Setting up your own business can seem complicated. James West, who has been running his business for just over three months, says this statement is true but the process is not as intimidating as he thought. He recently started Too Many Words, a video production business focusing on strategy (why people want a video and how they would measure success). In this way, he usually describes himself as a video production partner, as this two-way partnership with clients is central to his work.

How did he make creating and running his business less intimidating though? James said he found a mentor, who helped him to concentrate on important questions like what motivated him to do it, what he stood for, and how to generate income. Even within a short time, he has had to learn new skills quickly like accounting, marketing and how to deliver a good quality service consistently. Despite the many necessary questions, and the answers that change as the business is put into practice, James finds it exciting and fulfilling to constantly be learning and improving, even with his finance, clients and sanity on the line!

Though he explained his biggest challenge is making people aware of the business’s existence, he also commented on the advantages of running his own business. Firstly, he is in control of when he feels most motivated so can organise his time effectively. In addition to this freedom, he can directly see the positive impact of Too Many Words and keep learning and improving. Finally, when starting a new business, there is lots of support and goodwill. ‘Most people want to help or offer encouragement’, James said, and these people are honest about the reality of running a business. Especially in his industry, people are generous with their time; ‘not everyone is competition’.

James then discussed the controversial topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in his area of business. People may say AI could kill off video production, but James believes there are reasons why he can admit that ‘AI is always going to be a tool’ and yet doesn’t feel intimidated by it. He said video production is as much about the process, as it is about the final product. AI will produce things based on what it thinks a client wants, whilst people like James ask questions constantly and make adjustments based on their expertise and the clients’ requirements. Furthermore, he said ‘people want authenticity’. If a service or product is disingenuous or misinforming, this is disappointing. James stated that although AI like Sora is only going to get better, as we consume media, we want to know if it is fake or real; some topics and advertising content is off-limits (like mental health or producing pictures of events that falsely represent the real thing).

James’ mission is to cut through the noise by making clear, engaging content which is to the point; he looks forward to seeing the business and his industry continue to develop.