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Meet CJ Thomas of Wondertree Media in North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to CJ Thomas.

CJ, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Have you ever been in one of those jobs where you just want to smash your head on the keyboard? That’s where I found myself at age 20 after having moved from Reno, NV to San Diego, CA to pursue my lifelong dream of being a professional musician. In order to pay the bills on my shoebox studio apartment, I took a job as an estimator/project manager at a commercial construction company. In hindsight, I learned a lot from that job, but I hated it at the time.

I had also always had an interest in business/entrepreneurship. This may have stemmed from my parents opening a coffee shop when I was younger, where I would run the front register. Thus, began my focus on starting my own business. My initial “ventures” were simply poor attempts at getting something up quick so I could quit my job. One day, I picked up photography as a hobby and to get my mind off of business. Funny enough, that was my first “successful” business that allowed me to leave my 9-5. The lesson here, only pursue the things you enjoy.

But it still wasn’t enough. I wanted to do something bigger, and had a love for working with other businesses. While learning photography, I also began creating videos. So naturally, I had businesses approaching me to help them grow their brands using online video. I loved it and became obsessed with learning online video marketing. This is what led to starting Wondertree Media which is my full time focus today.

Long story short: I followed my curiosity and couldn’t be more grateful that I did.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Haha. Anyone that says it’s been a smooth road is either lying or not trying hard enough. With each next step comes bigger challenges. But I’m a big believer that each challenge brings an equal or greater opportunity. However, I would say that the biggest challenges are internal. Especially working in a creative field, I’m constantly over analyzing our work and wondering why we’re not 10 steps ahead of where we are. I’ve learned to counter that through the practice of gratitude.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
It’s no secret that in today’s business landscape video is the best way to get attention and communicate your message. But video is not one size fits all. A video without a strategy and plan for how it will be used is simply wasted dollars. We work with startups and organizations to create compelling story-driven videos content that will inspire action and drive their businesses forward.

Everything we do starts with a clear understanding of the outcome that the client is looking for. A common misconception is that video is strictly a sales and marketing tool but it can also be useful for other objectives such as raising capital, recruiting talent, and company morale.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up (and still today) I’ve always been obsessed with learning. I would say that research and learning is my super-power. I would also say that I can definitely be stubborn (although I like to view it as persistent). If I knew what I wanted, I would focus all of my energy and attention at achieving that thing. That’s meant that at times I sacrifice other parts of my life (such as social or health) but lately I’ve been a lot more focused on living a slightly more balanced life.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Matt DeCelles of William Painter

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