Q. Kindly introduce your business to our readers? What is your business about? What is your current location?
Ans: I am Guy Viau, the founder and CEO of Guy Viau Photography, which offers Professional Headshots photography services in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. We have expertise and experience in taking headshots of professional actors, dancers, musicians, performers and athletes. We also offer “high end” corporate, glamour, boudoir, fashion and wedding photography. We are conveniently located in the center of Los Angeles, CA (8947 Hargis Street, Los Angeles, CA 90034). Our work can be seen here – www.guyviauheadshots.com.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself – your educational and entrepreneurial background, your achievements.
And: I have experience of working as a model in the fashion industry for over 15 years in Paris, Milan, New York and Tokyo. During this period, I was represented by more than a dozen of agencies around the world and I also booked more than 70 national TV commercials as a “talent”. The experience of working as a model helped me understand the requirements of clients when working a photographer. I have more than 20 years experience as a photographer. For the last 14 years, I have been working as a photographer in Los Angeles and have worked for more than 7,000 clients.
Q. Why did you change your profession and start a new business venture?
And: I used to love watching movies from my early age. I found the visual aspect of films very attractive. Soon after I started working as a model, I realized that it would be better for me to switch to photography (behind the camera). I would rather be the one creating the images rather than being the subject.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you like to give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
- Make sure you choose something you love and are passionate about.
- Do not choose a field considering only the monetary rewards.
- Study hard, work hard… nothing that is worth something is achieved effortlessly. The things that will matter the most to you when it comes to business and other areas of your life will be the ones you have put an honest effort into.
Q. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
And: Generally, I am happy with the way I handled my business from the beginning, if there was one thing in retrospect, it would be on the maturity level… the way I dealt with some clients… I could have bit my tongue a few times and stayed quiet in cases of differences in opinions. You have to learn to give clients room to state their opinions even if you think they are dead wrong.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: The top skills required to be a successful entrepreneur are:
- Interpersonal skill
- Organizational skills
- Ability to visualize how you see your business evolving, have short and long term goals.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: It depends on the situation and what will be more beneficial to all parties involved.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: On average, I work 10 hours a day.
Q. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: In my case, family comes first. You should know how to keep a balance between personal and professional life. Spending time with my wife and children is what I love most; so I make sure there is no neglect on that front. Personally, it is a priority in my life. My balance and happiness will ultimately serve my client best. I would rather work with less clients and make sure they have the ultimate best service.
Q. What motivates you?
Ans: Different things at different stages of my life have motivated me. Right now, it is my two boys.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: When I work I am very focused on my business, I try to think of the ideal service for my clients and sometimes try new things which in itself generate new ideas. I try to not limit myself in doing things the same old way. I prefer to stay open to change and evolve and come up ideas “outside the box”.
Q. What is your greatest fear and how do you manage fear?
Ans: The thing I am most grateful for is my mental, spiritual and physical health. If I can manage to stay in the moment and appreciate what I have now, I succeed in combating fear.
Q. What are your ideals?
Ans: I would like to see a more balanced world. The co-existence of different cultures and religions, more tolerance and love for one another. There is too much disparity in the world, global economic and spiritual imbalance worries me.
Q. How do you define success?
Ans: It is all about how happy you are at the end of the day.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: A day well-lived today makes every yesterday a beautiful memory and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: I do that by treating every customer with integrity and honesty.
Q. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: I think Los Angeles is the prime location for actors and performers needing headshot photography services. Considering the number of people requiring photography services, it is perhaps the best place to do business. Be it corporate, fashion, boudoir or wedding photography, there is a huge market for each of them.
Q. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: I believe that there is no alternative to things like hard work, honesty and integrity.
Q. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be?
Ans: Dalai Lama
Q. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: My greatest inspiration is Nelson Mandela.
Q. What book has inspired you the most?
Ans: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?