The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. Marketing and 3D Animation Studio. Nick Popov is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nick Popov and I am the founder of Trolik Studios. Our branding is still under development, and therefore a name change in the near future is expected!
We are a cutting-edge marketing and 3d animation studio specializing in creating visually stunning, engaging and impactful content for businesses of all sizes while also creating socially impactful animated content in an effort to encourage global positivity and critical thought. By leveraging innovative technology such as AI powered tools, we provide high-quality animation, creative visual effects, and digital marketing solutions that help our clients stand out in today's competitive online and in-store marketplace.
Our long term mission is to empower businesses with captivating storytelling and immersive experiences that build brand structure, customer engagement, and ultimately, brand and financial growth through different mediums and with artistic consideration. We work with animators and designers around the world, allowing us to explore new cultures, ideas, beliefs, and experiences from each artist, telling a diverse and global story.
What did it take/how did you get started?
Many people spend their entire lives trying to find their purpose and a career that they can be excited for every day. Others are fortunate enough to know exactly what they want and, furthermore, have the means to achieve those goals. I thank whatever force is out there everyday for granting me as one of the fortunate few. Since I was 10 years old, I have been fascinated with computers and exploring the world through the Internet. I've always enjoyed learning, exploring new perspectives, and creating things that made myself and others happy. As Covid began on 18th birthday, I was confused and anxious as to what direction I should go, so I chose to further explore my roots in video editing, artistry, philosophy, psychology, and marketing. This brought me to where I am today! With connections to fantastic artists and innovators all of the world, the only limit to what can be done are the limits we set in our own minds.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
At the moment, we only serve as the intermediary or the translator between what our client sees for their product advertisement and how the final advertisement looks.
We are currently transitioning from a primarily freelance workflow to a fully developed operations system that offers extensive marketing related services such as social media content creation packages, market research, and full marketing strategies including STP, means-end chains, branding information, and more.
We pride ourselves as forward thinkers, always anticipating the next step ahead, which is why are considering offering VR and AR advertisement services in non-intrusive and ethical ways supported by psychological research and development.
What drives / motivates you on a daily basis?
Quite honestly, my parents. Both of them were immigrants and if it weren't for their smarts and dedication to me both as individuals and as a team, there's a good chance I wouldn't be here today writing this. My parents have gone above and beyond for me since day one, and I would eventually like to return that favor back to them.
From a business perspective, I believe everyone should have an opportunity to have their voice heard. There are artists whose paintings may never be seen, and engineers whose ideas may never be invented. We want to help others turn their hobbies into their career and beyond, allowing them to inspire change and focus on what truly matters: living life to the fullest.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Be patient, stay focused, and remember what you're doing this for. Ultimately, you have to be passionate about what you do, and I think that's true for any hobby you would like to turn into a business. This job requires thinking outside of the box, thinking critically about information from different areas of education like science, psychology, mathematics, and more.
This position is the collision of where a business idea and reality meet, therefore it's important to be patient and understanding that things may not always work out, but what's important is that you got back up and tried something new to improve.
What has been the hardest part of your business journey?
Balance. As a current senior at Butler University, it's extremely challenging to navigate the real world in terms of searching for a job, maintaining academics, and having several jobs while on campus as well. It becomes even more challenging when you intend to grow your business. It's important to not only balance how much time you are allocating to each task, but it's also equally important to balance how you feel while working on each task.
How have you managed burnout thus far?
In my humble opinion, burnout is one of the worst things that an entrepreneur can feel, but avoiding burnout is not necessarily the best idea in my experience. When I feel a burnout coming up, I typically stop what I am doing and immediately go do something that relaxes me. Basketball, a walk, talking with my friends, anything.
Once I feel refreshed, I return and write down everything that I have on my plate and divide it into three sections: easy, medium, hard. If I am up for it, I will try and get some of the easy items off my plate, but traditionally I keep it until the next day. The next day, you must reproach everything with an open mind and start positively.
Reassess your goals, why you set those specific goals, and what rational road map you have to achieving them. Ultimately, burnout can be dealt with in hundreds of ways, so do what feels best to you. However, if you aren't enjoying the work you are doing for YOUR business, it's probably time to take a break!
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
I always recommend finding your own sources, as what works for me might not necessarily work best for you, but there are a few sources that I recommend for expanding your knowledge in marketing, 3d workflows, and AI Marketing. There's ultimately nothing better than a college education if you are lucky enough to get one in this day and age. Having a good teacher who truly understands how and why marketing works effectively is what will allow you to understand marketing fundamentally. However, generally, a few topics to consider are STP, Means-End Chains, Wheel of Consumer Analysis, and the consideration versus evoked set. 3d Workflows: YouTube is your friend, not your enemy! While the breadth of talent on YouTube can be overwhelming, it's important to embrace the knowledge that YouTube can provide. There are hundreds of creators who make detailed courses outlining the in's and out's of 3d software. Some of these courses are arguably comparable to university lectures! AI Knowledge: The greatest resource I can recommend is the user @MattVidPro AI on YouTube who has consistently kept me up to date on the latest intricacies within the AI industry.
List the founders
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
Total worth of equipment, software, and talent was roughly $8,500
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
My funding methods were my own blood, sweat and tears (my bank account). I had raised some support from those close to me as an investment into the business.
What's the #1 thing you need right now?