Running a Business: The Truth of the Matter

Orion Beaufort directing RESET

Getting Beaufort Productions off the ground has been an awesome opportunity for personal and professional development, but it hasn’t been a smooth ride, by any means.

I discovered that running a business is a lot more challenging than I had thought it would be (a common discovery, I’m sure!). People talk a lot about how having your own business is great because you enjoy more freedom, you get to choose your own hours, and you can make more money. That’s all true, but what I have found is that I am under a lot more stress than as an employee, and it is difficult to work with the income fluctuations that are natural in any business.

I was hoping for more creativity, more engaging projects, doing things I enjoyed doing, and it has turned out to be more interesting than my jobs, but not a whole lot more interesting.

Has it been worth it? Absolutely, if nothing else than for the discoveries I made about myself. I found out that I work really well in a team environment. I strongly prefer to work with people, rather than alone as a silo. I see my clients as collaborators, and that is ultimately my working style. I propose something to them and say “What do you think? Does this send the right message for you?” More often than not they really enjoy talking with someone who is obviously an expert in the video advertising world and being able to make use of my experience in getting their project how they want it.

I enjoy working with clients who are very clear in what they want. I have found that all the small business owners I have worked with are very professional and respectful, which is fantastic. We combine their thoughts with my feedback, collaborating back and forth until it turns into a beautiful, great idea.

I really enjoy wowing them. There were two different companies that I created a logo for while I was working on their commercial, just because I saw that they had didn’t have a logo that would work in the context so I created something and sent it to them and they both responded along the lines of “Wow, this is great! Send it to us bigger so we can use it in our other materials!” That was exciting for me – I like throwing in those little extras that make a big difference to the client.

Assistant Director, Helen Beaufort, on the set of RESET

Assistant Director, Helen Beaufort, on the set of RESET

I have learned that I am a very good director. I’m still trying to be less James Cameron, or at least, less demanding with my perfectionism when it comes to people I work with. Working with clients, of course, really helped me learn patience in getting things right. They give me instructions like “make it bigger” or ” more ‘pop'”, which don’t really make sense to me but I have to kind of pull out of them what they really want to do, which is interesting and sometimes fun.

I really get to demonstrate to myself that I am a good manager. Prior to Beaufort Productions I hadn’t had much management experience so I really got into working with people, making sure they had what they needed and that they were doing a good job. I made some really great friends that way too. I got to work with one young man who, when I first met him, had only worked on a couple of projects and wasn’t very skilled or professional just because he was so inexperienced. He was working with me on Saints Wrap Up and on commercials and I was able to direct and coach him on shots. We had a lot of fun – he got to feel more confident in his abilities and I also got to feel more comfortable giving him assignments. By the time I finished my projects with Lyon Productions he was shooting his own commercials and editing them skillfully. So it was a very fulfilling experience for me and I discovered that I particularly enjoy the mentoring side of management.

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About Orion Beaufort
I'm a filmmaker, businessman, drummer, and composer/songwriter.

One Response to Running a Business: The Truth of the Matter

  1. Ellen says:

    Hi Orion,

    I’m thrilled to have recently discovered your blog and business!

    As this post is all written in the past tense “I enjoyed working with clients…” it makes me wonder if you are still running Beaufort Productions. I’m hopeful that the response is yes and am looking forward to ways in which we might work together again.

    Ellen
    http://ProfessionalLearningBoard.com

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