DMV CEOI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM950- Full-time Entrepreneur Focuses on the DC Area

Podcast Interview with Anthony Bolognese

Anthony Bolognese is a full-time entrepreneur who has planted himself firmly and forcefully in the DC area by founding both Capitol Hill Photo and Capitol Hill Clothiers. He has taken photos for brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Walmart and his work has been featured in publications including DC Modern Luxury, Capitol File Magazine, and Washingtonian. He has also created custom suits for DMV executives, members of congress, and the occasional local athlete.

  • CEO Hack: Traning oneself to think in a logical way as opposed to an emotional manner
  • CEO Nugget: There's no better way to grow than to learn from mistakes
  • CEO Defined: Corporate, desk job, C-Level excutives

Website: http://capitolhill.photo/

http://capitolhillclothiers.com/

Full Interview:


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[00:00:10.40] – Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

[00:00:39.89] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gress from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Anthony Bolognese of Capitol Hill Photos and Capitol Hill Clothiers. Anthony, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:51.10] – Anthony Bolognese

Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

[00:00:51.79] – Gresham Harkless

Definitely. Super excited to have you on as well too. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Anthony so I can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Anthony Boleness is a full-time entrepreneur who planted himself firmly and forcefully in the DC area by founding both Capitol Hill Photo and Capitol Hill Clothiers. He has taken photos for brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Walmart, and his work has been featured in publications including DC Modern Luxury, Capital File magazine, and The Washingtonian. He also created custom suits for DMV executives, members of Congress, and the occasional local athlete. Anthony, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:34.29] – Anthony Bolognese

Absolutely.

[00:01:35.30] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Well, let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I want to rewind the clock a little bit to you, supplanted those seats those those feet here in DC. Could you take us through a little bit more about your CEO story? We'll let you get started with all the awesome work you're doing.

[00:01:38.29] – Anthony Bolognese

Sure. So first of all, I am a born and bred creative and I have never wanted to go to college. So I finished high school, back in Florida. I was raised in Florida and did a vocational school, dual enrollment thing while I was in high school, studying to do media and design. Then as soon as I graduated, left Florida because if you've ever lived in Florida, you probably have wanted to leave Florida planted myself just temporarily in North Carolina for two years, just freelancing from home, doing everything that I could convince someone to pay me to do, whether I knew how to do it or not, and learned on the way, learned by doing and just spent that two years building up my abilities there. I ended up in DC, right, in the DC area, because, the girl that I was dating at the time finished up her last two years of school down in Florida, moved up with me, and then immediately got a job offer in Leesburg.

And I was working from my bedroom at the time, so knew nothing about Virginia, knew nothing about the DC area, and figured, all right, if there's internet up there, I'm game. Let's go. So we moved to Loudoun County. Humongous culture shock because I went from weird Florida to rural North Carolina to the IT tech mecca that was Loudoun County in twenty fifteen. And every other car is a Maserati, and people are dressed well, and there's a bunch of people out doing things, and it was just a crazy thing to me. So I saw this opportunity. Okay, there's a lot of money here. There's a lot of people here. There's a lot of room for me to grow what I've been doing digitally and kind of enter that personal, world.

So since then, I have had a much higher cost of living in this area than the previous two. So I battled between working for somebody and continuing to work for myself. And, it was kind of a battle. It was its rough building from scratch or at least entering a new market. And I was still, at that time, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to be doing. So I ended up meeting up with Barnett Holston, who runs the DC Fashion Fool blog and Instagram. And we just put together this big brunch for a bunch of local menswear brands and influencers and bloggers. And I met what became pretty much my network, my starting network for the DC area. And I ended up meeting my business partner, Robert Ordway, with Capitol Hill Clothiers.

And we just talked about our experience with custom clothing our passions and our history. And we decided then that we were gonna start Capitol Hill Clothiers. And we decided, again, based on our previous experience that we didn't wanna operate a retail storefront. We didn't wanna have any physical inventory because one, we had the things that we wanted to be doing. He works in the Senate. I was doing stock photography full-time. So we just didn't wanna spend ninety hours a week owning and operating and managing and being in a storefront. And on top of that, we just didn't wanna take out a QMOGRIS business loan on a very risky idea.

So we decided to do everything exclusively custom-made, exclusively by appointment, and exclusively ballet. And that's how we have operated the business for the past three years now. And as far as the photography, I'm gonna I'm gonna flip flop back and forth between all of these because they're so intertwined. Around that same time, I started full-time with photography. I was doing full-time events basically up until this past March to date this episode. Because of COVID, my industry kind of got slammed. So that was that was the, the basis of really my my going headlong into photography was doing events full time.

[00:05:09.69] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense, and I appreciate you for sharing that. I think so many times that we're sometimes not sure how to have things come to fruition, but I love how you talked about taking that step. And once you take that first step, sometimes those things open up, like, the network opened up for you. The different opportunities will open up. But I think so many times you plan and, usually, say I am ready and you never take action. So I love those transitions and moved. You came here where there's a load of Internet obviously in the DC area. And, it provided other opportunities for you, but you just continue to take steps, it sounds like.

[00:05:43.30] – Anthony Bolognese

Yeah. Ready, fire, and aim is the way I've pretty much lived my entire life. Yes. Absolutely. Jumping off bridges and then figuring out how not to die when I land.

[00:05:51.39] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. Build build a, well, build a parachute on the way down, so to speak. Exactly. So, I know you touched a little bit on each of your businesses. Could you take us through a little bit more about each of those and how you serve the clients you work with?

[00:06:02.39] – Anthony Bolognese

So with photography, I mean, that has changed a lot over the past year. But for the most part, I want and this kinda goes for both of our businesses. I want everything that works through me to be a very intimate personal experience. So even if I'm shooting events, I wanna be very involved in the planning of the events. I wanna be courteous of what's going on, whether it's a silent auction, gala, something, or a personal bridal shower at someone's house. I want it to be personal. I wanna be the one there that's consciously making an effort, to capture the things that the people organizing it want to see. I wanna make a strong effort to make sure that people receive everything that they want and more.

For photography, that it's very, very case by case because some companies will just throw money at you and go, okay. I want you here for eight hours. Do this. Send us an invoice. But then some of them, you can see the passion in their project their event, or their little intimate get-together. I mean, it's something that people hold dear because it's something that they created, and they're entrusting you with creating and capturing the memories of that thing.

So that's something that I value with photography, and just creating a good value. I mean, making sure that I can provide a service that's as good or better than anybody else in the area and not being too transactional about it, trying to make it more of a relationship because I want people to come back to me. I don't want it to just be a one-night stand. I want it to be a marriage.

[00:07:26.30] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah.

[00:07:27.19] – Anthony Bolognese

And then as far as clothing, I think one of the things that drive our social interest is that it is so valet because so many are in the same way. So many businesses operate in such a transactional way because they have this overhead that they need to pay. They have a quota they need to hit. They have management breathing down their neck. I am management, and I am the workforce. I don't employ anybody.

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So I don't have that much to worry about because we structure the business in a way that we don't have a physical storefront or any inventory overhead, I'm able to kind of relax and evaluate the client's needs versus what I think I can sell them, which is very, very important in the journey of gaining trust in somebody, but also in so much is recognizing that, okay, this person wants my wardrobe to look better and not for me to have every single label in here, say capital hook load years.

As great as that would be, that's not what most people need. And being able to do house calls, and again, this is not the time for that. But, you know, in the past life, being able to do house calls and bring whiskey and cigars and kinda spend a couple of hours just figuring out what's going on in someone's wardrobe and what their passions are, what their hobbies are, what their career is. And getting to know them so that you can better get to know what they should be wearing or what they can be wearing, is super important to me. And I think that that reflects in the experience that our customers have.

[00:08:55.29] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. I appreciate you for breaking that down for both businesses. And, like, as you said, almost similarly, that I don't know if you wanna say red carpet treatment, but getting that, opportunity to, like, hone in on the person who you're working with and be able to create that experience for them. Because as you said, if you're taking, you know, photos, it's more or less about capturing that event and capturing those memories so that we live them to some degree when they see them and they remember the laughs, the cries, whatever happens during that time is captured.

But in the same thing, it sounds like with, the clothier business, you're having that opportunity to understand and build a connection and relationship with that person, provide them the experience, the support, the service that they need, and would help them personally and customize exactly for them rather than something that is, I guess, maybe mass made, so to speak.

[00:09:49.50] – Anthony Bolognese

Yeah. And it's also especially with the clothing aspect of things because photography, I mean, anything creative, you kind of are hired with the expectation from the client that it can be clear to their needs. And, you know, the content that's created is exactly what they want. But with clothing, people are a lot more particular because they wear clothes every day of their lives.

[00:10:07.50] – Gresham Harkless

Would you consider that to be what I call your secret sauce, the thing you feel kinda sets you or your organization as a part of makes you unique? Is it that ability to not just, I guess, hear it and understand it, but also to create it in the different ways that you're able to?

[00:10:19.70] – Anthony Bolognese

I think so. I think it kinda varies for both businesses. I think that for a photographer, their secret sauce is their style. And in the sense of the photographers that you're used to seeing with hundreds of thousands of likes on Instagram, their style is what got them to that point. So the same with influencers. A lot of them take or edit their photos. So you go to a page and you see a lot of white, a lot of tan, a lot of raised shadows. You recognize that as, okay, that's this individual's photo. The same goes for me, this is my style, and I create this for the client who's paying me to do so.

So I think the there's a there's a pitfall in both because there's a sense of I'm only doing this for money, and then I'm only doing this for me. And both of those kind of have their negatives. If you're only doing it for yourself, then you can't adapt to a client, and they might not be happy with what you can produce, which to an extent I mean, they probably wouldn't have hired you if they didn't see something they liked anyway. So that's a very case-by-case thing as is all of the work that we do.

[00:11:27.29] – Gresham Harklesst

Appreciate that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:11:38.60] – Anthony Bolognese

I don't wanna say that this is a hack that everyone has the option, to employ, but I think that being a logical thinker, at least training yourself to think more logically versus an emotional way to make decisions is super important.

[00:11:54.50] – Gresham Harkless

I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice or it might be something if you were to hop into a time machine you would tell your younger business self. Self.

[00:12:03.10] – Anthony Bolognese

I mean, alongside the previous hack, which I guess accidentally also qualifies as a nugget. I would say another thing kind of along the same line is that there is no better way to grow than to learn from mistakes. And I know that's super common knowledge and you hear it a lot, but there's nothing more true than that.

[00:12:22.70] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Absolutely. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Anthony, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:32.79] – Anthony Bolognese

When I think of the abbreviation CEO, I think of corporate. I think desk job. I think C-level executive, which is literally what that means. So I have never considered myself a CEO. Although I do own businesses, I don't think I would ever put CEO on a business card because I think that that just carries this air of elitism. And I know it doesn't. I think it's just more of a colloquialized perception of it.

And I enjoy the idea of breaking that. I enjoy not being the cookie cutter, the person who owns a business and mistreats their employees and doesn't pay people well and exploits a bunch of different loopholes or whatever just to make themselves more profitable.

[00:13:15.39] – Gresham Harkless

Anthony, truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:13:28.39] – Anthony Bolognese

So if I had to guess, I would assume that your most listening or I guess your most listening demographic is people who want to be a CEO, who people who want to kinda start their own thing or looking for the motivation or the drive or just kind of experience to relate to so that they can believe that they can achieve that. Is that a fair assumption?

[00:13:45.79] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Small to medium size and then those that hope to take that next level too.

[00:13:49.29] – Anthony Bolognese

Alright. So I just wanna reiterate, fail as much as you can. Please fail as much as you can because the more you can learn from that, the better off you will be. And, honestly, reading is a great way to do that. I mean, I used to have this weird stigma against them, like, self-help type of book heavy air quote on those, because I just I thought that the people that read those were the type of people who, like, we're just super confused in life and, like, they were all an idiot's guide to, like, just tongue in cheek, like, you're stupid. Here's how here's how we can talk down to you to make it better. But then, actually, the girl that ended up, bringing me up to the DC area, she, like, forced me to read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

And that was the first book of that genre that I read. And since then, I have not read a single fiction book. Everything I've read for the past, like, five and a half years has been of that kind of genre because it's amazing to be able to learn about failure without having to do it yourself. And then as far as, you know, how to get in touch with me, I am incredibly accessible. Anthony Bolognese on Instagram. LinkedIn at the same I think my handle or my URL on LinkedIn is just Bolognese. And after that, I mean, it's Capitol Hill Dot Photo for photography needs and capitolhillclothiers.com for wardrobe needs. And I'm I'm doing free, wardrobe analyses all year this year just as a way to kind of continue to meet people because I am socially starved, as we're still not really going out and doing all that much, and also because I do wanna help people and kinda give them a, a bit of a a clearer insight into what their wardrobe might be able to do for that.

[00:15:30.60] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. I appreciate that, Anthony. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well so that everybody can follow up with you. But you're right. Like, some of the beauty of, you know, books and knowledge is that you get to, kind of walk the same steps to some degree of what mistakes people have made.

So it allows us to get smarter and better, but we also cannot be afraid to make those mistakes ourselves. And those mistakes are not final because we don't quit. We just continue to move forward and we learn from them, which is huge as well. So I think that combination of those is definitely what can give us that higher likelihood of being successful. So truly appreciate that. Appreciate your time, of course, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

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[00:16:06.70] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[00:00:10.40] - Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. GRENTCH values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:39.89] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gretch from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Anthony Bolognese of Capitol Hill Photos and Capitol Hill Clotheers. Anthony, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:51.10] - Anthony Bolognese

Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

[00:00:51.79] - Gresham Harkless

Definitely. Super excited to have you on as well too. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Anthony so I can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Anthony Boleness is a full-time entrepreneur who planted himself firmly and forcefully in the DC area by founding both Capitol Hill Photo and Capitol Hill Clothiers. He has taken photos for brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Walmart, and his work has been featured in publications including DC Modern Luxury, Capital File magazine, and The Washingtonian. He also created custom suits for DMV executives, members of Congress, and the occasional local athlete. Anthony, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[00:01:34.29] - Anthony Bolognese

Absolutely.

[00:01:35.30] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Well, let's do it then. So to to kinda kick everything off, I want to rewind the clock a little bit to you, supplanted those seats those those feet here in DC. Could you take us through a little bit more about your CEO story? We'll let you get started with all the awesome work you're doing.

[00:01:38.29] - Anthony Bolognese

Sure. So first of all, I am a born and bred creative and I have never wanted to go to college. Mhmm. So I finished high school, back in Florida. I was raised in Florida and did a vocational school, dual enrollment thing while I was in high school, studying to do media and design. Then as soon as I graduated, left Florida because if you've ever lived in Florida, you probably have wanted to leave Florida planted myself just temporarily in North Carolina for two years, just freelancing from home, doing everything that I could convince someone to pay me to do, whether I knew how to do it or not, and learned on the way, learned by doing and just spent that two years building up my abilities there. I ended up in DC, right, in the DC area, because, the girl that I was dating at the time finished up her last two years of school down in Florida, moved up with me, and then immediately got a job offer in Leesburg.

And I was working from my bedroom at the time, so knew nothing about Virginia, knew nothing about the DC area, and figured, all right, if there's internet up there, I'm game. Let's go. So we moved to Loudoun County. Humongous culture shock because I went from weird Florida to rural North Carolina to the IT tech mecca that was Loudoun County in twenty fifteen. And every other car is a Maserati, and people are dressed well, and there's a bunch of people out doing things, and it was just a crazy thing to me. So I saw this opportunity. Okay, there's a lot of money here. There's a lot of people here. There's a lot of room for me to grow what I've been doing digitally and kind of enter that personal, world.

So since then, I have had a much higher cost of living in this area than the previous two. So I battled between working for somebody and continuing to work for myself. And, it was kind of a battle. It was its rough building from scratch or at least entering a new market. And I was still, at that time, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to be doing. So I ended up meeting up with Barnett Holston, who runs the DC Fashion Fool blog and Instagram. And we just put together this big brunch for a bunch of local menswear brands and influencers and bloggers. And I met what became pretty much my network, my starting network for the DC area. And I ended up meeting my business partner, Robert Ordway, with Capitol Hill Clothiers.

And we just kinda talked about our experience with custom clothing our passions and our history. And we decided then that we were gonna start Capitol Hill Clothiers. And we decided, again, based on our previous experience that we didn't wanna operate a retail storefront. We didn't wanna have any physical inventory because one, we had the things that we wanted to be doing. He works in the Senate. I was doing stock photography full-time. So we just didn't wanna spend ninety hours a week owning and operating and managing and being in a storefront. And on top of that, we just didn't wanna take out a QMOGRIS business loan on a very risky idea.

So we decided to do everything exclusively custom-made, exclusively by appointment, and exclusively ballet. And that's how we kind of have operated the business for the past three years now. And as far as the photography, I'm gonna I'm gonna flip flop back and forth between all of these because they're so intertwined. Around that same time, I started full-time with photography. I was doing full-time events basically up until this past March to date this episode. Because of COVID, my industry kind of got slammed. So that was that was the, the basis of really my my going headlong into photography was doing events full time.

[00:05:09.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense, and I appreciate you for sharing that. I think so many times that we're sometimes not sure how to have things come to fruition, but I love how you talked about taking that step. And once you take that first step, sometimes those things open up, like, the network opened up for you. The different opportunities will open up. But I think so many times you plan and, usually, say I am ready and you never take action. So I love those transitions and moved. You You came here where there's a load of Internet obviously in the DC area. And, it provided other opportunities for you, but you just continue to take steps, it sounds like.

[00:05:43.30] - Anthony Bolognese

Yeah. Ready, fire, and aim is the way I've pretty much lived my entire life. Yes. Absolutely. Jumping off bridges and then figuring out how not to die when I land.

[00:05:51.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. Build build a, well, build a parachute on the way down, so to speak. Exactly. So, I know you touched a little bit on each of your businesses. Could you take us through a little bit more about each of those and how you serve the clients you work with?

[00:06:02.39] - Anthony Bolognese

So with photography, I mean, that has changed a lot over the past year. But for the most part, I want and this kinda goes for both of our businesses. I want everything that works through me to be a very intimate personal experience. So even if I'm shooting events, I wanna be very involved in the planning of the events. I wanna be courteous of what's going on, whether it's a silent auction, gala, something, or a personal bridal shower at someone's house. I want it to be personal. I wanna be the one there that's consciously making an effort, to capture the things that the people organizing it want to see. I wanna make a strong effort to make sure that people receive everything that they want and more.

For photography, that it's very, very case by case because some companies will just throw money at you and go, okay. I want you here for eight hours. Do this. Send us an invoice. But then some of them, you can see the passion in their project their event, or their little intimate get-together. I mean, it's something that people hold dear because it's something that they created, and they're entrusting you with creating and capturing the memories of that thing.

So that's something that I value with photography, and just creating a good value. I mean, making sure that I can provide a service that's as good or better than anybody else in the area and not being too transactional about it, trying to make it more of a relationship because I want people to come back to me. I don't want it to just be a one-night stand. I want it to be a marriage.

[00:07:26.30] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah.

[00:07:27.19] - Anthony Bolognese

And then as far as clothing, I think one of the things that drive our social interest is that it is so valet because so many are in the same way. So many businesses operate in such a transactional way because they have this overhead that they need to pay. They have a quota they need to hit. They have management breathing down their neck. I am management, and I am the workforce. I don't employ anybody.

So I don't have that much to worry about because of the fact that we structure the business in a way that we don't have a physical storefront or any inventory overhead, I'm able to kind of relax and evaluate the client's needs versus what I think I can sell them, which is very, very important in the journey of gaining trust in somebody, but also in so much is recognizing that, okay, this person wants my wardrobe to look better and not for me to have every single label in here, say capital hook load years.

As great as that would be, that's not what most people need. And being able to do house calls, and again, this is not the time for that. But, you know, in the past life, being able to do house calls and bring whiskey and cigars and kinda spend a couple of hours just figuring out what's going on in someone's wardrobe and what their passions are, what their hobbies are, what their career is. And getting to know them so that you can better get to know what they should be wearing or what they can be wearing, is super important to me. And I think that that reflects in the experience that our customers have.

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[00:08:55.29] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. I appreciate you for breaking that down for both businesses. And, like, as you said, almost similarly, that I don't know if you wanna say red carpet treatment, but getting that, opportunity to, like, hone in on the person who you're working with and be able to create that experience for them. Because as you said, if you're taking, you know, photos, it's more or less about capturing that event and capturing those memories so that we live them to some degree when they see them and they remember the laughs, the cries, whatever happens during that time is captured.

But in the same thing, it sounds like with, the clothier business, you're having that opportunity to understand and build a connection and relationship with that person, provide them the experience, the support, the service that they need, and would help them personally and customize exactly for them rather than something that is, I guess, maybe mass made, so to speak.

[00:09:49.50] - Anthony Bolognese

Yeah. And it's also especially with the clothing aspect of things because photography, I mean, anything creative, you kind of are hired with the expectation from the client that it can be clear to their needs. And, you know, the content that's created is exactly what they want. But with clothing, people are a lot more particular because they wear clothes every day of their lives.

[00:10:07.50] - Gresham Harkless

Would you consider that to be what I call your secret sauce, the thing you feel kinda sets you or your organization as a part of makes you unique. Is it that ability to not just, I guess, hear it and understand it, but also to create it in the different ways that you're able to?

[00:10:19.70] - Anthony Bolognese

I think so. I think it kinda varies for both businesses. I think that for a photographer, their secret sauce is their style. And in the sense of the photographers that you're used to seeing with hundreds of thousands of likes on Instagram, their style is what got them to that point. So the same with influencers. A lot of them take or edit their photos. So you go to a page and you see a lot of white, a lot of tan, a lot of raised shadows. You recognize that as, okay, that's this individual's photo. The same goes for me, this is my style, and I create this for the client who's paying me to do so.

So I think the there's a there's a pitfall in both because there's a sense of I'm only doing this for money, and then I'm only doing this for me. And both of those kind of have their negatives. If you're only doing it for you, then you can't adapt to a client, and they might not be happy with what, you know, you can produce, which to an extent I mean, they probably wouldn't have hired you if they didn't see something they liked anyway. So that's a very case-by-case thing as is all of the work that we do.

[00:11:27.29] - Gresham Harklesst

Appreciate that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:11:38.60] - Anthony Bolognese

I don't wanna say that this is a hack that everyone has the option, to employ, but I think that being a logical thinker, at least training yourself to think more logically versus an emotional way to make decisions is super important.

[00:11:54.50] - Gresham Harkless

I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice or it might be something if you were to hop into a time machine you would tell your younger business self. Self.

[00:12:03.10] - Anthony Bolognese

I mean, alongside the previous hack, which I guess accidentally also qualifies as a nugget. I would say another thing kind of along the same line is that there is no better way to grow than to learn from mistakes. And I know that's super common knowledge and you hear it a lot, but there's nothing more true than that.

[00:12:22.70] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Absolutely. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Anthony, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:32.79] - Anthony Bolognese

When I think of the abbreviation CEO, I think of corporate. I think desk job. I think C-level executive, which is literally what that means. So I have never considered myself a CEO. Although I do own businesses, I don't think I would ever put CEO on a business card because I think that that just carries this air of elitism. And I know it doesn't. I think it's just more of a colloquialized perception of it.

And I kind of enjoy the idea of breaking that. I enjoy not being the cookie cutter, the person who owns a business and mistreats their employees and doesn't pay people well and exploits, you know, a bunch of different loopholes or whatever just to make themselves more profitable.

[00:13:15.39] - Gresham Harkless

Anthony, truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:13:28.39] - Anthony Bolognese

So if I had to guess, I would assume that your most listening or I guess your most listening demographic is people who want to be a CEO, who people who want to kinda start their own thing or looking for the motivation or the drive or just kind of experience to relate to so that they can believe that they can achieve that. Is that a fair assumption?

[00:13:45.79] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Small to medium size and then those that hope to take that next level too.

[00:13:49.29] - Anthony Bolognese

Alright. So I just wanna reiterate, fail as much as you can. Please fail as much as you can because the more you can learn from that, the better off you will be. And, honestly, reading is a great way to do that. I mean, I used to have this weird stigma against them, like, self-help type of book heavy air quote on those, because I just I thought that the people that read those were the type of people who, like, we're just super confused in life and, like, they were all an idiot's guide to, like, just tongue in cheek, like, you're stupid. Here's how here's how we can talk down to you to make it better. But then, actually, the girl that ended up, bringing me up to the DC area, she, like, forced me to read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

And that was the first book of that genre that I read. And since then, I have not read a single fiction book. Everything I've read for the past, like, five and a half years has been of that kind of genre because it's amazing to be able to learn about failure without having to do it yourself. And then as far as, you know, how to get in touch with me, I am incredibly accessible. Anthony Bolognese on Instagram. LinkedIn at the same I think my handle or my URL on LinkedIn is just Bolognese. And after that, I mean, it's Capitol Hill Dot Photo for photography needs and capitolhillclovers.Ccom for wardrobe needs. And I'm I'm doing free, wardrobe analyses all year this year just as a way to kind of continue to meet people because I am socially starved, as we're still not really going out and doing all that much, and also because I do wanna help people and kinda give them a, a bit of a a clearer insight into what their wardrobe might be able to do for that.

[00:15:30.60] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. I appreciate that, Anthony. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well so that everybody can follow up with you. But you're right. Like, some of the beauty of, you know, books and knowledge is that you get to, kind of walk the same steps to some degree of what mistakes people have made.

So it allows us to get smarter and better, but we also cannot be afraid to make those mistakes ourselves. And those mistakes are not final because we don't quit. We just continue to move forward and we learn from them, which is huge as well. So I think that combination of those is definitely what can give us that higher likelihood of being successful. So truly appreciate that. Appreciate your time, of course, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:06.70] - Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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