Do I Own a Business or a Job?
This website is here for one simple reason. To do business directly with our customers. It's not as easy as I thought.
Eyeidea started in the early 90's doing logos and print graphics for local clients. Then we moved on to multi-media and websites for Fortune 500 clients. By the early 2000's Eyeidea was doing work in film & tv with a staff of designers. Then it started getting so "businessey" that I hardly had a chance to design actual design work. I decided to bring the business back down to just me and hire outside freelancers for larger projects. But if the main artist (me) stopped working there was no income.
In 2006 I dove headlong into what was then called "micro-stock". iStock was launching video and I was uploading content to their severs before the doors officially opened.
Before I knew it I was the #1 video contributor on iStock. Very humbling considering how many great artists were contributing to iStock. Fifteen years later and a lot has changed in the royalty-free stock business. Many agencies have made decisions that have been tough on contributors. But hey, its their business. Right or wrong – it's their company. They don't always have to do things the way we think is fair.
A few years ago I found Dave Ramsey and I learned some hard lessons. For years I had been doing some financial things the right way. But I had also been making a lot of mistakes. Who knew that a Roth IRA was so much better than a traditional one? It was a reckoning of sorts. It was sobering to learn the blessings of handling finances the right way and difficult to hear the damage caused by being irresponsible with money. Dave and his amazing team at Ramsey Solutions truly have hearts to help people. However, they also run a successful business.
The more I listened to his show the more I learned about other areas of life and work. Dave works with other "Ramsey personalities" like Ken Coleman and Rachel Cruze. Ken in particular focuses on careers. Over and over I would hear Ken and Dave ask "do you own your job or do you own your business?" That question bothered me. I always believed that Eyeidea was a real business. However, the reality was that as the years have gone by I was spending more and more time freelancing rather than running a business. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for all the freelance work I have been blessed with. My clients are amazing. I consider them friends as well as clients.
Anyone that says business is not personal doesn't know how real business works. I think the pandemic of 2020 showed us all what was really going on in almost every area of our lives. We saw what our job, marriage and finances were really about. Some of what was revealed was shocking. When all the shows I work on shut down I was without work for six months. That was a surprise. It could happen to me just like it could happen to anyone else. I could be "laid off". Because of those shows cancelling for so many months one of the producers I work for decided to retire. That was a bit scary since I was working with him on so many projects each year. Yikes. Now what?
The moment of truth. For over 20 years I have called this is business, but was it really? Maybe in some form yes. I realized it was time to grow.
After a lot of prayer I realized we needed to create a business that could operate independent of someone retiring, or a pandemic or an agency who had their own best interests in mind. The solution is this website – it's a long game. The backend is a Shopify store. The apps make it possible to deliver our image packs immediately and directly to our customers. It's a small start launching with just 12 image packs, but it's start. It's real, it works and it's something we can build on. We have lots more in the works and also will start selling video packs very soon. I have been so blessed to have the career I've had. God has provided so many opportunities (and helped me be ready for them) since the day I got my first Mac in 1990. Two of my favorite sayings – "Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness" and "God will provide the wind, but we have to raise the sails". I still do freelance work on tv shows and live events. I really enjoy it. We get to work on amazing projects and my clients are amazing people. Eyeidea still sells stock on the big agency websites. The new thing is this website. A real business that provides visual content directly to customers worldwide. It is finally possible and finally real.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." – Colossians 3:23