I invited a friend of mine, Abe Lopez-Bowen, to the podcast this week to talk about his journey into entrepreneurship. As an artist, photographer, and managing partner at Lightward, Abe can showcase a huge variety of skills that have undoubtedly led him to success, but his perspective on business and his synchronicity with his business and romantic partner, Isaac, shows an incredible maturity and a desire to build something sustainable at their own professional pace.

Timecoded Guide: 

  • [07:15] Learning the skill of resourcefulness at a young age
  • [13:04] Understanding where Lightward began for Abe and Isaac
  • [19:18] Knowing how to ask, “What do I want?”
  • [28:57] Staying connected to important values as Lightward grows 
  • [39:05] Becoming a leader and forging a different entrepreneurial path

Where does the story of Lightward start? 

Abe is originally from Illinois, where we initially met, and found his journey from college to Target to photographer to Lightward’s Managing Partner traveling to Denver and Silicon Valley on a quest to find his “something more.” Although the road most of us take to entrepreneurship involve jobs that didn’t satisfy our dreams and desires, I admire Abe’s early-learned resourcefulness and resilience to continue searching for his right role. 

“I’ve been really resourceful over my life to make stuff happen because I haven’t been given natural opportunities, but my desire and my drive have been such a huge part of my story that has guided every journey I’ve taken.”

How do you respond to fear when making a decision?

A major talking point in this episode is the courage to listen to what you want and what works for you instead of forcing a role that won’t work or refusing to let go of a project that no longer serves you. For Abe, responding to fear is dependent on his environment, support system, and quality of life. In his current life, surrounding himself with people he loves, living in a place he enjoys being, and taking care of himself makes it so much easier to face his fears. 

“These conversations are so privileged, but they always haven’t been. My whole life, I just needed to act upon surviving and I gratefully did it in a creative, positive, healthy way.” 

What do I want? 

Abe, like many entrepreneurs, has felt the inner urge to forge a different path for himself in his career. Unlike many entrepreneurs, however, Abe does not fear answering the question that brought him here: What do I want? Instead of pushing that question away or holding back from answering truthfully, Abe embraces every step towards what he wants, even the steps that don’t feel good, all in pursuit of his joy. 

“If I believe that the universe is good, and that I’m good, and that I have access to the things that I want, then: What do I want? [When making a decision], I start there.”

Is this sustainable, or is this too much? 

Lightward will never be a common startup, and Abe and Isaac are more than okay with that. From the very beginning, Lightward was never something Abe or Isaac wanted to push beyond their limits. Building a business based on their sustainability as entrepreneurs means not forcing the hiring process, taking the maximum time needed to complete new projects, and accepting and loving the stage they’re at right now. 

“We see, statistically, that startups fail, I think, because of this false kind of urgency that we have given ourselves. That doesn’t work.” 



Find out more about Abe Lopez-Bowen on Instagram, LinkedIn, the Lightward Photography website, and the Lightward website

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