Hey all:

So, I’m putting together some new things that will help me to earn some more money doing the things I like to do. While sitting here pondering some of my next ventures, a random thought came to my brain that I felt would be beneficial for me to share…

I live in Los Angeles now, where I make my bread and butter off music, video editing, producing and background extra work. And yet, what I’ve noticed is that all of the stuff I make money from are things I used to either do or give away for free.

Take, for example, my music. When I lived in Atlanta back in 2008 my goal was to give away a song a week for a whole year, for free. By the 6 month mark, though, I had people not only willing to pay me for my music, but also hiring me on for projects to create music for them.

And then, there’s my video editing. I was making videos for myself simply because I thought it would be a good platform with which to display my creativity and get my music out there. When I got to Los Angeles, people saw some of these videos and asked me to edit a few things for them here and there – for free. So I did; and, over time, I started getting paid for this skill, to the point where now it’s how I make most of my money.

And then, producing. As I upgraded my equipment I was able to learn how to make music and videos on quality equipment. A lot of up-and-coming entertainers I’d run into didn’t have the stuff I had to make a good-sounding album or video, but were willing to pay me to use my stuff. So I started charging people for it – and, lo and behold, people were actually willing to pay me the price I asked for!

And lastly, acting. Although I do mostly music stuff now, I went to school for a Fine and Performing Arts degree. That meant years and years of doing theater stage shows and NOT getting paid. And yet, all the skills I acquired during that time are ones that now help me when I’m creating content out here for myself and others. It’s also what’s allowed me to discover background acting here in L.A., where I can be on set and still enjoy acting as a “hobby” while getting paid something for it.

The point of all this is that if you want to be successful, you have to constantly be doing what you love, even when you’re not getting paid for it. You never know who’s watching you do what you do, and you never know who’s going to come to you one day and say: “Hey, I like what you’re doing and would love to give you some money for it.”

Now, most people want to get paid upfront for anything they do; however, unless you’ve been in an industry doing something for years and have a proven track record of excellence, you’re not going to start off getting paid that much. However, the irony of doing something you love regularly for free is, when people are able to see the high quality work you’re putting out when you’re NOT being paid anything, they will think to themselves: “Geez, I can only imagine how much better their stuff would be if they DID get paid…” and throw money at you.

Anyway… just thought I’d share that thought with you all. Best of luck in your journey towards success!

-A.P.T.

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