Up until now I've thought about this business as a two phase business strategy. Phase one would focus on contract work as a revenue source. Phase two would be when all efforts focused on developing unique IPs for revenue. However, I've been wondering if this is the right approach. And, more importantly, when would I make the switch? Of course I have years of failure ahead of me, but that's expected. So why not start developing IPs faster? I've had them on slow burn while I've been doing client work, but is that really so smart? In the end, I want to make sure I'm turning the right flywheel (read Good to Great for more on that).
First of all, I've discontinued doing the daily animation sketches. I did a two month run, but I figured out that I want to be doing more interesting and high quality things with that time each night. The good thing was that the sketches resulted in a lot of new knowledge, so it wasn't for nothing.
Secondly, Forma Pictures will remain open for business as a freelance shop. However, more time this year will be devoted to developing original works. I don't know when I'll have this chance again, so I'll be damned if I'm not going go for the gold (successful, self-sustained business). Worst that happens is I learn a crap ton, faster.
These decisions I made this week, and more like them, took a lot of effort (and help from the people I trust) to come to. I'm not afraid of failure. I'm more afraid that I could end up getting good at something I don't fully want to be doing. Here's where I'm at...
The format is less important, but they'll be short films and serial episodes for now. This won't be easy, but that's the direction. After writing all of the options out and staring at them for days, I feel confident in what I need to attain. Monetizing is going to take time to figure out, but working on and owning meaningful works of art is what I want to have 10 years down the line. In summary, I have my 3 circles mostly figured out. However, my economic engine is a tad weak. Still looking for a more effective method of cash flow. That precise profit per x eludes me.
As always, when I write publicly like this, I worry that I'll come off as a bumbling idiot. Or worse, arrogantly. If you know me, then you'll know how much I fear hubris. It's the poison that ruins people and businesses (not to be confused with confidence). But the truth is that I'm on a journey, and it is one that has largely been solitary. And on this journey, I've been learning the hard way about what works and what doesn't. But more importantly, I'm discovering more about who I am and what I want to accomplish. I hope that the mistakes, insights and stories I share have some value to you, the reader.
Remember, you can always reach out to me about anything (firstname.lastname@example.org). Let me know if you think I'm being dumb, going down the wrong path, or maybe you like something I've made. I love feedback, however brutal it may be.
P.S. My media recommendation this week is the podcast called StartUp. It documents the beginning of a real business. They make mistakes, but they usually figure it out. Makes me want to do something like that! CHECK IT.