We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeff Hoferer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jeff, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I didn’t want to have to ask approval before taking a risk. I like to choose my own battles, and I’m completely willing to shoulder the blame if it doesn’t work out. But I wanted the opportunity to do things my way, and not have to seek approval for that.

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I love to create video content. We live in an incredibly interesting time, if you’re a storyteller, because there are so many avenues to share your work. Everything from YouTube to Instagram – people are able to share their own personal stories, or share a story they’ve created – and there’s no real barrier of entry. You don’t need to get Instagram’s permission to create your own video series. All you need is a phone, and a story to tell! Personally, I love being able to tell other people’s stories. My avenue of choice is YouTube, and my vehicle of choice is a web series. Think about this, with the invention of Smart TV’s, anyone with an iPhone can essentially create a series that can be viewed by millions of families around the globe in their living room. The same way they would view (fill in the blank with your favorite network series), people are able to watch a YouTube channel as if it were a new series on the Discovery Channel. We have the power to create our own TV networks in the palm of our hand. It’s scary if you think about it. And currently, you don’t have to pay a price to be able to upload your content. I don’t believe that will always be the case, as more and more people are making a living off of their digital content. It’s an exciting time to be telling stories.

I think what sets me apart as a content creator is telling stories that affect people. Whether that’s making someone laugh, cry, sending chills down their spine or giving them mind-blowing information – your stories need to impact the audience. I just finished a project that I produced and directed for a group, and realistically, I’ve seen this 60-second piece at least thirty times, and I’m not sick of it. The reason being – it gets me SO amped up every time I watch it. I’m very proud of the work we did on it. And as a content creator, my goal is to always create content that my clients can be proud to share with their audience. A good barometer of that – is whether or not, you’re proud of it, as the creator of the piece. If you’re not excited to share the work with the client, there’s a good chance they won’t be excited to share it with their network. So to answer your question, what gets me excited – is creating content that gets the audience excited. That’s where it’s at for me.

There’s no way around it – you’ve got to take risks. I’ve failed numerous times, and each time I learned, and became better. You’ll hear this a lot, but failing makes you better at what you do. And it takes guts to get kicked in the nuts and come back for more. By failure, I’m not insinuating that you need to go out and intentionally tank something, you have to always give it your all – and when that’s not enough – you recalibrate and try it again. Another big one is surrounding yourself with team members, mentors and even friends that are winners. Not just in life, but in business, and in relationships. These people will encourage and/or inspire the sort of behavior that you’ll need to succeed. And I’d also like to add – don’t shy away from being that sort of successful figure for others. Yes you. YOU are the winner, in someone else’s eyes. Don’t screw it up, take that responsibility serious. It’s good karma!

If it’s worth achieving, it’s rarely easy to do. I believe this with all my heart. So there will always be a certain level of challenge. But it’s important to enjoy the process, or as some people like to say “Embrace the suck”, and prove to yourself that you’re worthy of your finest achievements.

An extremely important lesson I’ve learned is to trust my instincts. I’ve ignored my feelings of anxiety a few too many times during my professional career – and I’ve paid for it. In most of the situations, I think my initial hesitation was correct. So, be willing to say “no”, if it’s not the right opportunity. It’s easy for overachievers to want to say “yes” to everything, as they don’t want to let anyone down. However, I believe it’s way better in the long run to tell someone you’re unavailable for a certain opportunity, than trying to accomplish something you’re either not right for – or that you don’t have the bandwidth to do well. You can’t be everything to everyone, so be honest with yourself when new opportunities cross your path.

I’ve always said that I don’t care about becoming famous, I just want the respect of my peers. And that’s what I would want people to know about my work and my brand. I deeply care about creating great work. I’m extremely honest and critical of the content I create – and it’s because I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with something that’s not worthy of their time. We’re all busy people, and life is too short to waste time on content that’s less than great.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love bringing friends from out of town to Bishop Arts District. There’s everything you need for a fun evening in a couple of blocks of the city. And don’t forget to finish your evening with a piece of pie from Emporium Pies. That place will change your life.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to send a shoutout to my parents! They are wonderful and encouraging human beings. I was always trying random and atypical things as a kid – and they never discouraged me. Of course, if it were dangerous – they’d ask me to be careful, but they never made me feel silly for pursuing interests that seemed out of reach for a kid growing up in Topeka, KS.

Website: OccasionallyGenius.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/JeffHoferer
Linkedin: linkedin.com/jeffhoferer
Twitter: @JeffHoferer
Facebook: Facebook.com/JeffHoferer
Other: https://vimeo.com/jeffhoferer (in place of YouTube)

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