Friday, April 11, 2014

Have The Right Tools For The Job

It has been my experience that with any endeavor, the right tools are required.

The tools can be physical, like a screwdriver or pipe wrench, or they can be intellectual, like experience or formal education.  In most cases, mastery is achieved when both the required physical and intellectual tools are acquired.

Ironically, this lesson was taught to me by an old friend, John Jacobs, who started his career with an entertainment business degree in Radio and Television but eventually became a successful entrepreneur in general contracting and home inspection.

In architecting mastery in the entertainment business or any other profession, you must decide what tools are essential versus those that will make you stand out from the crowd.  I will use my own recording studio to illustrate an example.

In a recording studio, it is essential to have a method of recording.  The possibilities are endless.  You could start with the microphone on your smartphone or laptop and have the capability to record, but that would hardly entice customers (unless you are Jess Greenberg, but let’s face it:  I don’t think it is her sound quality that is attracting millions of viewers, but it’s hard to argue with success!).

You could choose any number of offline systems from various companies to do your recording, and many of them produce superior sound quality.  But those systems make integration difficult and the start-to-finish process slow and inefficient. Try publishing a YouTube video from a non-integrated console.

In my studio, there are three computers, and each of them has there own purpose.  The most important to my clients is the Mac Pro tower, which is used for recording.  It is (for now) the most state of the art creative machine, with every bit of ROM and RAM available.  It doesn’t crash, and nothing is ever lost.

My PC is where I like to edit video.  From my perspective, Movie Studio Platinum surpasses anything that Apple has produced.  That is just my personal opinion. 

My third computer is my Mac laptop.  That is where I go to school, and leads us back to the concept of  “intellectual” tools. 

“Never buy a tool before you need it”, my old friend John says.  “And once you need it, trust me, you will need it again.”  What he is referring to is the idea that once you are forced to do something, you will learn how to do it, and even master it. And once you’ve learned how to do it, you will find the need or desire to do it again. Learning how to do it can be a function of experience or academics, or both.

My goal is to finalize the details of a successful entertainment business.  I have the necessary physical tools, and I have gained years of experience, yet I am still in search of some intellectual tools that will make it all a success.

Define and find your required tools.  Don’t let others' opinions get in your way.  Ask yourself if the tool is critical and if so, go get it.  Then ask: will it make me stand out against the competition?  If it will, then go buy it.  However, if you find yourself becoming a collector of tools without a goal, reevaluate.

1 comment:

  1. Before you know it you will have all the tools and knowledge you need to become self reliant and successful. Then the real fun begins, doing what you love for a living and having a good time doing it. Not to mention the money is good too!!