As “Director of Studio and Operations,” I am sometimes negotiating rates for gorgeous models and producing exciting photo shoots. Other times, I’m cleaning a fish tank or investigating offensive odors. One of the many things that make small businesses unique is that everyone must pitch in so that things continue to run smoothly, even if said tasks push the boundaries of one’s assumed job description. As Director of Studio and Operations in such an environment, that means I’m a writer, copy editor, producer, project manager, IT specialist, office manager, bookkeeper, and therapist. Besides all of these roles, I also often feel more like a shepherd, or the nagging in-law of some shepherd, keeping everyone on track, on budget, and on schedule.
Since my coworkers are so creative, I sometimes need to kick them in the left brain. With certain things, like, “please hand over your receipts,” the occasional reminder is all that is needed. With other things, like the (for some reason) Herculean task of “don’t forget to track your billable hours,” I practically need to march up and down the hallways while banging a pot with a wooden spoon. Daily. In fact, I plan to get a cowbell and write it off as a business expense, like a miniature Will Ferrell.
Of course, this is why we make such a good team. While I’ve always been a creative person, I’m the first to admit that I have little interest in which type of curtains will be in vogue next year, or why Italy sees orange differently than we Americans do. My coworkers specialize in this kind of thing, and I’m happy to insert the commas where needed and make sure the office lights stay on. After all, orange is the new black when you haven’t paid your electric bill.