As 2017 draws to a close, I'm sitting here, reflecting on the year, and looking back on my achievements, but most importantly, my failures. I think this is a really important process to go through as a business owner.
If you're going to really truly embrace extreme ownership, you have to look in the mirror and really be open and brave enough to dig into what you see and accept that you have a lot of failings. Those failings can manifest themselves in a way that presents an outcome in your life and business that perhaps you weren't expecting. Either way - you gotta own it
This year has been a year of so much change, but actually, every year since I started this business has been a year of change.
When you leave the safety and security of a job, or even the relative security of being freelance, and I say that because when you freelance, as I was, I was a cameraman. I got booked as a cameraman, that's what I did. My only focus was getting more work, and making sure clients were happy and doing the work well to get hired again
When you start a business, you're presented with all these opportunities and in many ways, those opportunities can become quite debilitating and create a lot of confusion. Within that confusion, comes inaction. Without making this a War and Peace length blog post, I really just wanted to reflect on some key areas in my life that have had massive shifts this year, and share them with you in the hope that they might resonate.
I have been planning now, consistently for almost two years. I have an annual plan, I have quarterly plans, and I draw down on those quarterly plans as objectives, and I make them weekly goals. As I look back on my one year plan from 12 months ago, I look at a whole heap of ticks, and a whole heap of things that aren't ticked and that's okay, because having a strategic plan annually is about having an ongoing work in progress and a reference point.
It's not about a giant to do list that has a tick against everything so you feel good if you've ticked lots of things. What happens is you tend to put things on the To Do list, just to get some ticks, because we like to see achievement. Where as a strategic plan, which is focused on a core purpose and a core mission, is what's had significant impact on me this year.
The second thing is the focus on that plan helps you reach clarity on your revenue ,business and lifestyle goals. The ancient Chinese proverb that says "A man who chased two rabbits catch neither" can seem somewhat superficial, but in actual fact, I think we're all guilty of chasing too many rabbits. This year, I went down a path with A Green screen Studio and I started working with some businesses, because I saw an opportunity to create content for social media.
While we've actually not lost money on that business, what I realised as I was going through the process, was it wasn't actually what I wanted to do. It's what I could do, based on my experiences. What I could do, based on my background. It's not what I wanted to do.
During that process, we also got a permanent residency for Australia. That was a huge goal for me. Really, one that had been a desire for the best part of 23 years. Certainly the last three years, working solidly to make that a reality. When you put that much focus and effort into one thing, it's all consuming and it's all you think about. What's important is we got the outcome.
Was it exhausting? Yes. Was it tiring? Was it expensive? Was it soul destroying at times? Was there lots of emotion around it? Yes, but we got the outcome.
When that outcome came through, I was left with this massive hole. I was like, "What am I going to do now?"
Reflecting on that, (and that was back in August), it was achieved through focus and one thing focus. That was the most important thing.
I was looking at my business and realising that I could start a business and create clients and create income and create profit. Yet if it wasn't making me sing inside, if it wasn't making me wake up excited, if it wasn't feeling easy, then it was the wrong thing to be doing.
That's been my big shift this year, is spending time working on myself. I've got my wife to thank for that, because she really encouraged me to spend some time focusing on my inner self. It's not woo woo, it's about really being honest with yourself about who you are, how you show up and what you want to do in this world, in this short life that we have, that makes you happy. Working on myself was a big thing.
I started working with a kinesiologist and really digging into me at an inner-level.
As a result of that, I got a lot of clarity around what I really want to do. I'm actually writing down what I want to do and committing to that.
As a result of that, I'm no longer pursuing a video production business I've done that for 23 years, I've had a great and successful career producing content. And its time for a change.
I'm focusing all of my effort and attention on my video coaching and mentoring business,
I've worked with so many filmmakers in the last 24 months, who've had profound shifts in their confidence, profound shifts in their outcomes, profound shifts in their happiness and profound shifts in their income. (and increased income -That's not the number one goal, although a welcome bi-product)
The number one goal is to make sure that you're doing something that you love and that you're doing it in a way that is efficient. That means that you're not working 80 hours a week and you've got time to spend with your family. It wasn't so long ago I was working 6 - 7 days a week, and constantly being on the job, thinking, worrying, focusing on what I didn't have. That was a real scarcity mentality. That's been a big shift.
Focusing on that one key market, has been the important thing for me. Even though I was running The Video Creators and Filmmakers Business Academy, and they were aligned, they were two very different businesses. My goals going into 2018 are very clear. It's going to be the year that I focus, just simply on that one thing. The Filmmaker's Business Academy and invest all my effort and everything I've got into that, to make that a profoundly impacting organisation that helps filmmakers gain more confidence. That's my goal.
Scaling is something that I've always been scared of and shy about. I've always had a very limiting belief about how big I think this business can be. That's because in the past, I've been focusing on, "What can the business do for me?" What will happen when I make the business successful? I've had a big shift in the last 12 months around what ...
If I just help more people, then the business will naturally grow, because that's what happens in commerce. Proved value and value returns to you... Naturally.
The other thing that really became clear to me was that ... In order to scale, I have a duty to make the business bigger. If I can help 3 filmmakers, or 10 filmmakers or 70 filmmakers grow in confidence, or 100 filmmakers, become more successful, then I have a duty, a moral duty and obligation to scale that, so that more people can benefit from my teachings.
I've written two books now. We've written 25 issues of the newsletter. We've produced 12 online programmes, with more in the pipeline. Every time we sell an online programme to someone, someone grows in confidence, becomes a more confident filmmaker, becomes a more successful filmmaker. That's a great exchange of value.
My commitment in 2018 is to ramp up Filmmaker's Business Academy.
I want to help 10,000 filmmakers become more successful this year. My original goal was to help 1,000 filmmakers, but I'm not thinking big enough. so 10,000 filmmakers is the new target. I want to help 10,000 filmmakers this year, even if it's just reading my book.
I want to make sure, I do everything I can in my power, to get my message out to as many people as possible. I hope, that if you had some value or if you've gotten some value from my teachings and what we share, that you'll share with other filmmakers.
I am going to create the biggest community in the world for filmmakers who run a Video Production Business. We will expand what we do and how we do it, by bringing in external support. Bringing in more coaches, bringing in more expertise.
When I first started F-Stop Academy Academy back in 2009, the goal was always to create an academy of excellence, where there were numerous experts sharing their content.
I've rebranded this year as Filmmaker's Business Academy because I want to have a new identity, and start 2018 with a new focus and a much clearer focus on the business coaching.
We're going to be starting a podcast in 2018. It's going to be a weekly podcast. We started out web series #BREEL this year in March. We've done 499,783 views of that content with a reach of 1,155,950. We're pretty pleased with how that's gone. And we're just starting.
As I wrap up this summary, I just want to really say thank you for supporting us. Thank you for being here and I hope that we can support you in your journey as you grow your business well in 2018 and beyond.
Happy New Year, folks.
(Including the template for creating social media video content)