January 28, 2016

Heart Stone Films a Look Behind the Business

Hi friends! My name is Chris Wheaton, one of the founders of Heart Stone Films alongside my lovely wife Toni Wheaton. By title, I am the CEO of Heart Stone Films and our commercial production company Portico Pictures, my day to day roles include I am a filmmaker, creative director, editor and for lack of a cuter word salesman. On the personal side I am Toni’s husband, Elijah’s dad, and follower of Jesus Christ. This post is the first in an ongoing series of blogs that focus more on the business side of running a wedding business. I hope to share a lot about what I’ve learned over the past 8 years in this industry. My experience ranges from handling all of our sales and marketing, managing client and vendor relations efforts as well as cinematography and editing. Some of the content that you will find here will be real life experiences and stories from the last 8 years, my favorite books and resources for business and filmmaking, apps and tools that I use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, my routines and habits (good and bad) that affect my growth as a business owner and filmmaker, my monthly goals as a way to connect and stay accountable with all of you amazing people, and lastly personal life goals and updates. The last one is important because I’m a dad now and I can’t wait to share about this great adventure! Special thank you to Nancy Ray for the awesome image for this blog post, melts my heart every time I see it!

I will start the year off with a simple but important task. Creating goals. Goals for me are not just something that exists somewhere in the future, but a set of daily activities that I engage in to bring specific results. I like to make monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals that cover the personal and professional spectrum. With each goal I always bring it back to what I can do each day to bring me closer to the goal. For example, if my goal is read a particular book in one month I start with how many pages I need to read each day in order to complete the book by months end. This is a simple example but you would be surprised at how practical and well this works when applied to larger, more intimidating goals.  For me this approach provides built in feedback and a daily way to monitor the progress of my goal. What happens along the way is the development of habits that bring continued success beyond the reaching of one goal. Some of the goals are simple and easy to complete or will become that way over time. Other goals will feel uncomfortable, ridiculous, and maybe even embarrassing to share. Those are the fun ones! So here is my list of goals for February:


Read How to Win Friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie
Book 5 weddings
Book 2 commercial clients
Write 4 blog posts, 1 per week
Set a date for our first team training retreat

Welcome our baby boy into the world!
Spend 1 month with very limited access to work
Go on a date night out with my wife!
Implement the BabyWise approach for our little one
Change my 100th diaper 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts on goal setting and how you approach accomplishing your goals in the comment section below. As well as any questions or topics you would like to hear more about in the next blog post!