The Nitty Gritty:
- How Jenny realized her business was running on “autopilot” (not in a good way) and decided to do something that would surround her with the people who inspire her
- Why you need to get clear on what seat you want to sit in–and then determine what other chairs you need to fill in around you to make that happen
- How Jenny used her focus on community to build the vision for the series–and how that’s helped her tie the video series back to her agency and bring in clients
Where do many small businesses drop the ball? They make something good, but never achieve greatness because they fail to be intentional about every aspect of a project.
Every day her inbox filled up with projects that she completed on autopilot with no real excitement. She dabbled in all the tactics that the books and gurus said she should to build her business—blogs, social media, and more—but these efforts didn’t feel authentic or aligned with her company’s mission or vision. Although she got clients from these with efforts, they were clients that weren’t a good fit. Something was missing.
That’s when I realized that it was not only about the type of work, or industry or market or you name it, but it also had to do with the person behind the project and how I could connect with them.
— Jennifer Dopazo
At this point, her client list included mostly big brands and corporations. Although corporations and independent business owners share many of the same struggles, Jennifer was intrigued by small business owners and their freedom to chart their own course without board approval and multiple meetings to get stakeholder buy-in.
I’m more compelled to work with people who want to build a business because they want a better life for their family.
— Jennifer Dopazo
She decided to step out of her creative comfort zone to find the connection she craved and to create something that would support the independent business owner. The idea for a video series started to form. She researched, developed a strategy, and reached out to other professionals who could make her vision come true. The result: The video web series The Fabricant Way.
Not only does The Fabricant Way support the independent business owner and highlights them in their natural settings, this project allowed Jennifer to reconnect with her community and satisfied a creative itch that wasn’t being met.
With the End Goal in Mind: “It’s not about me. It’s about them.”
Jennifer was very intentional about the role she wanted to play in the video series.
The one thing that was certain was that I wasn’t going to put myself in a position where I needed to learn how to do this. Me becoming a film person was not part of the vision.
I decided to look around to find someone whose superpower was video.
— Jennifer Dopazo
She considered the needs of all stakeholders in the series. It started with her, but quickly she considered the needs of the entrepreneurs she interviewed, what the viewer would prefer, and how to offer different ways to use and consume the content she created. Her vision was focused.
Her focus reminded me of something Brian P. Moran said in his book, the 12 Week Year—vision is how you decide that what you want is a given and is in no way “fluffy.” There was no fluff about Jennifer’s end goal either: She had a very clear vision of what she wanted the web series to be. To achieve her vision, she got the “right people in the right seats to make it the best” it could be.
Take a listen to the full podcast where Jennifer and I explore her journey, how her thought process evolved, the similarities between independent business owners and the much larger corporate clients she’s worked for, how this new creative outlet supports her design business, and her continued commitment to her community.
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