Drone to 1K Episode 3: Jeff Lewis with Special Point of View

Jeff is the Chief Pilot and Owner of Special Point of View, specializing in aerial videography and photography. 

Getting Into the Business

Jeff was retired and happily playing golf when he did damage to his shoulder which required surgery. As he put it, “I was home for 8 months driving my wife crazy, so I bought a drone for amusement (that one flew away). I ended up getting into the DJI world and had fun…so I bought a few more.” Jeff started doing jobs for friends, taking pictures of property. People really liked his work and wanted him to do more. Jeff says he thought, “If I’m doing this, I may as well make money.” It was then that he found out he had to get a 107 license, so the hobby became a business. It took one year from starting with a hobby to creating a business. 

The Business Today

At this point, two years into operating a drone business, Jeff has clients that are developers, builders, owners and realtors, most of whom he met being board member of his HOA 

He started doing jobs for free and, once word was out, he had people coming to him. 

The work he does has evolved. Jeff says, “Knowing realtors, residential was easiest in the beginning. From there, I got involved in ranches and farms, which I love. It was a lot more fun flying a drone on a few hundred acres.” Now, he is focusing more on promotional and property management work. He does some strip malls or apartment complexes, but says there is a lot of competition there with people who are willing to do the work for next to nothing. 

Successes, Challenges & Struggles

Jeff has had a few successes with larger realtors who he continues to work with. He says much of his success has depended on finding the right relationships. David agreed that all the successful drone business owners have spent a lot of time working on relationship-building—which has gotten them more listings and developed a stronger business. Regarding making a healthy income, since Jeff is retired, he didn’t have financial pressure and flying drones was easy. Editing—learning to use PhotoStop or FinalCut—was a more challenging business prospect. Jeff says, “the software is sophisticated and trying to use capabilities is challenging. I have some friends who sub the editing out. For me, once I start a project—most of which are 2-minute videos—I have a plan. When I get to editing, I can’t picture handing that off.”

Tapping the Growth Potential 

For a 2-minute video or 25 pics and a few videos, Jeff charges $500 (see his website below for more pricing information). He came up with that number by asking himself “what’s the amount that is worth the time it takes from my life?” In order to get new business, Jeff’s relationships have provided substantial opportunities. However, he made a decision to branch out to restaurants, offering to do a free video, which came out really well. Other work then came from that. He strongly believes that if someone wants to grow their business, they have to create something to promote themselves. “The sooner one can put together a portfolio (like a commercial photographer or artist), that will help. You just need 5-7 pages of your work to demonstrate your skills, even if you didn’t get paid to do it. If you’re not good at relationship-building, or aren’t plugged into a community/network, hire someone to knock on doors for you. It has to be done.” 

“My goal is pretty simple, I’m looking to bring in $2500/month. I HAVE made that in a week. I’m trying to cover flying the drones I have. The deal with my wife is that any excess money over that amount goes into our travel fund.” He hits that target three of every five months. Winter is slow and business ebbs and flows. In the slow months, he makes more videos. In the spring, he can have more $4-5K months. 

The Future of Special Point of View

“There is so much happening in the future in the drone world. I love talking about it,” Jeff says. Jeff is currently involved with a national organization called Operation Drone Search & Rescue, whose mission is trying to build infrastructure for a nationwide “1-800-I-Just-Had-A-Disaster” that would employ a group of drones. Where is Jeff headed? “I’m 68 years old. If I were 40, I would be all in. I find myself sliding into the idea that I could turn this into something by hiring people. But why would I want to do that? Yesterday I talked to another drone company about joint partnerships. I see myself passing some of this work off to a younger group to get me some ‘mailbox money’. Having moved from residential to commercial, these guys have recently moved into the inspection world and are making $15K per month—cell towers, pipelines, not a bunch of on-offs, but contracts and higher-paying gigs. These require expensive equipment, but they make the money.

Final Thoughts

“I think you have to learn all the lessons. I started with residential and recognized challenges. That gave me enough activity to fly my drones inside tight quarters. I might say I wish I didn’t do that because it wasn’t productive, but I had to do it. It’s like life…all my blunders get me to where I am. We all wish we were 16 again, but I don’t have regrets.” Jeff says that what’s worked for him and others is working hard. Jeff believes there are a handful of people doing stupid things which will inevitably cause change, so the droners of the world have to be responsible.

Connect with Jeff

Training from Drone Launch Academy

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Episode Transcript

00:01     Welcome to the drone to one k podcast where we learn how successful drone entrepreneurs launch their businesses. So you can too. And to now your host, David Young. Hey everybody. Welcome to the drone to one K podcast by drone launch academy. I am your host and founder of drone launch. David Young, thank you so much for listening in today. If you’re new to the podcast, the drone to one k podcast is all about telling the stories and interviewing people who have started successful drone businesses, or at least now they’re successful. We’ve talked to a lot of people throughout, um, the course of our business in that are looking to start drone businesses or that have started them. And sometimes people just don’t know where to begin or they may be a little defeated thinking, oh, I can never get jobs or I’m not sure if I can make this work or I don’t know what I’m doing.

00:58     So we went and we found people who were doing it right and who were probably in the same place you are and who have been able to go out there, uh, make something happen. And we set a criteria to where the only businesses we interviewed were people who were making at least a thousand dollars or more per month with their drone. So it doesn’t have to be a humongous business. A lot of these people are doing on the side just for some side cash. But we wanted to use that as a relative benchmark for someone who’s able to go out there and generate some cash with their dream. So we’ve broken this podcast up into seasons. So this is season one. This is the second interview we’ve done today. We’re going to have someone named Jeff Lewis on and we’ll get into that more in a second. But there are going to be 10 episodes in this first season or 10 interviews.

01:40    So I did an, an intro podcast last week, so that was episode zero, if you will. So they’ll be 10 interviews, uh, 11 episodes total. And as we release these episodes, we’re going to be taking applications for season two. People seem to really like this podcast in this format. So if you look in the show notes to this podcast, if you just go to drone launch academy.com you’ll be able to find the podcast and find the show in the show notes. We will have a link where you can apply to be on season two if you think you’re a good fit. And again, we’re looking for people who have started drone businesses or drone service businesses and are making at least a thousand dollars or more a month. And if you know someone else who might be a good fit for this podcast, feel free to forward that link to them and have them sign up.

02:25     So in today’s episode we’re going to be interviewing Jeff Lewis and he might be like some of you all out there. He is retired. He got into drones as a hobby and then as he started doing it, more people started asking him to help them out with drone related work. And he started doing more and more of it started taking seriously, got his part on a seven license and now he has a business now he also has the advantage of being retired. So he doesn’t have the financial pressure of having to make drones provide all of his living. I don’t want to spoil anything, but he’s been able to build it into a nice business that has given him some side cash to do other things where he doesn’t have to dip into his retirement money for that. So I know from talking to a lot of you that you’re in a similar situation where maybe you retired or maybe you have a full time gig and you’re just looking for your drone to provide some extra income.

03:13     A because you love flying your drone. And B, it’s just fun to build something on the side. So I don’t wanna spoil anything, but, uh, I really enjoyed this interview with Jeff. He talks about how he was able to get business. He talked about some of the challenges he faced with, um, learning how to do video editing and some of those items. Uh, and it’s just a really great interview. I love hearing people’s stories and how they’ve been able to have success with their business. Just one of dimension real quick. In this podcast episode, uh, we talk about two different things. Specifically, we talk about the remote pilot certificate or the part on a seven exam. Uh, and also talked a little bit about, um, Jeff learning how to do video editing and post production and all that. So we have two courses that help people with that. Just want to mention real quick, we have a special deal for podcast listeners. You can find that info in the show notes. There should be two links, uh, for two courses that deal with that. And uh, I can address those more at the end of the podcast, but just wanted to give you a heads up if you’re interested in that. A special deal for podcasts listeners. Okay. Without any further ado, here is Jeff Lewis.

04:18     Alright, so welcome to the drone launch podcast today with us. We have Jeff Lewis. Thanks Jeff for coming and talking to us. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Uh, so why don’t we start by you telling us, um, a little bit about your background, how you got into Jones, how you ended up, uh, using the drones for commercial stuff, for, for your own business. Just kinda walk us through that from the beginning.

04:45     Well, I um, I retired from an insurance career about 15 years ago now and was happily playing golf five or six days a week. Um, and uh, two years ago now I uh, did some serious damage to my shoulder requiring a bunch of treatment and then ultimately surgery and recovery time. So I was off golf for about eight months and during that time just gone a little stir crazy, both me and my wife. And uh, so I bought a drone and while that one tool away, another one. And what kind of journal is the first one? All as long as just cheap guys that you just, uh, and I’ve learned that you might as well buy a good one to start with, cause the other guys aren’t gonna. It’s funny cause I was up to call the sac with the three little neighborhood kids understand where the drum went.

05:40     We wouldn’t ride around the golf cart looking forward, never found it. So I bought a couple more and finally got into the BGI world and uh, just really enjoyed flying round. I live in a golf course, community site, plenty of room. I can fly around here and not, not bothered to meet people and the, and uh, so I bought a couple more drunks. Yes, I liked drones. Um, and I started doing, uh, jobs for friends, president ranches to go out and do some pictures or um, you know, the lake for a property, whatever. Just mess around and get bill really likes my work and you know, wanted me to be doing it. And I finally thought, well, Hey, I’m doing this. I might as well be making some money doing it. So like I studied up and, uh, thought I had to get my one oh seven and went off and did that. And, and there when I started my, my business special point of view and, um, it’s just kind of how it happened. It was more accidental zone. It’s how does a hobby become a business, I guess as a story with,

06:50     Yeah. So when you started, so how long ago was it that you decided to turn it into a business?

06:58     Oh, I probably had it in probably a year, you know, between first drone and first, uh, uh, forming my company. It was probably a year’s time. Um, yeah.

07:08     Okay. And so how long have you been, I guess, how long have you been in business for at this point?

07:12     I’ve been in business now for, um, this is my second year, so I’m going on going on about two years right now.

07:20     Okay, cool. Nice. Now, like I say, are starting like at this point where, uh, where do you find most of your clients or what kind of clients do you have? What kind of work are you doing with your gym?

07:31     Well been kind of, kind of blessed by, um, again living in a different kind of life, being retired and involved in a community. I was on the board of our country club for a few years and on the board of the Hoa for two years. And in that process I’ve met developers and builders and new people, different kinds of people that own things, car dealerships, whatever, a lot of realtors. And so once uh, once the word was out that I was interested in doing some of this, I literally had people coming to me. So

08:08     Sorry.

08:09     Yeah. So what, what Kinda that’s, are you doing mostly like photos? Are you doing like promo videos? Are you doing like drone mapping stuff? I guess what, what’s like a typical job for you right now?

08:18     Well, so some of it’s, it’s evolving as we speak. The, the easiest thing to get into, I guess up front we get known a bunch of realtors in south was residential real estate. Then from that I kind of got involved in some ranch and farm stuff, which I really enjoy about ranches because hero, you know, a couple hundred acre ranch, there’s nobody around you and fly and have a good time. And so, so it’s combination photo, video, turning them into a but in a one minute or two minute video clip. Um, so the evolution was from that into some commercial real estate into some, um, now really focusing more on promo stuff, um, and property managers. Gotcha. So you’re doing a lot more of that kind of commercial real estate work for larger, larger buildings like apartment complexes and stuff. Yes. Strip malls, that kind of dough. Gotcha. It’s challenging. I don’t want to be disparaging about any one business, but the residential real estate thing, there’s just a lot of competition. People will end up to do it for little or nothing. And with a group of people who are quite happy to pay nothing. I hear it’s pretty funny. It’s almost a lot of stories about that. But yeah,

09:37     It’s almost like you’ve, uh, you’ve heard other people that I’ve talked to already. You’re, you’re given a very similar progression or you’re saying very similar things about where to start out. The problems with that, you know, it’s like there’s, it’s easy to get into, but since it’s easy, that means there’s a lot of competition and then there’s not, the people that you’re working with aren’t usually willing to pay a ton of money. So it’s a little bit of a hard place to stay longterm.

10:02     Yeah. That’s double whammy in that end that they don’t want to pay a lot of money for the work, but then they don’t pay their bills after you’re done. So you’ve got to chase, I’ve had a couple of good relationships with some, some rulers with bigger, bigger [inaudible] firms around town that are, you know, our friends and I will continue to work for them.

10:22     Yeah. And I think sometimes it just depends on finding, like you said, like the right relationship. Cause I know, I know some people who, they do have businesses that focus on residential real estate, but they spent a lot of time finding the right relationships cause they’re like, you know, there’s a lot of people that either they don’t want to pay you or they’re just not good to work with, but you know, he’s found a group of realtors that he really likes working with that I appreciate his work and you know, they say it helps them get more listings and stuff. So He’s, he’s been able to develop, to develop some good business, uh, through that. But yeah, and it’s funny, I’m, I’m hearing a lot of the same, uh, same things from, from several different angles. So, um, cool. So right now you’re focusing more on kind of the commercial properties and, and um, in work there. Um, what, I guess one question would be, what, you know, as you’ve been developing your business, um, I guess what’s been the biggest, biggest pain point or struggle has been like flying or video editing or, you know, finding business, I guess what, what piece of it, uh, has been the biggest struggle for you?

11:25     All right. And I think that to just fly out, set out, I was successful retirement when I started this business, so I don’t have the pressure on me that, you know, many, um, some of the younger people want to start out going to quit a job and go try to go do this [inaudible] here.

11:39     But I mean it’s, it would be similar to where, you know, I mean obviously have more time, but if somebody has a job and they want to do this as a, you know, for side income or things, something like that. But yeah, I understand where you’re coming from.

11:49     So yeah, so that is, is the fracture a lot? My mother, yeah. I have friends that are trying to make a living at it and they’re no workers. They’re working really, really hard. Yeah. I’m still playing golf three, four days a week. Back to what was the,

12:04     Of course I was just going to say, um, you know, what, what have you found to be the biggest struggle? If you could identify one, like what’s been the hardest part for you in trying to turn it into a successful business?

12:15     And I looked for, for me the hardest part is, is it’s, um, self-inflicted, but I knew nothing about editing. Um, well nothing, but I wanted anything. I was assigned a drone or anything else when I started, but I think learning to fly the drone is pretty easy. These drugs are pretty darn smart and uh, I’ve had a few problems with some, but overall they’re pretty, pretty compliant. The, uh, editing piece was just really channeled learning, light room, Photoshop, and I use, uh, final cut. Um, that’s just, it’s hard work. Commit specifics are complicated and sophisticated and um, you can get through the middle of the first pretty easy, but, uh, trying to really use the, the, um, capabilities within those softwares as a challenge. So, yeah, learn something every day, I think.

13:06     Yeah, no, they’re pretty, they’re pretty powerful. I know there’s a lot too. There’s a lot to learn there. That’s something that for from folks, we talk to them. That’s the one thing where people get pretty intimidated by US trying to figure they love flying the drone. But then when it comes time to put it into some software and make it look good, it’s, you know, it’s a little bit more, a little bit more work and a little more intimidating. And one of the things within that as it was, I’ve got some friends who

13:29     We just sell all that stuff out and yeah, easily do that. The challenge for me is once I started with project, because I almost everything ends up in being a, you know, a two minute video and the work I do anymore. And so that’s, uh, you know, filming and I’ve got kind of, you know, I’ve got a story book in my mind. I mean, I’ve written it out, but you know, I’ve got kind of a plan and I’m working that. And then when I get to the editing phase, I just can’t picture handing that off to somebody and say, here’s now, here’s it. Went to rock, um, finger, make something out of them for me. So, um, I just haven’t been able to do that handoff yet.

14:04     Yeah, no, that’s understandable. I know I have a couple of friends with a, you know, video production companies in the same way. They, they say, listen, I just, Oh, they’re like, I’ll outsource pictures, but I just, you know, you know, these guys are doing most like weddings and stuff like that, but he says, I just, I can’t outsource the editing. That’s like my thing. So I’m like, all right. Um,

14:22     If you had to take a hundred pictures at a wedding or something, fine, you will send them out and have them done. That’s, I could see doing that. But the video is kind of, I don’t know.

14:31     Yeah, no, I hear you. Um, well, cool. So for you and, um, I’ll ask you some, I was gonna ask you some price questions you know about, you know, share with me as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. I don’t want you to feel like I’m putting pressure on you, but I’m just saying, uh, I was going to ask for a typical job now, like a commercial job, we’re doing a promo video form. How much are you charging for something like that or how much are you finding you’re able to charge?

14:54     That was good about my overall average is probably close to 500.

14:58     I feel like I finished product video,

15:00     Yeah. For, for all in um, for a two minute video or um, let’s say, like I said for ranches and stuff for 20 to 25 pictures in a couple videos. Um, I really try to let that 500 is kind of a court number. Do I want to take time out of my life to, we’ll go do this or not. And, and at times it’s, you know, works out to about 50 cents an hour. It feels like

15:28     Some of these jobs take a water

15:29     And then the high end, I’ve, you know, I’ve gotten thousand, $1,200 kind of project, but they’re far and few between two and far between.

15:37     Gotcha. That’s cool. Now as far as finding clients goes, I think that’s something, you know, some people, most people know how to fly the drone. Then there are people who take the next step and they get actually good at something. Right. So they get good at editing. They realize, oh, having a successful drone business doesn’t just mean I can buy a drone and fly it around. So they get good at, you know, editing or, you know, something is another skill that requires additional work other than flying. But then I know a lot of people struggle on how to go get business and attract clients. It sounds like you had a pretty nice setup where you’re already pretty involved in a community and had a lot of good connections starting out. Um, but I, I guess, do you have any strategies there that you’ve done where, uh, or you’ve tried in getting new business or I guess if not, do you have some thoughts for people who are out there? Um, trying to develop relationships and, and get business for their, for their new company?

16:31     Yeah, I can give him a little hint on that. I think so. Again, I’m, but I’ve been blessed with having a lot of relationships and, um, you know, a couple of them are pretty substantial opportunities because there have been a big property manager or whatever. Um, but one of the things that I did early on was I wanted to do restaurants. I just always thought restaurants would be fun. And so I went to a restaurant today then that fairly often and said, hey, I got a heck of a deal for you. I’ll do a video for nothing. And, uh, and it came out really well, but just was a combination of some, some pretty interesting artwork in the restaurant. And, and, um, and it’s, uh, it’s called, I won’t say what it is, but it’s a, it’s a new Orleans kind of seen restaurant. And I found some great music by the way. Planning Music is one of my biggest challenges. And also I can spend hours trying to find the right book track for a particular job, give probably partially wasted time, but it’s, it’s, I’m just so focused on getting anyhow for nothing. And then you’ve got a product in this case, um, he’s attached either through friendship or her relatives to butcher, you know, several other restaurants that have become something else and trying to go for a cargo one, which I still haven’t planted let down, but I’ve got another work that I didn’t expect at all. So

17:54     Yeah, I think you get at work. So you did one for free, you’re saying and then you’ve got other work kind of came out of that.

18:00     Yeah. Just to hear this, you know, I’ll do something for you. And, uh, again, once, uh, once I got a little public and pass around and cause it’s, I submit that it’s 99% word of mouth referrals. So I don’t know. I mean I don’t think I could advertise, I guess, but I did have the opportunity to do, um, get a, a full page article about me in a local magazine and that was a positive piece. I couldn’t buy that kind of advertising, but it did generate a heck of a lot of work, lot of interest, but not much work.

18:33     Yeah. Um, okay. Well that’s, yeah, that’s good. And that’s, you know, it’s something that we’ve heard other people saying tactics wise of, you know, doing some work, uh, for free to, so you can at least have a demo reel or something for other people to share around. Um, so it’s interesting that you had that kind of same, same approach. Um,

18:52     Yeah, they just tied into it. It would just, I think that the sooner one can put together, you know, call it a portfolio. I mean, that’s what I call mine portfolio, but yeah, of portfolio, um, much like a commercial photographer or an artist. And as soon as you can get, that’s important to get that foot together up front, that you get enough different kinds of houses and commercial buildings and you get some leases in those and some parks and then the country club, whatever. So you’ve got a, you know, a five, six, seven page portfolio, um, of some of your better stuff, even if you didn’t get paid to do it. Just stuff. Demonstrating your skills is real important.

19:32     Yeah, no, that’s, that’s, I think that’s smart. And so, so once you have that, do you have any, it sounds like you’re pretty good and successful at the, the relationship component too, and it sounds like that is, you know, made it pretty easy for you to turn the turn on the switch as far as getting some jobs goes, you know, if you’re someone who maybe isn’t as plugged into a community as you are, um, you have any, you know, I guess recommendations even from just like a mindset perspective are some practical tips on building those relationships and, and kind of getting that network going to where then you can, uh, have people coming to you that know what you do.

20:10     And I think in my case, I would, I like to characterize, characterize myself as this outgoing and other kind of call me the mayor of communion, the community I live in, cause I’ve been involved in everything so long. But underneath all that, I’m still pretty shy guy. I hate going knocking on the door and asking for. Um, so had I not had the connections that I have, so really wanting to do what I’m doing, I would have hired somebody or found someone to work on some kind of a contingent basis to work, to go knock on doors. So as ish, there’s plenty of people there that, that a better, that kind of outgoing people who already have full time job or something but are willing to go knock on some doors and take your product out if, if you’re, if you’re uncomfortable, you got to knock on somebody’s gotta knock on the door.

21:00     Yeah. Or make a phone call or do something. So yeah. That’s uh, that’s cool. Um, so I guess now it’s really for you, you’re kind of still treating him like a, a part time, a, a part time gig because you know, you’re retired, you don’t want to, it doesn’t sound like you wanna bust yourself doing it. You’re kind of enjoying, it sounds like you’re enjoying the time freedom. Um, do you have like a set target of like, I want to make x number of dollars per month with this or you just kind of taking jobs as they come in? Kind of what’s your mindset now about your business in that sense?

21:35     Yeah. Nice federal to, I think you have to have some kind of a goal where you’ll never know if you’ve made it right. Um, and my, it’s pretty simple. I’m looking to bring in $2,500 a month. That’s the, if I had to pick a number, yeah. That when I got that much output for the month schedule thing. But yeah, so there’s, I mean, I’ve had weeks where I’ve made that, so, um, but then I take three weeks off now. Um, but it can, to me, that’s what I’m trying to cover is, you know, buying these drawings. I’ve got, you know, five, six drones laying around here. Now I just bought a Ronan, which I haven’t had a Rogers bought a rowing them this week. Uh, there’s always something I’m buying. Um, so say, hey, I’m covering all these expenses and the deal I made, my wife has this, this money, uh, excess money goes into our travel plan. We, we love to travel. We travel all over the world. And, uh, so it kind of helps get her off my back by saying, hey, he’s working hard, but he’s going to be a trip to, he’s going to benefit from it.

22:38     Yeah. No, that’s good. That’s good. That’s a good idea. So basically cover your, cover your drones and equipment plus travel money. Yup. Nice. Now have you been, have you found that you’ve been able to hit that target of $2,500 a month?

22:52     I would say that, let’s say three out of five months do that. Um, I, you know, I miss, I missed, you know, pretty spectacularly like January, I had a really bad month, um, Scott, part of that economy and no list of new properties and you better Dah, Dah, Dah. Um, and then I think, you know, now it’s picking up and I’m kind of a picture of the spring. I could have some, a couple of four or $5,000 months pretty easily, so,

23:20     Oh, okay. So it just kind of ebbs and flows, you’re saying just seasonally for the kind of stuff you’re working on?

23:25     Yeah, and in between, you know, I’ve kind of, I think, you know, when you have the chance, when you have the equipment, you know, look, the creative side of this is becoming more intriguing demand. That’s in fact the reason I’m buying the road and there’s um, it’s just to get a little more creative and create some, some new videos that you can put on whatever you feel, whatever.

23:47     Yeah. Yeah. Now, uh, you said you have like five or six drones. What kind of, what kind of drones do you have out of curiosity? What’s your, what’s your fleet looking like?

23:55     Well, I have two maverick pros and belonging for a magnitude problem that’ll probably happen. I have to found him for pros and I have one inspire one.

24:08     Okay. How do you like the inspire? Do you use that much or you normally use

24:11     Some of the other I like it to show off. I’ve got to go out of invites. Actually, interestingly spoke a couple of weeks ago to a airman’s group. This was a group of people in more rural counties in Texas. Here they were all World War Two pilots now that he kept me too young and to get to World War II. So it was really an interesting session and they were, they were awakening, you know, Parker walkers for a few minutes and listened and, and then we went. I went out with them and we actually had the high school stadium, which you Texas of high school to stadiums, similar to a college stadium. Most of the world. I took three drugs up there and let these guys fly around. You never see somebody have more fun than they just when they were drilling touchdown lendings and take off. So it’s whatever I like. I like to try to advance the sport also that there’s some many misconceptions and so many people think, you know, somebody who’s looking in their window in the pool or whatever, whatever, whatever and get occasional, there were some random person doing that, but there’s so much happening in the future with the drone world that it’s just, it’s just hard to imagine.

25:25     And I love talking about it and yeah. Last piece on that is I’ve gotten myself involved in a national organization called Operation Drones Search and rescue and we’re trying to build the infrastructure for nationwide. I’m wanting a hundred. I just had a disaster, uh, deploy a group of drones and equipment. So. Cool. I’m really enjoying that too.

25:48     Yeah, that’s awesome. Now, um, as far as your, your business, the future of your business goes, are you, um, I guess what are you thinking for the future or are you kinda enjoying where he at and kind of want to stay with the commercial properties and kind of the level you’re doing? Or are you wanting to branch out into other, other areas of drone use? Like, like mapping or demography, anything like that. And kind of what are, where do you see your business heading in the future?

26:18     It’s, it’s, it’s one of those things I think about most days of the week that I really think, and again, I would say that, you know, I’m 68 years old, so, um, if I was 48 years old, I would be in this with both feet all day. And I’m telling you as he’s got so much opportunity, I find myself every once in a while sliding into will, I could just go ahead and still do that now and hire some people and um, and really turn this into something. And I said, well, why do, why would I want to do that? I actually met yesterday with another group of, um, drug company owners and, uh, talk to you by doing some joint partnership kind of stuff. And, uh, I think if anything I might might get more involved in something like that and that and see, see some of this work off to the younger group and cool. Let them get me some mailbox money, I call it, you know?

27:13     Yeah. I gotcha. That’s really cool. Um, well, uh, one other question I was gonna ask I have here on my list is if you were going to start from scratch today, like if you were starting over kind of now having some more experience with drones and drone business, I guess what are, what are a few things that you would do differently if you were starting fresh today with it?

27:36     Well, and I know I could say, Oh we, I’ve learned this lesson. I’ve learned that lesson. I think you have to learn all the lessons. I think it, you know, I don’t think I would do anything differently than it has to start out with the residential realtors and had to find out that they are challenged at times and they want a quick turnaround. Don’t want to pay. But that gave me a deck on enough activity to really start knowing, not just how to fly my drone in an open field, but the flight inside my quarters and to take actually with videos and pictures stuff, so, so well I’d like to say I wish I didn’t do that cause it really wasn’t as productive as I wish it was, but I had to do it. So I guess I’m kind of saying once like I look at my life, I’ve made some pretty dumb blenders along the way and stuff, but they all kind of come together to make you [inaudible] so you’ve got, he got into blunder your way into it. I’m praying,

28:27     So, yeah. So you’re saying, you know, you’ve learned stuff but you don’t have any regrets necessarily as far as how it went about.

28:34     Yeah, don’t we always, we were 16 again, but no, I don’t.

28:39     No, that’s good. And that’s great. Um, well cool. Um, all right, well is there anything else I guess you wanted to touch on? I mean, that’s really, you really hit on a lot of the different pieces. Um, I was, I was hoping to talk about, and, um, you know, you’ve, you’ve obviously shared a lot and I really appreciate you kind of opening up, um, getting into some specifics. I think that’s always really encouraging for people to hear, um, you know, just exactly, um, how people got started and, um, how much they’re actually able to do in real life. Cause I think, you know, sometimes you, you see on some of these Facebook groups, you get to get both ends of the spectrums. People going, Oh, this is, you know, this is a waste of time. You can never make money doing this and blah, blah, blah.

29:18     And you know, I think those are typically people who’ve, who’ve maybe tried and Kinda got defeated and, or given up. But then you, you know, but then I’ve talked to plenty of people who are, you know, they’re either making a nice side income or they’re even able to make full time income, um, because they’ve taken a little more seriously and develop some actual in demand skills and things like that. Um, so I just think it’s nice for people to hear from others who are actually, you know, able to do something to them, the well with it. So I’m, so I really appreciate you talking to us and, and walking us through all that. Um,

29:48     Just add one more, take that [inaudible] so the people I was meeting with yesterday, and again, I was set up, I need with some successful rather people have done business as well while I was there. Two man, a partnership up, just not that far from where I live. And, uh, and I’ve known these guys, they’re in their second year of business, but they’re averaging 15,000 a month and, and growing or regularly. Um, so there’s, there’s plenty of opportunity. Again, if you, you’re worth it. You know, they’ve got the first Patrice and they’re looking at the second one and it’s, but you gotta work hard. It’s not right. Yeah. But to me that the, the, the thing I think for all the drummers of the world is a, be responsible and you know, we’re bringing enough bad stuff down upon ourselves because of a handful of people doing stupid things and we’ve just got to self police to some extent and keep this, this is going to change. Obviously you’re going to pay some kind of price before it’s silver and gray. But um, and also attribute where possible. Like I said, I’m getting involved in this national search and rescue thing. Yeah. I think that’s great. If you get it, you get a call for doing something like that and you can help help out something and you know, that’s part of our opportunity in response.

31:04     Well, yeah, no, that’s, that’s fantastic that you’re doing that. It’s a really cool, it’s cool thing to hear about and I think that’s, um, yeah, some, some really some really good points. Now, your, your guys that you know, that are in that group with you, are they doing similar work to what you’re doing? Are they in kind of a different specialty?

31:20     Well, and again, if you watch the evolution, I think as you go through your podcasts, you’re going to see, I think the kinds of that natural evolution they started with residential real estate went into commercial ranching farms, do a lot of ranch and farm stuff. They’re in a more rural community, but then they, they’ve gotten into the inspection world and they got foreign, all that stuff. So they’re doing cell towers and pipelines and that, again, that’s where the real money is doing that kind of stuff that you don’t, you’re not getting a bunch of one off. You’re getting a contract. Yeah. And Cell Towers.

31:57     Right. But at the same time, a lot of those, you know, higher paying gigs require equipment that’s much more expensive as well. Like, you know, the mature ees that’s, you know, so with cameras and stuff loaded up on that can be, you know, easy 20 grand. So,

32:09     Yeah. But you’re right. It’s, I think there’s was about that 1820 grand.

32:13     Yeah. Yeah. So, um, that’s cool. Yeah. Well thanks for that insight. That’s really cool here. Um, you know, your experience especially, you know, meet with others too. So,

32:22     Um, I appreciated your, you’re reaching out to the world and communicating this stuff too, let’s to yeah,

32:28     Yeah. You know, I think people are, I’m, I’m, I’m kinda disappointed that I didn’t kind of start doing this a little sooner just because I really enjoyed these, these conversations I’ve been having with people and they’re really eye opening and, um, you know, I think people want this stuff. So, um, I was gonna ask if people, you know, if you’re, if people wanted to get in touch to your, or see your work, you know, where’s the best place to find out if you have a, a website or Facebook, Instagram, something like that. But I guess where’s the best place for people to, to find out what,

32:53     Yeah, I think, uh, so my, uh, website is that, um, special point of view and if you contact me a button in there, so, okay.

33:06     So you can get it that way. Cool. Well, we’ll link, we’ll link to your website in the, uh, in the notes to the, to the podcasts, um, on our website. And, and on, um, you know, wherever you’re listening to, either iTunes or stitcher. Um, well Jeff, thank you so much. I won’t keep you any longer, but thank you so much for talking to us and sharing, uh, your, your perspective and your experience with us. Um, I really appreciate it. I know a lot of people will really enjoy listening to this, so, um, thanks so much for your time.

33:32     Thanks for having me on.

33:34     Yeah. All right. Take care. All right, thanks everybody for listening to that episode and interview with Jeff. Uh, I really enjoyed talking to him, hearing his story. Um, these recordings are always just a lot of fun for me to get to know people and hear how they started their business. You know, a lot of times it just comes down to getting out there, engaging with your network, meeting New People, showing them how you can help and just things unfold and develop. I’ve seen that story happen time and time again. So if you are kind of on the fence and timid to talk to people or don’t think could happen, just be bold and go out, develop real relationships and tell people how you can help them. So obviously that comes with first developing a skill to be able to help them. So whether that’s um, creating promo videos or orthomosaic maps or whatever, you need to make sure you get those skills first.

34:22     But then after that, don’t be afraid to go out there and talk to people. Um, people are more receptive than you think to those types of things. I’ve seen it time and time again where once people muster up the courage to go out there and start building relationships with people to get more business, uh, things start taking off for them. So anyways, I really enjoyed that, that interview with Jeff and I really appreciate him coming on and sharing those insights. I wanted to mention again those two courses we talked about at the very beginning. Um, if you were interested in getting your part on a seven license or your remote pilot certificate as it’s officially called, we have a prep course that can help with that. Uh, we’ve had about 8,000 people go through it, over 99% pass rate. So that’s just something to really make studying easy for you.

35:01     If you want to take that 60 question FAA exam, uh, the link will be in the show notes, but the Promo code is podcast 55, zero all one word. Uh, and then the other course that we don’t talk about quite as much as of course called aerial video a to z, it was created by a partner of ours, Alex Harris. He’s a professional videographer, editor, photographer, uh, used to work in Hollywood a, he’s won awards for his drone work. He put this course together to teach you literally everything you need to know from beginning to end on drones, cinematography, editing, titles, transitions, um, how to make the picture look good, how to do the right shots, all this stuff. So it’s really awesome. Uh, so we have a 20% off deal for podcast listeners. I believe the code for that is podcast A. V, a, Z for aerial video, a to z.

35:54     So again, there’ll be a link for that if you want to check that out. That’s helped out a lot of people and it’s a great course. So if you’re interested in really kind of developing those chops in being able to get better clients, that’s something you can look into. All right. We’ll be sure to tune in next week when we bring you another drone to one k podcast interview. We’ll release new episodes every Tuesday for 11 total episodes in season one and then look out for season two coming shortly thereafter, probably later in 2019. Thanks again everyone and take care

David Young

David Young

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