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Re: Question For The Pros

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Nick Griffin
Re: Question For The Pros
on Oct 18, 2004 at 9:40:36 pm

Miles wrote: ... more about what it takes to be successful.

Success is pretty much the same whether it's video, or banking, or deep sea exploration. It's being lucky enough and working enough smart hours to be at the right places at the right times. For me, it was mostly luck. (Unless I was intended to be a multi-millionaire before 40, in which case I failed miserably.)

Here, in a run-on stream of consciousness sentence, is what I've done to get to being self-employed, in several fields I enjoy, and making a good living:

Photography (for money) in high school morphed into shooting pictures of folkies, which morphed into wanting to learn and play music in college, where practicing/playing 12 hours a day made me better/quicker, which gave the motivation to find the funding so I could build the school's first recording studio (quite crude by today's "home studio" standards), which helped spawn an interest in taking over the folk show on the college radio station which turned into becoming the General Manager of that station, which after college led to an on air job in radio, which became boring so fast that I simultaneously moved into selling radio time while putting together my own small home radio production studio, which became the chance to launch my own production-oriented radio ad agency, which turned into a LOT more than radio including local TV spots, which was more than frustrating when I wasn't allowed to touch the union-operated equipment, which became a strong desire to use independent people where I could operate and eventually rent the equipment on my own, which, with the advent of non-linear, became the desire to own all of the equipment, which with the added income over the years from a lot of still photography, print advertising and brochure work became a quite viable business that pays a lot better than honest work.

Whew. What a flash back!

Oh, yea. And somewhere in the early process I was fortunate enough to sit in on a few recording sessions engineered by George Massenberg which made me want to learn as much about studio production as I possibly could. (For anyone not familiar with his discography there are few engineer/producers as skillful as George -- Little Feat, Linda Ronstadt, lots of acts I can't remember, and probably best known of all, George was the staff engineer and, in no small part, responsible for the sound of Earth Wind & Fire. Oh, yea. And I belive that he also co-invented the parametric equalizer.) Thanks, George. You showed me at age 20 that the really cool stuff was happening in the control room, on the OTHER side of the glass.

All this reminds me to reprise something Tim Allen has pointed out on this and other forums before: most decent video editors are (or in my case have been) musicians. It's a very direct way to develop a sense of, and real gut feel for timing.

What would I do differently? Well the saving money -- make that investing -- something I overlooked until my 40's. Would definitely do that differently knowing now that a $2000 vacation in my 20's would now be $20 - 25k in today's investments. (Or not. Maybe vacations, good restaurants and fine wines ARE the reason to work hard.) So instead, buy real estate early and often. That's how most rich Baby Boomers I know got rich.

On a personal level, if I had it all to do over again, I would have put a LOT more focus on developing my writing abilities. I'm fairly happy with what I'm doing now, but with strong writing skills the sky is the limit. IMHO, there literally is NOTHING more important than the ideas behind any project, any show, any film and it all begins with one or more writers -- even when their official title is producer.

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