First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jared Brick: Thanks for asking we’re doing well now directly regarding COVID. We’d all like more freedom and normalcy back, and my two young sons would like to go back to into their school with more friends, but all school learning is online. Recently, we had an emergency fire evacuation in Northern California and that we found quite scarier to deal with than COVID-19. We are healthy, strong, and resilient. We will make it through this time.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Brick House Media
Jared Brick: I started my company, Brick House Media Co in 2013, with just one client who needed a mixture of media-related marketing such as a new website, content videos, and engaging social media to increase digital marketing efforts. Since then, we have supported hundreds of people over the years through our work, supporting and developing bold thought leaders via multimedia digital marketing and video. My MBA in Sustainable Business allowed me to ignite my skills and passions for business strategy, marketing and entrepreneurship.
How does Brick House Media innovate?
Jared Brick: As a speciality custom multimedia marketing company, we’ve become a one-stop-shop for professionals and experts evolving into an industry niche market area or growing in an area. We always offer our bold media strategy, website development, personal or business branding, content creation and then syndication, as well as, photo and video production all in-house. In late 2017, we scaled out with our online thought leadership development course aptly named, Break on Through. Since then, we have had all our clients run through the 6-week online course to deeply understand and educate them on our process, philosophy and knowledge base. In 2020, due to the pandemic we partnered with a video software company, PitchHub to offer remote video production management and editing, it was a great fit.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jared Brick: We’ve been preparing our clients for digital media marketing since 2013, so we’re aptly prepared for this moment to arrive. People all being home and living online through media is part of what we planned for, just not under these forced C19 circumstances. We also now feature our online development course, we partnered with a video software company, and we created a mobile responsive media production van to assist professionals on-location as they needed. It has not all been this positive, but in April, we lost a large tech client due to global issues related to C19. The pandemic is creating a business evolutionary moment/s and only the most adaptable fittest companies who can make changes quickly, will survive and continue to grow.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jared Brick: As mentioned, we lost a large tech media client in April, due to C19 related manufacturing issues which taught us some harsh lessons. Firstly, be careful focusing more than +50% on any one client deal or relying on this sole revenue as guaranteed or stable. We were not exactly prepared for this to happen immediately and thus have accepted one SBA loan to help us and reinvest in our core video/media business. Part of this survival was the investment into the media production van to pivot to on-location, versus various office/studio productions. The client need and demand is still very much alive and maybe more present than ever now, so we have to adapt to support people where ever on their journey they may be.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Brick House Media in the future?
Jared Brick: Stress and anxiety, as well as, self-shadow (self-limiting beliefs and negative thoughts) are a strong reality for most, if not all, entrepreneurs and founders. When people are highly driven with work and in life there often a yin yang balance that is needed, such as in the new documentary film, The Weight of Gold on HBO, we often struggle with a bold yet blind optimism that all will work out for our business to motivate us. We pour our hearts and souls, including our free time and invest personal money to succeed. When new challenges arise, as they always do, it’s thus how we deal with them that is the wisdom and larger learnings. In 2017-2018, I had a challenging personal time moving the company out of the SF Bay Area to a smaller region, where I was less professionally connected; this period almost broke our business, and it had an intense impact on me. I needed resources and sought out help from books, events, podcasts, health products (such as hemp CBD oils for stress) and other support systems.
Being in media, I also documented this evolution and created a new balance resource site: zenhustlers.com (ZH) to help others seeking balance on their edge. We thus hope to create our own live ZH events as a media company, once we can meet in person again, post-C19. We are already a thought leader in this media world and hope to continue to reach more people and impact more businesses positively with our work. Please note September is Mental Health and Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, and so we will be bringing more attention to this critical issue for professionals.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jared Brick: Our competitors, of which there are is an almost infinite and growing list now, are indeed out there, and digital media marketing is all the rage. Daily, I hear of new digital marketers, content creators, social media marketing experts… but I am not sure exactly how trained they all area in this new field. Often some will experience some success and think they can replicate it anywhere. We compete with smaller sole entrepreneurs and local marketing firms, and we also compete with larger software automation companies that beat us on price based on their automation at scale. We stay alive and thrive based on our custom offerings, our holistic model, professional connections, our human personal touch, plus decades of professional experience to lean on. Innovation is the name of this game in this industry, and we have no short supply of creativity, passion and purpose towards our value-driven work. We will be around for decades, and it is a dynamic business.
Your final thoughts
Jared Brick: Self-run business is so much harder than most people ever realize; entrepreneurs are hurting, overworked, exhausted and under-resourced almost always and yet, we’re optimistic of creating a better world to work in. We strive for efficiency, productivity and big growth and however, most days, simple survival is quite satisfying, to be alive another day, week, and a month is how we think. There is sadly not too much certainty in all our futures… the only thing certain is change. If this year has taught us anything is that we need to be ready for ‘anything’… we need to realize business can change really fast and so goes … our stability. Stay strong, get support, lean on a community and continue to move the needle forward on a daily basis, even if seems only marginal. We’re remembered over years and decades, not days or months, so be patient and compassionate to yourself and others.