Thursday, March 23, 2017

Going Pro: Delete the Distractions

Day 24

Started rehearsals for Second Wind’s next production, Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth.  I’m both a producer and an actor in the show. This means 18 hours a week dedicated to rehearsals and another 10 to production logistics.  On top of my 28 hour a week day job, this 56 hour work-week poses more obstacles to getting the company up and running.  Luckily, I don’t have kids (yet... seven months and counting down).  

How do I make time?  Well, for one I watch very little TV.  We don’t own one.  When I find myself surfing the net aimlessly, I re-direct myself towards accomplishing something, anything towards my goal.  And I’m drinking less.  Anyone frightened off?

Seriously, studies show that the “average” American spends 4.5 hours a day watching TV and 5 hours a day online or staring at their cell phone.  Over the course of 7 days we’ll devote almost a full work-week to our televisions, and another full work-week  to the internet for entertainment.  That’s two full time jobs we could devote to our production company without jeopardizing a meal, a date, or a conversation.

You can work two full-time jobs

in the amount of time you spend

on entertaining yourself

So how do you cut back on the consumption of all that sugary time-wasting?  Bit by bit.  Make a To-Do list and put it off to one side where it won't annoy you. That way you'll never "forget" what needs to be done when you've got a free moment.  Then look at your schedule. Take an hour of "open" time that would most likely be spent watching TV or surfing the net and dedicate it to one specific task on the list.  After a couple of days, add a second hour from your open schedule.  Practice clearing your desk of items-- unopened letters/bills, clutter-- at the end of each day.  Advice on how to use your time better can sound preachy real fast, I know, but your time is one of the greatest resources at your disposal. And you only get to use it once.

A quick summary of the other production activities over the past 24 days:

  • Joined Professional Photographers of America.  In truth, I should have done this six months ago when my workload as a photographer started to become consistent.  My primary interest was the insurance really—you’re constantly putting your equipment at risk.  Moreover, if you work on location, the routine is constantly changing, making accidents more likely.  I can’t say I’m thrilled with the high deduction for claims—making any single piece of equipment under $800 basically uninsured—but I hope it will be a good investment?
  • Continued to expand my database of potential clients.  To do this I looked at client list of a local consulting firm for strategic planning.  I identified non-profits on their list who’s activities were similar to my target group, and prioritized those organizations that had a prominent “Donate” button on their websites.  My video service, remember, is designed to help increase donations, so my best clients will have that as a priority.  Many non-profits also post their annual report in their About Us pages.  This often contains information on both their general budget and their fundraising budget.  Knowing this information makes it clear that I understand something about their needs, and gives me a sense of what I should charge.  

    Launched my video production web pages.  This is a big milestone for me:  even though it's not "finished," I can now respond to Craigslist and Thumbtack postings because I can refer them to my work.  For the time being, my video pages are a section of my photography website.  This may change in the future, but as long as I have limited examples of my video work I feel it's important to show my photography as supporting imagery.  The video section has three pages: a Home page with my examples; a Process page that explains how I work with clients; and a Contact page.  There are just six videos in my portfolio-- in other words, the bare minimum.   
    Next post: Mastering the marketing language

No comments:

Post a Comment