In 2012, I was freelancing on-site for a company and they cut the budgeting for this. I decided this was the kick in the butt I needed to form my own LLC and see what I was made of.
I started drive80.com as an all in one agency. My background is graphic design, web design, web coding, photography, videography, animation, etc. I felt I should do it all at the same time but that became a headache from the start. One week I would be working on a brochure, web banners, and photo shoots. The next would be coding a large website, animating video titles and pulling my hair out. Then I read “Built to Sell” and that made me focus on being great at one thing instead of good at everything.
Two come to mind. My business coach, who was the original COO of Babies R Us, and my Sandler Sales Coach. Both taught me the ins and outs of building a business and selling my product. Without them, I would have been screwed.
One of my all time favorite clients is WISS, for a couple of reasons. 1. They always like to fit a couple animations into their yearly budget. I like money. 2. I talk to my contacts there on a personal level. I’ve had phone calls where they just wanted to vent or ask me what places in Raleigh would be great to visit.
It’s a mix of chillness and hustle. I’m surrounded by people looking to work for themselves and create a career based on their own sweat equity. That’s something I need to be surrounded by. The laid back life style is something I need to have rubbed off on me some more so I can de-stress and just enjoy the moment.
Recently we sent an animation for review. My contact at the company sent me a text saying the CEO cried when they saw the video, hugged her, and then kept apologizing for hugging her. It turns out that we nailed the messaging, which was something they struggled with for years.
Get someone to pay you before making a website or business cards to validate that your idea isn’t crap. After that, niche down a lot and work towards one goal each year.
Went into my first sales call after 2 months of sales training. Started the meeting off with what I had learned and the guy across from me started laughing. He said, “Wait, do you take Sandler?” I basically froze, said yes, and then kept going. Walked out of the meeting with a signed contract and he ended up joining my training class a year later.