RWR-021: Fat Tony on Quitting His Dream Job to Become a Freelance Photographer

I love it when people reach out to me about being on the podcast, which is exactly what this episode’s featured guest did. Fat Tony is a 33 year old freelance photographer and entrepreneur from Long Beach, California. As soon as the call started, I could tell this was gonna be a super exciting and entertaining episode to be a part of. As well as the type of episode I couldn’t wait to share with you, so here we are!

He’s been to 35 countries, he landed his dream job right out of college at one of the top magazines in the world, and everything seemed to be going just as he planned. But then he just wasn’t feeling it anymore, he was searching for new dreams. With no plan B or safety net, most people would be terrified. Not this guy. Hhe quit his job and went straight back to traveling around the globe like a badass!

Well I don’t wanna give too much away, so hit that play button below and get to know Fat Tony’s story and what he’s currently working on. This is an episode you won’t stop listening to, so get comfy or turn the cruise control on in your car, and enjoy!

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Show notes:

[04:45] Tell us who you are…

[05:50] Did you go to college for photo/video?

I realized that the designer sits at a computer all day and a photographer travels the world and does a bunch of cool shit.

[07:05] Did you do freelance work while you had a fulltime job?

I got a taste of this lifestyle, of this freedom, and world travel, and adventure. That was really what made me think, eventually I want to have a life more like this.

[09:55] Seems like you have the world traveler life for sure now. Do you?

I definitely got bit by the travel bug when I was at the job because I was getting paid to do the traveling.

You can have a great time in a shitty place or you can have a shitty time in a great place, depending on who you’re with and your experiences while you’re there.

[15:15] How did you get into the vegan lifestyle?

If you don’t know what the ingredients are, don’t put it in your body.

[18:40] Have you always been a person that goes to the gym?

[23:00] Talk about the 5th grade family trip in NYC and how you fell in love with photography…

I love that feeling of looking through a viewfinder, finding a composition, taking the image, getting it back, and being able to share that with people.

If I put my mind to something, I was going to do it.

If you set goals and work towards them, it’s gonna happen.

[25:25] Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?

[27:00] How did you get into video?

I basically learned on the job which was great because I was getting paid to hone in my skills and become better at this.

Everybody watches YouTube videos and now I’m just one of the people who makes them.

[31:25] What did that feel like on your last day of your job to quit and go on your own?

I don’t want to change these things about myself. This is who I am. I’m proud of this. This is what I think is right for me.

[37:45] Did you go straight into freelance right after you quit?

When you’re pretty good at a lot of things, it’s hard to release some control and trust other people.

I needed to work with people on a more regular basis than just sitting in my condo by myself.

Having a partner not only helps keep me sane, it helps me push myself further, and it gives me another creative eye to help look at the stuff that I might oversee. It also gives me more ideas, plus it’s a lot more fun to work with somebody than alone all the time.

[42:30] Talk about the podcast you started…

As I was listening to these a ton, it just became natural for me to want to create my own.

I just want to have interesting conversations with people that I might not normally have otherwise, record them, and share them with people. -Tim Ferriss

If you do the homework, the test is easy. -Dave Mirra

[49:35] What is Break Parallel?

[56:55] Has social media helped you over the years?

I’ve definitely had interactions with people that have followed my personal Instagram and have been inspired to make positive changes in their lives just because I set a good example that they can follow.

It’s a no-brainer, it’s 2016 now, so social media is a part of everything.

[59:55] Do people always tell you that you’re “living the dream?”

Yes, this is my dream, but if you have your own dreams, then it’s up to you to make it happen.

You can have everything else you need, but if you don’t have the mindset to make it happen, then you’re going nowhere.

If there’s something ingrained in you that is holding you back, you need to do a little self-analysis on yourself to figure out why you’re like that, undo that, then change that about yourself.

[1:02:30] What inspires you?

[1:04:10] Is there anything unique about what you do?

I accel at telling those stories and I accel at that quick workflow that allows me to deliver the product faster than just about anyone else.

[1:06:20] Were there things you had to give up early on to get to where you are now?

I had given up so much, and didn’t even realize it, to have a full-time job.

[1:07:25] Any fears you had back then or now?

It was hard for me to give it up because it was what I knew and what I loved.

Leaving the full-time job? Not so much. But making a full transition to a different industry was a big fear.

There was definitely an ego component to it where I enjoyed having a certain status, I enjoyed people knowing who I was. And nowadays that I’m making that transition, I don’t really care if people know who I am.

I want to do the work that inspires me and that energizes me and that leads me to my goals, but I don’t necessarily need to be the face of the work. I’m happy enough now letting the work speak for itself.

[1:12:05] Any mastermind groups or mentors in your life?

It’s so easy to have self-doubts. But maybe that’s a good thing because maybe that means you’re pushing yourself.

[1:14:40] Where did the name Fat Tony come from?

[1:16:45] Has there been a moment that stands out that really makes you proud to do what you do?

I think the biggest compliment you can ever get is for somebody to say that you’ve inspired them.

[1:20:45] Is being an entrepreneur easier if you’re single?

This is cool and I’m appreciative, but even though I’m here and doing these things, I’m lonely.

[1:22:30] What’s a big risk you’ve taken?

If you calculate the risk, then you’re probably not gonna have many regrets.

[1:23:20] What’s the best way to connect with you?

Connect with Fat Tony:

Instagram: @fattonybmx
Twitter: @fattonybmx
Break Parallel:
The Expansion Project Podcast:

People, websites, & products mentioned:

Best Speech You Will Ever Hear – Gary Yourofsky
Forks Over Knives
Rob Darden
A Day in the Life of Brooke Ence
Joe Rogan
Tim Ferriss
Andy Hurley
Dave Mirra Bergeron
John Resig
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Darlene Adamusik

Thanks again for listening and reading the show notes. Be sure to leave me a review on iTunes and I can’t wait to share the next episode with you soon. Until next time, think less, risk more, regret nothing!

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