My Library and Courses
Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Get Out Of The Office And Sell

Ken Duncan, founder of his own gallery and Australia's most famous photographer, started selling pictures door-to-door before he could invest time and production costs to create more.    More videos about money...

Key Question:


Ken Duncan did  what most artists are not willing to do.  He sold his work himself and learned how to build a strong, sustainable company. Several months after Ken told his New York agency to get lost, he went back to the bush of Australia to take more pictures. To fund this second trip, he sold his house. He put every penny and then some into developing a product line. Next, he and his wife and business partner, Pam, convinced an upscale hotel to allow them to run an exhibit in their lobby.

Ken's enthusiasm for the project won over the hotel management. They gave Ken and Pam a room to stay in and complete access to the hotel lobby for the show. The hotel took no money for the space and took no sales commission. They figured the people to coming the exhibition would spend money in their restaurant and bar and maybe even come and spend the night in the hotel. The "overnight" success of this exhibition emboldened the couple and they have not looked back. They have become fine business people who know how to hire and keep great employees. They know how to manage cash and when to invest. They divide and conquer the tasks and they love and respect each other.

What can passion and enthusiasm do for your ideas?

A: To grow your business, try Ken's passion on for size. You can see in his face today what the hotel managers saw back in 1981. He has something to share. He is convinced that people need the beauty of God's creation in their lives and he is going to give it to them. Ken reminds us that we will all hear many people tell us, "No." This he says is normal and you can't take it personally. Passion for what you are selling will overcome any feelings of failure and serve as the match to start your fire everyday.

Think about it

When was the last time you closed a sale? 

Clip from: Money: All about Financing Your Business

Silicon Valley, New York City, Sydney and the World:   When you are just  starting, it is usually about your money, called MOM, an acronym for My Own Money. It is also called "skin in the game."  Very few of us have a track record and can write a business plan that is so compelling that we begin with Other People's Money (OPM).

If you are growing, there is an abundance of stagnant capital that may be looking just for you.  Qualified investors (and people who believe in you) are looking for ways to grow their money either as a loan or as an investment for equity. It will require an excellent business concept, a well-detailed business plan (your story), and real financial projections. They will also require that you understand your financials, even if they are quite modest. Those numbers are the organics of a business, the basic 1-2-3s.

Business is just a series of problem-solving exercises. That's its nature.  If you do not have the stomach for it, get a job. If you think money is going to be given to you just because you have a good idea, keep your job!

Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...      
Go to the homepage of this episode...

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

Get Out Of The Office And Sell

Meet Ken Duncan
HATTIE: Think long range, that's the mantra of successful small business owners. Ken Duncan quit a high paying position, sold his home and lived for three years in the bush of Australia. Among the Aboriginals he hunted for his own food and found beauty at every turn.

KEN DUNCAN: How could you be stressed about life when you're sitting there? I mean...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Ken Duncan is founder of what today includes five galleries and a profitable web site that sell his amazing photograhic collections, a custom framing company, a publishing house and one of the most modern printing laboratories in the world.

KEN DUNCAN: But really my whole business started with me having a portfolio and a bag of prints, and I'd knock on doors. And, you know, people often say, `Well, how do you start?' And I say, `That's how you start. You just knock on doors.' And the thing is, out of those doors, you've got to realize it's all about numbers. One out of 10 is going to say yes, and the other nine are going to say things like, `For a photograph?' or 'You've got to be kidding.' But you can't take it personally.

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!