Balance. I often wonder whether this is a real word or a word designed to make me feel dissatisfied with whatever situation I am in. As a business owner and creative, I find myself constantly chasing this so called state of being. What is balance and how do I get there?
For me, balance is the ability to survive financially, yet still be able to do what I enjoy doing, and find time for myself. You may think, well if you are making movies you are doing exactly what you enjoy doing. There is a big truth to this, however, I find that I am constantly torn between making things that can be commercially and economically viable versus making things that I simply want to make, just because I feel strongly about telling a particular story.
For example, I enjoy filming weddings and commercials. I really do. I find that I can discover creativity and learn from every project I pursue. However, my ultimate goal is to be a feature narrative director. So without constantly practicing how to film narrative films, I am in a way not getting closer to my ultimate career goal. Yet, I need these other projects to survive as a company.
At first, the answer to this problem seemed to be to work as much as humanly possible. I found myself locked away in my office for 90% of my time, editing away. It got to the point that my roommate at that time, would knock on my door just to see if I was still alive and wanted to consider eating. Though progress was rapid, I would reach a point where I physically and emotionally could not continue working. The problem is that this block would not simply last a few days, but could draw out for weeks. I would show up to work and my brain would simply feel devoid of any brain activity. The more I tried to work, the more frustrated I would make myself.
This is where prioritizing and building a good team really helped me to get closer to balance. Learning to trust people and finding people who want to execute and be part of the vision, allowed me to delegate the work and open up time for things I wanted to make a priority – such as filming sketches, hanging out with friends, and more. Though it still terrifies me at times that I am not doing the most that I can be doing, I realize that these breaks allow me to continue working at a consistent pace. Most importantly, it allows me to actually have new experiences. Any artist knows that new experiences lead to bigger and better ideas and stories.
Have I found balance yet? I know I am still chasing it. My entrepreneur side is still not satisfied with the business of Moth to Flame. It continues to want more time to work on business strategy and other aspects to enable the company to grow financially. My creative side still demands more time for writing, developing ideas, and becoming a better filmmaker. I guess the final factor is just experience. The more I work and recognize this problem and continue to make changes to improve it, the better I will get closer to finding balance. Knowing that I am getting closer to where I want to go and that I am one of the few who gets to do what they love to do definitely helps. So, I leave you with a quote I recently discovered that I truly believe in: