Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with JP Hightek, Lead Photographer & Creative Director of Perfect Zone Productions, LLC, located in Clarksville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Perfect Zone Productions is a complete One Stop Branding & Media Agency. From Photography, Videography, Graphic Design, Web Design, Remote event Production, Live video, Software development, mobile and TV app creation, our team can help you elevate and expand the reach of your business in a premium and unique way.
I work with entrepreneurs, individuals, Small business owners, and corporations to grow their premium brands in order to:
- Expand their reach.
- Have a better Impact on their Ideal clientele.
- Charge more for their products & services.
Tell us about yourself
With over 15 years of experience in the Tech, Media, and IT Customer Service industry, I have helped and interacted with multiple Ministries, Churches, Small business startup owners to High-level Corporate Executives. All this started from a dream. A dream to conquer the world and make an impact. As I was seated one day on campus at the University of Texas in Arlington, I made a prayer and asked the Lord to help me walk in my purpose and make an impact on a generation. Even though I feel my journey is still ongoing, I believe it is important to look back and be grateful for all my humble achievements. I remember when I received my very first paycheck of $75 as a videographer. I was so excited to be rewarded not for a job but for something I could do for free and still feel the same satisfaction.
I have learned to be content and cherish what I have. I had to discover my purpose in life and walk in it. I have learned that as long as I am walking in my purpose, I will always be blessed in one way or another, regardless of the project. I then started looking at the little victories in every project I worked on. The truth is, it was hard sometimes to keep going, hard to stay motivated, and extremely hard to believe in a better day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As of today, I am not just the CEO & Founder of Perfect Zone Productions, a media firm that specializes in Branding, Graphic Design, Web Design, High-end Photography, Videography, Software development, and more. I am also a Speaker, Global Branding Expert, Graphic Designer, Cinematographer, & Software Developer.
I am also the founder of "Content Creators University," an online school dedicated to empowering creators in developing the proper systems & strategies to growing a successful business leveraging content creation which is the core element of every successful business today. Finally, I am the President & Broadcast Director of Reveal TV Network; a Faith-based Ministry focused on "Revealing Jesus to the Nations through Media."
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In 2006 I decided to create an opportunity for myself on Youtube. After several years, I got it to 10K subscribers, which I lost early in 2016 due to community updates. I did not let this setback stop me. I started another technology-related Youtube channel which had grown to 126K subscribers before it was again deleted by Youtube for another policy change in 2019. I could have gotten completely discouraged and not looked at the good and lesson learned from this experience. I established a solid following and, above all, a solid clientele from my Youtube and social media traffic during that season. I was engrossing 6 figures for my yearly revenue and could not be proud of such a great accomplishment.
Another major milestone was when I was able to hire my very first full-time employee and pay her $15 per hour. It is a completely different feeling to know that someone else's blessing depends on you succeeding. I had to learn how to not only fight for myself but also for people surrounding me and depending on my success. My journey continues, and I cannot wait to see where God takes me and what other lessons I will learn.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create an LLC (After several years in business, I have learned the hard way that owning an LLC is one of the best ways of legally registering your business and one of the few statuses recognized by major organizations. Yes, there are other legal registration options. However, an LLC is the best and easiest way for a small business owner to truly be recognized by the IRS as a legitimate business. This status will allow your business to have the proper structure and be able to get things like:
- A business line of credit
- A D-U-N-S number
- Grants by major organizations etc...
- Get a mentor or learn from a Master Class. This is honestly one of the quickest ways to be successful by learning from other experts who have been there before you. This allows you to void making the same mistakes and saves you several years of heartache and wasted money.
- Focus on growing a premium brand and not just a business. A Brand can survive forever. However, a business dies over time. In order to establish a legacy with your business, it is important to grow your brand. To create an established brand takes intentionality. Your personal and corporate brand is vital to your ultimate success as a business owner.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I would first like to give thanks to God. I am a Christian, and God plays a huge role in my life. All thanks to Jesus, who directed my path, allowed me to overcome major adversities in my life, and made way for me to be where I am today. I would also want to take the time and give a big shoutout to my lovely wife "Cre," who has always stood by my side and supported me in all my endeavors. Cre is not just the best part of my life but my queen. It has not always been easy, but she stood firm and believed in me even when I did not believe in myself.
Finally, I would like to give a big shoutout to my lovely children. As a father of 3 (as of the time of this interview), I cannot imagine my life without my children. They get me up early in the morning. They give me unconditional love and inspire me to always keep striving toward perfection. My lovely children make me want to conquer the world, and I am so grateful to have them in my life, as I know these things are not always evident in people's stories.
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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