We had the good fortune of connecting with John Frost and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
What was your thought process behind starting your own business? It fits me. I like the flexibility that I gain by being in control of my day, week, month, and year. My time is extremely important to me, after all it’s the one thing we can never get more of. When the current minute is over, it’s over, we can never get it back. I also very much appreciate and enjoy the choice it affords me. That is, I can choose to take on a project or I can choose to pass. I’m in the position to make the choice. The choice that is right for me and for the business. Time and Choice are my primary reasons for starting my own business. Social impact: how does your business help the community or the world? We provide high quality sound mixing and design services for all types of content: Broadcast and Internet Platform spots, shows & series, Theatrical movies and trailers, Radio spots, Podcasts, Youtube Shows… and on and on. I like to think that we make the world a little better by making audible dialogue effortless and sound design to help wrap a viewer’s mind up into the content creating a more compelling and enjoyable experience. Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career? Whether the business was SonicPool Post Production, my first business in LA, or Mix My Spot, our new business in LA, my business partner (Patrick Bird) and I always managed risk together. We simply make risk decisions at the beginning of every challenge and try to make reasonably quick decisions on whether or not and how to move forward. One of the great benefits of having a good business partner is sharing the risk, but mainly, having someone to bounce ideas off of, and someone to provide a different perspective. If you are a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children? Being at home and spending time with my kids is clearly the best thing I’ve been able to do. Sure there are a lot of other things I do for my kids that are important too; providing for them, helping them with homework, sports, coaching, etc. and making sure they get an education that is right for them, to name just a few. However just being around them is superior in my mind than everything else. It’s another reason why we chose to create a remote Post sound business. What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand? It’s a combination of things for sure and not just one thing. No way could I narrow it down to just one thing. Happy clients come back which is extremely important. Working remotely from home brings costs down tremendously. This, in turn, helps us take on clients that we might otherwise have to pass on. Sticking to what we do extremely well – that is to say, we are not attempting to provide too many other services, in addition to our primary functions – has been working out great for us and our clients. How to know whether to keep going or to give up? I suppose if you don’t have customers, you should look to do something else, or at least do something different. It could be that your marketing is the problem and it may not be your actual product or service that is off. Marketing is a whole thing and it can be very difficult and tricky. That’s why you need to focus your offerings on what you only do best because running a business involves a lot of other moving parts, like marketing for example, which can be very time consuming and difficult. Work life balance: how has your balance changed over time? What do you think about the balance? In my opinion, if you can focus on one thing, you don’t need to be too concerned about balance. When I’m working in the studio, I need to be 100% in the studio. If I’m in the studio working but thinking about my evening or something that I’m missing out on because I have to work, I end up missing out on both things as my work performance suffers. The opposite is also true when I’m with my family. If I’m thinking about work while I’m at the dinner table, I’m not present with my family. Best to keep work at work and home at home, even if they are both at the same address and especially if they are both at the same address. I spent a decent amount of time setting up work areas that create an environment that make it comfortable physically and mentally for work. A place where I want to work, to be creative, and focused. This is an absolute necessity as far as I’m concerned. What makes you happy? Why? Happy wife, happy life, for sure. Happy clients as well make for a happy business – for sure too. I love to get good reviews posted online. I absolutely love winning a contract or project. I love just being in the studio and working with sound – it’s a passion. I know this because I lose track of time when I’m working on a project. Lots of things to love. Why did you pursue an artistic or creative career? I didn’t know I had a choice. I was made for this stuff. I can’t imagine that I would have ever done anything else. Some people choose to sing for enjoyment, and some people sing, not because it’s a choice but because they are compelled to – they have to sing. For me its sound. I love it. I love the choices and the high I get from it. Sounds crazy but it’s not. I followed my passion and it led me to a nice place, good people, and a great time. How do you define success? My philosophy is simple: Success to me is doing what you want, when you want to do it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Mix My Spot is an audio post-production service company, operating remotely with a network of highly skilled audio post professionals. My business partner and I developed this concept and have been operating over the last year. Prior to Mix My Spot, we owned and operated SonicPool Post Production Inc., a much larger endeavor, over the last 18 years. The business was very successful, and we had a great time, however, it had huge overhead, a large staff, significant marketing needs, and many other expenses (too many to list!) due to the nature of a brick and mortar business in the heart of Hollywood. Mix My Spot is the next chapter in our story. We’ve learned that simplifying our range of services and sticking to what we do best (sound mixing/design) raises our creative game, creates extreme efficiencies which in turn, equals much lower rates, typically 50% less or more – both of which makes for thrilled customers.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Some of the best things to do in Los Angeles are: – Studio Tour (like Warner Bros.) – Celebrity Home Tour – Walk the Stars on Hollywood Boulevard – Greek Theatre – Eat at the Griddle Cafe, The Pantry, Yamashiro – the BEACH!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Both of my partners: my wife, Kristina, and my business partner, Patrick Bird.