Saying No as a Way to Build a Better Video Business

WITH Joshua Martin Studios


Turning down opportunities can sometimes be a good thing for you and your business. It’s not easy to say no to jobs and money. Yet, strategically doing so opens up doors to what you actually want to do. Today’s guests have successfully built their studio around this idea.

Key Takeaways

It’s natural to want to branch out your business into many fields. However, this will dilute your talent and energy. Instead, create a narrow focus on where your skills and passions intersect.

About Joshua Martin Studios

Joshua Martin Studios is a small production company based in the United States. It is co-run by founder Joshua Martin and business partner Cody Wales who focus on telling stories of the human condition.

Lessons of Starting a New Studio

From the very start, Joshua and Cody knew what type of studio they wanted to run. However, like any new small business, they had debts to pay. They tell how they learned very quickly to leave their egos behind and take the work they needed to get their business off the ground. While they feel driven as creatives to keep doing more and more, they realize that success in business means narrowing your focus and skills to excel at something in particular.

Asking For the Impossible

Now that they are working towards a clear vision for their studio, Joshua and Cody are able to take just the jobs they want. As a result, both they and their clients truly appreciate the videos that they make. A large part of their strategy involves asking for what they want and seeing what they can get from brands they want to work with. When the worst that can happen is getting no for an answer, these low-risk high-reward ventures have the potential to lead to great opportunities that otherwise would not happen.

How have you narrowed your focus as you grow your business? What impossibilities would you like to ask for? Leave a comment below!

In this Episode

  • Building a studio around your interests with brand support [5:40]
  • The challenge of ambition and how to overcome it [14:40]
  • The unique advantage of knowing what you do and don’t want to do [19:45]
  • What happens when you leave your ego at the door when growing your business [28:00]
  • Why you should ask other companies for things that seem impossible [30:46]


15:38“There’s this constant desire to explore and do something new and if you’re taking on too much of that and managing it yourself, there’s a strong possibility that you’re going to burn yourself out creatively and in life.”
32:28“I reach out to people where it might seem impossible because they’re a big brand or company. I think people might be surprised. You should not have an expectation that they’re going to say yes. That’s the key.”
35:58“Whatever it is you’re going to go do, make sure you’re in the position to be very appealing to them. It’s not like always throwing a ‘hey, can we do this?’ out of nowhere. It’s more of like ‘this will be beneficial to you because it’s what we’re already doing.’”



Ryan Koral

Ryan Koral is an entrepreneur, producer and business strategist from Tell Studios, a video production agency with a big heart for authentic stories that build brands and inspire action. He’s a husband (mostly happily for like 16+ years), has 3 kiddos, and has an annoying – but infectious – laugh.

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