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

Hi Joey, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
There’s a common encouragement we like to pass around that, in all things, “never give up.” Oftentimes in our culture, “giving up” can be construed as a sign of weakness or inability. Somehow the misconception that our value and our worth is tied to our accomplishments has pushed people to believe that if they throw in the towel on ANY task, large or small, somehow they are inadequate. We feel like we will lose something and that fear pushes us to make poor decisions or rush projects, and even to the detriment of our own health. The reality is sometimes you need to push through and keep going, but there are other times when “giving up” is the BEST option you have; for your business, your family, and your own mental health. In my experience, it’s in those times of giving up when new, and even better, opportunities have been presented. So, how do you know when to keep going and when to give up? I remember when I started a passion project web video series called Atlanta Makers. I had high hopes for this project and a much larger vision for it. While it started as a series of videos, I had plans to launch a store where artisans could sell their goods, a lifestyle brand around “Atlanta Makers,” a quarterly magazine that would physically do in print what I was doing with the video series, and host events where makers could share their crafts with others. And I was so close to much of that coming to fruition. It just didn’t happen. Things would fall through, conversations would go nowhere, and as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get the passion project financed. I was blessed enough to have a friend in Nathan Cheuvront who filmed and edited the video series with me and helped as much as he could otherwise. But after 3 years of pushing this thing that I thought would be “so amazing,” I had to let it go. It was a financial disaster, never pulling in more than $500 in revenue, no one bought products from the store I had set up, and I was spending a lot of my free time stressing over this project that wasn’t really going anywhere. Did we create some cool videos and a fun brand? Yea! But after the 3rd year, I finally had to decide that it was time to give up on this particular dream. It was heartbreaking, and for a few months I was pretty upset about it. But out of Atlanta Makers came Southend Films. About a year prior to shutting down Atlanta Makers, Nathan and I made plans to create a commercial film company. 4 years later it was the best business decision I’ve made and Southend continues to grow into something incredible. Not only that, but my home-life is strong and healthier than before too. It can be VERY hard to determine when to give up on a dream or a passion, but you have decide “is what I’m getting out of this project worth the blood, sweat and tears I’m putting into it?” If the answer is a resounding YES and you’re getting fulfillment emotionally, spiritually or whatever, then by all means, don’t give up just yet. But if the answer is anything but a YES, then it’s time to consider pulling the plug. Take everything you’ve learned from it and apply it to the next thing. Try something new. Take time for yourself or your family. Maybe the best way to put this is, it’s ok to give up on THAT dream that’s causing all the heartache, but keep going onto the next thing, because it might just be your greatest success.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Southend Films is a commercial production company that partners with creative agencies and businesses to produce cinematic brand films that awaken emotion and engage audiences. Emotion is what drives the human experience. Our memories, our lifestyle, our decisions are determined by our emotions, oftentimes positively, but sometimes negatively. Impacting a targeted audience means reaching into which emotion drives their decisions and awakening that emotion, making that audience feel exactly what they need to feel in order to make a choice. Nathan and I started Southend in 2017 with the intent to focus on ONE THING: Film Production. With both of us coming out of agency life, neither of us had a desire to create a full-service agency. That passion for filmmaking is what brought us together. We’ve taken a slow-build approach to business development, focusing on relationships and set experience, over aggressive marketing. Some might say that isn’t wise and we’ve definitely felt the pressure of how that can impact business growth and our involvement in the business. But we overcome those challenges, first and foremost, together, and with a lot of grace for ourselves, for each other and for the people we work with. Empathy can be a business’s greatest tool. Some things we’ve learned so far is to value your work correctly based off your experience, talent and perception and continue to maintain the passion for why you started this business in the first place. Keep that at the forethought for every decision made, every hire, every project. We like to say when the passion to make is lost, the work is lost and we should just do something else. Nothing worth doing is worth doing half-assed. We are passionate, creative filmmakers with the mental and moral strength to face fear and difficult challenges. Storytelling is dynamic and every story is unique. Our passion is to bravely tell stories through film. There’s more than one way to tell an engaging story and we’re never afraid to take a creative risk. From the first idea through the final cut, we approach each story with the passion and bravery to make it the best it can be.

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.
Well, since I enjoy going to a place that has a good craft beverage, there’s gonna be a lot of that on this list. I’d start with a day brewery hopping. There are some stellar breweries in and around Atlanta. Some spots that are just incredible experiences are New Realm Brewery and Torched Hop Brewing Company. Both have great beers, excellent brew pub food, and fun environments! I’d also check out The Roof at Ponce City Market. The carnival atmosphere is a fun time, day or night, and the views of Atlanta are unbeatable. Speaking of rooftops, you could also check out the Clermont Hotel and Rooftop Bar, a staple in Atlanta. To experience a lot of the city in an outing, take a bike ride or scooter ride down the Atlanta Beltline, with a variety of places to stop off at, plus a nice time outdoors. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The person I have to give a huge shoutout to is Nathan Cheuvront. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his vision for a production company and what he saw in me as a partner. We’ve worked in creative business together for a while now and his technical knowledge, passion to make, and overall empathy and care for others is an encouragement to me day in and day out. I wouldn’t choose anyone else to build a production company with. I’d also like to give a shoutout to my wife Tori. She’s an inspiration to me in how hard she works for our family, how fiercely she loves our child and how uplifting and encouraging she is to me in pursuing my dreams and passions in life. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have had the strength to let go of Atlanta Makers. She was a driving force in helping me realize when it’s time to give up and when it’s time to keep going.

Website: https://southendfilms.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/southendfilms/

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/joey-thompson-376a5951

Facebook: http://facebook.com/joewthompson

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-XVcBThA94rnSLTHd7cNhw

Other: http://joewthompson.com/ https://brothersgrimpodcast.com/

Image Credits
Emily Armistead Hales Photography

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