I get asked that question a lot by people as they find it fascinating that I am self-employed working in creative industries. I am a Filmmaker, I run a multi-service Events company called Infiniti Promotions and I am a Writer (Poet, Author, Screenwriter). Therefore, any day is based on the project at that time. If I am putting on a promotion event which is most likely to be my Infiniti Reels Film Club or Poetic Justice Showcase, then I will most likely be venue scouting, contract writing, budget writing, holding auditions for acts, going through film submissions, holding a team meeting, video or photo editing, promoting at events or on the streets, booking and hiring freelancer’s.
What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?
When starting Infiniti Promotions, I was a university student living in my own apartment, who really wanted to make quick money on the side to live better than I was while benefiting socially and professionally from it. For me the most appealing option was to become an Event/Club Promoter and get cash in hand. I tried to work directly with Night Clubs and independent Promoter’s to be a part of their team for just some part-time work and the experience but that wasn’t working out. It’s a very closed crowd where many Promoter’s do not want to share the attention, credibility or money for that matter.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
Nothing can top the feeling of your first sold out product or event which I have experienced. When I launched my poetry & music event series Poetic Justice, not only did it sell out on the first night but it was what I continue to describe as a “night of perfection.” I had wanted to organise and host my own poetry event long before I knew I wanted to become a Promoter. I was always a Poet. I have been writing poetry since I was 7 years old. I have been performing since my early teens but kept that to myself. Till this day I only like to perform to strangers but doing this event gave me the nerve to invite my friends (I still prefer not to perform infront of family). I killed it! So to speak, my great line-up of underground Poets and Musicians killed it, the vibe was perfect, my friends and new contacts were telling me how proud they were of me. It also meant a lot because I did not have my team to help me for that event, I had to organise everything by myself and prove to them that my vision still had value regardless of previous losses. The whole experience gave me more confidence as a Performer, Host and Event Organiser.
I was exceptionally proud of myself when I made a commercial for Emporio Armani back in 2008. That was actually an international competition set by the fashion brand for independent filmmakers to compete at the chance of having their ad broadcasted on television and winning €8-10k. I was a media student at the time working on several other freelance projects as well as my coursework. I had no budget what so ever to make my ad but I made it work with my determination, ideas and gift of the gab so that one always makes me feel good about myself and my portfolio.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Raising funds for such an expensive industry and I mean that in regard to both film and promotion events. In the early days I really impressed myself and audiences who did not know better, with making a micro budget look lavish. Time Management is problematic to say the least when you do what I do. Another challenge that would probably always provoke me is finding creative people who are both talented and professional. Ego’s come before professionalism in the world of creative minds far too often.
What are your future plans for the business?
I am expanding the retail sector of Infiniti Promotions. The promotion events will continue although in a different direction than before so all changes are currently in development. Publishing in general is my current way forward for business in all aspects of what I do and this will include my books and greeting cards. I am all about synergy and developing my brand. A poetry book from me has been high in demand for a while now and I am happy to say that I am finally self-publishing my debut collection of poems, while starting an online crowdfunding campaign. More details can be found on my poetry blog LK Knows Her Writes.
Plenty of things. I would start my business at a later date. I’d still freelance early but would post-pone starting Infiniti Promotions because I did allow its full-time demands to consume my life, affect my school work and jeopardise parts of my film career when that should have been my only focus at that age. I do wish that I enjoyed my youth more and was not so set on chasing paper and trying to prove myself to family, friends or professional peers. I think only people who have a tremendous amount of financial struggles or the few young people who live on their own would understand that kind of pressure.
What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?
That you are good at what you do. Having regular customers is also a silent compliment within itself that speaks volumes.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
I take the empowerment of women very seriously. Most self-esteem issues start at a young age and most of us have had experiences of being told things like “You can’t…” or “A young woman should….” Females of any age are constantly being put down and it’s disgusting, we must fight against that everyday to change this mind-set and break this barrier. Regardless of what country or culture that they are from that tells them otherwise. I also think that it is more important to inspire young women today than 10 years ago because evidently we have relapsed. What was once a progressive movement with significant change has significantly back-tracked in recent years, this is even in regard to the Western World. So much so that last year new quotas were introduced in the UK to make sure that a woman is to be a part of the board of a company that is of a particular size.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Self-confidence and research is key. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes just be willing to learn from them. In fact, I have a poem called ‘Lead the Way’ that gives plenty good advice on this, furthermore one of my up and coming books goes into this much deeper. Look out for it on my blog. Convenience is expensive so be prepared to make some great sacrifices to get what you want. Film and events are incredibly time consuming and often go into late night hours and weekends so be aware that it will effect and overlap into your social life. It’s all about balance.
It’s very seldom that I have one answer for questions such as these so I’ll put it like this; my biggest inspirations in business are Donald Trump, Hugh Hefner, Kimora Lee Simmons, Russell Simmons, Diddy, Richard Branson, Tyler Perry and of course Oprah Winfrey. This is obviously a diverse, distinct group of people but what they all have in common is that they are innovators who have put themselves above everyone else in their field because they knew or came to know how to develop their brand, branch out into ‘the unknown,’ knock down barriers, sustain longevity and become a profitable, relevant, mogul force to be reckoned with.
What are your favourite inspirational quotes?
It’s not the load it’s how you carry it.
Tough times don’t last, tough people do.