Should I Start My Own Business?

I’ve been thinking a lot about branching out from the traditional work structure. Repeated incidents in the past have shown me that I may not be the best fit to have someone else in charge of me. I try to do my best to comply with their wishes and follow the rules, but in each prior case, something forced us apart. So I’m wondering… Is there anything I do that people would be interested in paying for? I’m going to list some things I think could be monetized down below, and if you read this, I’d like for you to tell me which you’d be interested in.

Web Development / Design

If you’re here, you clearly know I know how to work a blog. I’ve built several websites using different content management systems and backends over the years. This website, along with others you may have seen from me, is running on WordPress, which I feel I know decently well enough to admin a site. I built my previous employer’s new website in WordPress, and I’m building one for the HOA for the subdivision I live in. I can work with raw HTML and CSS to build a decent-looking website if needed, and have done so on several occasions. I just don’t prefer this type of website building due to the cumbersome nature of performing updates and refinements.

That said, I would be happy offering my services to those who need websites, but it seems there are a lot of companies out there who try to make it as easy as editing a Word document. (Which I’ve found most people capable of doing) That said, maintaining a website after creating it is a much different affair, and keeping engagement going and content fresh are keys to doing business online. That, I could definitely offer as a service.


Graphic Design

I’ve dabbled in graphic design over the years, and have done some projects for companies and individuals for pay. These projects were admittedly a bit amateurish and basic, but they got the clients’ needs met. I tend to work mainly with text and typography over actual drawing, so that tends to limit what I can offer in terms of artistic works. I have designed t-shirts before, but again, these were mainly typographical in style or primarily consisted of simple shape designs. I can definitely pick out and appreciate a good font, that’s for sure.

That said, without improving somehow with the more artistic aspects of graphic design, I don’t see this becoming a “hobby I get paid for,” if that makes any sense. Brushing up on some design paradigms would likely help with this, and using some of the artistic language I learned in my cinema courses may help as well, particularly with things like motion graphics in After Effects and the like. Until then, I can’t really prioritize this area, at least for now.


Writing

A long time ago, I fancied myself a writer. I even tried writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month (that’s NaNoWriMo for the uninitiated) but didn’t manage to make it all the way through with a solid idea. I’ve written short pieces before, in various styles and media, but mostly for academic assignments and the like. Other than the occasional blog post and the more-than-occasional tweet, I don’t tend to do much fiction writing anymore, but it’s something I could pick up again if the mood struck. I’ve even considered doing more… adult stories for commissions, but am not sure if I’d be up to the task, or even how many people would want such a thing. Most people these days tend to be more visual and visceral than anything else, so photos and art tend to be the avenues there.

On the subject of photos though…


Photography / Videography

I went to school to learn how to make movies and how to work as a crew member on a film set. That is what I spent my last 2 years in college doing every single day. I even interned with the production company responsible for producing The Walking Dead, but that was just for a couple of months in the summer of my junior year. It took a toll on me physically, that’s for sure. Lifting all that heavy equipment and running around in the hot sun for 12 hours at a stretch really showed me just how out-of-shape I was, and I got ribbed for it by my “coworkers” when I couldn’t handle something. It was all in jest, lighthearted fun and whatnot, but it still hit home occasionally.

That said, I have a few halfway decent DSLR cameras and lenses, and could definitely pick up some portrait photography or light videography for events if the need ever arose. I’d need to produce a more professional-looking portfolio and reel than I have now, but that could be accomplished if I really set down to do it.

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