Hey y’all! 😀
Long time no chat.
I’ve been buried under a project since late 2018 that required all of my creative energy but now I’m back! >:D
I had a good conversation with a friend the other day about aggression versus risk.
We were specifically talking about business, but I think these concepts apply across the board.
Besides being a fantastic board game, Risk is defined as
1 : possibility of loss or injury : PERIL
2 : someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
3a : the chance of loss or the perils to the subject matter of an insurance contract
also : the degree of probability of such loss
b : a person or thing that is a specified hazard to an insurer
c : an insurance hazard from a specified cause or source
4 : the chance that an investment (such as a stock or commodity) will lose value
So basically, you want to manage Risk.
Generally, Risk is a bad thing, but it can also be a good thing. o_O
I don’t personally like Risk, as part of my professional reputation is that I never lose. (linkedin.com/in/billcammack/
What I mean by that is that there are ZERO INSTANCES in my professional video editing career where I haven’t delivered the final product before the air date or deadline.
There is *NOBODY* that you can call (assuming they’re telling the truth! 😀 haha) who will tell you I’ve ever failed at something I was hired to edit.
This is because I know what I’m doing and I don’t agree to work on projects that I’m not **SURE** I can deliver in a quality fashion within the allotted amount of time.
So one of the differences between hiring me and hiring some button-pusher who gets to say they are a “video editor” because they learned the software yet have zero professional experience is that I have a track record of excellence and success.
If you can afford to GAMBLE that your final video will be GARBAGE or won’t be delivered on time, feel free to cut corners and hire someone you know nothing about. 😀
If you want to rest easy that your project is in good hands, hire a Rōnin who has already survived the wars you’re about to attempt to fight.
My friend’s position was based upon Aggression:
1 : a forceful action or procedure (such as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master
2 : the practice of making attacks or encroachments
especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another
warned that any act of aggression could start a war
3 : hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration
The type of Aggression I’m referring to is the (not necessarily hostile) takeover of market share by taking on Risk which may be beyond one’s comfort zone.
As I mentioned earlier, “Risk” is the possibility of loss, and I don’t personally deal in “the possibility of loss”, so I listened to what she had to say with an open mind.
It is IMPERATIVE to arrive at discussions like this with a willingness to consider that there might be an idea better than yours, even though yours has already been working FAMOUSLY for you.
At the end of the day in a discussion, you want to walk away with THE BEST IDEAS (no political pun intended hahaha), regardless of which one of you brought them to the table or whether they were NEWLY-CREATED AT THE TABLE while y’all were explaining your positions.
Protection & Expansion
As I write this, I realize why our positions were different. I’ll say “were” because I believe to a large degree with her concepts and I’m integrating them into my personal style.
I used to sell time and now I sell solutions.
I sell value.
When I used to sell time, I priced myself out of the button-pusher-video-editor market due to supply and demand.
Meaning that my rates were 150% of the MAXIMUM NYC video editor rate while button-pushers were requesting 70% of that same maximum rate.
In other words, button-pushers were charging 47% (no political pun intended hahaha) of my rate, or you could say you could hire me for one day or TWO OF THEM for one day and pay the same amount.
This is because I’m faster, I’m better with clients, I have more experience, I worked for better Executive Producers and learned their exacting standards, I’m an Emmy Award-winner and Emmy Judge… You’re getting way more than button-pushing, and I’ll still get more done in one day than two of them.
So it’s your choice. 😀 Hire a lesser editor for two days or pay me the same amount to get you to the same position in one day, leaving you a full 24 hours to do whatever your actual business is with the peace of mind that your project is already finished in a quality fashion.
OR hire a lesser editor for one day, get a garbage result, lose face in front of your boss or clients, get chewed out for trying to save money instead of upholding your company’s reputation by doing it properly… It’s up to you. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So my position entering the conversation was that I’m already beating the market so there’s no need for me to get involved in Risk.
I don’t like Risk AT ALL! 😀
I’m not a gambler.
I don’t play Lotto unless it’s like A GAZILLION DOLLARS and then I’m like yeah sure I’ll give away $2 in exchange for A GAZILLION DOLLARS! 😀
I purchase Assets instead of Liabilities and then I PROVIDE VALUE to clients who pay me more than I paid for my Assets.
When I agree to work for a client, I already KNOW everything’s going to work out perfectly, assuming the client complies with their own responsibilities and does what we agreed they were going to do WHEN they agreed to do it.
That’s a very comfortable position to be in. 😀
Leaving it doesn’t make any sense, assuming you’re satisfied with your market share.
Market share represents the percentage of an industry, or a market’s total sales, that is earned by a particular company over a specified time period. Market share is calculated by taking the company’s sales over the period and dividing it by the total sales of the industry over the same period. This metric is used to give a general idea of the size of a company in relation to its market and its competitors.
Her perspective on Aggression involves gaining and defending more market share than one already controls.
or, As they say in the streets, “SECURING THE BAG”! 😀
I’m all for “bag-securing” 😀 but the only way I would be comfortable doing that is by creating a trusted SQUAD whose “word is bond” and I don’t have to be concerned that they’re going to drop the ball on what they’re responsible for and cause the whole team to fail.
I think doing this requires diligence in vetting potential business partners.
I definitely see the value in THAT, though.
As an individual, even switching to selling solutions/value instead of time doesn’t make the day longer than 24 hours. o_O
If you have 48 hours’ worth of work, you either have to do it over two days or you have to hire someone to work with you that will hopefully be approximately as efficient as you are.
This means either the rate you’re charging goes up to accommodate your extra expense or your rate stays the same and you take the loss in profit in exchange for being able to meet a deadline you shouldn’t have taken in the first place.
I agree though that business avenues are gateways.
For instance, if I’m editing a video, I may or may not have the ability to select the music I use, in which case I can showcase my own abilities or pay someone musically talented for a song they already wrote or a score they’re going to write once we achieve picture-lock.
If the client likes the music, they might request that element of the business from me in the future, even if they don’t need me to edit the video, which was our initial business connection.
Same thing for branching off into videography, graphics, 3D modeling (I almost typed ED modeling, which would have been a disaster), pre-production, directing, lighting, or any other discipline connected to this art form.
What separates your business from others is called a Moat.
Like the water surrounding a castle with the alligators in it or piranha or whatever. >:D
I’ve already described my Moat, which is basically I have experience most “video editors” will never have because they’ve never worked for any Executive Producers who were excellent at their craft and demanded excellence from editors working for them.
Considering things that way, her style is venturing past the Moat and Securing Bags adjacent to her territory.
I look from the castle walls with my telescope and go “Who cares about that wilderness over there? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯“
She sends a carrier pigeon back saying “There are barbarians out here, but they have gold we can take from them.”
She also says “The more land we control outside of our Moat, the tougher it is for enemies to get TO the Moat, which means it’s tougher for them to get TO the castle.”
The question then becomes how to manage the risk of Securing Bags external to the kingdom.
Research & Development
My solution to this is to take risks when they don’t matter.
Make the plan and execute it when failure is acceptable.
Do not graduate that plan to being a part of your professional offering until you’ve minimized the Risk involved.
If you have a concrete deadline, that is NOT the time to experiment.
It’s like people who are in the middle of a job and they foolishly upgrade their software or their operating system. 😀 😀 😀
Sucks To Be YOU!!! 😀 😀 😀
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
When you have time to reinstall software and hope everything works, go ahead and experiment.
The thing here is that I think both Risk and Security are important for a business.
I’m not giving in to security under pressure
I’m not missing out on the promise of adventure
I’m not giving up on implausible dreams
Experience to extremes
~ Rush ~
R&D (Research & Development) doesn’t need to become POLICY until it’s tested and as bulletproof as possible.
Having said that.. The longer you wait to implement new concepts, the slower you are to release new products to the market and you lose market share to companies/people who are willing to accept more Risk and jump out there before they’re ready and try to figure it out along the way.
Of Course that’s why a lot of companies FAIL MISERABLY, but until they do, they still have business that YOU could have gained control over.
The WIN here is to bring new ideas to the table as often as possible and assess whether your business concept is stagnant or necessarily defensively stable.
One of the tactics that big businesses use against Mom & Pop stores is they create a brick & mortar store in the neighborhood and then they sell the same items as the local stores for less money.
The locals flock to the new superstore(s), forcing the Mom & Pop stores to either a) lower their prices/profit or b) go out of business.
They can’t afford to lower their prices, so both solutions result in their store closing.
When there’s no more local competition, the superstore raises the prices because now they’re the only game in town.
The superstores can afford to sell competing products at a loss because a) the corporation is going to offset those losses with profits from their other stores, b) it’s the only way to lure loyal customers from Mom & Pop establishments, and c) their pockets are deeper, so they know they can survive longer without profit than the local establishments and it’s a war of attrition.
This is Aggression without Risk because if the tactic doesn’t work, who cares? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The superstore still has it’s entire nationwide structure and will try the same thing in some other local market.
Of Course this is a different example because none of it is based on professionalism or quality.
In this case, we’re just discussing pricing Aggression.
It’s like how Amazon can sell you the same items for a lower price because they don’t have brick & mortar stores that they have to pay rent for.
It’s like how Netflix can beat out Blockbuster because they don’t have to carry a physical inventory of movies.
I think Aggression, Risk, and Security/Defense are all important elements if you want to scale your business.
There has to be a balance… The long-standing comprehension of Security versus the new energy of Aggression.
It’s also important for the people involved in R&D to come from different disciplines and have different experiences in their respective fields.
Each person has to trust the other person’s expertise and integrity.
Each person has to be able to say to the other one “What seems like Risk to you isn’t Risk to me. I’ve been there and done that, and this will work out fine.”
I don’t know that I subscribe to “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
I think there’s a space between “sum of the parts” and “the whole” that is an energy and opportunity created by each person helping the other person cross a bridge they otherwise wouldn’t have traversed.
Risk is necessary if you want to scale your business in ways that aren’t available to you within a completely-secure environment.
You can mitigate Risk by trusting Rōnin who have already successfully walked that path.
I still say to work out the kinks in Risk when it doesn’t matter, but as soon as you have a reasonable probability of success, go to market and Make It Happen! >:D