Fortunately, or unfortunately, in spite of all the contacts that you make, there will be times when the work just cannot be conjured up. However, Joni insists that they are really necessary to any business.
"Slow times really give you a chance to do all those things you push aside, like accounting or updating your Web site," says Joni. "There's always so much to do. You're not getting paid for it but the slow times are essential because if you were always just doing the main part of your business you'd never have time to work on those other tasks that are so easy to put off. And when you have a tenure of ten or twelve years you can look back and say it's always slow in January. But when you first start out and have nothing to go on, you wonder, should I even be doing this? Is this a sign? Without a track record to 'look at, the panic attacks are' even worse."
But slow times can provide an opportunity to jumpstart your own creative projects. "During a down time I got my documentary project Metaphysical Dice going," says Frey. "I got in touch with a friend who does camera and sound work for television and industrials, and we'd talked about doing something on our own. I pitched him on the idea and then we went out on the streets of Chicago and asked people three questions. One, do they believe in destiny? Two, depending on how they answered that, did they feel like their vision of destiny was apropos to the world at large beyond their personal lives, and three, if they had a chance to roll a pair of dice that would put them in another person's life throughout time or history or immediately to another place in the city, would they roll the dice?"
When my own work ground to a screeching halt after 9/11, I took the time to produce three documentaries on people with disabilities, part of the "Broken Wings" series now being distributed by Chip Taylor Communications. Had I been swamped with work, chances are that I would not have completed these personally important projects.
"It's absolutely normal to have slow times in business. Even big corporate America has slow times," says Joni. "It was something I hadn't really thought about until I had my own business because you still had to turn up for work every day."
If you have the discipline to work every day, even when times are slow and no boss is holding a paycheck over your head, if you have the gumption to face putting yourself out there, and if you are resourceful enough to make the best of difficult times, you are on your way toward fulfilling your dreams.
. CHAPTER 6
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