Entrepreneur Spotlight: Nolan Johnson

2 mins read

Did You Know?
Businesses using video grow company revenue 49% faster, year-over-year, than organizations without.

A Quiet Impact
According to Facebook, 85% of videos on their platform are watched without sound. This proves the importance of visuals!

Nolan Johnson – CEO & Owner, Quantum Digital

Nolan Johnson’s passion for his career has remained equally impressive since he launched Quantum Digital six years ago. Quantum Digital is a media content service that specializes in video production, commercials, music videos, online content, photography, web design and much more.

“A website is much more than just development,” said Johnson, as his passion has spilled over into working on more long-form, documentary projects. The future appears to be bright for Johnson’s company, as the ambitions for Quantum Digital are just as present as when Johnson began this venture.

What was your journey like for you to get to the position you’re at today?

I worked full-time for different news stations and marketing agencies while I was learning and building a model for how I wanted to operate. Importantly, I made sure that my family was in a place where I could afford to take the risk.

Which parts of taking this risk will stick with you forever?

The part that will stick with me forever was the timing. I told my wife that I was going to quit my full-time job the week she went back to work from maternity leave with our oldest daughter. She didn’t even flinch. She just asked if we would have to sell the house. I told her I would never put our family in a bind like that, and if I needed to go get another job, I had options. She said, “Good for you, babe.” And luckily we haven’t been in that position.

What steps were the hardest when taking the leap to start your own business?

The hardest thing to accept is that there will be work coming down the road. When you start without long-term contacts, it’s really difficult to trust that the work you’re doing in the moment will lead to opportunities down the road. I’m terrible with mixers and networking events. I always feel like I’m bothering somebody by letting them know what I do. As if they are thinking “Of course, you’re going to try and sell me something.”

What was a typical day in your life like when you were beginning your business?

My typical day, early on, consisted of filming and editing existing work, but the majority of my time was spent researching area businesses, sending e-mails or cold calling them to let them know what services we offered and sharing some ideas that we had for projects. It was really low-tech. I worked mainly off of word of mouth and referrals. I don’t even remember when the cold calling stopped. It just phased out as work kept coming in.

What would you have done differently if you could go back and start again, knowing what you know now?

I would have loved to have an idea of how to expand and take on more work without falling behind. Bridging the gap between having enough work to hire and needing to hire to take on more work is the hardest phase of small business ownership that I’ve come upon, and I’m still in that learning phase.

What advice do you have for readers considering taking this leap?

Know where your support is coming from and there’s no shame in working your “day job” and running your business on the side until you’re completely comfortable going on your own.

What else would you like to add regarding your personal experience in taking this risk?

I couldn’t do it on my own and expect to grow in size or improve quality. I was incredibly lucky to meet my fellow cinematographer and editor, Steven Dettling, early on in my business journey. He’s such a huge part of what Quantum has been able to do. He’s talented in so many things, shooting, editing, coloring, writing music and mixing sound. He has such a passion for the technical parts of the project that I know everything is in good hands when I need to step away and deal with the big picture.

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