Hi, Matthias, Dream Developer here.
I'm a Regular guy, but I decided to follow my boldest Dreams.
I've been in your shoes before, unhappy with my "conventional" life. Here I want to share my experiences, failures and successes with you in order to start living your dreams too.
From Molecular Biologist to Rockstar Photographer to Dadpreneur to Dream Developer
- I quit a safe job as a Ph.D. in molecular biology because something inside me told me to follow my passions of music and photography instead.
- I became a self-taught, international music photographer and took photos of some of the most famous music bands such as The Rolling Stones, Usher, Miley Cyrus, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and many more.
- I worked with brands like Instagram and Red Bull and my work got published in international magazines, such as Rolling Stone Magazine.
- In 2016, at the peak of my photography career, my first daughter, Mia, was born. Lin, my beautiful fiance, and I became parents, and this event changed our life completely. I began searching for an alternative lifestyle that would enable me to be there for my family and be the best dad I could be.
- The solution: I built an online platform, "How To Become A Rockstar Photographer”, (HTBARP) which became the most influential source of information for concert photographers worldwide.
- My online courses were bringing in 6 figures in revenue, my Podcast was listened to 100000+ times and my hashtag #htbarp on Instagram reached 500000+ photos (and is still growing).
- In 2019, Noa, my son, was born and he showed me even more that becoming a Dad with my own business was the best decision I could have made.
- In March 2020 Corona hit and the music business (and concert photography) was dead from one day to another (and still is by the end of 2021)
- One striking observation of the Covid Pandemic for me was that more and more people started to question their life and they began to search for their real purpose/real dream. Therefor I decided to start a new Dream-project where I want to help you starting to live your dreams too.
I mention all this here, just to clarify that when I talk about living my dreams, I do so from actual experience. I'm not saying that living your dreams is easy (actually it's not), but I want to invite everyone, who want to transform her/his life to read on and hopefully get some inspirations out of it.
On My Way To Becoming a Researcher
I started my career as a molecular biologist at the AKH in Vienna, Austria. I got a prestigious scientific stipend for my Ph.D. thesis and collaborated with the best labs in the world, such as the Salk Institute in San Diego.
All was set for a bright scientific future, but 2 years into my Ph.D. thesis, an inner feeling told me something was wrong.
My projects didn’t work as expected, I spent long hours in the laboratory including weekends - my colleagues even went back to the lab after enjoying a Badly Drawn Boy concert together at 2 am! My motivation declined, but I had no idea what I could change! I had worked so hard to reach this point in my career and now I wasn’t happy anymore? What was wrong with me?
The day I received my Ph.D. degree, after 9 years of hard study, I decided to follow my two passions of music and photography instead.
I had no experience of being a self-employed creative and I had never attended a photography or business class. However, this inner dream to work with my favorite rock bands kept me pushing through the fear and the obstacles to reach my goal.
Let's Become A Rockstar Photographer
Here I was - a former researcher and self-employed photographer, who had to make as many mistakes as possible in order to learn about how the business as a creative works.
I started to shoot bands in small clubs in Vienna and I was lucky enough to get hired by a small student online magazine called, “FM5”. They provided me with access to bigger shows and I was able to build my Portfolio.
I can remember shooting TV On The Radio, my first well-known band and from that moment on, I was struck with the concert photography virus.
Shortly after I started as a concert photographer, I got the opportunity to work directly with Fatboy Slim, which opened a totally new world for me. I had backstage access, I could take portrait photos of my favourite idols and was joining them on stage to capture their show.
I became an international music photographer, shooting the well-known bands such as The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iggy Pop, The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, and many more. I got hired by brands such as Instagram, Red Bull, Vice and LiveNation, and my work was published in The Rolling Stone Magazine and showcased in international galleries such as the Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires.
I had achieved a rockstar life and my dreams finally came true, until…
Becoming A Dadpreneur (with an online business)
…I became a dad.
In 2016, my first daughter Mia was born which turned my life upside down. Shooting concerts in fucked up clubs was no longer my number one priority. I wanted to be at home for my little girl and care for her.
I have read far too many times, famous people such as Sam Walton and Steve Jobs, saying that the one thing they regretted most was that they were not there for their kids when it mattered most. This couldn't be me and I refused to believe that you couldn’t have both: a thriving career and an awesome family.
Around this time, a friend of mine gave me Tim Ferriss' “The 4 hours Workweek”, which opened my mind to new dimensions. “What can I do to automate my business and be at home with my family?”
Build an online business, from scratch, in the concert photography field. Again, I had no idea how to set up a homepage or how to build a worldwide audience.
I started with baby steps. I founded “How to Become A Rockstar Photographer”, an online platform where I posted blog posts about being a concert photographer. Soon, I realized that there were a lot of people out there who are just as passionate as I am but needed some help getting started. So I published my first e-book on my homepage, which eventually became “Shooting The Rockstars”, the first online academy for concert photographers.
HTBARP (despite the weird name - every marketer will slap you in the face for this!) became a worldwide phenomenon with:
- Students from 100+ countries,
- 475000+ photos with #htbarp on Instagram,
- 100000+ listeners to my Podcast (100+ 5* reviews)
- and $150000+ revenue from my course sales
Being A Stay-At-Home Dad & Financial Freedom
In 2019, Noa, my second child was born, and I was more than happy that I had already chosen the path of being a stay-at-home dad. Everybody who has two kids might know how challenging it can be, and we needed everybody’s help to deal with it.
I planned to take one month off from HTBARP to be fully present for my family. However, it turned out we were so busy with our everyday life that it took me six (!) months to get back on track with my business.
I feared that we were going to face financial challenges soon as I hadn’t had the time to create new content for the project. But the unexpected happened. People from all around the world were still eager to buy my courses. It showed me how powerful an automated online business could serve you in hard times, allowing you to focus on essential life projects such as being a dad who is there for his family in the best way possible.
When It All Crashed + Dream Development
In March 2020 Covid hit and the world was standing still. Over night the music business including concert photography was dead. There were no bands touring and no concert photography course sales. Zero. DEAD.
I needed to come up with an alternative life plan. One striking observation I made over the years is that a lot of people found my story inspirational. It seems not many dare to live their dreams. This became evident during the COVID pandemic. More and more people started to think about their life and their purpose and dreams, including myself.
I started a Co-Active Coaching certification program and building my 3rd business from scratch. I know it will be a roller coaster ride, but I am up for it. "Just fucking do things!".
My story might seem remarkable (one guy on one of my webinars told me, “This sounds like the classic Hollywood Hero story!”), but it's not. I walked a path the majority of us won't travel. Who quits a safe job in the biotech industry after nine years of studying to start something different, just because of a passion? Who stops at the peak of their new career and starts a business in a completely different field (online business), without any idea of how to even build a homepage? And what crazy guy calls himself Dream Developer? Well, that's me.
Therefor I decided to start a new Dream-project where I want to help you starting to live your dreams too.