Hassan Hodges’ was invited to visit the Caerusnet Ann Arbor 11AM referral team by Jim Campbell (a long standing, successful Member of the team who holds the world record for helping more professionals learn about Caerusnet than just about anyone). While having first seen Hassan’s photographic images on Facebook, Jim could see that Hassan had a lot of talent. Jim reached out to Hassan and discovered he was ready to get “out there” and grow his new photography business. Hassan accepted Jim’s offer to visit and quickly joined in the following weeks. He’s been a wonderful addition to the team and has been dependable, creative and consistent in his efforts. We were thrilled to spend time with Hassan and to learn from Hassan’s ½ year journey in business and as a newer Caerusnet Member.
How long have you been in your profession? As a profession, I’ve been doing this for 6 months. As a hobby, I’ve been taking pictures for 20+ years. Amazingly, I attended my first Caerusnet meeting on my second week in business.
How did you get into this field? I got started with photography at my college newspaper documenting Rutgers football during a 1-10 season which was a great introduction to making interesting images from a smoldering pile of disappointment. I resisted the desire to start a photography business for more than 10 years while I had two other careers in media and technology before taking the leap last fall.
What is the best thing about your business/career? I feel everything happening around me more deeply than other people do, and photography is my outlet for expressing what I feel. The thing that makes me the happiest is sharing what I see in the world with other people.
How are you different and/or what’s your niche? I have one speed: Full go, and I don’t do well with constraining myself. I don’t aim for perfection; I aim for beautifully authentic. I feel everything around me, and that’s what I try to capture: the feelings. I could also list a dozen technical skills I use, but at the end of the day, it’s the image that matters.
What is it about the Caerusnet model that you like most? I like the combination of building relationships and having tactical referrals. I’ve been in other group that have been good for making friends, and groups that have worked well for business contacts. Caerusnet has a great combination of the two. I thought that starting a business would be transactional, but it’s more like farming on Mars.
What is your strategy with your member minute and your spotlight presentation? I love that we get the same minute every week, which gives me a chance to practice the same pitch with variations and see what resonates. The first part of my strategy is to not draw a blank. After that, its just to be interesting. There are a lot of characters in my group which means I need to be on top of my game to standout.
Tips on how to be successful in Caerusnet? The more you can work with people in your group and get them to also sing your praises in their member minutes and positive focuses, the better off you’ll be. I did a shoot with my friend Leah McChesney and her six kids and she got some great photos and I got a lot of promotion in my group. A win-win for everybody. That’s that way that small business work though, we’re all in this together and lift ourselves up by lifting others.