We’ve had this discussion many times with many different industries. Sometimes we don’t just sit down and really ask “Why did we take that job?” Now, I’m going to use our creative industry as the analogy for this blog post, but it REALLY can apply to just about any small business or entrepreneurial venture. We have small, simple, 3 part checklist that qualifies us for a job or why we might take one. The checklist is 3 simple words: Meal, Feel, or Reel? Let me explain a little further in broader terms.


This job is going to pay enough to put food on your table. We have definitely taken these jobs. To us, this job is shooting talking head live event type conferences. BORING AS ALL GET OUT, but it helps pay the bills and puts food on the table. You don’t feel great about it and it’s definitely not something that you’d tell other prospective clients about.


What does this job do for your heart? Does it bring you energy or the feeling of accomplishment? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do or a movement you feel like you can really get behind? This job is about doing something that makes you feel good. Our example here is Non-Profit work. We’ve worked with several non profits who really couldn’t afford to pay for our services. We worked with them because we believed in their cause and wanted to help share their story. At the end of it, it didn’t really put food on the table or pay our bills. And some of them have never made it into our Reel. But man, did it feel good to help these people out and bring them more funding by being able to tell their story concisely. Also, you could say short films are this way. Short films, at least in our experience, don’t pay well. You get experience and feel accomplished telling the story. It may contribute to your reel and it may not.


Reel projects are the projects that don’t pay well and may not make you feel good, but it’s good for your brand and your company to show that you worked with this client. In our case, you can say, well the shoot was miserable, but this shot was FREAKING EPIC. It’s definitely doing in the demo reel! It also can help bring other brands to you and help solidify your business and revenue streams. The new client never has to know if it was a horror story. All they have to know is that you did your best and completed the job, task, etc with flying colors.

How do I decide?

The way we look at it is if a job satisfies all three on the list, you can call it a GREAT job or opportunity. If it only satisfies 2 of the requirements, then you’re still in line for a GOOD job. If it’s only 1 of the three requirements then it might be OKAY and you may be able to live with yourself. I’m sure you can guess what happens when it satisfies none of them? RUN FOR THE HILLS. We hope you enjoyed this little blog post. Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Did this help you? What would you add?  


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