Sandra Pires is a Multi platform producer and director of Why Documentaries, based in Wollongong. The name was actually first registered in the year 2000 because Sandra needed to create a business name/ABN to get paid for a job. Since then Why Documentaries has gradually evolved into a reputable, award winning business and has become a driving force in creating content with purpose.
The business specialises in video production, DVD duplication, corporate and commercial video services. A large focus on that is around Australian history documentaries and multicultural marketing which is where a lot of Sandra’s passionate work comes to the surface. Her background in journalism also gave exposure to the freelancer/contractor lifestyle which helped in the earlier stages of creating the business.
Sandra is full of great quotes as well as moments of inspiration, resilience and persistence. The chosen line of work that Why Documentaries takes means that there is always a degree of challenge and friction that a lot of other businesses may not experience. Despite the unique path that the business walks, there are many great insights and takeaways that other Self Starter listeners can find in Sandra’s story.
What did you get out of this episode? Here’s what I learnt;
1. Work Experience – Sandra did several work experience stints around the country with various production houses. While work experience is a great way to hone in on what you want, it also helps identify what you don’t want to do. Work experience isn’t reserved for those still in school or recently left. Maybe you could do a day a fortnight/month giving your time for free in exchange for some insight and experience in a line of work/industry that interests you? The more you give, the more you get.
2. Thick Skin – Failure, rejection, criticism, and feedback. These are things that occur in everyone’s self employment journey however in Sandra’s line of work they are amplified and happy consistently. While it certainly has its moments and never gets easier, Sandra has developed a thick skin and understands that these moments are essential in fulfilling the needs of her business.
3. Don’t focus on what you think you are not – Sandra retold a great quote by Michael Nolan “It’s not who we are that holds us back it’s who we think we are not”. Sometimes our fear of not knowing, not having or not understanding becomes a dark cloud that paralyses us from taking action. Sandra has a firm belief that you can do anything and its simply getting started where the break through begins.
4. Money can’t be the primary motivator – Starting and running your own business is hard. Money can be a motivator but it can’t be the only one. Sandra’s passion for telling stories that impact the community ensures that her business is aligned in with her own personal beliefs. It gives her fuel to push through the harder moments knowing that there are bigger reasons why she is doing it all.
Wollongong – 2/324 Crown St, Wollongong NSW 2500
Photo by Illawarra Mercury