“A task will grow in importance based on the time you allot it.”
This ones for dreamers, builders and entrepreneurs.
AMP visual media started as a place. I wanted to build a studio that was cool, and chill and had Fridays off, and was basically a creatives’ dream. Clients could visit and enjoy a relaxed environment, artists would work here, and enjoy a company-wide “free-for-all Friday”, a day specifically to work on new and personally interesting shit. Dreams are a way of our souls telling us there’s more than meets the eye.
So there I sat in a coffee shop, after a shoot, decompressing and playing over the day in my mind. However, I had trouble doing so. Everything else was pushing its way into my thoughts, I had editing to do, a shoot to prep for tomorrow, clients to respond to and more. I extrapolated forwards and realized to my horror that the dream I had was simply not attainable with the current load, and process. I was maxed out. Sure I could ask my talented assistant (Sir Phillip of Barnes) to help, but even if I offloaded editing, the schedule was full. Overwhelm started to creep in and I gulped a mouthful of now luke-warm acrid espresso.
I. Was. Fucked.
The problem wasn’t the work, in fact the work was cruising along nicely. The reality was the systems I had, were literally designed to limit me. I had big dreams, but micro systems. I needed to change my perspective.
Tim Ferriss enters the arena
The 4-Hour Workweek was a yearly read for me, upto C19. This event had shifted my focus inwards, a keen eye on making sure my family was safe, that my kids were learning while at home, and that my Wife had support as she tried to wrangle her classroom via a laptop screen.
This time was hard for everyone, but it also disrupted a bunch of peoples lives.
I donned my running sneakers and started to re-read/listen to the 4-Hour Workweek (This book is my most donated book, I give away around 10 copies a year). Chapter 5 rolled on and I realized a core deficiency in my business. I was a freelancer, I needed to be an agency.
Let’s make an agency
Having worked with a lot of different businesses I knew off the bat I’d need a stronger why than “I want a fancy office”. So I turned to our (now) strategist and asked Alex to help me craft the story of AMP Visual Media. The reality started to settle in.
It was time I stopped thinking like a freelancer, and started looking at a larger system, in my case an agency.
This in itself became a relief because now I had some goal posts. Step 1 was to remove myself from logistics. And there was a beautifully elegant solution to this, as one of my clients runs a business management company. Simple desk (www.simpledesk.ca) became the solution to a growth stopping conundrum.
Amanda, is our Organizational Support Wizard. She helps keep the flow of data between clients and myself smart and systemized. Since we know we’ll be adding a few clients to our roster I needed to make sure someone kept all the artists on task. Now I can refocus the energy I have on the parts that actually make sense, as she naturally possesses that Parkinson’s law focus needed for that sector of the business. This is a huge step, letting someone else take over a significant part of what you do. As Amanda builds out her ideas and spreadsheets, I can confidently move forward and start bringing in more work.
If you’re a solo-preneur or a freelancer looking for growth, start by asking if you’re actually in your own way.
Look at your daily tasks, and notice when there’s repetition. Can you teach someone like Amanda how to juggle, and let them then build out their own system? To benefit the company, can you help people see the value of the work and the time needed for it?
Building something larger than yourself requires a different mindset. You’re going to see more of these posts, as I grow to understand what makes AMP unique. If you’re curious, and think your business could use some rocket fuel, we’re here for you. Just say the word.