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Old November 2nd, 2011, 09:53 PM   #16
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Hi Katie

There is certainly nothing wrong with working for a boss during the week and doing weddings at weekends!! I don't like working for a boss so my "week work" is doing video shoots for Real estate agents. Sadly in our price range we won't become millionaires but we still enjoy what we do!!

I would rather do 4 weddings a month for $1500 than struggle with one for $6000!!! (who is likely to be way more fussy!!)

As long as you are having fun and enjoying what you do, don't change anything!!!

Chris
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 07:53 AM   #17
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Noel, sounds like we are in pretty much the same situation.

And don't get me wrong, I didn't start this thread to complain about having to do both jobs. I don't mind my day job, and that's what works for us and our business. It is great knowing that others out there are doing the same, and I figure as long as our wedding customers are happy, and our quality of work isn't suffering, we'll keep doing what works.

Oh, and my husband plays the lottery enough for both of us.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 07:55 AM   #18
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

As someone else who's been 'at it' for many years I'll endorse Don's comments regarding the 'peak and trough' years. Unless you are able to diversify your business into other areas, relying on weddings alone may be a precarious path to follow. The number of bookings in my best year was triple that of my worst. It's an unpredictable business although as Chris pointed out you do at least have the comfort of knowing what's coming in months ahead of time.

If you are interested here's a little potted story of my journey through the wedding video business. For at least the first ten years of 'full time' business I had to make up my income shortfall by taking various short term part-time job, I doubt that I'd have continued with video if I'd taken a full time job outside of the industry at that time. I did have a few years where my only income was from weddings alone and they were some of the highest income years I've had. That was when weddings were plentiful and people didn't seem to be so concerned with the cost. Gradually I was able to build a portfolio or non-wedding related work for businesses, many through contacts made at weddings, these now provide about two thirds of my income, with weddings accounting for the remaining third. Where I live I couldn't, and don't know anyone who has, made a sustainable living from weddings alone.
I'd also add that my wife has maintained a full-time job throughout; we would not have been able to have the family lifestyle we do if we'd had to provide two incomes as well as cover all of the costs and overheads from the video business alone.

Everyone's circumstances and aims are different so these personal experiences are just that and should not been taken as a way for anyone to model their career or business. Like many others I accept that I'll never get financially rich from this business and I still work hours I'd never be expected to by an employer, but that is compensated for by satisfaction of having built my business and lifestyle from the ground up by my own efforts. Though it has been worrying at times I wouldn't (now couldn't) go back to any other way of life.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 09:27 AM   #19
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Hi George

Nice to hear from you!!

I must admit that ever since I was in my early teens and saw my friend's dad doing Super 8 optical movie titles I was hooked and it was a burning ambition always to make movies!!! My daughter is a musician and also started in her teens. Neither of us are rich or famous but we love what we do.
I do weddings cos I love to shoot weddings..if I had weddings as my only income source I might starve some years as you point out!! My percentage is about 50/50 ..the other 50 is un-creative video shoots for rental homes (I film the empty home to prove it's condition prior to a new tenant) However I still get to make use of my cameras and it makes up the balance of my living expenses...My total income source is essentially from video production BUT only part of that is weddings. I think it's pretty obvious that most of us have to supplement our wedding income and whether it's a regular job or commercial video work doesn't really matter!!

I guess you guys will be going into your off-season quite soon???? Down here we are just getting into the busy time of the year...I just mention to my wife that my next weekend "off" will be Christmas Eve!!!!

Chris
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 09:59 AM   #20
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Chris, I've been off the forum for a few weeks as I'm away from base and only able to get an internet connection every now and then. As you say we have opposite busy periods although my wedding season was very short this year ending in September hence my being away for this longer period; we have a home here in France which I can bolt to when things are quiet. However November and December are very busy months for me as I have regular school Christmas events as well as companies who produce an end of year round-ups in various video forms that have made December my most lucrative month for the last few years. This year for the first time ever I have no weddings in December.

I'm hoping to meet up with a pal of yours, Philip at the BVE event in Manchester in a couple of weeks.

Glad all's well at your end, have a good season.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 04:48 AM   #21
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Hi Katie,

I turn off the lights in my editing cave each night, & usually find myself dreaming about my Jerry McGuire moment, at least once a week. That moment, when you can stick up the fingers to your 9-5 job, and walk out with the fish tank, the mini pool table, & your very own hot secretary for the wedding business ....

I feel I've 3 jobs, as I have to find hours in the week for the realities of a young kid, & a pregnant wife both of which are very time consuming also :-). I actually go into the editing cave for a break :-) Anyway, the reality for me, and the high mortgage I signed up to based on current income, is to maybe cut down to a 4 day week, providing me 3 day weekends, to complete a limited amount of weddings per year.

I think you'll probably know, when the time is right. If there was a redundancy package perhaps, or when your 9-5 starts gets in the way of your solo venture, and prevents you from expanding to that next level.

Well done on your progression to date. You've got a decent turn over, so just tell me where to vote for you, in the entrepreneur of the year competition :-)
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Old November 11th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #22
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Thanks Joe, for the very encouraging post...I'm sure someday in the not so distant future I'll have the third job added to my list as well.

Oh, and I am pretty sure that "Jerry McGuire" moment is something everyone dreams about, whether they have one job or 3. :-)
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Old November 11th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #23
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

As you sit back and contemplate the joys of going to work in your jammers, make sure you do all your math first. As Don points out, make sure you understand where your "nets" are before going through this little excercise:

If in 2011 you made, let's say:
40,000 from day job
40,000 from hubby's day job
20,000 from weddings

Then you currently have 100,000 in income you have enjoyed the benefits of.

Then if for 2012 you make, let's say:
40,000 from day job
40,000 from hubby's day job
40,000 from weddings

Then you would have 120,000 of income that you could enjoy the benefits of.

Then in 2013 you decide to quit the day job and go weddings full time. To keep your standard of living, your income would need to look like:
00,000 from day job
40,000 from hubby's day job
80,000 from weddings

To get you back to that 120,000 level that you enjoyed in 2012.

But you say "Chip, we didn't need that 120K, all we did was party and spending all that cash was a burden. We would be very happy to make less, say back to that 100K level." So, ok, 100,000 is:

00,000 from day job
40,000 from hubby's day job
60,000 from weddings

Over the years in my day job, too many times I saw people go from a rent paying job to "their passion" only to figure out later that the moonlighting they were doing, was income they already were enjoying. They have thought "well I am already making 20,000 compared to the 40,000 at work, if I can just add another 20,000 more, I can replace this #$%@ day job !!!" So they dive on in full time and get "their passion" to yield that 40,000 and then at the end of the year figure out they are 20,000 off the income they have grown to become used to !!!!

If it were possible, the optimum situation would be to back out of that day job, but slowly, in stages. First go from 40 to 30, then later to 20 then 15 and finally to out. But always doing so, as you have replaced that income with income from video.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 11:34 AM   #24
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

I did this in a different industry and it was surprising but I got through it. I'd recommend you look closely at the passion and realize that if you're running solo you're essentially exchanging one job for several others because now you have to wear all the hats a business requires. You may be working twice as much for 1/2 the salary which isn't even guaranteed. It's part of the game of being a work-for-hire. Hours for dollars. If you have the temperament for that then it's a blast.

I'd also recommend you look for profitable ways to make money without spending hours. Lot's of strategies to do that. Cheers.
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