How to “Take The Leap” as EntrepreneursFind out how good advice, mentorship, and dedication took Justin Bourn from a bedroom freelancer to the owner of Blank Canvas Studios - which now has branches in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
Justin Bourn took the leap from a “safe” engineering job to starting his own business in 3D graphics. Find out how good advice, mentorship, and dedication took him from being a bedroom freelancer to the owner of Blank Canvas Studios – which now has branches in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne!
Hey guys, it’s Matt Hanham here and welcome to the #AmplifyYourBusiness Podcast. I’m pretty pumped as today is the first (and hopefully not the last) episode!
My first guest is Justin Bourn, a good mate and owner of a business in the creative CGI graphics industry. He’s got a great story about taking that big, terrifying leap into entrepreneurship. One reason I love Justin’s story is because he leans into one of my favourite ‘hacks’ to getting ahead – finding a mentor.
I can’t say enough about how important it is to surround yourself with people who teach you, raise your standards, and lift you up to new heights. All this becomes even more important when you’re doing something completely crazy like starting your own business.
So without further ado, let’s get into the episode!
Who is Justin Bourn?
Justin Bourn is the founder and director of Blank Canvas Studios, one of Australia’s leaders in the production of 3D visualisation images for architecture, interior design and property marketing. To rephrase in plain English, they create computer animated images of buildings that haven’t been built yet. These get used for brochures, and to help visualise the project for potential buyers or investors. Often, the graphics are so realistic, you’ll think you’re looking at a photo!
The Road to Realising “I Need to Start My Own Business”
One sort of support and advice for entrepreneurs is simply hearing how other people made the leap, so listen up because Justin’s story is food for the entrepreneur’s soul.
Justin started out in graphics but soon got frustrated and bored with corporate life (Who doesn’t?).
Ready for a change, he moved to a smaller Engineering startup.
“It was a risky opportunity but I loved the idea.”
It was in that engineering job, Justin rediscovered his passion for 3D graphics. He started teaching himself… and he started working nights…
“I always had a passion for 3D ever since I was younger. I was actually going to study 3D instead of engineering but went down the engineering path. It was just funny how I ended up being drawn back to the 3D anyway. And so I self-taught myself.”
Entrepreneurship: The Ignition Point
There’s a big difference between doing a bit of freelance and starting your own business. It’s a massive step – and once you make it, there’s sometimes no going back.
So what makes people take the leap?
Well, for Justin, it was simply doing the work that he loved. And he started by doing it for free.
“What started off Blank Canvas was I did a piece of work for free. I did [some CGI images] for a developer who was like ‘If we win this project then I’ll give you more work.’ I had nothing to lose, only to gain. So I did it, then I was introduced to the architects, the architects liked what I did, then they got me to quote on other work and then I started to build a bit of momentum.”
Eventually Justin took on so much work that he had to start choosing between his day job and his passion. An incredibly hard decision for most.
“And that decision was extremely tough because it was risky. I didn’t have any savings. Nothing. But I remember having a conversation with my granddad at the time…”
[Grandpa Bourn]: “How old are you?
[Grandpa Bourn]: “F*** off! You could fail and you’ve got all your years still to rebuild! What have you got to lose?”
To say Justin was shocked would be an understatement. His grandparents were relatively conservative, and yet here was his granddad of all people, still telling him to go for it! So he chose his passion and never looked back at the “safe” option again!
And, luckily, Justin’s granddad wasn’t the only support he got on that road.
Support and Mentorship for Entrepreneurs
“If you’re starting a business, find someone who’s been there, done that. Find them at all costs, bug them, hang around them, work for them… and just absorb.”
It’s pretty spot on advice for anyone, and especially for entrepreneurs and business owners. One of the most valuable things Justin did for himself as an entrepreneur was approach a mentor. And his was digital – which is an important point because there are so many digital resources out there for entrepreneurs these days.
“[For me], it was a digital [mentor]. They were based out of Indonesia and I bugged this guy like crazy for nearly a good 12 months to 2 years straight on improving my craft. And I think that was one of the keys of really helping me have the confidence to go out in business.”
The final point we’ll leave off with is about another type of support people often overlook. It’s resourcefulness, being your own support system and fully using your creativity to solve your own problems. Justin comments on that:
“Everyone complains ‘Oh I need more money, I need more time.’ But in the moment you end up finding a way to make it happen. If you need more projects, you go out and you make calls and you e-mail people. Or you need more help to get the work done, you find people to do it and get it done.”
Get Out There and Make Something Happen!
No matter where you’re at in your business journey, there’s always value in good advice, support. So get some, get out there, and make something happen!
And in case you’re looking for advice, support, maybe just more stories from people on the path of entrepreneurship and business ownership – keep tuning into this podcast! There’s plenty more to come.
Is the podcast helping you take action? Share your story, and leave a review iTunes for Amplify Your Business with Matt J Hanham.