Insights

Insights

At Dublite Productions we pride ourselves on exceeding our clients expectations. We love what we do and we’re always learning.

Be a Better Version of Yourself

I’m a 32 year old Founder of Dublite Productions

I’m always willing to listen and learn, but I’ve had people say I still need to “earn” my success

Too many people believe that age equals earned success

And we need to stop and remember that there are a lot of young entrepreneurs out there changing the business landscape

We’ve done 6 figure video projects around the world with Fortune 25 companies and on the flip side we’ve helped startups grow

I’ve been through a reinvention of my company, lost tens of thousands of dollars and I’ve been undercut more times than I care to count

But I’ve learned from my mistakes

Because I grew as an entrepreneur

I try to be a better version of myself each day and help as many people as I possibly can

The best part of my day is when I get thank-you messages from clients 

I appreciate everyone that gives us a chance to show them how great we are 

But unfortunately I still occasionally hear that I don’t deserve the clients we have

As someone who founded his business at a young age, I’ve learned that the only thing that matters in life is believing in yourself

Some people will always find a way to knock you down

But that’s fine by me

While they’re concentrating on me and trying to break me,

I’m concentrating on the people we are helping

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Be Proactive

 I wrote about my experience dealing with a failed HD in my iMac  

Well, it happened again

I watched as my MBP HD began the early stages of failing 

The color wheel of death started to make frequent appearances on the simplest of tasks

Lucky for me, I have been through this before 

I quickly confirmed all my data was backed up on 2 external HD’s

I then ordered a new HD, but made sure to invest a little more $ into a SSD.

The new SSD arrived and instead of installing the SSD right away, I did the smart thing.

I connected the new SSD to my Macbook via a SATA to USB adapter and booted up in recovery mode. 

Once in recovery mode I was able to install a fresh copy of macOS on the new SSD. 

I have found using this method allows you to quickly install a new macOS on your new SSD and confirm it runs properly.

You may be wondering why this story is relevant for a production company?

Owning a production company goes far beyond the fun life of video and photography shoots.   

There are thousands of different things that happen behind the scenes in our business and we always have to be proactive.

Catching these problems before they cause adverse effects allows us to focus more on the clients we are helping and even more on the content we are creating.  

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Back Your Work Up

My world came crashing down.

I arrived home to finish my day on my iMac only to find that it wouldn’t boot up.

I started to freak out. 

850gb of data was sitting on my HD. 

I frantically researched what the issue could be, but in the back of my mind I knew what it was…

A HD failing.

I tired to boot up into safe mode. 👎

Reset the NVRAM. 👎

Tried recovery mode to attempt a first aid fix on the HD. 👎

Spoke to Apple Support. 👎 They don’t help one bit if your computer is more than 2 years old.

My last ditch effort was booting up in single user mode to use terminal to try to repair the disc. 👎

Luckily for me there is a silver lining. 

I keep meticulous backups of all my data on 2 external drives. 

Only problem, the backups covered ~95% of the data. I was about to lose ~5% of my data.

At this point I needed to clear my head. How could I have been so dumb to let this happen. I know better. 

Thankfully I remembered. It’s possible to connect a Mac to a Mac with a Firewire cable and use target disc mode to access the drive.

After a few prayers and what was the longest few minutes of my life, my iMac HD booted up on my macbook.  

Moral of the story. Be better than Jake. Don’t slip on your data backups or be prepared to go through the 5 stages of denial. 

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Believe in Yourself

I’ve always wondered if I could land a non entry-level marketing position at a major brand.

I have 13 years of experience under my belt, including a client list that has two multi-billion dollar corporations on it.

I’ve managed complex projects all around the world and I’ve lead cross-functional teams across many disciplines to deliver an exceptional finished product.

I’ve also taken very complex ideas and made them simple as well as relatable to the average person.

A possible problem: I have a photography degree. Not a Marketing degree or MBA.

Some companies might hire a Marketing graduate with a few years of marketing experience at a bigger brand over someone who has years of experience deep in the trenches.

That’s why I’ve realized I need to share my journey to show the world that there are talented people that don’t fit the typical mold.

If you want quality talent, then lets look at the work a person has done, rather than the degree on their wall.

Millions of artists may read this and some of them have all the skills in the world, but no one will ever take a risk on them.

It’s their loss.

So many artists are changing the world one client at a time.

If you’re a dreamer, are doing some badass stuff or changing the world. I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Be Honest About Your Failures

I lost sight of our sales pipeline

In a blink of an eye we lost 75% of our yearly revenue 

You’ll only make the mistake of having one client account for a majority of your revenue once

After that happened I needed to figure out a way to build the business back up 

I was back in startup mode

It took a lot to dive deep into my processes and to be honest about my failures 

No one likes to be a failure 

But once I acknowledged my failures I started to connect with as many people as I could

I’m providing them insights into the video and photography world

And I’m helping as many people as I can along the way

It’s taken a lot of time to build back up

We are still not where I’d like us to be, but we are getting better each day and I’m very excited about what the future holds

Looking back – It was blessing 

Dublite Productions is more diversified than ever

As painful as this has been to go through I believe the future of my company is stronger than it was before 

And what is clear is your life is not about making a ton of money overnight 

Your life is about longevity, providing value and helping others 

If you can maintain this mindset the money and your desired success will follow

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Help Those Around You

I have one major rule on advice. 

Never tell someone what they should do. 

A lot of people don’t know what I actually do besides pressing a button.

My career didn’t become a “real job” where more than a select few were actually making a living until digital equipment became more accessible to the masses. 

The world is changing very fast and giving advice to someone can hurt their chances of doing something they love. 

Instead we need to share our experiences with the next generation. 

We need to trust that they will take what we have gone through and apply it to their own journey. 

Otherwise if we give someone “advice”, when they apply it they will have someone to blame if it fails. 

We’re in a world that is much different from when I started my journey.

I can’t tell you that you need to do something to fix an issue you are struggling with when I don’t even know if a solution I have used in the past is even applicable or relevant in your situation.

All I can do is share what has worked for me in the past and hope there is some little nugget you can take away to apply to your own situation. 

The world needs more people willing to make a difference and that means your path is yours alone. 

However, I believe it’s my job to help you through your struggles the best I can when the weight of the world seems to be on you. 

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Stop Waiting

I’ve met a lot of extraordinary people since starting my business

They often tell me that they’d like to go out on their own

But they want to spend a lot of time up front working on business plans because that’s what their MBA taught them

Chances are they’ll never launch their business

You can currently get validation for your business in a matter of days 

Industries are changing overnight and by the time you launch your business a plan probably won’t help

An MBA will give you the knowledge to make a business plan and plan some more, but that’s all it does

MBA’s are now outdated

You don’t need to spend crazy amounts of money on an outdated education to be successful 

You’re better off finding a mentor to help you avoid the early mistakes and learning the rest as you go

When I finished my B.S., you couldn’t get validation for your business as fast as you can now 

But I’m still glad I didn’t get an MBA

Too many people care way too much about those 3 letters

Instead lets focus on the advancements that are happening all around us and bring our ideas to life 

Now is the time to build your own legacy

Creating value for others and reaching your advocates has never been easier

Life is too short to plan every aspect

Stop waiting

And call me if you need help along the way

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Take A Leap of Faith

I had no idea what I was doing, from an operations standpoint, for the first 5 years of growing my agency.

But I knew three things:

  1. I knew how to produce excellent results for our clients,
  2. I can take complex ideas and make them digestible to non-industry professionals
  3. I needed to find the right mentors to help me skip over early mistakes

Within a few months of moving to Chicago I went to a loop meeting and one of the entrepreneurs I was supposed to meet didn’t show.

I ended up taking a chance and emailing him afterwards.

He is the founder of one of Chicago’s most renowned social media agencies and I’m proud that we have been friends for the last five years.

He is always there to listen and offer his help in any way he can.

I attribute finding my way in a new city to him.

Without his guidance I would have never met so many great entrepreneurs though EO that have taken the time to share their experiences within business, helped me through the early mistakes in business and have become an advisory board that I turn to.

People like him are why successful entrepreneurs exist.

They’re willing to help because relationships underline everything.

They’re an entrepreneur for the right reasons

And the best thank-you I can give is doing the same for others.

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

Build Trust

Some weeks can seem like hell week

And I am usually mentally drained,

But that’s what happens when you’re the only sales person for your company.

You book sales calls from referrals, you go to targeted networking events, you sit on various boards and you help as many people as you can.

But how do you have time for life balance?

You stop taking pointless sales conversations.

The first question I’m asking every person who wants to work with my agency is:

“What is your budget”

I’d rather not spend an hour talking to someone only to realize that they can’t afford our services.

If we aren’t the right fit, I am happy to refer you to someone within your budget.

Too many people I know are afraid to do this. 

They don’t want to scare someone off with their pricing.

The truth is, scaring people off with your pricing is a good thing!

Because the right customers for your business will stay.

This is also one of the fastest ways to understand if someone knows what things actually cost.

If they don’t know their budget, then they don’t really value your time or understand your space.

I’m often in conversations where I am the only one to admit how much similar projects have cost and then educate you on how you can maximize your budget.

This is why people trust me.

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.

 

Always Ask for Feedback

I used to spend hours on a proposal. 

I would then follow up with emails and calls. 

I’d hear nothing back from the client. 

It’s very hard to spend so much time creating something special for the client and then not get any feedback on it. 

I get it.

Deals fall through, we weren’t the right fit or their budget didn’t fit our approach. 

It happens.

But I’m happy to listen to the worst feedback to improve our process and offerings because we’re excellent problem solvers and know how to maximize a budget. 

That’s what I think makes us exceptional. 

After all those hours wasted on proposals I decided to implement a feedback system.

Whenever someone chooses not to work with my company I ask them why. 

It’s ok to be honest about what didn’t work for you, I’ll never hold it against you. 

It only helps make us better and it helps me build the right foundation within the company.

I challenge you to never believe you are better than the criticism you may receive.

Stay modest no matter how big you are, 

And always ask for feedback. 

Dublite Productions is a Chicago video production company that creates content for some of the best brands in the world through video production, photography and graphic design.