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It’s never been about the videos or the equipment or the way technology has changed the way consumers interact with the marketing industry. It isn’t as much about the content management and the video production and the market research.

Yes, all of those things are important to Paradox Video Productions Principal Tim Martin. He would not be the video producer and director at the award-winning, full-service video and digital media production company without having experience with these elements of the business on a daily basis.

But for Martin, it’s about more than that. It’s about the stories.

A story-teller above all, Martin has been in the video and broadcast field for almost 30 years. He has worked for major television networks, including ABC TV. He has been the creative director for a production firm in Washington D.C. And in 1998 he decided he needed a change.

I really enjoyed what I was doing with video production, but when particularly the broadcast journalism industry seemed to be getting too dangerous I wanted to explore new ways to do what I love,” Martin recalled.

And so Paradox Video Productions was born. Almost 20 years later, Martin wouldn’t change a thing.

Cloud Friday recently had the opportunity to sit down with Martin to discuss what he’s learned about being in business and his advice for fellow entrepreneurs.

I really enjoyed what I was doing with video production, but when particularly the broadcast journalism industry seemed to be getting too dangerous I wanted to explore new ways to do what I love.

Cloud Friday: What has been the biggest challenge of your career and how did you overcome it?

Tim Martin: When the market completely changed in the video production industry by far that was a very confusing time. Basically, what had happened is it used to be if you knew what you were doing you could run a video production business. I didn’t need to advertise it was all word of mouth referral. That all changed in the mid-2000s when all of a sudden there were cheaper cameras and software and computers that could do the job for minimal amount of money. It all came down to price and put everybody in the video production business right on edge and guys were fighting to stay alive and so I started doing market research and found out people were buying online marketing and that video production has now become a value added in the industry.

CF: What do you most enjoy about your career?

TM: Working with clients! I love to create basic content that will attract clients for my clients.

CF: Who inspires who and why?

TM: One of the main things Simon Sinek is known for is the idea that people don’t buy what you do, they buy how you do it. To me, it’s all about telling your story and it’s really easy to just say well we’re in business because we make money but the fact of the matter is we’re in business because we love what we do. We love working with clients and telling stories.

CF: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about running a business since you started Paradox 18 years ago?

TM: It’s hard to say just one, but honestly I’d have to say learning how to focus on doing what I love is at the top of the list. I used to think, this is my business, who’s going to do it better than I can do it? I care more about my books delivery times than anybody else is going to. But I also made the decision 18 years ago that whatever I did needs to be fun. I found myself struggling to keep up with doing things about my job that weren’t fun, like bookkeeping. I can have a lot more fun doing business when I’m not concerning myself with something like bookkeeping. It was great for years and years until the entire market changed but all-the-while I considered myself very organized. But things kept getting more and more busy and…ultimately I could not make hide nor hair of my books. At first I thought of the expenses of hiring services through a business like Cloud Friday were expensive, but what I’ve learned since then is when I start placing a value on my time, it’s actually a steal.

CF: Can you describe a moment or moments when you stopped and realized this is why you are doing what you’re doing with your life?

TM: I get a real kick out of when a client says that (one of our productions is) absolutely brilliant or that they would have never thought of that. We would love that to happen every single day. It doesn’t matter how much money I make (although I’d like to make good money), it really doesn’t matter how much power I have (and I don’t have much of that), but if I’m having fun doing what I’m doing that is what it’s all about for me.

CF: What advice would you offer to other small business owners?

TM: I want to keep enjoying what I do until the day I semi-retire. I would say it’s important to be able to focus on what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing in your business. Since we got (Cloud Friday) on board to help with our accounting and bookkeeping, we have significantly increased our business. A lot of that has to do with the time I was spending crunching numbers I get to spend on the phone with clients or researching something or spending extra time with my family.

Martin and his wife live in the Phoenix area with their 10-year-old and 11-year-old sons, who mean the world to Martin and his business as a whole.

“I am fortunate enough to have a very busy family life and that’s really what it’s all about,” Martin said. “I love my job, but I also don’t have to crank out invoices or pay credit card bills tonight….Instead I get to go to a basketball practice and support my son – that is pretty priceless as a parent and ultimately I’m happier with my business because of that work-life balance.”