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I am surrounded by repurposed things.

photo of an exercise sandbag weighing a light stand
a repurposed exercise sandbag

At a recent video shoot the sandbags that kept a light stand secured were originally for fitness training. They came in two sizes, for ankles and wrists–handy for both tripods and stands, with less unneeded weight to lug around. I discovered the straps could be used to secure power cords for strain relief—something a regular sandbag can’t do. I can’t recall using these much (it was a ‘90s thing) but now they’re a mainstay in my video kit. I also have some power cords, bought on Christmas clearance, that come in varied lengths and with single or multiple plugs, all in the same elegant hunter green. The different lengths mean fewer coils of excess cord to trip over, and the color is less obtrusive when strung across carpets and along baseboards. I even had repurposed some yellow plastic Caution ribbon I’d originally bought to discourage the neighbors’ dogs from trampling yard plantings (an abject failure.) Here the tape marked off my camera and light stands in a crowded room.

We’re used to the concept of repurposing content, so that we get more value and use out of the effort and cost of creating it. Repurposing is a mental exercise, where you try to think like the person you can help, your prospective customer. You need to find their greatest need, and make them aware of how you can help them in the short term, and also in the long term. It’s a relationship based on value and need. I think of myself that way too–I have value and I’m always looking for ways to apply it to solving my customer’s need. It’s all about repurposing.