Now many want to quit their well-paid jobs and want to start a creative business like in Motion Graphics animation, Photography, Videography, Branding, Graphic designing, Music Composing etc, which they feel will pay them well and at the same time be all fun.
Little do they know that like any other business, this will also have its own rules and hardships. They have to travel a path in which they have to have a lot of patience and willingness to take a lot of hard decisions in order to be successful (of course this is subjective).
There is a world of difference between being, let’s say, motion graphics artist working for a studio, and being a motion graphics studio.
When you want to build a creative business the difficulty level just gets exponential.
It is a very rewarding profession for sure. You can definitely build a successful business around it. But you need to know there is a lot more than what you are thinking right now.
I am one of those engineers, even though I did not have a well-paid job, I still took a creative path for my career. After running a motion graphics studio for 10 years, these are what I think are the tough choices you have to make while you build your business:
Profession vs Business
While you were on the other side of the shore you would have thought it is all about getting projects, finishing it, getting paid and having fun.
The first thing that will hit you is the amount of non-creative work that you have to do in order to even start getting projects.
Filling the paperwork for your bank account, creating invoices, accounting, sales, marketing, project management, tally and if you have employees you have to do the hiring, firing, Payroll …. the list goes on.
It is very important to have exposure to these beforehand, or at least after you make your decision to go independent. You have to start thinking more than being a professional. You have to think like a business owner.
Every day your time will be split between creative and not-so-creative work.
Job satisfaction vs Client Satisfaction
You can write a book saying “Clients are from Mars and Creative are from Venus”. The battle between the client and the creative is like the battle between you and your physics professor. I have never seen someone escaping it!
For us, being a motion graphic studio, this is on a whole different level. We have to handle this misunderstanding at almost all the stages of production.
There will be a lot of times you will have to choose between your conviction and clients expectation. You need to learn this great art of balancing between both.
Getting feedback to change on the work that has already convinced you is very frustrating. This is something you might have to face every day.
Unless you know how to handle your clients, you are not going to complete your current project or get any future project from them.
Sometimes you have to take a stand and protect your originality and sometimes you have to let go for the sake of financial stability.
Your Passion Project Vs Commercial Project
Whether to work on something new each day or to work towards something will be the question you will have to answer.
Time is the costliest commodity. Especially if you are a creative professional. Every creative professional will have one dream project that they want to create.
When you are working for clients it will be very difficult to find time to work on both. No matter how much you plan for a day it will be difficult.
Either you have to focus on the client project or you have to do your passion project. It will be extremely difficult to balance both.
You will not need your clients to distract while you immerse yourself in your passion project or keep thinking about your passion project while you are working on the client project.
Both are distracting to each other and kill the effectiveness of both the projects. And despite understanding this, there is a good chance that you will be running between both, just to burn yourself physically and mentally.
After all, it is your choice
Being creative is your new job. It is not a thing you used to do when you had leisure time anymore. Like any job, there will be job pressure.
You will have deadlines to meet. You are expected to deliver even when nothing is going right around you.
Remember that you choose this industry to bring your ideas to life. The joy will be in fighting these battles and coming up with that big idea and executing it.
You need to understand the art of project management.
Finally, remember why you started this. Whenever you feel frustrated or down, just remember what made you start this. Most of the times that will give you the motivation to come back to work.
It is not how you work when everything goes well that matters. What matter is when you don’t want to come out of your bed but still you push yourself to work and be consistent.