[00:00] This is Justin Lofton and you’re listening to from nothing to profit.
[00:04] Welcome to from nothing to profit a photographers podcast with Matt and Kayak where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster.
[00:19] Hey everybody. Well, I’m going to podcast. So as you heard in the introduction, I have Justin Lofton on today and you’re probably thinking Justin Loften photography. I don’t know who that is. Well actually he’s not a photographer and he’s somebody that I’ve ran in the same circle with for years. And Justin, we met years ago at icon, which is infusion site was, it was Infusionsoft’s like annual conference for their users and Yup. And for people that don’t know, Infusionsoft is a CRM that we use in our business. But you had some businesses there I think when we first met, when you were doing syncsumo. Yep. And um, and so to that, tell us a little bit about like kind of what you do and stuff like that. And then I’ll tell, I’ll tell my audience kind of why we have you on the podcast.
[00:57] Yeah, of course. So you know, I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a kid and I really owe the last, call it 12 to 18 years. I’ve been doing a lot online selling products and I’m doing marketing. I’ve done a ton of SEO, search engine optimization, manipulating Google’s algorithm. And I’ve, I’ve run, you know, tons of Facebook ads. I’ve probably spent over 15 million now on Facebook’s ad platform. And so I’ve done it all in terms of running an agency, which I still have syncsumo, which is a software as a service company that connects CRMs like infusion soft with a Facebook ad platform to sync up those contacts. So I’ve got multiple e-commerce brands now. Like I said, I’ve got zen fusion, which is a Facebook ads agency. And then, you know, really my passion project is one on one coaching, helping entrepreneurs and business owners accelerate the growth of their business through the use of the business acceleration lifecycle, which I’ve developed over the last 20 years.
[01:55] That’s awesome. Yeah. And so that’s kind of how we ended up here. So I’m interested enough, like I literally reached out to you yesterday afternoon after I saw a post on Facebook that you’d post, cause we’re obviously friends on Facebook and it comes from, you know, your, Your 80 20 coaching branch of, of your world now. And you were talking about, and I just want you to share this with the audience. And so you were talking about this concept that I’m going to butcher, but if the idea is that it’s all about an energy game, right? And it’s like, so talk more about exactly what you mean by that and how you look at business now.
[02:29] Yeah. And just like your listeners, you know, I’ve been through this, I’ve fallen on my face so many times over the years. And really that’s where my passion comes from now really helping entrepreneurs and business owners sort of skip a lot of those challenges that I faced. And I’m sure that many of them have already faced some of those challenges. And at the core level, one of the things that I learned from one of the many things that I learned was that, you know, a lot of what we were taught through the system from our parents, you know, they did the best they could, but you know, they have their own limitations, right? We all, we all do, right? And so we only learned what the system at that stage when we came into this game, you know, could teach us. And one of the big things in terms of how this game works is that it’s really about your energy and that should really drive your decisions and what you do throughout your day and what you do in your business.
[03:23] You know, the whole concept of right and wrong and good and bad and all these, all these Duke, what I call dualistic concepts that kind of are based on the current reality that we live in. Those really don’t exist. And really what that is, is the system trying to drain your energy. That’s the, uh, what I like to call the screen. It’s sort of like our world around us is constantly throwing stuff at us to distract us and to keep us from fulfilling our passions. You know, what’s, what’s deeply in our heart energy. And what happens is that we start to make decisions based on perceptions that aren’t accurate in the reality. And so really what you need to be thinking about is making decisions that support and benefit your energy because we sort of been taught to just work hard and grind and hustle and do all this hard work.
[04:17] And so by the end of the day, we’re just completely exhausted and we hope that we get enough sleep, which is an opportunity to sort of refresh the body and the mind and, and regain some of the energy that we used up through the day. And we certainly consume calories and try and get in the sun when we can because all those things are actually helping you restore energy and keep your energy levels. But instead of thinking of your personal energy as sort of something to be drained throughout the day and making sure that your energy levels stay high enough until you can hit your head, can hit the pillow at night. It’s really about thinking about how can you start to build your energy by making better decisions, by observing what’s happening around you and make decisions that benefit your energy as opposed to, you know, taking away your energy.
[05:03] And that really, in many cases, some people say, well, you know, it sounds like you’re being selfish or you’re, you know, you’re putting yourself first. Yes, I am. I think that’s the most important thing. You can’t really help other people and bring value to their lives and bring value to your marketplace that you serve if you’re not focused on yourself first. Right? So, you know, if you’re in an airplane and an accident happens, they say put it, put the oxygen on yourself before you start helping other people. It’s the same thing in this conversation here about your personal energy. You can actually start building your energy and when you go to bed at night, your excited about the next day, you’re not exhausted from the day that just passed you. You’re actually building her energy and you’re not giving it away to things that don’t serve you, that don’t benefit your energy and your state in this reality. Right. And so where this resonated with me, I’ll talk about kind of like my personal example, but then I also talked about what I see in
[05:57] our photography industry as well. But in my personal example, if I’m working on a project that I’m really passionate about and I’m excited about it, like I can put a, you know, I can put a 24 hour day in, but you know, realistically like a 12 hour day in pretty easy. And then I, when I go lay down to go to bed, I still want to be working on it and I’m excited and I’m passionate. But then when I’m doing things that I don’t want to do, I mean I instantly zaps my energy and kind of takes me off my game for the whole day. And it’s like, well I got to do this but I don’t really want to. Or there’s things on my to do list that I never want to get to and I keep putting them off. And so when I saw your Facebook posts, which for you guys that missed is, I mean it’s exactly what he just explained. I thought about man, you know, I think the right thing is do is just focus on things that fill your energy bucket. You know, am I, am I getting towards what you’re thinking too?
[06:45] Totally. And, and you know, the beauty with that is, is you can start to observe that, that feeling, right? Oh Wow, this is really zapping my energy. I’m not excited about this. That’s you. That’s your source self trying to tell you that this is not where you should be putting your energy. That’s this is not what you’re passionate about. Find a way to either delegate or delete it. Okay, fine. Either find somebody that can do it for you and there’s lots of resources out there across the world that can do a lot of these things that do drain our energy or delete it altogether. You know, you mentioned my coaching business, 80 20 business, a core focus of everything in my life is based on the 80 20 rule, which says that 20% of your efforts produce 80% of your results. And so again, when I’m looking at anything I’m doing, but on this topic in terms of energy, I’m looking for those 20% of opportunities that generate the most results in building my energy.
[07:39] Right? So just to your point, like, Hey, I want to focus on my passions. I’ve got multiple businesses, I’m excited about all of them in different ways. But what of my true passion is, is helping entrepreneurs and business owners exponentially grow their business. To tell you a little story at when I ran the SEO business back in 20 2010 to 2014 time, I would just be, I would just do calls with small business owners all day long. And at the time I was like, well I want to do these calls and figure out if I can help them with SEO. And what I ended up doing with most of those calls and telling them, hey, SEO is not right for you. You need to be doing this and this and this before you, you know, you work with us, you’re not ready for us. And what I learned a few years ago was that the reason I wanted to do all those calls all the time and I enjoyed them was because that was really my passion was helping business owners.
[08:29] Cause I had already developed these, these formulas on how to grow businesses. At the time I was just doing, you know, SEO because I was very good at it. I knew how to manipulate Google’s algorithm very easily. But really my passion at the core was continuing to help others through business, sort of expand their own personal wellbeing as well as help them exponentially grow their business easily. And that’s why that’s my passion today, because I had to go through many years of just sort of doing it and not realizing that listening to my source self telling me, hey, you need to be doing more of this instead of the SEO work itself. That’s what you enjoy. And so you need thing to those signals, you know?
[09:10] Well, yeah. And I think we had the same conversation when years ago when we talked about when you started sync sumo, so that was your branch of your world that, you know, syncs contacts in the CRM with Facebook so that, you know, you can market to segments of your, of your email list. And you were talking about like, you know, my passion is just to help people grow their business and this is just a huge opportunity right now. You know? So like at the time it was just the tool that was going to help entrepreneurs and business owners achieve the next level of their business. Cause so it wasn’t necessarily about the Facebook, but I think you saw it as like, here’s an opportunity to do this bigger mission that I’m doing. Exactly. Yeah, that’s awesome. Okay, so here’s where I think it applies to the photography world.
[09:50] So, and it probably applies, this is probably true in all businesses, but my world is photography and so I see a lot of Facebook posts and different things like that from photographers and they’re like, should I do this or should I do this? You know, like should I do a or should I do B or you know, how do I do this the right way? And I heard you and in your Facebook posts talk about there’s not really like a right or wrong way. I guess the way I would, I would say that I would answer them after watching your videos, I would say, you know, don’t do a or B or if you’re going to pick one, which one fills your bucket, there’s not a wrong or right way. It’s like, which one, you know, gives you more passion, more energy so that you actually accomplish it, you know, at a higher level. Is that fair to say as well? Yeah,
[10:33] I mean, yeah, absolutely. So you know what, which decision benefits me from an energy perspective. Not like, Oh okay I’m going to go make some money or whatever. Sometimes we make decisions on that. But also, you know, you want to be looking to say what also challenges me because that actually surge your energy, those challenging opportunities helps you break through so that you can actually grow your energy. So, but yeah, absolutely. It’s really about that simple decision you make in your head in a, in a microsecond is basically saying, well that decision or that project benefit my energy or will it drain me?
[11:09] Right. Well and the interesting thing as some people say, you know, say it’s not always about the money either and cause some people aren’t motivated by money. So if like if money doesn’t help you actually with your energy, then yeah, you may meet no need to make the decision based on financial reasons, you know, it could be other, other reasons as well.
[11:25] Yeah. And I think in general, people as a whole, we’re not motivated by money. We’re motivated by the things that money can help us achieve. And I think that’s key to remember because in today’s world we’re, we’re sort of, you know, they dangle the carrot on money and making you assume that more money is going to create your happiness. Happiness is already inside of you and no matter what you have and in the material world and they want you to think that it’s on the outside of you and that money is, is a big proponent of somehow delivering you, you know, with happiness. And that’s just not the case.
[12:00] Yeah, that’s a really good point. So my wife went to Africa like 10 years ago and like, you know, did some work and stuff over there and uh, produced, uh, a photo book and stuff like that. And she just talked about when she got back the Mo, one of the most interesting things she saw is like, just how hopeful and happy everybody over there was, even though they didn’t have any material stuff, you know. And I think that made her realize, you know, it’s not about material stuff. It’s about, like you said earlier, listening to your body and listening to like, this is what I need to be working on right now. I’m not listening to what other people say will make me happy, or what society or the school system or my parents or whatever said it’s what is my body telling me right now that is going to give me the most energy in my day so I can complete this task of the world? Like really high level.
[12:43] Yeah, no question. I know that a lot of photographers get into that business because they have a true passion for it and they also have, you know, the programming of a society that tells them they need to make x amount and have a specific things in life and all that. And, and I think that they struggle with that sometimes in terms of finding that balance of, okay, I’ve got to pay the bills, but also, you know, not losing the passion that I have for the, in the reason that I got involved in photography. So I think it’s really important that using that sort of 80 20 approach on why you’re truly doing what you’re doing and in the situations where we have to take on and do work because we need the money to pay the overhead that we have, that we look for opportunities to either challenge ourselves, learn or create amazing relationships in those situations. When on the surface we say, you know what, it doesn’t feel like this is gonna benefit my energy, but I need to do it and I’m going to look for opportunities to improve myself, be a better version of myself in this, you know, challenging job or situation or project that I have to do to support my family. And you’ll come out the other end of it with a completely different perspective on whether that decision benefited you or not.
[14:01] Yeah. Because when our industry, we talk a lot about, about burnout and on, so I’m just, I think, I feel like I’m just putting buzz words on top of what you’re saying. Way better than some of these buzz words actually say. But a lot of people come into our industry and they have a passion for photography and then all of a sudden they take on overhead and bills and then they have, then they start listening to Facebook groups or listen to other people that tell them this is how you run a business and stuff like that. And all along the way, I think they’re making the wrong turns. You know, they keep turning towards things that are probably not fulfilling them and they’re moving towards things that are actually burning them out. And then at some point they get to, they get down the road and they’re like, you know, this isn’t worth it.
[14:39] This is not what I signed up for. And the truth is, it’s not what they signed up for because they didn’t necessarily listen to themselves. They listened to a Facebook group that said, you know, you need to charge this much and you need to do this type of session. And you needed that. It wasn’t, that’s not, that wasn’t their passion. It actually may have been the opposite of their passion. Sure. And so they ended up just burning out. And then they’re like, I’m going to go so funny on that. And then you probably hear this in your industry too, but then they were like, I’m going to go get a real job, you know, which is one of my favorite lines. But, but yeah, I think if you’re not listening to yourself, it totally, it totally burns you out.
[15:11] Yeah. No. And it’s, it’s really important that we don’t just get disconnected and get distracted from our true passions and, and fall into that societal, this is the,