Sometime we choose the path most trodden, the path that will take us to the thing we can see most clearly on the horizon. Other times, emboldened by our curiosity, the path less take, more grassy and less well-marked. We may not be able to see where it will take us, but we’ll try it nonetheless.
So what do you do when you reach the end of the road not at a crossroads, but a simple ending of the path before you. What do you do when there is no apparent path to choose?
No More Pathway
This is the very situation I have found myself in over the last few days and weeks. Since leaving my job, I’ve wondered, fretted and lost sleep over what comes next.
I know I can’t “freelance” in the traditional sense, as that bit me in the butt this time last year when I missed a shoot day for a client whilst in hospital. I also know that a full-time job probably isn’t for me, either health-wise or career-wise, because I simply don’t know if my body can cope with it.
Knowing the Terrain
Above all else, knowing your terrain – the underlying ground-plan of your life – is crucial to finding the next steps. Knowing, trusting and believing that stepping off the path will, eventually, lead you to a new one. Knowing and trusting that you’ll find yourself safely on a road to somewhere – wherever that may be – means you can confidently step into the unknown.
While I’m confident in my own abilities, I also know my own limitations and I know what they lay of my land is: I’ve got a wedding coming up in July, followed by a honeymoon in paradise, all of which comes after seeing K through her final exams and dissertation for her speech therapy degree.
I also know that I have a great range of adaptable skills, and specific skills, that can see me do quite well on my own.
And, on top of all of that, I know that I can’t face another 9-5 job, another office-bound daily grind that saps my energy and leaves nothing left for enjoying life.
If I’ve realised one thing in the last few months, it’s that my life – and enjoying my life – is far more important to me than any job I could have. I want to enjoy life, to live freely and to make the most of the extra time I’ve been gifted by one selfless family.
But there are still bills to be paid…
I’m currently reading Jonathan Field’s book Uncertainty1 in a timely piece of serendipity. It’s teaching me that doubt and uncertainty aren’t things to fear, to shy away from, but feelings that should be embraced.
If you’re unsure, uncertain, fearful of something, it probably means it’s worth doing.
Knowing that the creation of something new is always going to be scary, always going to put you on the edge of your proverbial seat and keep you up some nights is a powerful thing. Rather than being afraid of what might happen if I push out on my own, I’m learning – slowly – to embrace it.
Tiny, but mighty
With that in mind, I’ve rebranded and relaunched TinyButMighty, the company I started in 2010 as a video production business, into a digital consultancy that offers social media strategy and tips through to content production for small businesses.
More than that, though, I’ve set myself up to become an outreach director for independent films.
An outreach director, sometimes known as a PMD (Producer of Marketing and Distribution), is responsible for finding and building an audience for the smaller independent films who don’t have hundreds of thousands or pounds, dollars or euros to drop on a giant ad campaign to get people aware of their films.
Outreach for films is all about finding and connecting with the audience in a genuine, organic way. It’s about helping them understand the thought and themes behind the film and why it came to be in the first place as opposed to simply focused on driving as many people to buy it as possible.
At its best, outreach is about creating movements around films; empowering and leading a tribe of people to really spread the message of the film into the wider world. And that’s what’s in it for me. Connecting, affecting and engaging others is so key to everything I’ve done before as an educator, a filmmaker, a public speaker and transplant recipient that it rings so true to my heart to start helping others do the same.
As I embrace the uncertainty that comes with any new venture, I humbly ask you to check out the TinyButMighty website (click here to go straight to the filmmakers stie, or here for the business side) and, if you care to, to share it with others.
If you know a small business that could use a little help with their online marketing, send them the link.
If you know a filmmaker that could benefit from someone who can spread the word about their film and energise a fan base, give them my number.
If you like what you read on this site, the TinyButMighty site or anywhere else you’ve heard me, share my links on your social networks.
If none of those things applies, that’s fine; you’re a blog reader and I love you for it. I hope you stay and keep reading and I hope I can keep producing the kind of content that you want to read.
And for even more of it, you can always sign up to my mailing list…
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