When do you keep pushing and when do you say enough is enough?
This podcast episode bit of a post-mortem on Craig Inzana Media LLC as I continue to transition into fulling throwing myself and those resources behind Beeso Studio.
About six months ago I was approached by Michael “Fritz” Fritzius to talk about my entrepreneurial journey with Craig Inzana Media on The Hot Mic Podcast by Arch DevOps.
Over the last few months I made the tough decision to leave Craig Inzana Media behind to dedicate myself fully to the marketing department at Beeso Studio. I had been trying to do both for about a year and started to lose direction in my own business.
After losing some big key accounts due to the pandemic, I had to let a lot of the team go and was working on a bare-bones crew of contractors by the end. It just wasn't working for me.
Michael and I go deep into what it feels like to make that decision and why I think it was the right one to make at this time.
We also talk about remote work and why I got into building up a marketing agency for myself in the first place.
Listen above and feel free to share.
As an entrepreneur, freelancer, or working professional you will be more successful by handling the stress, anxiety, and isolation that come along with the territory.
More than a Few Words is a marketing podcast for business owners.
The brief, lively conversations with marketing professionals and business owners from around the world are part of the Digital Toolbox from Roundpeg.
In this episode, I was asked to be a guest and discuss stress relief for business owners. We talked about how you can make work less stressful for yourself and your employees. We also talked about how prioritization and less stress can make your company more effective.
Video is an excellent way to reach a broader audience for your podcast, specifically with clips! Descript makes it super easy to create these short, dynamic audiograms to share.
Learn more about Descript: https://www.descript.com/
- Excerpt from Be Patient, Be Present, Be Joyful: A First-Aid Kit for the Emotional Bumps, Scrapes, and Bruises of Life by Ryan Stanley.
Ryan was recently a guest on the Happy You Are Here podcast. His energy and enthusiasm for topics of creating a joyful life were incredibly inspiring.
If you like podcasts, I highly recommend listening to the episode in the video below.
If you prefer to read, pick up his book (the print version or the free PDF version) on his website.
10 Lessons from my 10+ year marketing careers. Things are always changing but some things are always true.
My business has been going through a lot of changes lately. Earlier this year, I left a full-time marketing position to pursue freelance video editing full time.
Pretty quickly, I realized things weren't working. In a matter of weeks, I felt utterly disinterested in the work. It felt like the quality was suffering.
So I started hiring some of the creators I know that do great work. They nailed it, but the profit margins still weren't making me enough even to scrape by. I refuse to deliver shoddy quality work, so I'm not going to outsource to the cheapest bidder.
Scalability with freelance is an issue too. The only way to grow a freelance business is to turn into an agency by hiring more people or raise your rates significantly. It's just not a game that seems like it would play out well.
So I've spent the last few weeks trying to separate my past interests with a plan to take advantage of my strengths. Here are some of the insights I've come across.
difference between interests & STRENGTHS
It's essential to notice and get real about the difference between interests and strengths.
I have a ton of interests. Painting, music, video, writing. That doesn't mean those are right career paths for me.
Some experts might disagree, but it's not a closed debate by any means.
Months ago, I saw a video by Improvement Pill about "The Japanese Formula For Happiness" called Ikigai. The idea struck me pretty hard as the reason following passion alone wasn't working out.
The idea is that true fulfillment can come when you're spending your time doing something that you are good at, society needs, you can be paid well for, and you enjoy doing.
The trouble is figuring out what you're good at, what you can be paid well for, and what society needs. The only way to figure out what you enjoy is to try a bunch of things.
At this point, I already know the kinds of work I enjoy (luckily it's a lot of different things). I keep running into the issue of something I can objectively know I'm good at, get paid well for, and society needs.
Discover Strengths Objectively
Humans aren't exactly good at discovering objective truths about ourselves without outside feedback.
There are three main ways that I went about looking to find what were objective strengths in my work so that I could refocus my work in these areas.
The obvious way is to ask your clients.
I sent out a text to a few of my clients that I know are pretty thoughtful people.
You could do this via a long email explaining your thought process. You could send a survey. In my case, I just sent a text asking, "From working with me so far, what do you think my biggest professional strength is?"
There were a few different responses I received. None of them had anything to do with my creative talents or skill.
More or less, they all summed up to Communication, Strategic Thinking, and Creative Problem Solving.
Cool. Now let's see what the people who do work for and with me think.
Think of collaborators broadly. For me, that was a few co-workers from past jobs that I worked with closely AND some creatives I've worked closely with over the years.
The text was the same, but obviously, you can vary that up to reflect the specific circumstances of your working relationships with these people.
Again, not one responded with anything related to creative talent. One did say "You're incredibly talented" but wasn't able to describe what specific talent to which they were referring.
The takeaways were Decisive Problem Solving, Clear Communication, and Idea Generation.
There was still a feeling that there might be some personal biases at play here. You'll never be able to remove those entirely. This last one was about as objective as I could get.
We're all familiar with personality tests by now, but I'm not talking about something like the Meyers-Briggs here. Those can be useful for containing personality traits and learning how to work with others, but I didn't feel that reflected a work-scenario.
Back when I worked at Priority Communications (which is a great place to work by the way), they had some of us take the CliftonStrengths assessment — formerly Clifton StrengthsFinder.
I'm oversimplifying here, but basically, it's a long assessment that will result in a ranking of 34 potential strengths. The ones we want to focus on are the top 5 of those strengths.
My top five were:
You might notice that these don't sound like the strengths of a creative, do they?
No, they don't. These line up pretty perfectly with the responses I got from clients and collaborators.
Hopefully going through this process can lead you to identify the common strengths as well.
Why this matters?
Except for maybe Ideation, these sound like a different person than the professional creative I was trying to portray through my business. That's a problem.
Why is that a problem?
If someone hires you because you "sell" yourself as a particular thing, they expect you to deliver that person. If you turn out to be something entirely different, they're not going to be happy.
You'll probably stumble on some people that didn't know they needed someone like you. That's happened to me a lot-- luckily.
Still, a lot of this explains this constant sense of Imposter Syndrome, I feel when I'm doing paid creative work.
The only time I don't feel like an imposter is when I'm sitting with a client, addressing their business issues, and helping them develop a clear strategy to move forward.