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At the end of your life, what will matter most to you? Most of us act like we’ll live forever and have plenty of time to do and accomplish what we want to. But in reality, none of us know how much time we have left. We’re not promised tomorrow, and when we live in that truth, our perspective of what’s productive changes.
This is why I’m so excited to share this interview with my friend (and podcast editor!), Colton Carr. After building a successful wedding videography business, Colton and his wife Mallory received an unexpected diagnosis that changed everything. When life hits you with something like this, you can’t help but reassess what really matters. There is so much laughter in this interview, but there are also some tears. My hope is that this episode will point you back to what matters in your own life, while challenging and encouraging you to reconsider how you define productivity. Press play to listen to one of the most impactful conversations on my podcast to date.
Key Takeaways from this Episode
- The key characteristics Colton and his wife, Mallory, have that set them apart in business and contributed to their success.
- Colton’s tips on entering the world of videography.
- How the season immediately after Colton’s diagnosis brought value to his life and business.
- The phrase Colton repeats to remind him of his motivation reason he continues to work.
- How Colton’s perspective and definition of productivity has shifted with this season of life.
- Colton’s future and how he views making plans in life and business amidst the reality of a terminal diagnosis.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Arbor Weddings
- Follow Colton’s Health Journey on Caring Bridge
- Instagram: @arborcolton
- Colton’s small camera recommendation: Ricoh GR III
Click here to read the full episode transcript!
Colton Carr: The little decisions that I make in life matter far less now than what they did before, because things aren’t going to work out just as you plan them to work out.
Jade Boyd: I am really excited to share this interview with you guys today. This episode is very different than anything else we’ve done on the podcast before, not just because it’s the only guy that we’ve had on the podcast to date, but because it’s a topic that’s deeply personal and just a conversation that’s going to be different than anything you’ve heard before from The Business Minimalist Podcast.
And so I do want to give you a little bit of a warning that we do cover some heavy topics. There were definitely some tears during this interview because the reality is that Colton doesn’t know how much more time he has, and so we explore what life has looked like for him as a creative entrepreneur with a serious diagnosis, what that has meant for his definition of productivity and what that’s meant for the way that he prioritizes people, things, his business in this new season of life that he finds himself in.
And this episode just has so many good tidbits and takeaways and I hope that despite that warning that it’s going to be a little bit heavier, there’s also lots of laughter in this episode. And Colton and his wife, Mallory are two of my personal, very good friends in real life outside of business, but Colton also edits this podcast. So you have him to thank for the great audio because he’s taught me many things about microphones and podcast audio, but also they’re just great people to be around and Colton has thought a lot about what it means to be productive over the past couple of years and some of the facts and research and just personal experience that he shares is just so helpful. Even for me, but I know that it’s going to be helpful for a lot more people than just me.
So, without further ado, here is my interview with Colton Carr.
Welcome to the show, Colton.
Colton Carr: Hey, thanks, Jade. Thanks for having me.
Jade Boyd: I’m excited to have you. I thought we’d start off by just giving a little bit of a background and overview of what your business side of your life looks like, because for anyone who hasn’t met you, Colton and his wife, Mallory, are two of the most creative people that I have ever met and they’re just naturally good at everything they try. They’re like the creatives that you’re annoyed by, but are secretly very impressed by. So give us a little bit of overview of what your business side of life looks like.
Colton Carr: Yeah. So, well, thanks for the compliment, but, since I was, a young, a young lad, I’ve always just thought about having my own business, doing my own thing. It’s just something freeing about working for yourself. And, back in 2017, I accidentally started a business. And since then turned it into something that it’s a really viable option for, not only myself, but could it be down the road for Mallory as well. And that is my friend at the time was getting married and I just said, hey, let me film your wedding for you for free. And I did, and then I booked a couple more weddings before that, and it just kept on going. I had, no idea how to do it, didn’t have any equipment, no experience, no software, nothing. Just one of those. people that will say yes to something and then figure out how to do it later. And Mallory and I were at the time, two years into marriage and we found out that we were really good at just storytelling on the wedding day.
And so from then, even though we didn’t have the right equipment, and we didn’t have the technical skills, that we have now, or can continue to have, we had the story kind of set from the beginning and so it’s been growing ever since.
And, then we started to get into photography or decided that we were going to do photography, back in 2021 and bought another camera for that. And then life just kind of got flipped upside down pretty much shortly after the camera arrived.
Jade Boyd: So, what happened after the camera arrived?
Colton Carr: So back in October of 2021, I started having headaches every day and they just got worse and, Mallory told me to go ahead and go to the doctors and I didn’t. Finally, I did.
Jade Boyd: So, just to give some context, this is three years into your business, three years after you shot your very first wedding, and things have been growing, you’re shooting more and more weddings, started to get into photography, and this is like the place in life where you’re at.
Colton Carr: Yeah. We thought that everything was going great and we were starting to talk about what it looked like for both of us to do this full time and offer photo video bundles, and do it that way. Just run the whole business. Just the two of us.
And then a couple tumors were found in my brain and that kind of changed everything. So had surgery November 18th, 2021, and found out that it was cancer and yeah, things have just been a lot different since then, but, things have, things have been good.
Jade Boyd: So, I want to get further into that, but before we get too far into that, I do want to just talk a little bit about the business side of things, because I think for a lot of creative entrepreneurs, especially women, they’re scared to say yes to things if they don’t know the entire roadmap. And I think the most successful entrepreneurs that I’ve seen are really excited, like you were, to dive into something and say yes and figure out the details along the way, even knowing that you had no videography experience or expertise in that. At that point from like the technical perspective, but just the mindset of I’m going to figure it out that goes a long way and even to see what you were able to do in three years. It’s kind of amazing.
Colton Carr: Yeah, thanks. Yeah, it’s, it’s, I want to say strange, but I feel like this might be, sort of common, where I didn’t really think too much about, like, what could happen? How could I fail? I just thought about that, hey, this is something that I want to do, something I think that I can learn how to do. Let’s just do it. Whereas Mallory when she came along with me in the very beginning was just kind of like all right well, I just got a point the camera hit record. That’s all I got to do.
Jade Boyd: Tell me what to do.
Colton Carr: And I’m like There’s a little bit more to it than that. I had been watching a bunch of YouTube videos and other wedding films and trying to learn the best that I could. And Mallory was just like, yeah, all I got to do is point and shoot. I’m like, no, there’s more to it than that. And of course she was worried about, you know, what other people would think and what the client would think about the video and all that stuff. And, like, you know, as long as we’re confident in the product and we put out something that’s really good, that’s all that really matters because we’ll find our place, we’ll find our niche, we’ll find what works well for us and people will want that. And that turned out to be true. And so a lot of the fears that, you know, maybe she had with how we could fail or how maybe we’re not as good as these other companies.
We’re just different. It’s not that we’re not as good, we just might have a different style and that’s been okay because people have been coming to us and it’s been a lot of fun because we started off with just a bunch of friends, a bunch of people that I knew growing up and then just getting into, you know, investing some money back into marketing. And when we booked our first. Like stranger client, right? Like we had no mutual friends with this person. That’s when I was kind of like, okay, we can actually do this. Like, here’s proof that we can do this.
So yeah, it’s been really good. We learned a lot and we still have a lot left to learn, but, yeah, when you, when you get that first client that you have no idea who this person is, it’s such a rewarding feeling.
Jade Boyd: And I think you’re underselling yourself, so I have to like, just say a little bit more than that because, I mean we’ve talked a lot about this over the past three years and you did our wedding too. And so just for people who don’t know you, you guys have just a magnetic energy around you. I don’t know how to describe it more than that, but especially for weddings.
I’ve shot weddings with you. You did my wedding. I’ve kind of seen the behind the scenes from other weddings that you’ve done. You’ve sent me videos. I’m subscribed to your YouTube channel. And Just the way that you interact with people on a wedding day or interact with people in general. I always laugh because I never know what you’re going to say. So who knows what’s going to come out of your mouth today. But also you just have no filter in terms of just talking to people and creating that energy and that just enjoyable environment and for a lot of photographers and videographers, they may be really skilled at the technical aspect or overemphasize that when people trust people.
And so I had to call out that side of your business and why you guys have been successful because getting referrals is huge in any industry, but especially in the wedding industry. But also, what you said about your, I don’t know if this is the right word, but like your, insecurity almost about like are other videographers doing this better than us? Are we good? Should we be in this industry and then coming to the conclusion that the way you guys shoot and edit and tell stories is very different than a lot of the other like, quote unquote, successful videography or wedding videography companies, but people specifically hire you because of the way that you shoot
Colton Carr: Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah, weddings are so fun. I mean, I have always seemed to have gotten along with both men and women like my whole life. And so just being on a wedding day and being able to spend time with the bride and being able to spend time with the groom. And I’ve, lived in a few different places in my life and been around a bunch of different kinds of people.
And so, I feel like that I can relate to a lot of different people in different ways. Picked up a lot of different hobbies and things that I enjoy to do. So, I feel like there’s always something to talk about with everyone there and it’s so cool because Mallory and I, we, we got married in 2015 and so we just celebrated eight years and, we met in 2012 so we’ve been together for a while now. So we have had, that chemestry with each other just relationally, and we know how one another, how we work. And so where I might be a little bit more outgoing and yeah, you said it.
I mean, I don’t know what I’m going to say half the time either. I mean, I, I said that just this Sunday, I was, leading worship and we were going through like the worship service before. And I was like, yeah, I’m going to welcome everyone today and say, I don’t know what I’m going to say. Probably something embarrassing. And I did, I talked about squeezing into my pants. So
Jade Boyd: Just makes you more of a human.
Colton Carr: There we go. We never know what’s going to come out of my mouth.
Jade Boyd: Everyone can relate to that.
Colton Carr: Just the dynamic that, that Mallory and I have with, you know, the character that she is, the person that she is and the person that I am, I think that we just really gel well together in business and that does set us apart at least a little bit. So yeah, I appreciate you bringing that up.
Jade Boyd: Yeah. And just speaking it from the photography perspective, it’s kind of like a running joke for wedding photographers. If there’s a videographer, it’s always kind of a like, oh, who’s going to show up and what is that going to be like? But we shot two weddings together and I can confidently say that you’re definitely the type of team that it’s a joy to shoot with you. And so from again, a referral standpoint, having that experience, not only for the clients, but for the other people on the team and being that type of videographer, in my mind, that sets you apart too. Just for any wedding photographers who are listening and thinking about this conversation from that perspective.
Colton Carr: That’s you too, Jade, because not every photographer is as good as you are with those couple shoots that we did together and just your personality. So I mean, you have that thought, photographers have that thought about videographers, videographers have that thought about photographers as well. So yeah, when you get that team working together super well, it’s a lot of fun and it makes the day a lot easier.
Jade Boyd: I appreciate that. My stint in the wedding industry was a lot shorter than yours, but I appreciate it.
Colton Carr: But it was great while you were there.
Jade Boyd: It was great. One last question I want to ask before we move on to your cancer story and like the diagnosis and what happened after that October, November 2021. Something else that I think is relevant. There’s probably a lot of creatives and a lot of photographers who listen to this podcast. And for a lot of them, video has been in the back of their mind because video is becoming more and more popular. And even for family photography, especially for brand photography, the option to add in video seems very strategic, but also really overwhelming.
So speaking from the standpoint, I know Mallory does more of the photography, but you’ve gotten into it as well. How difficult is it to learn both? Any tips you have would be helpful.
Colton Carr: Yeah. You know, I think that a lot of people, and this is true for most new things that most people try is that it just, it seems like that we make it a bigger deal in our minds than what it actually is. And so, you know, just getting started, just doing something, is the first step. And I mean, you’ve talked about it and I like how you end your show with, hope that you get 1 percent better. And that’s really what it’s about is just doing a little bit of something, to start to move that needle. And so with photo and video, I mean, you still have that exposure triangle, you know, that’s still true. You still have those three main settings. You still have white balance. All of that remains true.
There are, I’m putting quotations around this. There are rules in video that are different than photography. Things like your shutter speed. And to me, I really attached myself to this UK videographer and he doesn’t care about shutter speed and that rule in video, he just cares about getting the exposure right, because what we think or what we’re told that we will see with our eyes is not actually 100 percent true.
So with the shutter speed, we’re told to shoot a certain way, otherwise we’re going to notice a difference. People really can’t notice a difference. And so what matters is that you… You do whatever you can to keep people into the story. And if that means that you have to break some rules, then you have to break some rules.
So, when you’re getting into video from photo, you know, in photo, if you’re good at framing something up, you know, making it look good on your camera, making it look good on the screen, on a print, then you should probably be able to compose a shot in video. And if you know the correct exposure in photo, you should probably know the correct exposure in video too.
So like you’re just right there. And the only real difference there as far as taking the footage is just trying it, learning the technical aspects of it, like how to maneuver the camera to shoot video. And then editing, I mean, that’s a whole different thing, but that is just trial and error. That’s etching something out. To what you think feels good, sounds good, looks good, and then going from there.
Jade Boyd: Mm hmm.
Colton Carr: And then just messing up being okay with messing up and then doing it again.
Jade Boyd: Yup. That’s super encouraging, I think for people who are thinking about getting into video because it does feel overwhelming. I think specifically for photographers who know how hard it was to learn how to edit photography. For myself, I remember sitting on my old laptop, which could barely handle light room and editing one photo where I clicked a setting and then the wheel of death started spinning and it was a nightmare not knowing my editing style and like trying to figure that out.
And so I think the concept of like, looking at the entire project and all of the work it’s going to take to be as good at videography as somebody is that photography feels overwhelming, but you’re never going to get there if you don’t start with like that 1%.
Colton Carr: Not every situation is going to be perfect. I mean, you talk about your computer, the, the computer that I was on, before I upgraded and got this iMac was this old 2012 Macbook Pro that I upgraded myself because you used to be able to do that back then. And, it took me, anytime I hit export and I was working out of a software that I don’t work out of anymore, I won’t shame them here, but, it took me at minimum, I’d say 12 hours to export like a five minute video.
Jade Boyd: That’s crazy.
Colton Carr: Absolutely ridiculous. And then I would get frustrated because when I would see the result and there was like a glitch, there was some error that happened in the export, I would just have to re-export it all over again, or if I missed something, because we’re humans, we make mistakes. So if I missed a detail or did something that didn’t look right, I’d have to fix it and re-export it and wait another, you know, overnight, midday, and then I could see if it was right. So, yeah, it was, I mean, absolutely had frustrating times, but everybody has frustrating times. We can’t expect anything to be perfect because nothing will be perfect.
Jade Boyd: Which is I think, a great segue into the next part of this conversation, because I wanted to paint the picture on where you were at in business leading up to figuring out that you had brain tumors and having surgery and finding out that you had cancer. And I think a lot of creative entrepreneurs are actually in that same stage of business right now. And I think our default mindset is that life is going to turn out the way that we expect it to. When in reality, we have so little control and know so little about what the future holds for ourselves or for our businesses.
And specifically in the productivity space, a lot of people get started in this industry because they have one of those like, oh, crap moments. I think the productivity industry is filled with a lot of men who have like midlife crises and heart attacks and then are like, what am I doing with my life? And so I do want to talk from a business perspective. What has it looked like for you since your diagnosis to know what’s important in your life and reprioritize?
Colton Carr: Yeah, it’s a great question. Well, for the first, I don’t know, I’d say six and a half months after my surgery, I sat. I did nothing. And I learned that that was fair. I wasn’t supposed to do anything. I mean, I just had brain surgery for seven hours and a cancer diagnosis and going through some radiation and immunotherapy. I mean, I was not doing okay. And so I just sat for a long time and when the diagnosis happened, Mallory and I realized that business is going to look different for us. If it even gets to continue at all. And finally, after I was able to get up out of my chair and just even do the dishes, just something as small as that, we somehow managed to do a few weddings in 2022. And yeah, I didn’t have hair on the back of my head and yeah, my balance was terrible, and I knelt as much as I could while shooting, but people came into my life, I surrounded myself with family, friends, , when I could, I put things on the calendar. My wife and I did, you know, see friends, go see family, go out to eat together, even just, you know she’d get home from work and we just sit at home, maybe turn on a show or something and just spend time with each other.And you know, I realized that you’re right. Like things don’t always work out the way that you think that they’re going to work out.
And. That’s all right, because all of this stuff that we’re doing, no matter if, you’re a photographer, videographer, business coach, you know, whatever it might be, I think that that’s really like secondary or even further back to what actually matters. , I mean, you’ve got Caleb, Caleb’s super important in your life. You know like like for me, it goes right, God and my relationship with God, my wife, and then everything after that is really just, you’re, you’re managing all of it. You know, your business, your family, your friends, all of that. But like you have to prioritize, at least my perspective anyways, You’ve got to prioritize your relationship with God and you’ve got to prioritize your relationship with your spouse and everything else will just kind of happen.
Now , what I know is that, you know, I sat around doing nothing for six months and if I would to have continued just sitting around for six months and beyond, well, my life would look completely different now. And I would probably be pretty sick if I had to guess, because we were created to actually work. We weren’t created to just sit around.
And so just the little decisions that I make in life matter far less now than what they did before, because again, things aren’t going to work out just as you plan them to work out. They’re just, they’re not. Like some stuff might. But, most of the things won’t.
And how I believe in that is that God already has my whole life planned out for me. And like, that plan is going to be the plan that actually takes place. Not the things that I want and desire and all that. Like, some of that might be in alignment, but some of it might not be. And what he has for me is way greater than what I have for myself.
Jade Boyd: I have so many follow up questions from what you just said. I was making notes. The first thing I want to ask about is how did it feel for you to sit for six months? For a lot of people, being still, especially in American culture where we’re so used to like go, go, go, I’m not going to sit long enough for my thoughts to catch up with me and actually think about what’s happening in my life.
Was that uncomfortable? What was that experience like for you?
Colton Carr: Well, for the first, I don’t know, couple months, it didn’t matter much to me, like I wasn’t thinking about all the things that I could do, I was just trying to heal, like physically heal. And it was on the heels, I mean this is a whole other story that, we’re not gonna get into here, but it was on the heels of a lot of , church hurt and stuff like that, so there was like a lot of emotional pain that I had to recover from, spiritual pain that I had to recover from, as well as all this physical pain.
That I had to recover from. So for the first little while I was just, I was fine with it. You know, like I understood the position that I was in and that it was just going to be a season of my life. And then I started to get down on myself because I would see Mallory go to work. I would hear all my friends and family and what they’re doing with their lives and all this stuff.
And I just wasn’t able to do any of that stuff, but you know, it was what it was. And eventually I think I got, one, I got like well enough, physically well enough to get up and start doing things. And two, my chair, which a friend gave us, which was a big blessing because we didn’t have like a reclining chair, before my surgery. And that’s how I had to sleep for, I don’t remember how long, I couldn’t like lay flat. but that chair was positioned so that I can see into our kitchen. We’ve got a small kitchen, which when we bought the house and when we were viewing it before we bought it, I’m like, oh, this is a romantic kitchen. So now anytime that like two people are crammed in there, I’m like, Oh, Mallory, isn’t this romantic? But so my chair was just position in a way that I was just looking into the kitchen, like the whole time. And so anytime that there was dishes in the sink, I’m like, oh man, I should get up and do this and, but I don’t want to, and I don’t feel good enough to.
And I think finally, I was just like, I’m tired of this. I need to get up. I need to start doing this stuff. I’m getting antsy. Which is what happened recently with me as well. I mean, I wasn’t sitting doing nothing, but I’m like, man, I’m getting antsy. I want to get this business going again, like, life isn’t getting any longer. It’s only getting shorter. I just want to go.
And obviously there’s, you know, wisdom to… to not opening it back up yet, and, you know, there’s, I have a business partner, right, and I have a wife, and both of our opinions and, emotions with that and, and thoughts, like, both of those things matter, so we don’t know what we’re gonna do yet, as of this point right now, with our photo video business, but I’m definitely not sitting still anymore, I’ve got plenty of stuff on my plate, like, pretty much every single day.
And I don’t do it just for the sake of chasing after something, or ticking things off of a list. Do it cause we’re meant to work and it brings me joy for not only myself, but for the people that I’m serving as well. And that makes me happy to make other people happy.
Jade Boyd: I think that’s a really important distinction because working itself is a good thing and it’s our motives behind it and why we’re doing it and the reason that we’re pushing ourselves that really affects not only the quality of our work, but how we treat people and also our motivation to do it long term.
It’s almost like a form of self care, like a specific form of self care to be able to work. create value for other people.
Colton Carr: Yeah, for sure. I mean, we’re built for community, right? And if we’re just in a box doing something for ourselves by ourselves all the time, we’re going to end up miserable.
Jade Boyd: Not very fulfilling.
So going back to the like sitting and doing nothing, besides from the physical part of it, which you don’t have control over, right? Your body physically needed you to heal. And so that was part of it. But you also mentioned there was like spiritual and like mental things that you’re also dealing with. And sitting gave you a lot of time to think about those things. Is that something that has become easier for you now that you’re kind of out of that period where you are doing a lot of things? Do you find that it’s easier for you to be still and know how to process your thoughts and your emotions?
Colton Carr: Yeah, for sure. I mean, being still now, my my whole perspective on, on life in general and a lot of things has completely shifted since all of this. And my wife and I, we just started, camping again. we refound our love for that. Just bought some camping chairs last night too. so pretty excited about that, but, you know, camping is a way that we can just get out of where we’re at. It sounds cliche, but you know, be with nature, right. And do things we don’t typically do in our lives and, turn off our phones or just take a walk, whatever it might be, I know that life is short. And so being still and just sitting in the place that I’m at right now is super valuable because yeah, I do get a reflect on the people that have been generous, to us and the relationships that we’ve, just deepened over this time, which have been incredibly important and impactful.
And I know that if I don’t check anything off of a list for a day. Right, let’s say, and I, I just feel like I’m unproductive that day. I’m no longer going to beat myself down because I didn’t get things done. Because there’s always tomorrow, but then there might not be tomorrow. And you know what?
Jade Boyd: When you’re seeing things in perspective, or the right perspective.
Colton Carr: Yeah, yeah, yeah. If there’s, if there’s a tomorrow, great, there’s another opportunity. If there’s not a tomorrow, for you, for me, for whoever, and as long as like the, the day where I wasn’t quote unquote being productive, as long as I wasn’t like completely down on myself and, you know, getting myself in, in a pit or a rut or anything like that, and I just understand a good, healthy perspective of not doing anything sometimes is good, well, then I’m, I’m fine if there’s no tomorrow too, because I’m still content.
Which, like, it’s super important to be content, especially now in today’s world, just being content where we are, where everyone’s trying to, you know, chase what another person has or what another person wants, you know, instead of, like, being content with what we have.
Jade Boyd: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think what you’re speaking to, it also goes back to what you said about why you’re showing up to do what you do and those feelings that come up when we don’t cross something off. I think a lot of times, at least for me, I like to beat myself up because I feel like I should be a certain type of business owner or I should be.
A certain level of productive for whatever reason is just my ego and not necessarily like I really want to do this because I know it’s going to help other people. You know, it’s rarely that when it comes to beating myself up. It’s all about me and not about other people. That’s a really good test.
Colton Carr: Yeah, and I think it’s important too to make sure to have some like, I guess non negotiables or being aware of like habits, you know, if something absolutely has to get done by a certain time, make sure that that thing gets done by that certain time. If you plan to work on it a certain day, but you didn’t get around to it, that’s fine.
As long as it gets done by the time that it has to get done, you know, or if you have something on a calendar with some friends, you know, drinks, breakfast, whatever, if something’s going on in your life and you have to cancel that. All right, fine, cancel it, you know, tell them, be honest, and I’m sure they’ll understand.
But if you start to see a pattern of that in your life, like over and over and over and over again, well, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate, like, why is it that you’re actually canceling? Are you just taking the easy way out?
If you are, maybe stop taking the easy way out and do the hard thing and continue to you know, see those friends at that time, because a lot of times, whenever like I feel like, or Mallory feels like, like not hanging out with people, not because we don’t like the people, but because we’d rather just be at home and watch Survivor, which we’ve gotten back into. Yeah, just finish the season. JT is pretty good.
Jade Boyd: I’ve never watched Survivor, so I can’t relate.
Colton Carr: You would like it. I’m telling you
Jade Boyd: Maybe. I have watched Alone.
Colton Carr: Survivor is fun. I used to watch Survivor my senior year when I lived with my grandparents and we went to a restaurant and they closed down the restaurant, except for the people that were a part of the Survivor pool, which, of course, we were a part of and so we all watched it. It was fun, but, yeah, I mean, anytime that we just feel like, ah, no, I don’t really want to, you know, I’m all people out, whatever.
And then we go and we do the thing anyways. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when we left from hanging out with those friends and been like, ah, well, still wish that we wouldn’t have done that. It’s always been, man, that was really good. I’m really glad that we did that like a hundred percent of the time.
So don’t be afraid to just do the things that you don’t want to do sometimes. Just do it. And likely it will work out.
Jade Boyd: And I think there’s a fine balance. And that’s why productivity is so hard because you can’t say like, these are the rules. If it’s non negotiable, then there’s no exceptions because there’s exceptions for everything. We are human. And so it is finding that balance between being responsible and even responsible to yourself and doing what you promise yourself you’re going to do being accountable, but also not being so rigid and robotic that you’re not able to take a day off or able to give yourself a break every once in a while, and it’s hard to create a road map for that. That’s why I really like one on one coaching, because there’s so much gray area, but I think part of it comes down to what you said about productivity looking different for this season.
And I love talking about productivity in terms of seasons because there are definitely different seasons of business in terms of stages of growth, but there’s also different seasons of life where priority shift. And so part of this podcast is about redefining what does it actually mean to be productive?
Like getting clear on what does that actually mean? Because I think we have these baseline assumptions of what looks like being productive and what looks like being unproductive when in reality, like I said, the lines are so much more blurry and there’s a lot of gray space there. So what has it looked like for you in this season to redefine what it means to be productive?
Colton Carr: Yeah. Well, I just thought of something while you were, talking there that I think answers this a little bit. I’ve learned to be more willing to shift and less willing to cave.
And so, you know, if I have a certain, like you were talking about and I always talk about like non negotiables, right? And like sometimes life happens and, you know, things change. Well, be less willing, and I’ve become less willing to cave, to just completely throw up my hands and be like, oh, yep, nope, I’m not going to do this anymore. You know, that’s out the window and more willing to shift what that looks like. Right. So, for example, I mean, I was editing for, this guy, for, video. And at first it’s like, yep, bring it on. I’m gonna do this. It’ll be great. I’ll do it a lot. And then I just kind of realized that, man, I’m, I’m sick, I’m not doing great, I’m not able to spend the amount of time on it that I was hoping to, you know, and I don’t want to put his business at risk because of my, physical well being, and instead of just like completely caving on that right away, I shifted and was like, well, you know, let me be honest with him about how I’m doing and see how much like wiggle room that he has and grace that he has for me, how few of gigs can I take on, while still providing him what he needs? And can I extend that time a little bit further for the deadlines, than what we agreed upon first? Instead of just immediately going, oh yeah, I’m throwing in the towel. Now eventually I did. But I don’t see that as me caving, I see that as me just shifting and doing it respectfully, you know, like I didn’t want to put his business, at risk because of, you know, my unhealth, right.
And so, yeah, just, just that, just being willing to, to shift more than being willing to, to cave what that looks like. Even with, what I do with leading worship, you know, sometimes, if I’m feeling really, really good. I’ll get a lot of work done that day ahead of time, just to prepare myself for if I do have a day where maybe I’m not feeling as great, then I can give myself more grace in that day because I already put in some work on the front end.
And so just taking advantage of the times when, you know, either I physically feel good or maybe I’m just really. I’m jamming. I’m vibing. I feel good. I could do this. I got my coffee, you know, whatever it may be and just continuing to go and push into that instead of being like, oh, well, it’s, you know, whatever time five o’clock I got to stop now.
No, there’s, not really a nine to five. But there is a you know, when do I work? When do I shut it off? And, lately I’ve also been, like just keep my phone upstairs if we’re downstairs. if Mallory and I, you know, downstairs watching Survivor or whatever it may be, I’m just being away from my phone or putting it on focus mode.
And I think I got that from one of your podcast episodes actually. And it’s, been super freeing just getting rid of that at night, you know, I’ve got my watch and, the only notifications I have on it is if somebody were to call me, I’m like, okay, somebody texts me and they don’t get an answer and they really need an answer right away. They will call me.
Jade Boyd: Mm hmm. I like that. I don’t have a watch at all because I hate all notifications, but if you’re gonna have a watch, I feel like that’s a good boundary.
Colton Carr: Yeah, I don’t like the notifications either, that’s the only reason why I have the calls on my watch is so that I can put away my phone, but still be connected if I have to talk to somebody.
Jade Boyd: Right. And you probably get a lot more calls than I do, too. I don’t talk to anybody on the phone anymore.
Colton Carr: Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like most of my calls are, incoming calls are either from spam. And so, that’s always fun, or my mom. So that’s great too.
Jade Boyd: Just because you mentioned this and you didn’t mention this at the beginning, speaking to your creative talents, Colton and his wife can also sing and Colton plays guitar. And are extremely talented. So you mentioned leading worship at church. You guys also did a huge backyard concert at my house this summer, which was amazing. Just so good. Fulfilled my lifelong dream of having a backyard concert with live music. And then you also mentioned editing the podcast. So Colton is very familiar with the past like six. To eight months. I can’t remember how long you’ve been editing.
Colton Carr: Yeah, that seems right.
Jade Boyd: Yeah, about that long. Most of this year of content and gets to hear all of my terrible raw audio. I’m always apologizing. I’m like, sorry, Colton, take that out for anyone who’s listening, thinking it sounds so good. It’s only because of Colton.
Colton Carr: No, you don’t ever cough when you’re recording.
Jade Boyd: Never, at all or record episodes and realize they weren’t recorded.
One thing that I wrote down based on what you said is there’s like, there’s a really cliche mindset shift that oh, no, I don’t have to work. I get to work. And I think I’ve always thought about that and rolled my eyes like, yeah, nobody actually thinks like that.
But from this conversation, I feel like that’s what I have heard from you. Like, just wanting so badly to do things for other people, wanting to be able to edit video, wanting to be able to edit podcast, wanting to book wedding clients again, and just feeling that shift of like, I don’t have to, but I really want to, and it’d be great if I got to.
Colton Carr: Yeah, I mean, absolutely. there are moments. And I think that’s the thing about life is that like, everyone expects or a lot of people expect you to be like You know, perfect or this exact image every single second of the day. But the truth is, is that we all have moments and all of our moments look different and, moments of what, like fill in the blank that, you know, you can, you can say whatever the, that is.
But in, in this case, I do have moments where it’s like, well, I have to do this today. No doubt, you know, cause I’m a person and that’s normal. But definitely a couple of things, one sitting around for six months, right? We’ve talked about that has really just been like, I don’t want to do that again.
That was terrible, nobody’s meant to do that ever. That’s why retirement’s like, okay, cool. So you retire early at 50 or whatever, what are you gonna do with the rest of your life? You know, like you got to do something because you’re not just going to sit. You’re not just going to go on vacation. Like you got to put your mind and your energy and your talents into something.
And and the other thing is that who knows how long I’m going to be here for, you know, could be another month, could be another year, could be another 50 years. Like who knows? Nobody knows. I don’t know. Doctors don’t know. You don’t know, like only God knows. And so why, why would I waste the day? And again, what is wasting the day look like? And I think that for so many people, we think that wasting the day is just like not doing anything at all. Like not climbing that ladder or, you know, making a step towards bettering our business. That’s not necessarily true, you know, like if we have to have a day where we have to take a step back, relax, kind of chill out a little bit, re energize and regain our focus and everything, and we don’t tick those things off the list, that’s okay, because we’ll do it later, you know, we’ll do it the next day.
Just don’t keep putting it off. I don’t know if you’re familiar with, Jocko Willink. He’s got a, a podcast. He’s a, Navy SEAL and he’s a, a speaker now and an author. And one of the things that he says, and I mean, the guy, he spends a lot of time in the weight room and jiu jitsu and stuff like that.
And he says that he doesn’t plan for any days off, like in the gym. He just is in tune with his body. And he won’t take off two days in a row.
So if he wakes up one morning and he’s like, man, you know, it’s leg day and I, man, my back is killing me and my legs are killing me or whatever, or I’m getting down with this cold, he won’t go to the gym. But then the next day, if he’s feeling the same way, thinking the same way, he’s just, hey, you know what? I’m going to go to the gym. I’m going to get it done. Cause I’m not going to miss two days in a row.
And I really, really liked that philosophy. And honestly, I wish that I could do that in my own, fitness goal and journey and all that, but I have been getting back into fitness, which has been great.
And I’ll say that if, anyone listening is not into fitness right now, get into it in some capacity, cause if you’re not into it at all. You’ll like immediately see the benefits, not necessarily in the mirror right away. That takes time usually, but just like in your own energy levels and your own self confidence and self worth and, and all that stuff, like just extremely beneficial.
And so that, that mindset of like, I’m not going to take two days off in a row. That can, you know, go down to anything that you’re doing in life with your business or any sort of task that you have at hand, you know, any sort of house project that you have, Oh, I don’t feel like working on this today, but you know, it has to get done.
Jade Boyd: I feel called out.
Colton Carr: You know, don’t do it today, but don’t not do it tomorrow. Like do it tomorrow. Do something tomorrow.
Jade Boyd: I love that because it simplifies things and uncomplicates the idea of being productive and balancing that discipline with the ability to prioritize your personal health. But I also like thinking of it in terms of habits, because if you do it once, it’s a day off. If you do it twice, it becomes a repeated pattern. If you do it more, it becomes your new habit. And It’s easier to do a habit that you do every day than a habit that you do once a week, because in order to make it automatic, like doing it every day when you don’t think about it, but if you’re deciding, should I do it? Should I not do it? That creates a lot of effort around it. It’s not a habit. It’s a decision and decisions take a lot of mental energy.
Colton Carr: Yeah. And I mean, just to hang on the fitness for, for a second longer. When I was planning on going to the gym twice a week, that didn’t work for me because it was easy for me to be like, well, I didn’t go the last three days, I don’t have to go tonight, you know? And then I wouldn’t go. And it wasn’t until a couple things, one, I got on a medication that I desperately needed, to get on that actually gave me energy, that my body doesn’t naturally produce, and two was when I said, you know what, two days a week is not enough for me I’m going to shoot for five. And once I did that, I started working out pretty consistently.
And then it dropped off again when I started going on some trips back to back weekends and stuff where it was difficult for me to, to work out while there, which, you know, you’ve got reasons and excuses. It’s really hard to actually have reasons. So that’s just an excuse to be honest with you. I just need to get back in it. And that is more than just about like how you look and, you know, being the best physical person that you can be. It’s about your lifestyle. You know, I, I noticed that while I was in the gym, super consistently, and I had been when I was younger, I’m more productive, I’m nicer, I’m a better friend, I’m a better husband. Like it all relates. And I think especially with me with, my cancer diagnosis, I think it’s even more important for me to stay physically active and keep my body getting better and better.
Jade Boyd: I was just talking earlier this week, so it’s so funny that you bring this up, but someone on Instagram shared this post that talks about all the connections between your physical health and your mental health and just all of the ripple effects that it has. I feel like we just know so little, you know, a lot more than I do, but about our brains and the way that our whole body works together and it reminded me, I can’t even remember who this entrepreneur was or what the conference was, but it was when I was in grad school, I think I was at a startup conference and there was some CEO from a tech startup, very late stages, very successful entrepreneur. And somebody asked her what’s your number one tip for CEOs who are trying to scale startups?
And her response was lift heavy things. And that’s just always stuck with me. Just the ability of exercise and moving your body to create so many ripple effects when it comes to your business that when you think they might be two separate things and the more time you put in your business, the more successful it will be. It’s almost the opposite. And aiming for that more holistic definition of what it looks like is not only better for you, but also it just works.
Colton Carr: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I’ll, take that to my brain as well. lately I’ve noticed just a little bit more headaches and nausea, than, than normal. And so like, I know my body pretty well now when it comes to this stuff. And I’m like, all right, well, something has changed in there. Something, even just like one spot, just a little tiny growth, something has changed.
And so I got another scan and sure enough, a few things have just changed by just a little bit, not a lot, just a tiny bit and that’s enough to make me feel it, you know, and just the little amount of pressure on a one specific spot in my brain can cause another area of my brain, you know, that controls a completely different function to act differently because of pressure in a different spot.
Like it’s incredible. Like nobody can really understand or explain any of that stuff. But that is true for, like you said, like lifting weights and being physically active and having that ripple effect. I mean, I have no idea. I just got coffee with a friend this morning and I don’t get coffee with friends for this reason, but it’s a truth, and that is that I have no idea what that time getting coffee with that friend is going to do for, for my life, for his life, for our friendship in the future. Like I have no clue what type of ripple effect, like you said, is going to occur because of that meeting. But likely there will be something.
And eventually we’ll probably find out what that something is. Maybe we never will figure out what that ripple effect is, but you know what? It’s good coffee, good time. That moment was good. That hour and 15 minutes or whatever that we met was good, and that’s valuable in and of itself. Can I tell you something real quick, Jade?
So that made me think of, Mallory and I were planning like where we wanted to go camping, and she started to get sad because I’ve had some places that I’ve wanted to go for a while now. or like we went to Glacier, which was absolutely beautiful. And, we would love to go back there. And she started to get sad because. She started to get worried about, like, what if we don’t get to go to the places that you want to go to, you know, what if we schedule these trips and go to these places that aren’t exactly where you’ve been wanting to go? And I’m like, you know what? That’s okay. Like, we don’t have to go to all these places that I’ve been wanting to go.
Because just getting that time in that spot, wherever we booked, even if it’s somewhere in the middle of Nebraska, that’s enough. That’s fine. Like, that’s good. You know, so it doesn’t always have to be exactly how we plan it to be. It’s just the time with our spouse, with our friends, with our family, with, you know, whoever, like that’s important and that’s what matters.
It could be something as silly as going to a skating rink and putting on old skates again and trying to limbo while doing that. I have no idea why that’s the example I’m thinking of right now, but you know what, it would be fun, and that’s a memory. That’s good.
Jade Boyd: Making me cry. I was hoping not to cry today.
Colton Carr: Sorry, Jade.
Jade Boyd: I’m crying because it brings me to my last question, which I really don’t want to ask you. Because it’s hard, like, I can’t imagine. I don’t know how you aren’t crying. It’s obviously harder for you to think about than for me to think about, but my last question is as somebody who loves planning and loves, just thinking with the mindset of, yeah, the power of planning and the power that it takes to decide what direction you’re headed and to be able to plan that out, it’s something that I really enjoy doing.
I really enjoy helping other business owners do it too. And so my last question is, what does that look like for you to plan the future? And it’s hard. It makes me emotional because I can’t imagine, like, I think I’m in denial. I just can’t imagine doing this podcast and not sending episodes to you to edit, and not having you in my inbox, or texting me, or… planning to go out to dinner with you and Mallory or catching up, you know?
And so, what does it look like for you? And what does the future look like? Because I’m sure a lot of people who are listening who don’t know your story are also wondering where you’re at and what life looks like for you in the future.
Colton Carr: Appreciate you asking that, cause, planning is tough. And since this all started, I mean, it’s, it’s been hard and some days are easier than others. And there’s been seasons where I felt like, oh, who cares? Like let’s just plan everything. And then there’s seasons where it’s, well, what’s the point, why plan anything at all? And so like right now, I mean, I just talked about getting coffee with that friend this morning and,I asked him, how can I be a good friend to you, you know, after he asked me, how can I be praying for you? And I think both those are great questions to ask friends. And he asked back to me and, I said, you know, just ask me how I’m doing, but like, really ask me how I’m doing. Not just like the casual, how you doing. Right. But like, actually ask me how I’m doing. And I said, I would, I would love to say that I could get more coffee with you, he drinks tea, but you know, it’s all the same, right? We’ve had an extremely busy year this year and October, November, December. They’re all looking pretty open right now.
And I understand that, things will come up, you know, people will ask to do things we’ll want to do things, but for right now, I told him I just need to protect this time. and so I think that, you know, that’s okay, to have seasons where like, you’re just go, go, go another seasons where it’s like, okay, we’ve, we’ve went.
Now let’s kind of hold back and so, for me, for planning, I mean, like I told you with our, business, with Arbor Weddings, we’ve, talked about, you know, continuing again and how I’m getting antsy with that. And I just want to go. I just want to do it, cause there’s a couple of things that I’ve realized with that is that, one, if we wait for a certain result on a scan, like for things to be better, for things to be gone, like we might be either waiting for a really long time or that day will just never come, you know. And so why put it off anymore, you know, and then the other thing is that as long as we’re upfront and open with all of our, you know, potential clients with what is going on, which I think is part of what makes us, us with our business is just being vulnerable and, being open, being, being friends with our clients.
One of the greatest compliments and, gifts was, we got invited, by an old client of ours that we filmed their wedding to just go watch the Hawkeye game at a bar with them and some of their friends and family. And that meant a lot to me, that meant a lot to us.
Like, wow, we’re actually truly friends, you know? And so, you know, as long as we’re like, honest with the people that, you know, we might film for or, shoot for, you know, in the future. Like if we have to cancel, they’ll be okay. And obviously, you know, like, we’ll have to rework our contract just a little bit, you know, but our contract will protect us and will protect them and everything.
So doing all of the, logistical, upfront business work on the front end to, to make sure that everyone’s protected. but then also just being real people. And then with, everything else that I’m doing, so with leading worship, you know, I told the pastor, I said, hey, I don’t know how much longer I have here, but however much longer I have, what a blessing and privilege it would be, to lead worship while being here. And so I’m just going to keep going with that. Like nothing is happening. with editing podcasts, like I want to not only keep going with that, but I want to, you know, take on more with that.
Again, not for the sake of just doing more, but because it is fulfilling for myself and for the people that, you know, I’ll hopefully get to serve, over time, right? So, I mean, this house, I know that this isn’t in the audio, but you can see, those sets of doors behind me that are like sitting up on little two by fours.
That’s cause I framed out that, room and I had never done it before. And I did a terrible job and I, mis measured those, but you know what? It’s fine. We’ve got an okay basement. You can see behind me here too. These, Murphy bed bunk beds that I was just like, you know what? I want to be able to house more people.
And there’s this weird space, this is what I want to do and I just learned how to make it. And so understanding that, you know, if we want to, book clients in whatever capacity, if I want to pick up a new hobby, I’m actually making a knife with my neighbor cause he makes knives and I want to build a relationship with him and also learn a new skill. You know, if we want to do a house project or whatever, like. It’s okay to go ahead and schedule that to do that, you know. And if we put something on the calendar and it doesn’t get to happen, it’s okay.
I’m not going to miss out on it, you know, cause I won’t know what’s happening, right? But everyone who might be affected by that thing that was on the calendar, I would like to think that they will not only understand, but they’ll respect the fact that I kept pursuing a relationship, a friendship with them, you know, or kept trying to do things even in the midst of a pretty difficult time.
Jade Boyd: Yeah. I think the big thing and the reason why I wanted to have you on the podcast is to talk about living intentionally and what that looks like, because I think it’s something that we would all say that we want to do, but in reality, living intentionally does come with a lot of work and forethought in order to think about what we want and how we can make the best use of our time and energy, not only as business owners, but as real people.
And so I think that’s the power in sharing your story and I’m so grateful that you were willing to share it because I’m sure it’s not the easiest thing. I mean, I cried more than you did, but I’m sure it’s not the most fun way to be spending your time to rehash your story when it’s something that you’ve been living through for the past two years.
But I think it is so important because we live our lives with the mentality of we’re gonna have forever. And there’s always going to be time to do that thing, and all of us are in the exact same situation you are. It might not be as clear to us, or we might not be living our days with that clear understanding of reality that we’re not promised tomorrow, but we’re all in the same boat at the end of the day. None of us knows what’s going to happen to our family members, to our business, to ourselves. And so thanks for coming and sharing your story. And I would love for you to share after the show, if people want to follow along not only with your business, but just to pray for you and know what’s happening in your life.
What’s the best way to do that?
Colton Carr: Yeah, man, it’s really been good Jade. You’re a really great, question asker and, a great friend, so, appreciate you. Yeah, so… You can, if you want to check out some of our, videos and photos for weddings, you can go to arborwed.com, or just Google Arbor Weddings, you’ll find us. And then if you are. wanting to follow along with my medical updates and that interests you, just Google my name and CaringBridge. So my wife, she’s a, beautiful writer, and she always not only points things back to scripture, but sometimes she gets real with her emotions on there. And I think that that’s important. And so you could just Google Colton Carr, CaringBridge, and my CaringBridge website will come up. You can follow along there. I think I’ve written like one post on there the whole time. Maybe two. I leave that to her. That’s kind of a therapeutic for her. And, also she just does a way better job at that. I’ve got too many Instagram handles to, put out there and I’ll probably have probably 12 more by the time that this air is knowing me,I hope not golly I hope not.
Jade Boyd: We’ll pick one and we’ll put it in the show notes.
Colton Carr: Yeah, just go ahead. @arborcolton. So just like our business name Arbor and then Colton C O L T O N. And you can follow me along on there.
I’ve got this, and okay, here’s my last little bit here is, I bought this camera that can fit in my pocket. I mean, I wear Carhartt t shirts pretty much every single day and it can fit in my breast pocket. It’s so small, but it’s so much fun to just capture pictures. Like throughout the things that I do in life on this little tiny camera, that’s great quality.
But I, I wouldn’t be capturing life in the way that I do if I didn’t have this camera. And so I would just advise anybody, whether you’re into photography or not, just start taking pictures in your life. And I always regret, like, I always forget to take pictures with our friends when we’re hanging out with them, like always.
And so I’m trying to be better about that. but if there’s one thing like people matter. A ton. So just enjoy people, while you can,embrace the time that you are together with them. And if you can, snap a picture.
Jade Boyd: But you have to say what camera it is, because I know all the photographers are going to ask.
Colton Carr: So I, got the Ricoh GR iii, which is incredible. And it’s a 28 millimeter in focal length and you have no lens options at all. So it’s just is what it is. And it’s really fun to just see the world. Cause our eyes see around like 50 millimeters. And so this is wider than what our eyes see. So it’s really cool to just like see the world wider than what we see it and be able to capture that.
Jade Boyd: That’s awesome. for anyone who doesn’t know, Colton is also a tech junkie and knows way more about cameras than I ever will. And also about any technology. And so also a great person to go to if you have a camera question, because you own several.
Colton Carr: I’ll have opinions. Yeah.
Jade Boyd: Yep. For sure. All right. Well, we’ll close there. This is definitely longer than I anticipated, but thank you so much for coming on and sharing your time, which we’ve talked all about, it’s precious and I really appreciate you.
Colton Carr: Thanks, Jade.
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