You Have to Pay the Price to Get Paid
How many times have you seen someone’s work and thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I could get paid to do something like that.”
Did it cross your mind how could anyone know to hire you if you’re not exploring the type of work you want to be known for and better yet, get paid to do?
This is your queue for starting a side project in 2017.
Let’s hit on it a little more on how side projects will help you attract the kind of work you want to get paid for by telling you a bit about good friend Ben Hagarty, aka BenRealVSWorld.
The Long Road to Getting Paid By Your Dream Job
My friend Ben Hagarty has been creating music and playing with cameras since late junior high. This obsession has elevated him to a level 53 Wizard at producing amazing video content around music.
Basically, I’m just saying he is a pro but getting to where he’s at now all started with side projects.
His passion for making music, especially hip-hop, resulted in some side projects with one being his group called Skool’d. This project led to them opening up for some of the biggest names in the industry like J.Cole, Big KRIT, and Timeflies just to name a few.
His passion for video led to him always creating the content for the music they made. He made music video singles, weekly YouTube videos, promo and hype videos which allowed him to flex his video skills along the way. He learned early that consistency was key for building a reputation.
Ben’s also big on quality. You could always find him studying other music videos, vlogs and countless tutorials on how he could improve upon what others were doing.
Not everyone he worked with in his music projects shared the same vision as him so he created the side project identity of BenRealVsWorld that could house all of his personal projects.
He started building relationships and networking with others in the industry trying to get his foot in the door to pursue his solo writing and rap career.
Creating videos and his love for music opened the doors of opportunity. He got a gig shooting a SXSW festival and then got a chance to fly out to LA to shoot some behind the scenes footage for a Chris Brown project.
From there he realized he needed to be in the middle of the action and took the risk of flying to LA to start his music career.
Ben was hustling his ass off in LA making all of his Iowa family and friends proud. His hard work continued to pay off because the relationship he built from his SXSW gig landed him his biggest dream job / client yet.
He was contacted by the TDE group to be Schoolboy Q’s main photographer and videographer on his worldwide Blank Face Tour.
As the tour just wrapped up, it’s safe to say Ben killed it by catching praise from the likes of Macklemore and Tyler the Creator for his high-quality work. His vlog edits for Q dominated the huge hip-hop sites like WorldStarHipHop.com and he even did a Reddit AMA takeover recently.
If a dude from a small town in Iowa can start a side project and get paid off the work he loves to do, why isn’t it possible for you?
Paying the Price to Get Paid
I believe in one rule for building a successful side project: You have to pay the price to get paid.
For Ben, it started with finding something he was passionate about and was good at.
From there, it took research, deliberate practice, perseverance and the ability to believe in yourself even when things didn’t always break your way.
Pursuing a side project isn’t all fun and games, you have to pay to play. However, when you slowly build momentum and see a few wins, you start realizing that you’re onto something.
Everything starts small and it grows by taking it one day at a time.
I repeat you grow by taking it one day at a time.
Turning your side project into a paid dream job isn’t a sprint—it is a marathon and it’s all about pacing yourself.
Ben has been working on his craft well over 10 years. Nothing happened overnight.
There were countless times he had to pull all-nighters to shoot, edit and meet deadlines. There were countless times of sleeping on floors, not making a lot of money and getting stressed out for him to finally get that first of many dream clients.
These things don’t happen overnight as big rewards and wins need to be earned.
People like Ben and all the other people you look up to in the creative industry understand that you get back what you put in.
Attract the Work You Want to Get Paid For
So what side project do you want to start?
Do you want to be a successful hand lettering or visual artist with big clients?
Do you want to run your own jewelry or clothing line?
All of this starts with beginning a side project. Landing the dream job or the dream client happens by starting and sticking with it.
Side projects are your opportunity to master a new skill or medium on your own terms with no one handing down an agenda to follow.
Side projects allow you to attract the type of work you want to get paid to do.
Side projects start with you.
You have a fresh slate here in 2017 to get started, what’s holding you back?
Next week’s episode we wrap up the series with the 3 ingredients for getting your side project exposure and attention. You don’t want to miss it!
- Pursuing a side project isn’t all fun and games, you have to pay to play.
- Everything starts small and it grows by taking it one day at a time.
- Turning your side project into a paid dream job isn’t a sprint—it is a marathon and it’s all about pacing yourself.
- These things don’t happen overnight as big rewards and wins need to be earned.
- You have to pay the price in order to get paid.
- You get back what you put in.
- Lauren Hom – Side Projects: Your New Secret Weapon
- Ben’s Website
- Ben’s Instagram – BenRealVsWorld
- Ben’s Twitter – BenRealVsWorld
- Ben’s Facebook – BenRealVsWorld
- EA Sports Madden ’17 Cuts
- Schoolboy Q’s Blank Face Tour – Groovy Tony [Pt. 1 of 6]