Successful self-employment with Jeffrey Shaw

Nov 2, 2020

From his work as a brand management consultant and entrepreneur coach, to his thirty-five-year career as an acclaimed portrait photographer, Jeffrey Shaw—TEDx speaker and host of The Self-Employed Life podcast—has been carving his own path as a creative entrepreneur dedicated to helping fellow self-employed individuals find success.

We are thrilled to be working with Jeffrey on his May 2021 release, The Self-Employed Life, in which he shares his deep wisdom and insight to help others achieve the level of success they dream of. Read on to learn more about Jeffrey and his unique perspectives on creativity, work, and life.

Which three words best describe you?
Persistent, empathetic, observant

What is your book about?
It’s a book for self-employed business owners that outlines a system of business and personal development strategies to help them gain control over their businesses in uncontrollable circumstances—so they can have the life they dream of.

What’s the last book you read?
Zconomy by Jason Dorsey and Denise Villa. It’s about the impact GenZ will have on business. I love gaining an understanding of what makes people tick, especially when it’s a younger generation. It gives me hope the world will become a better place.

What do you never leave home without?
Usually my dog. And my cell phone. I never leave home without my cell phone. And I try to never leave home without a sense of curiosity about who I’ll meet, what I’ll discover and what will inspire me. I always forget my wallet though.

Who is your favorite author?
Todd Henry. He has a deep and profound understanding of human nature that he conveys in the topics he writes about—from Die Empty, about how to live your life making sure you give everything you’ve got, to Louder Than Words, in which he shows how the energy of what you say is greater than the words themselves. It’s his observation of the layer beneath the obvious that I appreciate.

What is your personal motto?
Make a decision and make it right. I hate to dwell on decisions. I seem to have almost no fear of failure. I believe that if you make a decision and you give it all you’ve got to make it the right decision, then there is no failure.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken that’s paid off?
Moving to Miami on a whim. I didn’t think I’d ever leave my beloved NYC. It was supposed to be a three-month stint in Miami. A week before heading back home, I realized I had fallen in love with the environment. I signed a two-year lease on an apartment on the beach, traded in my SUV for a beach-ready Mini Cooper, and never left. It’s been five years and I love it more every day.

Where do you find inspiration?
You’d think my answer would be the ocean where I live, but I gain the most inspiration from what men and women are capable of in architecture and design—which is strange, because I grew up in the country. I am always looking up, taking in the beauty of a well-designed highrise. I love a well-designed restaurant with architectural detail that sets a mood. It inspires me to understand what can be done and who we can be when we are the master of something, as an architect or designer is. It inspires me to be better at everything I do.