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Job v. Work: Make Money v. Purpose

Do you know the difference between your job and your work?

It may not be what you think. In this episode, I had a conversation with photographer, Mike Dawkins, and we dived deep into work and how it relates to your purpose.

Mike Dawkins is an Atlanta-based portrait and events photographer with a mission to show people the best version of themselves and the world around them. 

He describes his style as medium, moody with an element of magical realism. Getting his start as a photo retoucher, he shoots and edits his photos right up to the point of being “too good to be true.” 

With a degree in marketing, he approaches each shoot as a brand partner for influencers and entrepreneurs like Danielle Leslie, Andrew Nguyen, Mignon Von, Karen Civil, Maya Elious, Jeremy Anderson, Pinky Cole and Tina Knowles. 

He manages a community of creatives who support and encourage each other to do great work and earn a living from doing it. Mike is most passionate about inspiring and encouraging people and sees his camera as a tool to connect him with others. 

When he’s not taking photos, he enjoys watching basketball, hanging out with friends and going stand up paddle boarding with his wife.

The Tree Inside the Seed

In this episode we covered…
  • How Mike got into photography through the backdoor. In a wedding photo of his wife bra was showing and being the problem solver that Mike is, he went to find the solution. Thus sparking his career in photography.
  • The reason Mike approaches photoshoots as a brand partner is because he has a background in marketing. He’s not just taking pictures, but assisting his clients in creating content. 
  • How Mike likes to operate in purpose and not just show up and do things for the sake of doing them. A big part of his purpose is showing people the best version of themselves.
  • Mike’s belief that your work is what you were born to do, what God put you on this earth to do. A job is a way to make money.
  • Mike broke down how he believes you don’t “find’ your purpose, it’s not external, but within you. His example is everything that a seed needs to make a tree is inside of that seed when it is planted in the Earth. Your purpose is inside of you.

Mike is such a deep thinker. I enjoy any opportunity I get to chat with him. I hope you found our conversation about work valuable. After all, your purpose is your work. It’s what you were placed on this earth to do.

If you are at the stage where you are trying to figure out your purpose, I created a free guide to assist you. You can download it here. 

Resources Mentioned

Connect with Mike D.

You can connect with Mike on his


Instagram: @miked.shotme 

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If you have any questions you can always email me at or join my Purpose Diary newsletter below and my tips, experiences, and advice about navigating a life of purpose are all yours, every week!

Disclaimer: If you happen to purchase anything I recommend in this or any of my communications, it’s likely I’ll receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, I only recommend things that I truly believe in and have personally experienced. If you ever have an issue with anything I recommend, please let me know. My goal is to help you thrive in your purpose. — Pavielle

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