The Honeymoon Is Over

The honeymoon is over and I have two options: quit or commit.

First, I’m not talking about my marriage. I’m talking about my business,  Chris Martin Studios. I setup shop in 2006 and it has taken me a long time to get to where I am at today. I started doing web design and development, slowly transforming into a studio that focuses on documentary filmmaking, photography, writing and speaking. I have endured over five years of hard work, empty promises, unexpected triumphs and amazing relationships to get where I am today. I have grown in my storytelling abilities and technical proficiencies, as well as being more confident and outgoing. Not bad for an introvert and figuring it all out on my own.

I have traveled to foreign countries to film documentaries, I have designed and developed some great work including interactive maps of the world and training programs for large corporations, and I have done a lot of projects for local small businesses. Most importantly, I have learned that I love interviewing people on camera and I have a talent with making people comfortable enough to bare their souls, forgetting there is a camera present.

A lot has changed over the last five years, primarily in the area of social media, marketing and technology. The ability to get access to real-time information has revolutionized my business. I know more people, I have more opportunities for developing trust and authenticity, and I have more ways to engage with people about why I am the answer to their question. In addition, HD video has taken the net and most DSLR cameras by storm, revolutionizing how videos are made, produced and consumed.

I love what I do.

I believe in what I do.

But, guess what?

I’m in a slump.

Seth Godin calls it “The Dip.” He wrote a book about it called The Dip. Get it. It’s a quick read.

So, what’s the dip? Other than the mythical concoction that kills toons, the dip is the slump between beginner’s luck and mastery. As Godin describes it, the dip is what separates the winners from the losers. Another one of his pearls is “Quitting creates scarcity; scarcity creates value.” The Dip. Get it.

I’m in the process of defining what my slump truly is and whether I should continue to push towards what I believe in or if it’s time to throw in the towel on this phase of my life. Regardless, I am grateful for my friends and family that continue to believe in what I do, even when I lose focus at times.

Life has a funny way of giving you what you need. I started this post this morning highly pessimistic and hopeless. Thanks to my friend Bruce for a healthy lunch at Goldie’s BBQ and telling me about The Dip, ultimately encouraging me to work through my slump.

2 replies on “The Honeymoon Is Over”

Yeah… hard decisions to be sure.  I was torn by the message of The Dip.  On one hand, he’s right in that most people *do* reach the point where they need to decide whether to power through the low point to get the reward on the other side.  Stories abound for those situations.  But what can’t be known beforehand is whether you end up as one of those stories, or if the dip *is* truly the end of the road… with continual travel only leading to more pain.  It’s one of my pet peeves with how people formulate some of their views and pet observations.  When you know the ending, you can make the facts say whatever you want.  But you don’t get to know the outcome beforehand, and nobody writes about the failures (very often).

Now, having said that and acted like the Gloomy Gus in the room… 🙂

You are incredibly talented in what you do, and you’ve definitely had valuable and rich experiences from running your own business.  I don’t think you have to give that up, necessarily.  Rather than purely focusing on making your business run at all costs, keep your eyes and mind open to other opportunities that you may have overlooked.  Maybe you hook up with an agency doing cool things or join forces with another person in your same situation and see what comes of that collaboration.  If you chose to use your same skills in a different setting, it wouldn’t be a failure of your business.  You’d just be taking advantage of a new opportunity without diminishing anything you’ve done to date.

If you ever need to talk or bounce ideas off of someone, just let me know.  Your talent and personality have taken you places you never thought you’d end up going.  That won’t end based on what happens to Chris Martin Studios, because that talent and those skills are part of you… Chris Martin.

Hello Mr. Duff,
Thank you for kind remarks. I will definitely add what you have said to my slump data for analysis!  🙂

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