Where Have You Been Anyway? What’s an sUAS?

Alright. So, I had all of these grand plans of writing a new blog at least once a week. Each month was going to have at least one well written article that I would be proud of, but alas, I have seriously slacked. You see, everything was going so well. My last blog entry had been featured on the excellent podcast put on by the guys at ChooseFI. I thought everything was going well and this blog might actually get some regular readers! Then I learned a bit about a small abbreviation – “sUAS.” But I am getting ahead of myself.

So Where Was I?

I’ll tell you right where I was. I was working on a new website, business, job at work, being a dad to three awesome girls, and a husband to a beautiful wife. If you’ve been paying attention, you know a bit about my wonderful family already. Let me clue you in to my new side gig.

Here is how it started. One day I was thinking to myself “Self, you need a new hobby, and it would be great if this hobby did something for you intellectually, financially, and professionally.” I came up with flying small Unmanned Aerial Systems (the common vernacular is “drones,” but sUAS is how the FAA refers to them). I began researching what it would take to become an FAA Remote Pilot (they actually have a certification/license for this stuff).

Then I began researching the technology side to it. Oooooohhhhhh yyyeeeaaaahhh. I’m a bit of a technology guy anyhow. My prior employment dealt a lot with computers. I’ve sort of been out of the computer game for nearly a decade (aside from the casual user and use at work). I figured this type of hobby could help me express my enjoyment of technology, interest in flying sUAS (again, that’s the term I’ll use for drones from here on out), and even provide a creative outlet when it comes to photography and video editing. This seemed like an excellent way to satisfy every goal I had when selecting a new hobby.

Putting My Money Where The sUAS Flies

Innovative Aerial ImagerySo the recent episode on ChooseFI about PopUp Business School was about two months too late for me. PopUp Business School is a company that specializes in helping people start businesses for little to no money by using creative ways to come up with resources and/or training in order to help people bring value to the market.  I decided to commit to becoming a remote pilot by spending money getting there. The test for the licensing is $150, so I studied all of the free materials I could find for a week before taking the test. I passed it and felt very relieved. I didn’t want to waste money on failing a test.

The next step was creating a website. I researched names for LLCs in Texas for a week or so before I settled on Innovative Aerial Imagery LLC. – you would not believe the number of different iterations of that name I went back and forth with the Secretary of State’s office until landing (ha ha… puns) on that one. Once I registered that name, the business was official. I had spent $520 in order to get the licensing, LLC, and a small sUAS I could practice in my backyard or inside of my house. This would help me to get used to the controls, but years and years of playing video games made this step largely superfluous.

I thought I would be able to get to a position where I could begin taking clients for the business after purchasing a new sUAS (a much higher quality one than previously purchased). Unfortunately, there were other technology issues I had yet to overcome. I did not know, what I didn’t know! In my next blog I’ll talk about how I waded through the mire before finally getting my first paying customer. In the meantime, check out my website at InnovativeAerialImagery.com!

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