Brian asks himself "Where do we go from here?"

Our Patreon page promises that this blog will feature “the gritty reality,” the “latest and realest scoop there is.” So it’s Real Talk Time.

(And I should pause here to say that I have nothing but gratitude for all we’ve been given over the years” so much support, so many opportunities, and so much luck. So if I sound ungrateful, it’s because I have a passion for honoring those investments and really making good)

I have so many ideas about how Friend Dog Studios could be expanded that it's kind of maddening. We've got a nice portfolio of work, a growing followership and patron base, plus some baller network contacts in entertainment, social media, production, etc. But I don't have the experience in business to form a plan for growth or to figure out if that plan would work. I’m working three jobs, writing two musicals, looking for an agent, going to auditions, and living in an apartment that is almost literally falling apart around me. It’s hard to find the space to really work through those things. The space to write a blog about them? Sure. But the actual work? Sounds hard :/

On the content side, we’ve got ideas coming out our ears. But the finances and the staffing are beyond our expertise. It's all well and good to dream about the things we want to make, but we know so many people who have started creative enterprises without thinking about the financial viability, and neither of us want to pour years of our life into something just to learn “the hard way.” So the idea of quitting it all, maybe getting a startup loan, and going at this thing whole-hog seems romantic, but foolhardy.

So take it step by step, right? Don’t try to manifest the whole vision all at once: set up a 5-year plan; start small to prove the concept; re-evaluate along the way. But even that is difficult given that the core of the plan as it exists now is creative-driven, not market-driven. I have too many things to say and too much love for the craft to ever keep my focus squarely on the bottom line. I’d like to believe “if you build it, they will come,” but… you know… what if Ray just liked baseball and was prone to wishful thinking? It’s field of dreams, not yield of dreams.

But throw away the doubts! If by force of will I could switch gears from creative pursuits to the day-to-day operation a content company and then ALSO magically become a kick-ass businessperson, would I have lost the forest for the trees? Would I find myself so market-driven and focused on administration that I wasn’t making what I wanted to make, or living how I wanted to live?

Boy, I wish some kind of amazing business partner would appear from under my desk and spirit us away to a land of long-term financial viability (I know, that’s immature, unrealistic and honestly have I mentioned I’m a white man?)

But that’s what I dream of: a profitable entity that allows us to subsidize short-term creative goals, hire talent we believe in and produce world-changing works of art, opinion, activism and entertainment.

So that's what's floating around in my head this evening: a lot of hopes and dreams. Any advice?

-Brian