My Library and Courses
Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Take A Risk

If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep having what you're having.  Maybe you have read this cliche many times but we don't mind repeating it here.  You have to step out and try new things to grow a business that will endure for decades.  To see the entire photo...     More...

Key Question:


Take some calculated risks when the time seems right.  Ken took three big risky steps to create the sitution in which he finds himself today. First, he refused to work for New York City agents who promised him a consistent supply of work. Second, he invested millions in the equipment he needed to be in control of his entire supply chain. And third, he refused to change the name of a book to please a publisher.

Q: What do you think emboldens entrepreneurs?

A: The ones we know aren't afraid to fail. Also, while it appears from the outside that an owner could be taking on an idea that is too big for them to handle, the truth is usually that the person has been thinking and preparing to take this risk. So you might think someone is jumping off a cliff and they think they are simply walking a narrow path close to the edge.

Entrepreneurs do not take risks; we take calculated risks. We do our research, plan the process, keep our eyes on the goal and do whatever it takes to see the project through until the profits start to roll in.

As we become more sophisticated we have bankers and investors lined up to help with the cash that will move us to the next level.

Think about it

Are you stuck? What calculated risk do you need to take to get yourself off zero?

Clip from: Ken Duncan Photography

Siesta Beach, Florida, a picture from America Wide: In God We Trust

Sydney, Australia:   Meet a man whose goal in life is to capture perfect moments and translate them into some of the most beautiful photography you'll ever see.

He carved out a niche by automating his art. Meet Ken Duncan; he truly sees the magnificence of all of creation around us and he would like us all to stop  and take it in.  Art is life, and art has staying power.  Perhaps if we do, we might also make our business as a work of art as well.

If you want to create a great business, focus on perfecting the products and services. In the struggle to make the processes just a little better, you will be creating something of even greater value. You can do it. Yes, you can.  And, as you do, you'll make our world a better place.   Ken should inspire you on your way.

Ken Duncan Galleries

Ken Duncan, Founder

Shop 14, Hunter Valley Gardens Village
Broke Rd

61 2 4367 7744

Visit our web site:

Office: 61 2 4367 7744

Business Classification:
Photography, retail

Year Founded: 1988

Take A Risk

KEN: You know, but you kind of take risks. And at this stage--well, you know, I've become a Christian and I very much felt that I wasn't on my own and I had God looking after me, so that made it a lot easier to take risks.

HATTIE:  You have five physical studios, a lot of inventory, your own printing presses,  your own  laboratory.  How did you finance the growth of the business?
KEN:  Well, the business, you know, has financed the business, although every now and then, we've had to do steps beyond, you know, our comfort level. I believe every now and then you're pushed outside your comfort level.

Now a project we did was "America Wide," a book on America. So I go over to the publishers in New York, and they said, `Well, Ken, yeah, we'd love to do a book with you,' because I've done other book projects.' And they said, `What's the title going to be?' And I said, `It's going to be called "America Wide: In God We Trust."' And they said, `Well, we love the "America Wide," but the "In God We Trust" is far too political.' And I said, `Look, you can't get rid of the "In God We Trust"; that's the important part, you know. That's the strength of America is, that it does trust in God.' And they're saying, `Well, it's politically incorrect.' And I thought, `I can't do this book with them, because they're going to kill the words.

They're going to turn it into just another book.' So I said, `Look, thank you very much, but I'm just obviously going to have to do it myself.' And, you know, that book was launched four days before September the 11th. And now the book was given to George Bush the day before by our own prime minister.  It gave America a chance to look at their wonderful nation and at that time they needed to gain strength.

HATTIE: It took three years for Ken Duncan to take the panographs found in "America Wide." I've been to many of these places myself, but when I look at the book, I am remembering his advice to all of us: `Step back and see the big picture. To balance your life, to see what's really important, tell yourself, step back and see the big picture.'

KEN: The important thing is a lot of people can't go to the places I go to because they're so busy; they're caught up. And what I'm trying to do is, rather than try and grab them and take them out there, I'm trying to bring the beauty of creation into them, because I believe as they see that, it'll minister to their spirit.

I have journeyed throughout this land on a three-year pilgrimage, endeavoring to capture the spirit of America. Gettysburg on July 3rd, 1863; more than 5,000 soldiers fell in one hour. An eerie presence still lingers as the sun rises over the fields. Cries of anguish from the past seem to echo in the haze.

Every now and then, my wife puts me on ideas bans. She says, `You're not allowed to have any more ideas for a year.' And it was so funny, because she couldn't stop me having the ideas, and when the ideas ban stopped, all of a sudden, I had two years' worth of ideas all in one hit.


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