Thursday, December 05, 2013

Where's Jeremy (2013) - Part 3: Samaritan Casting - Selling the company

This is post #17 in Where's Jeremy (2013)

After finishing the database, I made myself a promise: if the casting company ever again brought me to the verge of an emotional or mental breakdown, that would be three strikes and it is out (the first strike came early on in 2012, when I first started Samaritan Casting. The second strike was the database project as a whole). Barring a "strike three," I resolved I would keep the company through calendar year's end, then re-evaluate whether the database was actually accomplishing the stress-relief I'd intended it for. If not, I'd wash my hands and be done with the company.

Barely two months later, strike three came in the form of the feature film extras casting. Movie-making is a moving target, I completely understand that! But these ADs were so disorganized that they made our jobs practically impossible, adding immeasurable amounts of unnecessary and completely avoidable stress. Strike three.

Labor Day. Chit-chatting with John on my mobile telephone. I whined for the umpteenth time how frustrated I was with running the company, and that I'd hit strike three and I was done, when John asked "would you ever consider selling it?" I said, yes, but explained how there was no one who was interested, had the necessary skill set, and that I trusted (as discussed in post #15). Then I jumped out onto a limb and asked, "do you want to buy it?"

To my utter shock and amazement, John replied "yes, actually I would." Alrighty then. The conversation went something like this (not exact quotes):
Me: You mean you actually enjoy doing this [booking people and dealing with the last-minute craziness]?
John: Yep.
Me: You're crazy!
John: Yep.
John's a stay-at-home-Dad, and I know he's been wanting a side-job for a while, something he can do from home with flexible hours, that would generate a little extra income (this is why it worked out so well for me to hire him to book extras). So I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised at his interest in buying me out.

John has also become someone I consider a life mentor. Not only has he served as an "anger management coach" for me when I'm tempted to write mean emails, he has listened to all my many complaints and lamentations about the casting company, and he's been one of my greatest cheerleaders when it came to developing the database. He and Anne both have been a tremendous blessing by taking over the majority of the actual booking work for me.

We tabled further discussion until after the feature wrapped. A few weeks later, he was still interested in buying, and I DEFINITELY still was interested in selling. John's been helping book extras for me for at least 6 months now, so he knows what he's doing, he's got the technical and organizational skills, and most importantly, I trust him 101%.

This got me excited, not only because I finally had a way out, but because I know that John can accomplish much more with the company than I have or could. In no way do I mean to downplay the workload of a stay-at-home parent, I'm simply acknowledging the reality that John's schedule is significantly more flexible than mine ever could be. Even setting aside my personal desire to escape, for the sake of the company itself turning the reigns over to John is the best possible decision. Add to that the fact John is actively choosing to take this on, even after and despite hearing all my complaints, even after and despite knowing all the work it takes, and I believe he's in a much better position for success than I was when this all got dumped on me. I'm excited to see what he does with it!

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