intentional side of things have, have really been great for you have and it it popped up recently in a book I’m reading by Greg McKeon called effortless. And he says, something about complaining and focusing on like the negative side of people, when you’re interacting with them, and choosing to focus on something good or finding something good in people, he talks about just relating this to overall life, when you start looking at these, you have a choice to either choose better or better. And I love this quote that he says it says, When you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have. When you focus on what you have, you get what you lack. And that’s why I love that that is one of your values, that thankfulness of, of just not taking for granted. And also stopping to smell the roses and appreciate all the work that you’ve done is, is one that really stuck out to me that I love the habit in there. It’s great.

Nathan Holritz
I think it keeps us young, too. You know, we were talking earlier about, about a mentality that maintain some sense of youth. And I think that’s part of it, honestly, because it’s so easy to get stuck in. I mean, certainly there’s that sense of entitlement that we might get at times. And it’s very easy to do that, sadly, in first world culture where we’ve got so much and have so much opportunity as well. But if we maintain a sense of thankfulness, not only does it help us maintain perspective as far as how we engage with the world and what we ultimately are trying to give to the world, because that’s really important to me, I mentioned services one of my one of my values, and I love the sense of each on a small level or a more grander level being able to give to the world In some way, but if I maintain that sense of thankfulness, then you’re absolutely right. I am literally and maybe even or figuratively, but maybe even literally stopping and smelling the roses, because I appreciate all the little details. And I think when I mentioned to you that I think this was before we started recording, but I said, I’m like a 14 year old, a lot of my sense of 14 year old and this has to do with just like I’m easily fascinated, and easily excited, and easily interested. And I think part of it is just that, like I appreciate even the small things, and I don’t outside of you know, being raised to be to express thanks for things, I don’t know where that comes from. But I’m, I’m super thankful that I have it, ironically, and I and I don’t, I just don’t want to lose sight of that. Because I will say, and I won’t go into a lot of detail about this. But even in my romantic life, you know, it’s very easy and and I’ve been married in the past and not now but being able to look in hindsight at my previous relationship, and then having been in a long term relationship, as well. And in more recent times, it’s easy to let the kind of day to day go past and get easily annoyed, or to easily give up working on this aspect of the relationship or that aspect of the relationship. But when you look at that other person, and you are just beyond appreciative of the opportunity that you have to share in life with this individual, the way that that then translates to the rest of the relationship with that very fresh kid like perspective is absolutely almost magical. Once that goes away, it’s so easy to get cynical, and judgmental and critical. And again, that then translates to kind of every area of the relationship. So there’s opportunity here not just on a very simple day to day level to say thank you to somebody or you know, express appreciation, whatever form or what it is that you have or what you’re experiencing, but to do that on the small level to appreciate the small things as well. And it will literally transform your perspective about life.

Dan Moyer
That is a beautiful way to finish this episode of just about I’m going to try to find a quote somewhere in there about thankful for being thankful. Like just like that was really awesome. But yeah, like, yeah, that that, like Kid likeness, that kid like curiosity, that kid like thankfulness, like when you said that I was automatically thinking of this silly viral video I saw years ago of like, like, let’s have let’s have a childlike excitement about life. And it was a mom who like wrapped a paperclip or something like really beautiful wrapping paper and gave it to her daughter and whose daughter is like two or three and she opens up and she’s like, Ah, this is mine. It’s all mine. And it’s just like, what if we could just pull a little bit of that into our everyday life. And yeah, I love that. So final parting thoughts and a little bit about where we can fall along, both personally professionally and all the things that you have your your hand in the one

Nathan Holritz
big idea that I just want to encourage everybody to consider and think about how you can apply to your life is the significance of belief. And there’s a quote that I’ve kind of had stuck in my head for some time, which is it’s what you make of it. I mentioned earlier that belief is one of my values. And the real. The reason it’s it’s one of my values is because I’ve what I’ve realized in life, as I continue to grow up at least a little bit, is that how I choose to frame something. So my belief system, and a lot of times belief system is associated with, you know, a religion, right, or some type of religious conversation. And it’s not just that I, you know, I speak into this microphone, because I believe that it’s going to translate to audio. On the other side, unfortunately, the belief is true. But then there are also beliefs that we buy into that aren’t accurate or aren’t enabling. So at the end of the day, we have the ability to choose how we frame the world through a belief system, a belief or a set of beliefs. And those beliefs will either enable us to continue to not only become better human beings, but ultimately add value to the world or they won’t. And so I would encourage everybody to consider their belief system again, not a religious belief system per se, but how it is that we are looking through the world what belief or set of beliefs are driving your perspective and ultimately your actions, your behavior in the world. That is just it is one of the most powerful concepts and one that I’m still trying to unpack. I think it’s really really incredible. The Japanese word by the way for belief and it’s what I have on the inside of my left wrist is CA Cushing is the Japanese word. And so I’ll leave you all with that. You can find kind of everything that I’m involved in have my hands in if you just go to Nathan whole Ritz h2o LR itc.com for photographers, photographers edit is custom editing for the wedding and portrait photographer for the professional photographer and you can find us at photographers edit.com and that you mentioned earlier Boca Bok Ah podcast.com for the podcast or really you just search that on any of your favorite podcast players and then for new photographers. And let’s say your first few years of business newbie podcast, so in OB ie podcast for that show as well.

Dan Moyer
Is there something coming out, and I can we can cut this out if we need to. Oh, chi su that I saw coming out is that what’s launching coming up? Can you there is a little tasty taste which you Come on, give us? Well, I can.

Nathan Holritz
I can confirm that since that that site, the landing page is live. Yeah. And so if anybody’s curious, you can go to cheeses th e zo.com. I can’t give a whole lot away about about that. But what I will say and this isn’t even explained on the landing page. So I grew up in Japan. That’s why I was speaking Japanese a second ago, I spent about 10 years of my life there. But in Japan when you go to take a picture, well, let me make the comparison in the states we go to take a picture we say all right, say cheese. Yeah, well, in Japan, they use a lot of English words in their day to day vocabulary and just kind of pronounced them with a Japanese pronunciation. So when instead of saying, Say cheese, they would say hi, cheese. And so that cheese zoo, that word that we associate with smiling when we take a picture is the basis for cheese. Ooh, CH e zo.com. This new company will be launching in January.

Dan Moyer
Very, very cool. Thanks. I saw that pop up a little while ago, when I was researching for the episode. And I was like, He’s not saying anything. Get him to say something.

Nathan Holritz
It’s got a fun, it’s got a really fun logo as smiley logo to go along with it as well. And in fact, I was just looking at two boxes of merch earlier, we’re getting ready to get this thing launched. But yeah, I’m pretty excited about it. Big, big things coming for sure.

Dan Moyer
Good on you, man. Thank you so much for just being vulnerable and sharing some very personal things. And also just, you know, I know, I threw some things, some questions on there that weren’t part of what I had originally sent to you and I, you were so prepared. And I love that you sort of live this right? Like you don’t just have like a book knowledge of it. And I’m just very thankful that you you you really lived this and shared so much of it with us and especially about the 12 valleys man, that was really awesome. And now it’s got me thinking about what I want to do and not just taking them from from, you know, not just highlighting them live in my brain, but actually putting them out and writing them down and reviewing them every day and as as like my North Star so that’s um, that’s pretty big takeaway. I love that. Thank you so much. My privilege my privilege.

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I'm Dan! Life Coach, Photographer, Extreme Empath, and Podcaster.

I'm a full time wedding photographer since Jan. 2010.
Smitten Husband since 2014
Dad x Three (one plus twins), certified life coach, Phillies fan and extreme empath. 

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