Over the years, I’ve found myself invovled with a series of, what you could call, business ventures. I suppose not business ventures in the typical sense. I’m talking about rallying some people to work on fan sites, some video projects, and a few other small projects that were started “just for fun” but had the goal to become much more serious.
It seems that, more often than not, they go south for one reason or another. Maybe it’s the businesses I’ve drawn myself to. (Music and Wrestling force you to be very cautious of who you deal with)
But over the years, after butting my head against the wall several times, there are things I’ve learned:
- Contracts, Contracts, Contracts. Even if it’s your best friend, if you claim you want to be partners in a venture, get it on paper.
- Stop doing crap for free. Ever since I did my first website for a friend’s band, I should have made sure I was getting something in return. On one hand, I thought it was cool to be “with the band”, and I was getting a chance to use my prospective talent (being this was pre-college).
- Is there a history? You often spark a really cool idea with your close buds. Then you go for it, and maybe they’re not there anymore. Take a hard, objective look. Is your aquaintance on time when you do anything social? Are they the first you call when you need a serious hand? How is that going to apply when you really need them to do something for real. You can’t go anywhere with an anchor tied to your leg.
- Document everything. Many times, things can end in a “he said, she said” situation. Often clouded by anxiety over the business plan working, not working, or simply moving slowly.
- Do you really have the time/energy for this? I’ve been one to have my hands in “too many cookie jars” over the last few years. And that’s taken it’s toll. I’ve taken to find myself running headlong in a couple of potential ventures at the same time, while still attempting to sustain all of my old pet projects at the same time.
- Know when to cut the cord. Are you getting anything from this? Is there still any potential if you stay the course? Is there something else that seems more viable this might be in the way of? I’ve wanted to cut the cord on one site for a while due to the waning of community participation, but it’s afforded me several opurtunities to work with artists. While one of my newer ventures still hasn’t gotten “where I wanted it” for the three years I’ve been into it, but I can’t beat the connections.
So, I’m sitting on the edge of some changes to my life, and taking control of a bit more than I have in the last few years. I’m still trying to figure a lot out, so here we are, reviewing the history so we don’t repeat ourselves, because the patterns are showing themselves.
What do you think?
One thought on “If it didn’t work the first three times…”
I still do some work in exchange for non-monetary reasons. I’ve been doing work for bands in exchange for the exposure of my name on a site and free tickets. Other times I have helped out get sites started for free but that’s probably coming to an end since 1) I’m now unemployed 2) being nice doesn’t feed my family.
The way I see it is, this is my time I’m doing work and it took hard work to get my skills to a certain level. there should be some compensation. times are rough and everyone needs to look out for themselves.