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Taking Care of Business
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Old September 14th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #1
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full time videographers

Currently I am a part time videographer with a full time job. I have been in the videography business for the past 2 years and have always thought of going full time. Last year a friend of mine who is in business himself tried to talk me into taking the plunge with his help but I just couldn't step away from that job security with benefits. Now he's back again and him and his brother want to invest in my videography business. He asked what it would take for me to leave my current job and do videography full time. Then he offered to pay me my current wages if I go into business with them. I am currently doing inventory on all I have vested in my business and getting together with him next week. This would be a dream come true if I'm able to do this. My current job is not to my liking but it has payed the bills for the last 14 years.

I know there's a lot of factors left out but would you take that step of faith? If you were in a similar situation before you went into business what was the deciding factor? What hurdles did you have to get through when you started your business?
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Old September 15th, 2007, 02:48 AM   #2
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The real answer is one you're probably already leaning toward. So, pay attention to yourself. It's not for everyone.

Only you can honestly assess your situation. It sounds like these guys really see something in you, so if you aren't just starstruck, and really believe you have something to offer, then what the heck, right?
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Old September 16th, 2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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Go for it if you have the clients to keep you busy full time.


-Whats life really about? do what makes you happy.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #4
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If the desire outweighs the risk, go for it.
But don't feel that this is your only chance in life. You could find another one later.
But if it is a good chance, grab it.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I am leaning towards going for it. He has 400 plus customer base from his business and feels like there would be plenty of work for me to do. Would be scary at first but I think I would get over that real quick.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 08:17 AM   #6
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For those of you doing videography full time, do you make a descent living? Are you struggling financially? Do you take any job that comes your way or are you having to turn folks down? Are ther slow times throughout the year?
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Old September 21st, 2007, 09:01 AM   #7
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A decent living is different thing for different people depending on the area you live in and the lifestyle you wish to have.

Are there slow times? Yes of course, not so many weddings in December, January and February at least not in my area but I find January is a good time to take some time off and vacation with my wife.

Do I take anything that comes up? No not really but weddings are not the only thing I do. Luckily I do enough corporate work and contract to a couple of AV companies that I keep fairly busy and frankly make a pretty good living but much of that depends on the individual and how much they are willing to hustle. A lot also depends on the people you know and the people you meet-no one will hire you for anything if they don't know what you do so I make it a point to talk to everyone I meet and let them know what I do. Frankly I gotten a lot of work over the years that way and one leads to another.

There are times I'll turn down an AV job because I'm burned out and need some rest but it depends on who the client is and what I'll be doing. If I'm running a camera or engineering or running the audio board I may take it but not if I'm going to be hanging lights and gaffing. I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for some of that so yeah I'll turn it down. Of course a 3 day gig that pays very well to run a camera for 8 or 10 hours isn't too hard to take ;-)

Don't know your situation but it comes from YOU-do YOU feel you have what it takes to do this full time, to go out and hustle to meet people and gain clients and produce a quality job for a fair price? Are you willing to take some disappointments along the way without falling apart? Can you survive financially for a period of time with cash flow until things really get going?
Only YOU can answer those questions (and a lot more) but if you're like I am and have the drive to suceed and are willing to go out on the proverbial limb then go for it.
I've been self employed since 1971 and here's why. I am not a good employee. I do not work or play well with bosses! Good times, bad times you take them all the same way because they're going to show up again and again.
Some years are better than others-it's a balancing act. Some one once said that the difference between an employee and a business owner is that the business owner is willing to work 80 hours a week for himself doing what he used to do for 40 hours a week for a boss. If you fit that catagory then go for it.

Good Luck

Don
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Old September 21st, 2007, 12:32 PM   #8
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Hi Don -
Excellent point about personality - some of us are better when independent <wink>. Just rememer if you're self employed the boss is ALWAYS a jerk <wink,wink>. Or maybe a genius... yeah... that's it!

Seriously, Lalo, check around and see if you can find a test online or in the bookstore that "tests" for your personality being compatible with self employment - I know I've seen them, should be SOMETHING out there. Some people are cut out for owning and running their own thing, others simply don't have what it takes. Keep in mind too if you have investors, they are effectively going to be "bosses" until they've been paid back.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalo Alvidrez View Post
For those of you doing videography full time, do you make a descent living? Are you struggling financially? Do you take any job that comes your way or are you having to turn folks down? Are ther slow times throughout the year?
Lalo,

Sounds like you've got a good place to start with your friend. Here' my perspective, FWIW.

Ideally, you'd have a transition job that you can work out of as you work into videography full-time. I don't know many markets that you can just jump into and work full time making 75k a year without establishing a network of connections, having major skills already in place, or very deep pockets.

I work in videography because I have a passion for it. The type of work I most love to do doesn't pay (environmental or socially conscious documentaries - you know things that make a positive change in the world), so I do other things that pay the bills. I'm lucky to have a transitional job that I've been weaning off of for the last year and a half. That other job still pays fairly well and allowed me to buy higher end equipment to get started with. I have a family to provide for so this is the only way I can do it.

Video jobs have now started to pay up to a couple of grand a month. Still not enough for me to provide for the family, but in another year, I expect to be able to. Personally, I have an aversion to weddings, yet I've booked a couple because, yes, it is a segment that in my market, I can't totally ignore.

If you looked at a career in video just strictly as a business decision, then I'd advise picking another one. It takes a lot of time to develop skills in production, lighting sound, editing as well as business management, marketing, accounting etc.

Having said that, if you have a passion for collecting and sharing beautiful, or provocative images, and telling stories through visual media, then you'll enjoy great joy and satisfaction and money will be a side benefit.

Good Luck to you.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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You're right Dave about the boss but I'm on a first name basis with mine and have some really down and dirty conversations with him. So far he hasn't fired me but there are plenty of times I think he should.
OH WAIT!!! I'm the boss! Damn. Guess I can't fire me can I? OR can I? ;-)

Don
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