Hundreds of Ways

How to Land a Gig with LEGO by Sharing Your Work Online w/ Justin Poore, Freelance Animator and Travelogger

July 31, 2020 James Knight & Eliot Raymond Season 1 Episode 5
Hundreds of Ways
How to Land a Gig with LEGO by Sharing Your Work Online w/ Justin Poore, Freelance Animator and Travelogger
Chapters
0:00
Intro
1:47
Living Out of a Suitcase
2:33
Quarantining in Cape Town
5:16
Finding Community on the Road
7:56
A World Gone Remote
11:23
Where Justin's Lived
12:08
Capturing His Journey
13:42
How Justin Funds His Lifestyle
15:45
Being a Freelance Animator
16:45
Publishing and Working With LEGO
19:49
Where Justin Finds His Clients
22:25
Getting Started as a Freelancer
26:40
Supporting a Lifetime of Learning
27:48
Knowing Your Limits
31:22
Bad Bosses v. Bad Clients
33:20
The Grass is Always Greener
34:40
Growing as a Creator and Professional
36:21
Missing the Water Cooler
39:00
Middle School Flipbooks - Life is a Roller Coaster
41:39
Life Can Change Fast
42:20
Resources and Recommendations
44:48
Next Week
Hundreds of Ways
How to Land a Gig with LEGO by Sharing Your Work Online w/ Justin Poore, Freelance Animator and Travelogger
Jul 31, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
James Knight & Eliot Raymond

Earlier this year, people everywhere faced restrictions as lockdowns went into effect around the world. For most of us, we met these challenges from cities we call home. 

Justin Poore isn't like most of us.

Justin's spent the last three years of his life living out of a suitcase, documenting his travels on YouTube, and building a following of over 18K subscribers in the process. Since starting this journey, he's embedded himself in over fifty different cultures, living like a local for a month each time. 

This January, Justin and a handful of his nomad buddies—like-minded folks whose lifestyle similarly revolves around travel—headed to Cape Town with plans to stay for six months. But as COVID-19 grew into a global crisis, everyone decided to head back home and weather out the pandemic from somewhere more familiar.

Everyone except Justin.

On this week's episode, Justin shares what made him decide to stay put in Cape Town (the answer isn't what you'd think) and how his career as a freelance animator has given him the freedom to live a life of adventure for three straight years. 

You'll also learn:

  • How life as a nomad can help you save thousands in taxes each year.
  • Why travel isn't as expensive as it looks.
  • How Justin found his first projects and how he continues to grow his client base.
  • What to do when you're faced with a gig that pushes the limits of your skills.
  • Why it's important to publish your work, no matter what you do.
  • How a project Justin did "just for fun" landed him a major client like LEGO.

You can find out more about Justin on his website, or follow his journey across the globe on YouTube and Instagram.

Episode Notes

As Justin mentioned in the episode, below are some resources for learning about animation and finding inspiration online.

Animation Resources:

Animation Accounts to Follow on Instagram

  • Motion Design School
  • StudioMuti
  • MotionLovers
  • TheDesignTip
  • MotionGraphics_Collective
  • FolioArt

Other People I Like:

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Earlier this year, people everywhere faced restrictions as lockdowns went into effect around the world. For most of us, we met these challenges from cities we call home. 

Justin Poore isn't like most of us.

Justin's spent the last three years of his life living out of a suitcase, documenting his travels on YouTube, and building a following of over 18K subscribers in the process. Since starting this journey, he's embedded himself in over fifty different cultures, living like a local for a month each time. 

This January, Justin and a handful of his nomad buddies—like-minded folks whose lifestyle similarly revolves around travel—headed to Cape Town with plans to stay for six months. But as COVID-19 grew into a global crisis, everyone decided to head back home and weather out the pandemic from somewhere more familiar.

Everyone except Justin.

On this week's episode, Justin shares what made him decide to stay put in Cape Town (the answer isn't what you'd think) and how his career as a freelance animator has given him the freedom to live a life of adventure for three straight years. 

You'll also learn:

  • How life as a nomad can help you save thousands in taxes each year.
  • Why travel isn't as expensive as it looks.
  • How Justin found his first projects and how he continues to grow his client base.
  • What to do when you're faced with a gig that pushes the limits of your skills.
  • Why it's important to publish your work, no matter what you do.
  • How a project Justin did "just for fun" landed him a major client like LEGO.

You can find out more about Justin on his website, or follow his journey across the globe on YouTube and Instagram.

Episode Notes

As Justin mentioned in the episode, below are some resources for learning about animation and finding inspiration online.

Animation Resources:

Animation Accounts to Follow on Instagram

  • Motion Design School
  • StudioMuti
  • MotionLovers
  • TheDesignTip
  • MotionGraphics_Collective
  • FolioArt

Other People I Like:

James Knight :

Welcome to Hundreds of Ways, the podcast that celebrates entrepreneurship and lifestyle independence. This week we're joined by freelance animator Justin Poore, as we chat about his last three years living out of a suitcase and documenting his travels to his over 18,000 subscribers on YouTube. So join us as we explore which of the Hundreds of Ways belongs to Justin.

Eliot Raymond :

Hey, James, good evening. How's it going?

James Knight :

Doing well, how are you doing?

Eliot Raymond :

I'm doing really well. I just arrived in Chicago actually. And we'll be here for a little bit and it's just getting used to the humidity here over la quite a difference what's going on over there?

James Knight :

Here it's 100% humidity every day. So definitely used to this fight. Today we have a very special guest, someone who I have known all the way back since middle school. So I have a little anecdote later on that I'll interject with and try not to embarrass him too much with but today's guest is Justin Poore. Thanks for joining us.

Justin Poore :

Hey guys. Thanks for having me.

Eliot Raymond :

Hey, So Justin, really excited to have you on today. I I don't know you as well as James, but he's given me a little bit of background and I've had the chance to poke around your YouTube channel, you've got quite a following on there as well as on Instagram, and also had a chance to check out your website, and just super impressed with a lot of the work you do. We'll dive into that later. But what stands out to me is, it looks like you literally don't have a home you are quite, quite literally always on the road. And maybe that's a poor way to say it. But from the looks of your Instagram channel. I don't know how you keep up and you must be on a plane 24 seven. Can you tell me just like where you are right now and kind of what you've been doing as the world's been shut down the last couple of months?

Justin Poore :

Yeah, definitely. So it gives some kind of like backstory to the last two, almost three years now. I've been traveling pretty much nonstop and the damn suitcase and right now I'm in Cape Town. South Africa where I've been actually for right now the last holy cow six months, and that's where I've been experiencing the whole lockdown and coronavirus and the pandemic and all that stuff. And it's definitely been it's been quite the experience, you know, being in a foreign country and dealing with what's going on with the world. But yeah, the last three years has been kind of a roller coaster of, of travel and work and trying to make it all feasible. And, yeah, it's been a lot of fun, but also Yeah, definitely challenging at times.

Eliot Raymond :

Justin, your last YouTube video, I checked out had you coming home to an empty house where all of your housemates had fled, and you were stuck there by yourself for the remainder of the quarantine. I believe those back in March. Can you tell me about what went down there?

Justin Poore :

Yeah. So over the last couple of years, I've built up a really great kind of group of travel friends that we all travel together or, you know, a few of us will go a certain place. We'll meet up with a few different ones in different places. And so it's never usually me traveling by myself. In addition to my girlfriend who travels with me, we usually always have a couple friends, we're either meeting in a certain location or living with a certain location. And it just so happened to be the beginning of this year, a bunch of these travel friends decided to go to Cape Town, and we all got a big house together. And as it worked out, I was in a house with, I think six other people, all of which were girls. So it was me, my girlfriend, and then five of our girlfriends, and it was an absolute blast and it was summertime here in Cape Town. And then, like the rest of world, we were kind of blindsided by the pandemic. And when that happened, borders start closing down flights become really hard to come by, you know, people are having to repatriate back to the States or Canada, wherever they're from. And so people kind of made the decision to you know, What, I don't want to stay in Cape Town because things are kind of uncertain. I'm going to go back home. And within a matter of a week, I went from being surrounded by, you know, six, seven people to all of a sudden by myself in this in this big house here, and it was like a 00 to 60 flip of a lifestyle change. So, yeah, it was it was pretty interesting.

James Knight :

So I love your vlog from this time period, because you had a chance to leave too and you chose not to, you chose to stay in South Africa.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, yeah, I know, the long answer is that I benefit tax wise being outside of the US for a majority of the year, I file certain types of taxes called fv. And that basically shields me a lot of from a lot of my federal taxes because I'm not using things like the roads and the infrastructure back home and so they'd give me a break on taxes. And so if I can stay outside the US for most of the year, I get that break, and so there is no incentive for me to go home. Because there was there's no dog or house or car payments or anything that was forcing me to go back home. So I'm like, you know what, let's just stay in Cape Town. Let's ride this out and and see see how it goes. And so that was kind of my mindset.

Eliot Raymond :

Justin to rewind for a second, you said you have this awesome group of global kind of people you travel with, that you got connected with earlier on. And you've been doing that for some time. I, in a similar way have been traveling for the last 18 months or so. But I've met so many people who do it. Solo travel individually. Tell us a little bit about how you got connected with that group of people. I mean, it sounds like such a unique way to experience the world and move from place to place.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, yeah. So originally when I started traveling, I was doing it totally by myself. And before I went into national I just thought you know what, before I go outside of the US, there's a lot of the US I hadn't seen. And so I spent nine months going from coast to coast everywhere from Hawaii to Chicago to Maine and everywhere in between. And through that time I was solo traveling and meeting people through Airbnb ease or, or gyms or whatnot. And then I got word of a company called Remote Year. And their whole stick is that they take you to 12 International cities in 12 months, and they take a put you there for a month in each city. And you go with a group of 30 to 50 other remote workers and travelers as well. And so for a whole year you travel with this 30 to 50 people around the world and you pay remote year and they take care of all the flights, all of the accommodations and I can have all the logistics so that you get to work travel and not have to worry about that. And hopefully that doesn't sound too much like an ad for remote year but I it was amazing. It was an amazing program and it allowed me to meet a bunch of like minded travel people who work for themselves or work remotely and I also want to travel the world. And that kind of got my foot into that world and started me meeting all kinds of different people who live this kind of lifestyle.

James Knight :

One of the great things about, whether it's a nomad lifestyle or just the expat lifestyle is all these sources of connection you can find out Ellie and I actually met each other at Outsite, which is similar.

Justin Poore :

Mm hmm. Yeah.

James Knight :

And so I think that for anybody who's considering this who's listening, Gone are the days where you just kinda have to get on the plane and hope for the best you can without sight when you when you go see somewhere you get added to a whatsapp group, the second that you book and it was so fun having kind of this group chat of even before my plane is landed. Hey, what's everyone doing tonight? There's so much community now both online and local and so many different ways to find it. It's just it's great. So that's, that's cool that Remote Year worked for you.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, I know. 100% and, I mean, a lot of these travels. companies from last year included ever we struggled with the recent state of things, but I think if they're able to bounce back, like they're gonna have such an opportunity, because the world has just realized that you don't need to be in an office to get your job done. And a lot of companies who have had that mentality of oh you punch in at this time punch out at that time, they've had to forcibly go remote. And now they realized and the employees who realized that, you know, what I can work from my living room and why we're from my living room when I can work from, you know, Mexico or, or from Spain, or from Africa. And that, I think, is a huge opportunity for these companies. And I think it's kind of the way the world is going to kind of lean is going remote kind of lifestyle because it's, it's awesome.

Eliot Raymond :

And not only that, but you're able to pull from this global talent pool of finding the best talent especially for more knowledge workers that are able to be anywhere. You know, getting to work with that best talent around the world, but also letting your employees Have the quality of life that they're looking for and live wherever it is that they want. And another thing that somebody said to me recently, as you mentioned the punch in punch out nine to five life, there's so many of these corporate entities that are realizing you know, you don't not everybody across the world needs that nine to five timezone to get their exact job done, they may need a few hours in the morning, and then a couple hours at night, or whatever it may be. But that flexibility is something that's really exciting. And as you said, these companies have a great opportunity to capitalize on. James, we'll make sure to leave some of those in the notes if anyone wants to check them out. I know Wi Fi tribe is one remote year outside, there's a great kind of global network through a lot of these organizations.

James Knight :

And and like Justin said, if this is something you've considered, obviously things are a little weird right now, I have to say two things globally. But as things start to open back up. Like Justin said, these companies have been struggling and they want to get back on their feet and you're more likely to Have an employer that's going to be more amenable to this, especially in the States. I know quite a few offices that even though things probably aren't going to be crazy until January 1 are just basically have said, No, we're not going to have the office up until January 1. We're not going to think about it until January 1. So this is a great time. Not right right now, maybe but but as we're approaching, you know, Europe is coming back online now. Hopefully the state seems to clear up in the next couple of months. We are approaching a perfect perfect storm of remote being enabled and support for it worldwide.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, I mean, absolutely. And I think for a lot of people, my friends include, they think that it's prohibitively expensive to live this kind of lifestyle. And to that, I would say that is a total misnomer. I probably pay less in a monthly rent living here in Cape Town or in Greece or in Bali, Indonesia, than you do back in your knees. York, Chicago la apartment. And I probably spend less on food than most people do. I probably spend a lot less on things and people would think, and, and yet, it's this idea that to travel, you have to be a millionaire, you have to make the big bucks. And that's just not true. And I think that if you want to live this lifestyle, it is so much more accessible than you think.

Eliot Raymond :

So, Justin, I mean, I pull up your Instagram feed, it looks as if you've been everywhere over the last three years. Can you just give us a quick rundown and you know, 1530 seconds or less, where some of those places have been that your travels have taken you?

Justin Poore :

Yeah. So over the last three years, I've, I think I've visited probably close to 50 countries and that span the entire globe that's everywhere from Australia to Japan, Indonesia, India. I'm in South Africa, Morocco, Spain, Italy. And then also places like Canada and Mexico. and South America. So I've really hit almost every continent and see kind of a wide range of different places.

James Knight :

And Justin doesn't just visit these places for listeners who are not familiar with his work, both his Instagram and his YouTube channel, Justin puts out just incredible content about these places. He's an incredible videographer, especially some of the drone work you do is just visually mind blowing you really capture. Yeah, you visited Valencia when we lived there a couple years ago, and I love your Valencia video, you capture the Ciutat de Arts i Ciències so perfectly with the drone, and you capture the streets and all that and so, you know, it's not just that Justin's traveling and hitting these places and experiencing them. He's also documenting and sharing all of that with you on his YouTube channel. So definitely check that out.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, and I think this is something that kind of my my friends and family back home, they don't always get him. I'm not going to these places to be tourists. I'm there to live. work and a lot of places that I go, I spend at least a month or a couple of months. And like I said earlier right now, I'm spending six months here in Cape Town. And so while it does look exciting, and I get to hang out next to the waterfalls and go diving with manta rays, and like all this stuff is really cool and awesome. And a cool side effect of traveling. These places I go to I'm working and everyday is just the same grind that you would have at your normal job. But I'm just happening to do it not from my traditional home. I'm doing it from somewhere abroad. And so yeah, when I go somewhere, it's not just to, to be a tourist is to is to live and really experience the place like a local.

Eliot Raymond :

So that's a perfect segue to talk about how that's possible. I mean, I see so many people doing what you're doing and to somebody who's never done it, it can look almost unattainable and they wonder how is that funded? How do you make that happen? Why don't you tell us a little bit about how you found that lifestyle and what you do for a living? What you are doing while you're working in these different places.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, absolutely. So I get, whether it's diems on Instagram or comments on YouTubes or people emailing me through my website, they asked me, you know, how can I do this. And my biggest advice, I always tell them first off is that don't go broke, trying to live the travel lifestyle, don't go broke, because you want to have a cool Instagram. And you have to make it sustainable. Because you may be able to travel for six months off of what savings you have, by the end of that month, those six months you're gonna be broke and you're not gonna have a job and you're gonna be back to square one. And so if you want to make this sustainable, you really need to find a way to have a job that pays you while you travel and pays you from anywhere. And that can be a traditional employer because as you talked about, a lot of those jobs are going more, more online and more work from home. Or you know, if you have a business of your own, where you work for yourself your freelancer. Find a way To to fund your travel lifestyle, but not in a way that's unsustainable.

James Knight :

And this ties into something that we talk about a lot on this podcast, which is the the fun and excitement of entrepreneurship and of these lifestyles that entrepreneurship enables. It's great and it's, it's what makes this interesting and fun. But figuring out the fundamentals is key. And so you know, whether you want to stay in one place and just build a business or travel and support yourself while you do so, it's super crucial that you figure out the business part you figure out, like Justin said, either either you have that full time job that's gonna allow you this lifestyle, or you nail the the fundamentals of freelancing, of building your own business, and then you figure out how you can continue that as you travel.

Eliot Raymond :

Justin, that all sounds really incredible. Can you recap a little bit, just rewind to tell us a little bit about the type of projects that you're working on day to day and some of the clients that you work with what that looks like.

Justin Poore :

I do video animation That's my kind of my primary gig. Then I also do some video editing. And then on the side, I do things like the vlog, which doesn't really make me any money. But my bread and butter for clients is a lot of video and animation work. And so my day to day is spent a lot of times just for fun in front of my computer, animating stuff, designing stuff, working on script and copywriting, and editing videos, and spending a large chunk of my day, right in front of my computer doing that. And I've worked with clients that are small startups, all the way up to two big corporate clients like Volkswagen, and Johnson and Johnson, and Lego, and everything in between.

James Knight :

So the Lego project I think you and I spoke about that last time. We talked on the phone a couple months ago, but can you share a little bit about that story of how the Lego project came to be?

Justin Poore :

This is something that I'm sure we'll kind of dive deeper into, but I made a Lego video just for fun. When I was trying to starting to learn some animation techniques and learning a little bit about 3d animation, and just as like a fun personal project, I decided to you know what, I want to make a parody Lego video. I think at the time, one of the Lego movies had just come out. And so I was kind of geeking out obsessing about it. And that was great. And it got a few views. But fast forward to three years later, which is I think, a few months ago, I had someone from Lego actually reach out to me and say, Hey, I google search, 3d Lego animation. And you were one of the first people that popped up. Do you want to work on some animation for a theme park that we're opening up this summer? And so I was like, obviously, how Yes, like, that sounds amazing. And it was this weird validation of me working on personal side stuff. Because I liked it. I was passionate about it and it leading to an actual job with a company that is a huge name brand. And that was really it was surprising but also really validating. And it's been an incredible project to work on.

James Knight :

And this is why it's so crucial to share your work to publish whatever you're working on, even if it's something that you're doing just for fun. You know, if you're learning to code learning to edit video learning to write, really get in the habit of putting work out there because you never know what project is going to be the one that catches a potential clients attention down the road.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, I think that people oftentimes get into this, like they are self conscious, or they think, well, no one's gonna see this or what's the point, you know, and to me, like, there's been so many times where I have worked on a side project or a personal thing. And I've just put it out there just for fun and not knowing where it's going to lead you know, maybe it leads to nothing, but more often than not, it leads to Something whether that's even just someone saying, Hey, that looks amazing, or it gets attention of a client, and they end up really liking it. And there's been so many times where I've done that, and I've thanked past 70 past Justin, like, thank goodness, I put that out there because it paid dividends and I didn't, when I put it out there, I didn't know when it was gonna pay dividends or, or if it was, but if I never done that, I wouldn't be working for Lego, I wouldn't wouldn't be working for some of these other companies who happened to stumble upon something that I did.

Eliot Raymond :

Not to mention all the clients that then come from referrals that you may get from that client and all the other further projects that may come from that testimonial you get from them or whatever it may be. But I think that's the perfect segue to talk about how you do get your clients is it all referral based? Is it What's your main kind of way that you reach out to get new work?

Justin Poore :

So for me, I feel like I've been super fortunate in that I got in with this referral network. fairly early on, and doing animation and design work, and they've been really good to me. And, and they've sent me a lot of work. But I've also over time built up a portfolio of work that now feeds me and feeds new clients and is out there. And if someone types in, you know, corporate animation, one of my videos might pop up. And so going back to like putting your stuff out there. I have enough stuff out there over the years that it's really been able to, yeah, bring work to me and have people find me from all corners of the interwebs. And I've been really fortunate in that but it took a lot of work to build up that portfolio. And when I was starting out, I was just doing a lot of tutorials and for fun projects and posting it to my Vimeo account to post it to my YouTube and like, just just to post it and and that allowed me to build up that portfolio and that repertory of work, but then someone could look at it and say, This guy kinda knows what he's doing let's let's hire him or I can pitch to a client Say, Hey, here's kind of what I can do. And that has been super important to have

Eliot Raymond :

some of the most talented freelancers. I know similar to you have this incredible body of work, but they even at the highest of their accomplishments, at the height of their career, are unable to get consistent work. What are some of the challenges you're faced with? For example, Coronavirus, happening has that slowed work down at all? Have there been other kind of roadblocks along your career as you've been building that portfolio to finding consistent work doing what you do?

Justin Poore :

Um, so, again, I think I've been really fortunate in the fact that I've never really had to struggle too much in finding and fishing for my food. I mean, there have been months where, yeah, it's been a little bit of famine and there's other months where it's it's feast and you got too much work to handle. And in those moments, like, you kind of have to realize that it's always a roller coaster. as a freelancer, you're always gonna have months where it's like, Whoa, I got so much work. I can't even take it all on and there's other months where it's like, boy, on the Got one client this month. And that's the nature of the beast. And part of that is being able to plan and being able to, you know, get your finances in order or get your budgeting in order and may be able to make that work. And the other part of it is just being confident that you know what, like, work work if I'm doing well, good work, clients will, will come. And yeah, and you have to know that it is a little bit of a roller coaster.

James Knight :

So let's go back to earlier on that roller coaster ride, maybe back to a time when you weren't so confident when maybe there's a little bit more famine than feast? How did you get started doing video?

Justin Poore :

The short answer is: faked it till I made it. And when I was leaving a marketing agency and decided you know what, like, I'm gonna kind of go out on my own. And to be honest, I didn't even decide I wanted to go on my own. I was deciding when I left this one marketing agency that I was going to go find a job in another marketing agency. While I was looking for that next job, I had some past clients come up to me and say, Hey, can you help us out with X, Y and Z? And at first it was little build a little website here. Do a little bit of social media marketing there. And then one day someone was like, Hey, we had this event. Can you shoot some video for it? And in my mind, I was like, You know what, I have a GoPro I've made some like travel montage videos back in college like sure why you know why not? And totally just faked it till I made it. And that kind of got the the snowball rolling. And it started out very small time, you know, hundred bucks here to do time lapse 100 bucks here to shoot a real estate video and that kind of got my, yeah, got that ball rolling and my foot in the door. And from there, it's just been continually having that imposter syndrome. I was thinking, can I do this? And me being like, you know what? Sure, why not? If anything you don't know. I can Google it and learn it and having that kind of mentality of Like, putting myself out there enough to where I'm not over my head, I'm not in deep water where I can't swim. But I'm just at the limit of my, my abilities and what I don't know, I'm confident I can learn. And I think that's super important in the freelance world is pushing yourself to that limit. Because if you're going to stay in the safe, the safe zone, you're not going to grow, you're not going to get the cool projects, you're not gonna get the stuff that really pushes you to that next level. And I think I've done a really good job of that of forcing myself outside that comfort zone and taking on the projects that I know I can figure it out. But I know it's also going to be a challenge.

James Knight :

And that's something I want to really dial in for anyone who's listening. That is thinking of doing something similar, whether that's video or anything else. There's a couple of things Justin said that I think are super key to that beginning entrepreneurial journey and the first one is that those first clients came from people who knew that those existing connections got leveraged and and that you Again, he wasn't even Justin wasn't even looking for freelance work, but he was able to leverage these existing relationships. The other one is what you said, fake it till you make it. I have a personal entrepreneurial motto that is saying yes. And figure out how later Yeah. And so for anyone listening to those two things that Justin just touched on, those are so so key, like maybe more than anything else in entrepreneurship. So key to start out.

Justin Poore :

Yeah. And I think there is this fine line balance. It's like, if someone was to ask me, Hey, can you fly a rocket ship to the moon? No, I'm not gonna say yes to that. But if someone says, Hey, can you create this really, really fancy 3d animation? And it needs this, this and this, I might look at that and be like, why don't I do two of those things? But there's five other things that need on that list. Do I think I can learn those other three things? And if the answer is yes, then yeah, you take that project, you say, yes, you fake it till you make it and you do that. And so it's like that balance. It's like don't take on something that you know, you're gonna fail at, but if that is within your reach, and you just gonna have to push a little bit for it. I'll take it over now take that every day.

Eliot Raymond :

And then the next time you go to do it, you'll already have the skill exactly to take on clients asking for that same thing

Justin Poore :

Exactly. And that's how you see yourself constantly progress, even if it's just little progressions. Over time, you'll see your work increase, you'll see the amount you can get paid for things increase, and you'll be able to keep up with the constant, constant pace of whatever industry you're in. Because everyone, someone's improving in your industry every single day, and you want to be one of those people. And you don't want to be someone who gets stuck doing a certain thing. Now all of a sudden, a few years goes by and some of these young kids in college or someone else who's worked a little harder is getting the jobs that you want.

James Knight :

And one of the great things about being a freelancer through all this or an entrepreneur in general, is that you're learning on the job. You're learning for the job. And so if you see a project that stretches your abilities and you take it on and you learn those abilities, you get paid for it. So you can have this little lifelong career of learning, while also just you know, your career is driving that learning. I was on the call with a potential client the other day. And they kept asking, oh, by the way, we use this on the on the server. Do you have experience with this one technology? And it was so crazy, because I don't remember the last time that I said, Oh, no, I've never heard of that. Now, it's always Yeah, I did that three projects that go with this one client. Oh, that technology. Yeah, we use that to projects go with this other client. If I hadn't, if I wasn't an entrepreneur, I'd be probably sitting at a company using the same technology year in year out. And then when I want to go switch when I go to go make a change to another company, and the tide has shifted. Maybe one technology is phased out and other ones more popular. I'm screwed.

Justin Poore :

Mm hmm. Yeah.

Eliot Raymond :

So I just want to play devil's advocate for a second because that's what I do. There are so many amazing experiences that I've had as a freelancer, as an entrepreneur who where clients come to me and ask for something I've either outsource it if I don't know how to do it or figured out how to do it myself. But there have also been plenty of times I've failed. And to be honest, those are the most kind of beneficial things for me, because in the moment, it's terrible. It's scary. You don't know what's coming next, but you look back on it. And there's so much to be learned from those experiences. Are you able to share kind of like a time that that's happened or any sort of challenge that you've run into that has led to failure has led to an outcome you weren't expecting and you had to deal with, but you ended up learning from?

Justin Poore :

I haven't failed too much in terms of like, over promising under delivering, but I do get it here. Yeah. And I think maybe I'm playing with maybe I'm breaking my own rule. I'm playing within my boundaries, you know too much on things. But before I started freelancing, and and doing what I'm doing now, I work for a guy who could sell anything, and I helped him run his marketing firm and his problem was he could sell Anything, but he can never deliver on anything. And so what I became, was a master at telling clients why things were not done on time, or done the way they wanted it to be done. And that was a super valuable lesson because it allowed me to realize, you know, I never want to be the person that can over sell anything but then under delivers every time or does things in a certain way, that isn't what I would consider right? And whether that's not paying people enough or not giving them good enough deadline. And it said, it really taught me a lot of lessons that have set me up so they haven't failed a lot or under under delivered a lot because I know what my limits are. I know what a good timeline is. I know what a good budget is, and I'm not going to screw you know that my client because I did a bad job. And having that several years of working for this guy. It really taught me that lesson. You know, if you want to succeed, you have to treat your clients Good, you got to deliver on a product that you can stand by it. Because if you can't do those things, people are going to hire you, people aren't going to look at your body of work and think it's, it's up to par. And if you're going to be a freelancer, it goes back to being sustainable, you need to have a sustainable business model. And a lot of that comes down to treating people well and doing good work.

Eliot Raymond :

And as you mentioned earlier, so much of your work now comes from client relationships. So maintaining that as one of the kind of most important parts of your entire business is crucial if you want the work to continue coming back in time and time again.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there's there's clients that I love working with, because they're awesome, and they understand how I work and they are always good about, you know, deadlines, and they're good about pricing and making things fun. And I love to work with those clients. And there's been clients that have come to me and said, Hey, this is what I'm looking for, and just by the tone of their email, and what they're saying Wanting in the timeline that they wanted him, I know what kind of client they're going to be. And I'll say no, I'll say, you know what, I'm too busy or I can refer you to somebody else because I know that person is going to be a nightmare to work with. And the last thing you want to do as a freelancer, on any any company, for that matter is be the person that people don't want to work with. Because it comes back around, eventually,

James Knight :

Something that people are familiar with, regardless of career, is bad bosses,

Justin Poore :

Oh, hundred percent.

James Knight :

Something that I think that people who haven't done, the entrepreneur or the freelancer thing is that you can have bad clients. You can have people that come to you to buy your services that are even sometimes worse than bad bosses. We've had potential clients come to us with projects like you said, the deadlines are out of whack. The pricing makes no sense. Then you get the contract and the terms are just you know, like basically, at any point in the contract if they want, they can not pay you and they get all your work and you know, stuff Like that And, and that's something that I think takes a while to your you're going to at some point get get a bad client with a bad contract or something like that. It takes time to learn what those red flags look like, especially when you're, when you're hungry at the beginning, you're really, really eager to get started, you're really really eager to find a project and you might take on something that that is going to be a bad relationship. So learning how to identify those red flags is a huge deal.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, and I think also, you're gonna have to have some bad clients, and especially starting out, and if it's a month where it's maybe a little more famine, and then

James Knight :

yeah, you can do whatever you gotta do to make ends meet. But if you have the luxury of being able to choose clients, like that's a great position to be and that's what you want to be in and you want to work with great people and work on cool projects. And that's the goal, but don't think that that's always going to be the case and sometimes you just got to do what you got to do to make ends meet. You're five years into this I so have months, occasionally not not nearly as often as I did when I was first starting, but I have months where I go, Hmm, I might have to drop my rates for just this one project I might have to take on this project for the terms look a little iffy, but hey, we've got bills, we've got people that work for us that kind of stuff. I might have to make that shift. Mm hmm. Absolutely. So just an on that theme of always challenging yourself always pushing your limits. What's next for you?

Justin Poore :

So for me, I think as much as I love the travel lifestyle, I'm getting to an age where I'm starting to realize that I am not. I'm not looking for the next like travel adventure as much as I was in the past. I'm now looking more towards who I would love to decorate a house or who I can't wait to get this new car or a dog or like, you know, very homebody type of desires and which is totally different from the last three years and I think travel will definitely play a role. play a role in my life forever. But the near future I think looks more, find a place that I love, whether that's a cape town or that's back home or that's Vancouver, Canada with my my girlfriend's fun, and start to settle down a little bit and take on that next adventure because I think that is actually really exciting. And it's different and, and allows me to build towards something like a home like go back to versus living out of a suitcase and a closet, my own clothes and it's a it's a weird fantasy to have considering the last three years of my life. But I think that is the next big adventure for me besides work stuff,

Eliot Raymond :

so that really gives a breakdown of where you're going next in terms of your personal life. But in terms of your career, it seems like you are always growing, developing learning. What is the next phase for your career? Is it something that you want to keep is do you want to be a freelancer for the next 10 years? Are you looking to grow your own agency Are you Looking to bring on employees, what what would be the next step for you in terms of a career path.

Justin Poore :

So I think professionally, I'm constantly striving to just be a little bit better than my last video. And, and I think in the future that I say, the next year, a couple of years, I really want to work with a cool collection of really talented video makers and marketers and business people. Because a lot of times in the past, I've worked with some really cool companies, you know, really big name companies, but it's usually on my own. And it's usually by myself working on my computer with not a huge feedback loop other than the client giving me feedback. And I would love to work with more creatives and people who can give me feedback as my client. Someone who is in my industry knows the lingo knows what I'm doing and say like, Hey, how about this or, hey, let's think about this and getting that creative energy from other people and working with you. I just was cool. videos on projects, whether it's video stuff, whether it's experiential stuff and, and expand my, my network in that way because as great as it is to be a freelancer and work for yourself, sometimes it can be a little bit isolating. And it's always great to work with people who are like minded or in your industry and feed off each other.

Eliot Raymond :

And I think that's a great note of something that I've run into personally is missing that office vibe. So many people laughed at me when I say, you know, I missed the watercooler talks or even being in a creative brief session and going through bouncing creative ideas around on a team. It's very different when you're working as a freelancer because your direct dialogues with the client and you're working more solo so totally hear you there and excited to see where you go from here. I think moving forward, I'd love to talk a little bit about some of the advice you have for listeners of if they're interested in doing what you're doing and moving into Not only the lifestyle portion, but working in video or post production or motion design, what is what are some resources that you'd recommend? or What was your path to getting started on animating like you do?

Justin Poore :

So, Elliot, before we were talking, we discussed that we both kind of have opposite paths. And it sounds like you got a degree in what I do now and film and video. And then you went the business route. Well, I went the opposite I, I got a degree in business management. And then from there, I ended up in animation and video and all the stuff that I know how to do. Now I've self taught myself and if you are looking to get into video production, or animation or motion graphics design, a lot of those resources can be found online and everything I learned, I youtubed it I went through tutorials and I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours geeking out about video stuff online. And that's the amazing thing about the internet. It's all there for you to take advantage of. And there's tons of things like whether it's Skillshare or lynda.com, or masterclass, you know, all of these different online resources are available. And it's a great time to be someone who wants to self teach himself this kind of stuff. And I would, I would say, if you want to get into doing similar stuff to what I'm doing, and that's a great place to start, you know, don't spend hundreds of thousands of dollars getting yourself into debt. If a lot of those resources can be found online.

Eliot Raymond :

I think that's a really great way to try out the field before you completely transition into a new career and leave your job. So

Justin Poore :

yeah, I think that there is a huge value. I love college and there's a huge value of going to college because it helps you build relationships helps you build some network ethic. But if you're someone that maybe doesn't want to go that route, that's the world we live in now is really friendly to an alternative method. And so I'm a huge fan of self teaching and self learning.

James Knight :

Going back to what Elliot was saying about trying out the things that you like, and in a more professional context. I've known Justin again. Well now for like 500 years because we're aging as Justin mentioned, but go so old man. going way back to middle school. One of the things I remember about Justin in middle school is Oh, gosh, here we go. He, he would always be working on these flip books. Yes. And he had the stick figure animations and they they would fight and they would drop in and out of a scene, they'd open up a portal and they'd fall through the ground and they'd come back to the ceiling on the others on the other half of the page and they fly off and they explode and we zoom in on their head and and this was all pencil by hand with these, you know, I think Did you did you make this flipbooks yourself?

Justin Poore :

Okay, so this is great. This is Yeah, this is a great, this is a great piece, I'll try keep this short. So when you look back at your life, and I actually got this from Adam Savage who was one of the hosts of Mythbusters. He says that when you look back at your life, it always looks like a straight line, it looks like Oh, of course you did this thing because it guys do this thing. And then of course, you do that then because you got to do this thing. But when you're in it, it looks like a roller coaster that has no clear path forward. But that's what my life looks like. Now looking back at those flipbooks It looks like a straight line. Of course, I was making animated foot books because look what I'm doing now. But at the time, I didn't know making flip books was gonna lead to anything. And it it kind of goes back to that point of like, you know what, put time into your side projects, put time into your passion projects, put your work out there, because at the time, you don't know where that's gonna go. But if you don't put it out there, it's not gonna go anywhere. And the flip books are a great example of that because I was making those and in on physical paper, and then I also started doing that around the same time with like the very first version of flash Adobe Flash. started making these like little movies of the stick figures fighting or punching shooting rockets to each other. And I wish I had those. But it's a great life lesson that yeah, it's like put time into your passions because you don't know what's gonna lead to. I love that story. I'm so glad you brought that up.

James Knight :

Yeah, I think they were so fun. I can actually like see them in my head a little bit if I think real hard about him. But it's so it's so crucial to to spend time on your hobbies and to explore things that that you want to explore. You never know what like Justin said, you, you when you look back, things look like the straight line, but you never know what what little thing that you try today might end up being your career. 10 510 15 years from now.

Justin Poore :

Yeah, and I think another kind of going back to Elliot, your piece of advice. I think that you can change your life so, so quickly and and people oftentimes get into these jobs where they think you know what, this is the rest of my life. That's the next 40 years of my life. I get a pension and I have to grind And at the end of it all, I get to be a retired person that has to travel now. And that that's a really sad outlook because people don't realize that you can change your life in six months, you can change your life in a year in two years, like so much changes. And and you don't have to be stuck in whatever job you're in. Now you can, you can flip balance head and decide to be a furniture maker, you know, tomorrow, if you want to, or a restaurant here, or any number of jobs, but you have to start putting in the work you have to kind of start chipping away at it and put your work out there and put some time into it because it does take time, but probably not as much as you think it does.

Eliot Raymond :

So as we've mentioned, with the internet and the invention of so many different ways of communication, there are a million ways to go about learning becoming a video editor, getting into the field that you're in, what are some of the resources you'd recommend to our listeners to whether those are books, individuals, shows, courses, whatever they might be? For people who are interested in learning more,

Justin Poore :

I follow a number of accounts on social media and I'll give you guys a list so you can link down to them in the show notes. If you guys want if the listeners want some like visual eye candy in terms of social media, people that I think have really good like design taste, and they give out some tutorials and stuff. But some of that I follow that I really respect that actually worked with steams Johnny Harris, and he is his wife is Harris and Johnny he works for Vox and does a series called borders. And if you're looking for kind of like a masterclass in good storytelling, paired with incredible visuals and like really cool maps and like animation and stuff like he is someone that I get lots of inspiration from and probably copy, copy a lot of his style in terms of the stuff I do on YouTube. So that's someone who I think if you if you want a good piece of inspiration, Johnny Harris His wife is here, sir. A great craters. Awesome.

James Knight :

Well, as Justin said, we'll link down to the Harris's and a couple other resources that Justin shared with us down in the liner notes. For anybody who wants to learn more about Justin's work maybe see his portfolio you can visit him at justinpoore.com with two O's and and an E will link that again in the link of the liner notes down below. And also make sure you check out his his YouTube channel and his Instagram. Justin is a phenomenal producer of videos on YouTube and he is a just absolutely fantastic photographer. So as he mentioned before, if you're interested in adding some eye candy to your life, check out his YouTube channel, check out his Instagram. Justin. I think that that's all we've got for today. Thank you so much for joining us.

Eliot Raymond :

Great getting to chat and thanks so much for your time today. I really enjoyed getting to talk. Yeah, you guys.

Justin Poore :

Thanks so much.

James Knight :

See you Justin. On next week's episode, we'll be talking to another longtime friend of mine, Tim Chow, as he shares his journey from working sales at companies like Yelp and Zenefits to launching his video and photography studio Wilco Productions. Until then, stay safe as you walk whichever of the Hundreds of Ways belongs to you

Intro
Living Out of a Suitcase
Quarantining in Cape Town
Finding Community on the Road
A World Gone Remote
Where Justin's Lived
Capturing His Journey
How Justin Funds His Lifestyle
Being a Freelance Animator
Publishing and Working With LEGO
Where Justin Finds His Clients
Getting Started as a Freelancer
Supporting a Lifetime of Learning
Knowing Your Limits
Bad Bosses v. Bad Clients
The Grass is Always Greener
Growing as a Creator and Professional
Missing the Water Cooler
Middle School Flipbooks - Life is a Roller Coaster
Life Can Change Fast
Resources and Recommendations
Next Week