Dream Big - SUCCESS

How to achieve success in the drone industry!

coaching goals personal development success Oct 04, 2023



In this post, we’ll be taking a deep dive into a topic that's close to my heart and essential for every one of us on our personal and business development journey!

I recently delved deep into this on The Drone Mentor Podcast, and I felt it was so crucial to share in written form for those who prefer a good read with their morning coffee…

So, grab a BIG mug… Charge it up and let’s dive in! 🙂



It's a word we hear so often, but what does it truly mean? And more importantly, what does it mean to YOU? 


In our fast-paced world, especially in the dynamic realm we’re in, where we’re blending drones and technology, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget the "why" behind our actions. 


So, let's take a step back, reflect, and truly understand and create our own definition of success!

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Table of Contents
  • The Multifaceted Nature of Success
  • Financial Success: A Common Goal but Not the Only One
  • Beyond Money: The Rich Tapestry of Success
  • Reflecting on Core Values
  • Setting Goals Aligned with Personal Values
  • Celebrating Small Wins
  • Resources for your SUCCESS Journey
  • Conclusion: Navigating Your Personal Journey to SUCCESS
  • Links/Resources


The Multifaceted Nature of Success


Most of us (myself included) think we understand what success means to us. It’s one of those things that we grow up talking about, discussing and being taught… But how many of us have actually stopped to think what it TRULY means to us?

You see, once you scratch past the surface and take a deeper look, its meaning can be as varied as the drones we fly, the places we fly (and the weather that often prevents us from getting off the ground in the first place). For some of us in the drone world, it's the thrill of capturing that perfect aerial shot, while for others, it's the satisfaction of landing a new contract, wrapping a successful commercial project or the joy of teaching a newbie the ropes of drone flying.


In the drone world, just as in life, success isn't one-dimensional. It's not just about financial gains or the number of drones you own. It's about the journey, the experiences, the lessons learned, and the connections made. It's about setting a goal, no matter how big or small, moving towards it every day and finally achieving it. It's about pushing boundaries, overcoming challenges, and constantly evolving… That’s why our motto at The Drone Mentor Academy is ‘Learn, Build, Grow’... Because I believe so heavily in this concept of positive momentum. Constantly learning, constantly increasing our knowledge, our network and ultimately, growing as individuals so we start to move towards our maximum potential… 


To achieve OUR success.


And here's the critical thing to understand with that: success is deeply personal. What feels like a monumental achievement to one person might seem trivial to another. And that's ok. It's essential to recognize and celebrate our unique paths and definitions of success. 


This is what makes life SO interesting and exciting when you start to realise it.


In the recent podcast episode on SUCCESS which I mentioned in the intro to this article, I explored this concept in depth, discussing how success in the drone industry, and in life isn't just about financial milestones. It's about personal growth, building meaningful relationships, and making a genuine impact in our chosen field.


So, as you navigate your drone journey, your business journey and your personal development journey; I encourage you to think about what success truly means to you. Is it mastering a new flying technique? Building a community around your passion? Or perhaps it's simply the freedom and joy that comes from getting out into the wild and capturing never-seen-before angles? 


Whatever it is, embrace it, chase it, and most importantly, celebrate every win along the way.

Financial Success: A Common Goal but Not the Only One


In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship and especially in the drone industry, it's easy to equate success purely back to financial milestones. After all, revenue, profit margins, and ROI are tangible metrics that can be measured, tracked, and celebrated. And there's no denying the allure of financial stability and the freedoms it can offer.


However, while financial success is a commendable goal and one that many of us strive for, it's crucial to remember that it's not the be-all and end-all. Money, whilst undeniably essential, is just a tool—a means to an end. Sure, it can provide us with the resources to pursue our passions, support our loved ones, and make a difference in our communities. But it's not the sole indicator of a successful life or career… Or it certainly shouldn’t be.

Maybe this is why the ‘tiktok’ and ‘instagram’ generation are so sad? Everywhere we turn now on social media there’s an ‘influencer’ selling us material things or holidays on a Mega-yacht in the Maldives as THE aspiration and measure of success... And this couldn't be further away from what success actually SHOULD mean to us.


Throughout my years In the drone world, I've met countless individuals who've achieved significant financial success but still felt unfulfilled. Who still felt unhappy and trapped. Who didn’t feel successful?

On the flip side, I've encountered passionate drone enthusiasts who may not have the biggest bank accounts or drive round in fast cars, but are rich in experiences, relationships, and personal growth. They’ve achieved their own definition of success, or are well on their way towards achieving it. 


So, as you chart your course in the drone industry, I urge you to seek to broaden your definition of success... By all means, aim for those financial goals, but also seek out experiences that enrich your soul, relationships that uplift you, and opportunities that challenge you and help you grow, because, at the end of the day, true success is about leading a life filled with purpose, passion, and joy!

Beyond Money: The Rich Tapestry of Success


As I’ve already mentioned, without really drilling down into it, when we think of success it's easy to visualize the tangible rewards: a thriving business, a comfortable lifestyle, perhaps even a dream home or car. But success, especially in a field as dynamic and transformative as the drone industry, is so much more than just material gains. It's a rich tapestry woven from various threads, each representing a unique aspect of our journey.


Personal Growth: Every challenge we face, every mistake we make, and every victory we celebrate contributes to our growth. Whether it's mastering new technology, navigating the complexities of aviation regulations, or simply learning from a failed project, these experiences shape us, making us more resilient, adaptable, and knowledgeable.


Building Relationships: The connections we forge in our professional journey, be it with clients, collaborators, or fellow drone enthusiasts, are invaluable. These relationships not only open doors to new opportunities but also provide support, mentorship, and camaraderie. They remind us that we're not alone in our pursuits and that there's a whole community cheering us on.


Making an Impact: For a number of us in the drone industry, success is measured by the positive impact we make. Whether it's using drones for conservation efforts, aiding in disaster relief, or capturing breathtaking aerial footage that helps tell a compelling story about climate change and its effects on wildlife; it's about making a difference. It's about using our skills and passion to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.


Work-Life Balance: While building a successful drone business is rewarding, it's equally important to find a balance. Time spent with family, pursuing hobbies, or simply taking a moment to relax and recharge is crucial. After all, success isn't just about professional achievements; it's also about leading a well-rounded, fulfilling life. As part of your reflection on what SUCCESS means to you, take a moment to think about what you do to help ‘fill your cup’... What do you do that helps you recharge, avoid burn-out and keep making progress on your journey to SUCCESS?

Reflecting on Core Values


In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, especially in the tech world... It's all too easy to get caught up in the 'what' and 'how' of our actions. We're often so focused on achieving our goals that we forget to pause and reflect on the 'why'.


But how can we dive into this and start to get to grips with what SUCCESS should look like for YOU?


Understanding Your 'Why': Your core values are the guiding principles that drive your decisions, actions, and behaviours. They're the unwavering beliefs that anchor you, especially during turbulent times. When I first started in the drone industry, amidst all the excitement and challenges, it was my core values that kept me grounded. They reminded me of my purpose and the impact I wanted to make. I wanted to reach out and educate as many people as possible, to help keep people in the air and on the ground safe.

What’s your ‘WHY’?


Aligning Actions with Values: When our actions align with our core values, we experience a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction that's unparalleled. It's like flying a drone in the golden hour on a clear day with perfect wind conditions - everything just flows seamlessly (plus it feels great and looks amazing 🙂). On the other hand, when there's a misalignment, it feels like battling strong crosswinds, making it challenging to stay on course. You might be able to deal with this misalignment for a while… For a few years even, but at some point, it’ll catch up with you and you’ll want to go in a different direction! 


The Power of Reflection: Taking the time to reflect on and articulate your core values can be totally transformative. This is one of the first things I work on with new coaching clients at the beginning of our journey together… It provides clarity, direction, and a deeper understanding of oneself and has a massive impact on the personal journey ahead. For instance, if one of your core values is 'innovation', then pushing the boundaries of drone technology and constantly learning might be at the forefront of your endeavours. Or, if 'community' is a core value, then building and nurturing relationships within the drone industry might be where you want to set your sights and build into.


Setting Value-driven Goals: Once you've identified your core values, the next step is to set goals that resonate with them. These aren't just any goals; they're value-driven goals. The purpose behind them is to use them to help create YOUR roadmap. One that's not only aligned with your professional aspirations but also with who you are at your core. And trust me, when you're working towards goals that resonate with your values, the journey becomes as rewarding, if not more so, than the destination!

Setting Goals Aligned with Personal Values:


Alright, now we’re going to dive into one of my favourite topics: goal setting! 


But not just any goal setting – we're talking about setting goals that are deeply intertwined with our personal values. 


This, my friends, is where the magic happens.


The Power of Alignment: When our goals are in harmony with our core values, we're not just checking boxes or chasing random targets. Instead, we're on a mission that resonates with our very essence, with our purpose, with our WHY! It's like flying a drone with a clear plan in mind, knowing every manoeuvre, every angle and shot we’re grabbing aligns with the vision we’ve got for the video we’re going to create with it…


The Clarity Factor: One of the biggest challenges I've seen people face, both in the drone industry and beyond, is setting vague goals. "I want to be successful" or "I want to be the best drone pilot" are commendable aspirations, but what do they ACTUALLY mean? By aligning goals with our values, we bring clarity to our aspirations. For instance, if one of your core values is 'continuous learning', a clear goal might be "I will complete two advanced drone training courses this year.".


Breaking It Down: Once we have our value-aligned goals in place, the next step is to break them down into actionable tasks. Let's say that one of your goals, rooted in the value of 'community engagement', is to host a drone workshop for beginners. Breaking it down might involve tasks like researching venues, setting a date, creating a curriculum, and promoting the event. By breaking down our goals into manageable chunks and mini-tasks it gives us something to aim for. Something tangible that we can complete and ‘tick-off’ a list… Generating momentum and giving us the endorphin hit we need to ENERGISE ourselves and keep moving towards the destination! 🙂


Staying Accountable: With our goals and tasks laid out, accountability becomes key. Whether it's through a mentor (like yours truly 😉), a peer group, an accountability partner or even self-check-ins, regular reviews ensure we stay on track. Remember, it's not about perfection but progress. Celebrate the small wins, learn from the setbacks, and keep that drone flying forward.


DONE is better than perfect!


The Ripple Effect: When our actions and goals are value-driven, they create ripples that extend outwards far beyond just personal achievements. They impact our community, our industry, and oftentimes even the broader world. For instance, a goal aligned with the value of 'sustainability' might lead to innovations in drone technology that benefit the environment and thus society as a whole… Check out the way that Canadian company ‘Flash Forest’ is looking to employ drones and UAV technology in this way, HERE. Talk about inspiring!

In my journey as The Drone Mentor, I've had the privilege of guiding many individuals in setting and achieving value-aligned goals. The transformation, both professionally and personally, has been profound, not just for my students… But for me, too!

So, grab that pen and download the worksheet I’ve created that walks you through this entire SUCCESS Process HERE, and let's work together to set some goals that not only elevate our careers but also enrich our lives!


Celebrating Small Wins


On your SUCCESS journey, it's all too easy to get caught up in the big goals, the grand visions, and the headline-making achievements. But, as I often tell my students, it's the small victories that pave the way for those monumental moments. Taking one small step at a time, one after another… Ticking off smaller, bite-sized daily, weekly or monthly goals, that lead us to our big victories!


The Momentum Builders: Think of your journey like flying a drone. Before you can complete a successful mission, you need a plan of attack. A shot list. An area that you need to map or a brief from a client that you need to fulfil, right? Similarly, before you achieve your big goals, you need to set smaller, achievable and realistic milestones. Each time you achieve one, CELEBRATE! Be proud of what you’ve achieved and do something to document your WIN! This will help fuel your fire and help you build the momentum to go tick off the next milestone, en-route to your ultimate goal and your ultimate SUCCESS!


Recognition and Morale: Recognizing and celebrating small wins isn't just about patting ourselves on the back. It's about acknowledging the effort, the dedication, and the passion that went into achieving that milestone. It's a morale booster, a reminder that we're on the right track, even if the end goal is still off in the distance… You’re on your way to achieving it and you’re now another, marked step closer!


Learning Opportunities: Remember whilst you’re on the journey, that every achievement, no matter how minor it might seem, offers a learning opportunity. Maybe you've mastered a new drone manoeuvre or successfully navigated a challenging client meeting and closed a deal... By celebrating and reflecting on these moments, we can extract valuable lessons to apply as we move forward, so we’re continually learning and improving!


Community and Shared Joy: In the drone community, it’s all too easy to get pushed into working alone... To thinking that everyone else out there is ‘the competition’ and we need to keep ourselves distanced from each other somehow… This couldn’t be further from the truth. Those who I’ve seen be the most SUCCESSFUL in the industry have realised that it’s by building a network and collaborating with others in and around the industry, that we’re able to make the most progress… We're a flock, a squadron, a team. When one of us achieves something, it's a win for all of us. Sharing our small victories fosters a sense of community, camaraderie, and collective progress. One phrase I use often when teaching, coaching and mentoring my students is ‘co-opertition’. Don’t think of other drone pilots and business owners as your competition… Reach out to them and connect with each other. See what you can collaborate on and how you can help each other… Cooperating with the ‘competition’, rather than working against each other.

As the saying goes, “A rising tide raises all ships”. I’m a firm believer in this mantra; and the people who’ve accepted this and started to work WITH their ‘competition’, are the ones who are moving towards their SUCCESS! Come join the FREE Drone Mentor Community NOW by clicking HERE. It’s stuffed full of other drone pilots and business owners who have embraced this way of thinking and are all helping each other constructively, to Learn, Build and Grow every day! 🙂


The Bigger Picture: Here's a perspective I've gained over the years… The journey towards SUCCESS is like a mosaic, made up of tiny, individual tiles. Each small win is a tile, and while it might seem insignificant on its own, when combined with others, it forms a beautiful, cohesive picture of achievement. When you’re up closed, zoomed right into it, or you’re down in the weeds working on it you just can’t see it… It’s only when you zoom out or take a few steps back to reflect on the bigger picture, that you can see the entire piece that you’ve created.

The piece of work that represents YOU. The journey you’ve been on, and the overall picture of where you’re at right now!


So, the next time you nail that tricky drone shot, secure a new client, or even just have a productive day of planning and strategizing, take a moment. Celebrate it. Share it with the community. Relish the joy and satisfaction it brings.


Remember as you move forwards, that every ‘big’ success story is a compilation of numerous small wins. 


We need to learn to cherish them, learn from them, and use them as stepping stones towards our ultimate goals and our future SUCCESS. 

Resources for your SUCCESS Journey:


Just as a pilot wouldn't take off without a pre-flight checklist, and you shouldn’t get airborne without a plan! 


The journey to SUCCESS can be a tough one without the necessary resources. Here, I’m going to share with you some of the assets that have been instrumental in my journey so far, towards MY SUCCESS… And can be in yours too!


Continuous Learning: Like many tech-driven sectors, the drone world is constantly evolving. Staying updated with the latest trends, technologies, and regulations is paramount. I've always been a proponent of continuous learning, whether it's through online courses, workshops, or good old-fashioned books. Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and even YouTube offer a plethora of courses and resources tailored to the drone industry… Just be mindful that not ALL the content on these platforms is up to date or the best advice. So always use your own judgement and get a second (or third) opinion!


Networking: I can't stress this enough – your network is your net worth. Platforms like LinkedIn, drone communities like our FREE community at The Drone Mentor, and local drone/model flying clubs can be goldmines for making connections, sharing experiences, and learning from peers. Remember, it's not just about quantity but the quality of connections you foster.


Mentorship: Having a mentor, or being one, can significantly accelerate your growth. I've been fortunate to mentor thousands of drone pilots, business people and aviators over the years and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some incredible mentors guide me, on my journey too! Mentors provide invaluable insights, share their experiences, and can help navigate challenges... Accelerating your progress and helping you get ahead of the competition! If you're looking for mentorship and want to get a HUGE jump-start on your SUCCESS journey, then come check out our mentoring options HERE.


The Right Tech Tools: Whether it's the latest drone software, editing tools, or business management apps, having the right tech tools can make your tasks easier and more efficient. Investing your time into learning tools like ChatGPT for content creation, Trello for project management, and Adobe Premiere (now davinci Resolve - but that’s a story for another blog 😏) for video editing have been absolute game-changers for me… If you find you’re not out actively carrying out work in the drone industry right now, then this is your next mission… Your next goal on your journey to SUCCESS. Go and LEARN a new platform. Go and LEARN a new tool. Go and create your new showreel using your editing platform of choice and learn 3 new techniques as part of that process… Be it ‘masking’, ‘titles’ or sound design… Never stop learning and improving your skills! 


Worksheets and Planners: Structured planning can be the difference between aimless wandering and a focused journey. The downloadable worksheet I mentioned earlier is just one of many resources designed to help you define success, set aligned goals, and track your progress. Grab it here if you haven't already and take the first BIG step on your SUCCESS journey TODAY!


Podcasts and Blogs: There's a wealth of knowledge out there, shared by experts and enthusiasts alike. The Drone Mentor Podcast (shameless plug!) is one such resource, but there are countless others. Platforms like Apple Podcast and Spotify are treasure troves of information, insights, and inspiration!

Conclusion: Navigating Your Personal Journey to SUCCESS


As we wrap up this deep dive into the multifaceted world of success, I want to leave you with a few parting thoughts to consider…


Success, as we've explored, isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. It's as unique as each drone flight, tailored to the pilot's goals, the environment, and the desired outcome.

Your success is your journey, your story, and only you can write its chapters.


Remember, while financial stability is a commendable goal, it's just one facet of what SUCCESS should really mean to us. Dive deep into your core values, align your goals with them, and celebrate every milestone, no matter how small. Each achievement is a testament to your dedication, resilience, and passion.


As you embark on your journey, remember that you're not alone. The drone community, our community, is here to support, guide, and cheer for you. We're all in this together, learning, building, and growing.


Until next time my friend, fly safe & blue skies,




  1.  The Drone Mentor ‘SUCCESS’ Podcast Episode: Dive deeper into the nuances of success and hear firsthand experiences, insights, and advice. Listen to the episode here or find it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


  1.  Success Definition Worksheet: A step-by-step guide to help you define your success and set aligned goals. Download your copy HERE.


  1.  The Drone Mentor Community: Join our thriving community of drone enthusiasts, professionals, and learners. Share your success stories, challenges, and learn from peers. Join the FREE community here.


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