Working is hard sometimes. This is an understanding I’ve had since I was probably about four. It came as no surprise to me then when I started Paragon Videography officially in 2009, that sometimes, what I do is hard work.
On Saturday I shot an incredibly fun wedding. It was my largest package, and we’d added in shooting the rehearsal dinner (which was quite the party on its own). I did five hours of shooting Friday night, and sixteen hours Saturday – not including drive time (About eight hours, total). Needless to say, I’ve been pretty beat the last couple days.
Long wedding weekends aren’t really the half of it, though. What I’d really like to talk about is the complexity of running a business, even a simple one like a videography company with no employees. Between taxes, insurance, mileage, bookings, details, other details, and more details, simple isn’t so simple. And these things are still ancillary to the thing that makes running a video business a little crazy.
The word is backlog. For me, the backlog is the list of projects that I’ve shot that have yet to be edited and delivered. Whenever that number goes above 1, my stress level skyrockets. Given that it is currently sitting above 5, you can imagine how I’m doing right now. Managing this stress, keeping up a consistent workflow, and not panicking are high on my priority list right now.
Now, having a backlog is not a bad thing – it means that there’s always work do to, and that the business is doing well. It generally means cash flow, and a little bit of assurance that I won’t be out of work tomorrow. But how do I manage those positive expectations about my backlog versus the panic that I won’t ever get it all done and that I’ll deliver every project hopelessly late?
Work ethic. It’s something you need in abundance if you plan to self-motivate yourself through 16-hour wedding shoots and a daily workload that only seems to grow ever-larger through the summer months. You need to love what you are doing, and be committed to giving your clients completed products that they’ll love.
It’s hard work, but if you work hard, it’ll work out. At least, that’s the mantra today.