We had the good fortune of connecting with justin schaefers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi justin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is an interesting thing as a freelancer. Any wrong move could set you back or totally destroy what you have been building towards. You know we are taught our whole lives that Failure is a bad word. Do everything you can not to be a failure. That really is a backward way of thinking. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t want to fail but if you live your whole life trying not to fail you never take the risks that might help you achieve the success you ultimately want. I like to think I take calculated risks, ones that I can see all the angles of and weigh the pros and cons. Do I take this job that might pay me more money now or do I do the one that might be less money but can give me a piece for my reel that I really need or is it working with someone I really want to etc. I have also taken some big swings trying to chase something that I thought was going to change our family’s life only to have it all come crashing down and set us back big time. In those moments you really need to step back and look at what happened and what you could have done differently. You can either choose to lay down and quit in those failures or choose to push through and figure it out. If you want to be a freelancer you ultimately need to have that fight to fail and pull yourself back up, if not this life is not for you.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a freelance Director / DP. I love to tell stories, any style or form that comes along. I feel like what sets me apart is my attitude and ability to adapt and be flexible to any situation. At the end of the day we aren’t curing Covid. We are being paid to create with our friends and play with really fun and expensive toys. When clients tell me how amazing my team is that is what makes me the most proud. I love my team. They allow me to be the best and not worry about little things because I know they are doing their jobs and everything is being taken care of. That is super important. I don’t care what your ego says, we don’t work in a bubble. Find people you trust and make you better. To gain any kind of success it really is about putting the work in and grinding away. I am still not where I want to be, but have gotten to a good place of making money and getting to work on things I enjoy working on. The biggest challenges is just doing the little things to make the bigger things happen. Are you staying on top of your marketing, are you creating new work even if it’s a personal project and are you trying to connect with new people, learn new techniques etc. Patience is key and then taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Don’t be afraid to jump in even if you feel like you might drown. At the end of the day I love what I do and feel really lucky that I get to do it for a living. I love creating magic.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My backyard. You can’t really go anywhere right now. I am a hell of a cook every Sunday is Pizza day so homemade sourdough pizza and beers. Why would you need to go anywhere else
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would say my wife and kids have really grounded me and given me the drive to push through those tough moments. I can’t look at them and say I give up, That really is not an option. They make it all worth it. I have also been really lucky to have many friends and colleagues that have pushed me and challenged me to be better and take those risks.