Mike vs Josh is a concept I came up with to help demonstrate the two camps or categories (or models) that us commercial drone pilots operate within.

Although Mike and Josh are not real “flesh and blood” people per se — their traits are absolutely real and based on real people.

You’re currently one of ’em.

Which one? … well, you’ll need to read the rest of this page to discover that.

But know this … one of them makes no money with his drone (nothing meaningful anyway). The other one crushes it.

Meet josh:

The Josh roll is a little reckless.

See, Josh read an article about using drones to make money. He quickly went out and bought one.

Josh isn't the safest pilot. He takes off in crowds of people and doesn't care about airspace or proximity to airports.

Josh never took the remote pilot knowledge test, and isn't certified.

He advertises and gets clients, but he's starting to fall behind other operators.

Clients ask detailed questions about flight operations and legal issues, which he side-steps with his answers.

Josh's customer service isn't great. It can take several days to respond to emails and voicemails.

The product he delivers is lacking polish.

Quite quickly Josh's phone stops ringing and the advertising money he spends provides little to no return.

Josh puts his drone on Craigslist and moves onto the next shiny object.

Meet Mike:

Mike approaches the drone industry with a business mindset.

Mike took his time to research commercial opportunities for drones. Then found the best drone for the commercial applications he wants to pursue.

Mike spent many hours learning the ins-and-outs of operating his drone. This included watching videos, getting a flight coach, and understanding where he could legally fly from.

Mike studied hard for the remote pilot certificate and passed. But more importantly, he learned the underlying theory behind airspace, sectional charts, and when he needed ATC authorization to fly.

Mike didn't have any experience in advertising or marketing, but started learning and testing thing carefully.

Mike provides excellent customer service, and is very responsive to phone and email inquiries. He can answer almost every question a client asks him, and if not, he researches it to find the right answer.

Slowly but surely, Mike offers a more polished product to clients, and gets more business.

Soon he reaching his income goals operating as a side-job.

Mike gets referrals all the time from happy clients raving about his professional service.

So Which are you?

It's easy to see things short-term. But it's when you DECIDE to be in this for the long-haul, that's when you will provide actual value to clients.