I graduated college and had no idea what to do with my film degree, so I started a production company. I had no idea how to run a business or a production company but I jumped in and hoped for the best, learning on the job. That was 15 years ago so I guess I did something right! I debated working as an assistant in the film industry, making coffee or whatever you do when you first start out, but I really wanted to create my own work and be in control of the projects. I could have done it on the side, but I decided that making it a formal business would be better. I asked a couple of friends to work with me and that’s how our production company, Random Films, was born.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Getting people to trust me with their work, since I had no experience or track record in production or business. I started making my own work with friends and other filmmakers on my level, and eventually people started to trust me once they got to know me.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Personally, I'm reading a lot of books on growing as a person and evolving. I'd recommend them for entrepreneurs as well - The Untethered Soul, The Surrender Experiment, and Zero Limits are all good lessons in life and in business.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family has been really supportive of what I do, although sometimes I do get asked if I'm sure I still want to do this! I'm very lucky that I'm encouraged to do what I do. My mom always watches my films and drags her friends along - though I'm sure that's more to do with wanting me to make money than to see the film for fun!
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
A good support system. Surrounding yourself with people who encourage and inspire, instead of bringing you down, is very important. I work with the same people over and over for a reason.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Everything! I've been producing over 15 years and I'm still learning. I do wish I had known more about getting projects seen more. I have some projects that never went anywhere, but are actually really good.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Be patient. Don't do too much at once, focus on one thing and do it well. Get sleep over coffee - too much caffeine can hinder your work!