Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ryan Cockrell, founder of Lunch and Recess, located in Charleston, SC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lunch and Recess is a production house, more currently called a visual content agency. We specialize in branded content for social media, traditional TV ads, brand films, and even documentaries. From a creative standpoint, we specialize in conceptualizing and capturing your message in a way that makes it stand out from the herd and engage or, in some cases, even marry your target audience.
Tell us about yourself
I began working in film and broadcast production professionally while attending the University of South Carolina Honors College, from which I graduated in 1999. I worked my way up the industry ladder quickly by taking on responsibilities that were beyond my comfort level, exceeding expectations with creative talent and a keen ability to work with a wide range of creative partners. My resume reads like a copy of Variety or a TV channel guide working for programs and networks like Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, The Discovery Channel, HBO, MTV, BET, and finally, exclusively shooting and producing for NBC properties that took me around the world.
I'm motivated by the actual work itself. I'm one of the lucky business owners where the passion for the job came first, and entrepreneurship came along the way as a means to an end. At first, it was all about making great content, and now it is also about building a sustainable business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We recently created a way to package what we do, which is very custom work and very unpackageable. It took a lot for me to put aside the old way of doing things and my desire to create products that satisfied me artistically. I refocused on our client's needs, goals and limitations. Restructuring our offerings into a subscription-based package with more narrowed guidelines actually reduced a lot of the problem areas in our business. Now our workload and income are much more predictable.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There are so many parts of entrepreneurship that are difficult. A couple that I struggle with are the gaps between jobs and never saying no. It's easy to think that you have to take every job, but that really leads to never taking a break and always stressing over the next gig.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do something you care about and are good at.
- Don't just build a business for the sake of building a business.
- Take plenty of vacation time for yourself.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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