#148 - Advice for Young Creatives

August 24, 2022

This episode is full of advice that I wish I would've received back when I was 20 and had just dropped out of college. Making a living doing creative work isn't the easiest thing in the world, so I hope that some of the lessons I've learned will make it easier for you to create the life you want to live.

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[00:00:00] What's up, Life in the English family? This episode is going to be long as fuck because I got a whole lot to say about this particular subject and every single one of these things I'm about to say is something I wish somebody would have told me when I was 20 years old, and I had decided that I wanted to do creative work. So here are some pieces of advice for all you young, creative people who dream of making a living, doing creative work. And I guess I shouldn't say all you young people, because, you know, middle-aged and older people can be creative and can start careers doing creative work later in life. Right? So I'm not trying to discriminate here. But anyway, think of this as like advice to my younger creative self, knowing that many people out there are in the same position. How about that?

[00:00:52] Now these pieces of advice are coming from somebody who for years now has thought about and only recently really tried to figure out how to make a living doing creative work. So I don't claim to have all the answers, but I have learned some important lessons from my experiences. So that's what I'm gonna share with you today. Now, before we get started, I want to make it clear that I'm going to be giving very general advice for two reasons. The first reason is I could literally talk for the next 3 hours straight about this subject, and I wouldn't get tired, but none of us got time for any of that shit, so I'm just going to be as concise as I possibly can without being vague.

[00:01:28] The second reason is the best advice is usually given when it's based on real situations. So without knowing what situation you're in at the moment, it would be hard to give some specific advice. And I also want to make it clear that I'll be using the words "artist" and "creator" and even sometimes "entrepreneur" interchangeably for the duration of this episode. So when I say "artist", I also mean "content creator" or "entrepreneur" and vice versa. Alright? So let's get started, man.

[00:01:54] The first piece of advice I got for you, you know, all you young creatives out there is to understand the difference between an artist and an entrepreneur. Now, a lot of talented artists have given people the impression that making a living as an artist is easy to do. And now that I hear myself, you know, reading my notes here, I just said I was going to be using "artists" and "entrepreneur" and "creator" interchangeably. And then my first piece of advice is knowing the difference between the two. So let me go back. I'll be using the words "artist" and "creator" interchangeably. Not "entrepreneur". Entrepreneur is something different. And that's the first piece of advice is to understand that difference. Okay? So now let me get back to my notes here.

[00:02:38] So a lot of talented artists have given people the impression that making a living as an artist is easy to do. But it is not easy. It's easier than ever before. But it's not easy. Some of these artists or creators are just shovel salesmen who want to capitalize on your vulnerability. And when I say vulnerability, I mean your high level of desire and your low level of knowledge that cause you to make decisions based on emotion and lofty aspirations rather than logic and patience. Now, before I continue, let me explain what I mean when I use the term "shovel salesmen". Now I'm referring to the California Gold Rush. I don't know what year it was, and I don't know if this is true. But, you know, years and years and years ago when everybody was rushing to California to dig for gold, it said that the people selling the shovels used to dig for the gold made more money than the majority of people actually digging for gold.

[00:03:40] And I'm not saying that, you know, all shovel salesmen are bad or manipulative or anything like that. I'm saying that some people try to make a task look easier than it is, just so they can sell you the tools you need in order to complete that task. And it's crucial that you recognize these people when you come across them. But many other artists give this false impression of life as a creator without knowing it. They simply neglect to expose their followers to all the work that goes into consistently producing high quality content. Most likely because it never crosses their mind or they, you know, wouldn't think or they don't think it would make interesting content.

[00:04:18] And generally speaking, very creative people tend to lack structure and discipline. They're not interested in doing the same thing every day or adhering to a schedule, answering to a boss or anything like that. They thrive on inspiration, not routine. They want to be free to experiment, explore, create, and express themselves. And so, many young, creative people fall in love with the idea of being able to wake up and do nothing but creative things. But they don't understand that there's a difference between waking up and only doing what you enjoy and getting paid to wake up and only do what you enjoy. The business, much like life, is both an art and a science.

[00:05:01] As an artist, you must understand that working for yourself looks glamorous on Instagram, but there's nothing glamorous about working 80 to 100 hours a week with no guarantee that you'll never be paid for that work. Excuse me. Ever be paid. Let me say that again. As an artist, you must understand that working for yourself looks glamorous on the Instagram, but there's nothing glamorous about working 80 to 100 hours a week with no guarantee that you will ever be paid for that work. You must understand that artists know how to make art. And entrepreneurs know how to make money. And unless you can figure out how to do both, you'll never be paid money to make art. So don't be fooled by these creative liberal types who try to demonize capitalism and make it seem like getting paid good money is a sin because everyone is a capitalist, whether they like it or not.

[00:05:56] And the fact of the matter is, without money, you wouldn't even be able to pay for the food you need in order to survive long enough to create something meaningful. So you've either got to get a job or learn how to make money for yourself. Which brings me to my next piece of advice. Understand that you have two choices. Do everything yourself or pay someone to do it for you. And this will make or break your chances of success. Every creator and entrepreneur gets to a point where he or she is responsible for too many parts of the production process. So let's use YouTube creators as an example. Before you see a high quality YouTube video, there are a lot of things that need to be done by the creator. Things such as research about the video topic, write the video script, or at least think of the main talking points, create an interesting, yet concise title that makes you want to watch the video.

[00:06:56] Create an eye-catching descriptive thumbnail that quickly and clearly communicates what you're about to watch. Decide how they're going to record the video, set up the camera gear and the microphone. Record the video. Transfer the video files to their computer and cloud storage. Edit the video, and you have no idea how many hours a good video can take. You really just don't understand how much time goes into great video editing. You just don't. You just. You just don't understand, bro. You don't understand. But anyway, next step, upload the YouTube video, upload the thumbnail, write the video description. Decide what day and time the video will be posted. Monitor the video's performance with analytical data from YouTube.

[00:07:42] Figure out why people aren't watching the entire video. Figure out how to make the videos better so people watch them completely, re-edit the video in various ways so you can promote it on multiple video-based social platforms. Post those videos on each of the platforms. Engage with the audience and use their feedback for new and better video ideas, research trends, and changes in your industry to make sure you're always the best in your space. Because there are 30 other creators ready to take your viewers attention away from you at any given moment. Just saying all those steps made me tired, bro.

[00:08:19] Imagine one person doing all of them for each and every video they produced. Only one of two things would happen. They would try to do it all and all of it would be mediocre because it's impossible to give 100% of your heart, soul, and energy to such a long list of challenging tasks every single day for years. And it's also impossible to be the best in your field at all of those tasks. Number two, they would end up quitting because they know they can't do it all themselves and they need to make money. So they'll go work a job instead. And this is true for creators and entrepreneurs alike. You cannot do everything by yourself. As a creator, you should be spending as much of your energy as possible on the thing you're best at. And in this case, that's being creative. Your creative work is something that no one in the world can do but you.

[00:09:15] Is Elon Musk manually building each and every Tesla that sold? No. Is Mark Zuckerberg writing every line of code for the metaverse? I doubt it. Did Steve Jobs assemble each and every one of the iPhones himself? Of course, not. All of them focused on what they were best at and delegated the rest of the work to capable employees. So you must focus on the activities that give you energy and make you forget about time. You must pay people to do the things that rob you of your energy and make you wish time would pass faster. If you can't manage to do this, you'll most likely lose all passion for your work and give it up completely or falsely conclude that it's impossible to make money doing what you enjoy.

[00:10:03] It's not impossible. You just need to learn how to create systems and delegate tasks to people the same way the owners of the company you work for do to your boss and your boss does to you. Which takes me to my next piece of advice. Learn about the fundamentals of business. If you don't understand how a business operates, you won't be in business for very long. Now the good news is you can learn everything there is to know about business using only the internet and some good communication skills. There are decades worth of free content that will teach you whatever you want to know, and sending direct messages to people you'd like to work with doesn't cost you a dollar. That means there's nothing stopping you from learning how to build the infrastructure that will support the life you actually want to live.

[00:10:52] Now, it's fucking hard. But it's easier than it's ever been. And I want you to remember that whenever you think about quitting. But getting back to my actual point, you must understand how a business operates. You must understand the difference between being self-employed and being a business owner. You've got to learn about things like the difference between a product and a service, sales, marketing, finance, what to do with and how to reinvest your money, leadership skills, managing teams, branding, and a whole bunch of other stuff. And I know that may sound hella boring and daunting in the beginning, but if you want to be the boss, you've got to pay the cost. You must be willing to educate yourself. And fortunately, these days, there are many ways to do that. So my next piece of advice is to understand all the tools you have available to you today.

[00:11:47] And all I really have to say about this is that there has never been a technology like the Internet before, never in human history. And you must not take it for granted. You might be sitting at home thinking about all the reasons you can't do something when all the reasons you can do something are sitting on the internet just waiting to be discovered. And what I mean by that is the Internet is so much bigger and richer than you realize. And if you know how to navigate it, you can find information on just about any subject you can think of, from websites to softwares to online communities and courses. Creative people literally have all the tools they need to run their own media company. And when I say media, it could be video, it could be audio or just written words. It should be all three, but it doesn't have to be. So the point is learn how to use the internet like a tool instead of like a toy.

[00:12:41] Now my next piece of advice is to think of yourself as a media company. The legendary Gary Vee has talked about this for literally a decade, and it's only now that I truly understand what he means. Because day by day, more and more people are spending ungodly amounts of time looking at a smartphone. And what that means is the smartphone is becoming the center of society's attention. And the only way you can sell someone something is if you have their attention and it doesn't matter what you're selling. It could be time, information, clothes, hope and experience, cars, paintings, whatever. If you want people to know about your work or your cause, your business, your mission, your content, your whatever, you need to figure out how to get people's attention.

[00:13:31] What I mean is we know we need to get people's attention and we know that the smartphone has most people's attention most of the time. So we need to figure out how to show up on people's phones and grab their attention. But everyone's different. Some people spend more time on Twitter reading and writing short texts, while others spend more time on YouTube watching long form videos of all kinds. Other people spend all their time on Reddit. Others love Instagram and TikTok. And your ideal customers could be on any one of those platforms. So if you want the highest possible chance of them discovering your work, especially without paying for advertising because you're a broke ass starving artist, then you need to learn how to appear on their screen using a form of media they already enjoy consuming whether it be video, audio, written words or all three.

[00:14:21] I'm going to leave some links to videos of Gary Vee talking to much more detail about the content production model that he and his team have developed and that I now use to make my own content. So if you're interested in being a content creator, artist or entrepreneur, and you like to talk in more depth about this with me, please join the Discord Server and send me a message because I really find this stuff fascinating, as I'm sure you could tell. But anyway, my next piece of advice for all you creatives out there, please understand that you do not have to work for yourself in order to do creative work. Working for yourself isn't the only way to make money doing creative work.

[00:14:58] Like I said before, trying to work for yourself could easily end up robbing you of all your passion for your craft. So before you stretch yourself out trying to find a way to monetize your artwork, consider a life in which you're paid to do various kinds of creative work. But someone else worries about things like payroll, reinvesting profits, coordinating schedules, buying materials, marketing the product, creating brand strategies and so on and so forth. Finding a quality creative job at a good company is just as hard as creating your own company, in my opinion. But owner and employee are two very different positions within a company and a lot of people should spend their time and energy simply trying to find the right employer instead of trying to become one. You might also find that you have other skills that are more valuable to the job market. So you could end up having a career in a different field and keep producing your artwork in your free time. And at the end of the day, it's all subjective and it all comes down to self awareness, like everything in life.

[00:15:59] So my next piece of advice for all you young creatives is to harness the power of broke. And this idea comes from the great entrepreneur and investor, Daymond John. I don't know if you guys are familiar. Maybe you guys watch Shark Tank or you've heard of FUBU. He's a dude that created that fashion brand. But anyway, he's written a book about it. I got this idea from him and he calls it Harnessing the Power of Broke. Let me explain. A huge mistake that inexperienced creators make is wasting money on the best equipment and or wasting time on tasks that don't really matter in the beginning of their careers. Like you don't need the new Sony A7S to record a great video. You don't need a Shure SM7B to record your podcast. You don't need a MacBook Pro to edit videos or design graphics. You don't need to build the sickest website or spend weeks planning.

[00:16:58] You need to take whatever you have available to you and just start doing shit. I suggest you do this because you're most likely broke and you can't afford to tie up your money in equipment, especially when you don't even know how to make money with that equipment yet. You don't even know if you really want to do this for a living. And in the event that you discover you do, or excuse me, in the event you discover you don't want to do it, you'd be stuck with a bunch of expensive equipment that you have no use for. And when you try to sell it, you're not going to get as much as you paid for it because equipment, especially, you know, electronic equipment loses its value the minute a newer model comes out. And we all know a new model comes out every fucking six days. Now, before I continue, let me explain what I mean when I say tie up, because I said you don't want to tie your money up in equipment. The first overt tie up in this case is more figurative. Think of it like a metaphor, because when you spend money, a $1,000 on an expensive camera, now you don't have $1,000 cash anymore.

[00:17:59] That money is sitting metaphorically or figuratively in the camera. So if you need 1000 cash or 200 or 500 to pay your bills or to do something real quick, you can't because all your money is sitting in that camera that you don't even know how to use to make money. So now your money is tied up. It's stuck. It's in prison. The camera is now a prison for that money that you spent when you could do a whole lot more with liquid cash, cash in your hand or your bank account that you can spend on various things, more important things. So in its essence, that's what I mean when I say tie your money up, okay? When you're broke, every dollar is precious to you. You can't afford to waste your money. And this financial poverty will force you to think outside the box when looking for solutions to problems that can only be solved with money.

[00:18:52] And this will get you in the habit of making smart decisions with your money, even if you end up being rich one day. If there's one thing I've learned from all the entrepreneurs I follow, it's that even as multimillionaires, they always start a new company in the cheapest way and the most efficient way possible. That's how you become a millionaire and stay a millionaire. You feel me? I mean, just think about all the billion dollar companies that were started in people's garages. They didn't build offices and factories and hire hundreds of employees to run a corporation. They just started with what they had, and they grew from there.

[00:19:28] But anyway, the point is, don't waste precious money and time on things that don't really make a difference in your ability to create. Have you ever asked yourself what camera was used to record The Avengers movie? Have you ever stopped to consider what type of microphone Kendrick Lamar used to record his last album? I doubt it, because if you're like most people, you don't give a fuck. You just want to watch and listen to or read something good. You subconsciously know that a camera cannot record a great video or make a great photograph. A microphone cannot produce a classic record. A computer cannot edit a feature film. Those are the things that artists do.

[00:20:12] Mr. Beast, one of the biggest YouTubers on the planet, got his first 200,000 subscribers with nothing more than an iPhone. He recorded and edited all of the videos on an iPhone. Casey Neistat shot feature films with a point-and-shoot camera. For four years now, I've been recording this podcast with the same $70 microphone that I bought on Amazon and using my iPhone 7 as a video camera. It's not the camera or the microphone that really matters. It's what you do with it once you turn it on.

[00:20:55] Now, another piece of advice I got for you is to remember that it's totally normal and it's okay to copy people in the beginning. Do not feel bad for copying people you look up to when you just get started. Everyone does that. We all start somewhere and all of us learn by imitating those around us. Right? That's how you learn your first language. That's how you learn to walk. That's how you learn to play soccer. Right? Some people say there's nothing new under the sun, which basically means you're almost certainly not going to create something that the world has never seen before. Every work of art is in some way a copy of one or many other creations. And another way of saying that is every work of art is in some way inspired by another. All artists steal ideas and techniques to make their work better.

[00:21:48] But the key is not to take someone else's style and try to make it your own. The key is to take someone else's style and let it influence your own. Many artists who want to blow up are tempted to copy whatever is popular at the moment because they think whatever is popular is what is good. But just because it's popular and making money doesn't mean it's good. There's no such thing as good or bad art. Art is any form of creative expression. Right? And there's no wrong way to express oneself through artwork. And just because it's popular today doesn't mean it'll be popular next month.

[00:22:29] So remember that it's normal to imitate your peers in the beginning. But if you want to stand out and differentiate yourself, you can not do that forever. You've got to come up with your own unique style. You've got to be yourself and let that shine through your work. So if somebody tells you that your work reminds them of someone else's, you haven't found your own style yet. Alright, my next piece of advice. Remember that absolutely no one gives a fuck about your work. I don't care what they tell you, nobody cares. This is another one that a lot of people don't consider before they try a career as an artist or an entrepreneur. It's lonely as fuck, bro. Because you're essentially saying to the world, I don't like the life path that was created for me. I do not like the terms and conditions of society's user agreement. So I'm going to create and walk my own path and live life on my terms.

[00:23:32] It sounds sexy as fuck when you see or hear an influencer on Instagram saying that shit, but there's nothing glamorous about it, my friend. Alright? It's lonely as fuck. I'm not saying that there aren't people in this world who love and care about you. I'm just saying that you shouldn't expect anyone to care about your journey the same way you do. Because people are occupied with their lives. Right? And in many cases people will think you're a loser for doing what you're doing instead of getting a job anyway. Right? Like a real adult. Other people would love nothing more than to see you fail. And this, of course, is true in many endeavors, not just art and entrepreneurship. So I guess what I'm really trying to say is you should know that will probably come a time when you realize that you're alone on this one. No one is coming to make sure that you're doing what you're supposed to do. No one is coming to pick you up and put you back on your feet when life inevitably punches you in the mouth. So if you can't motivate and rely on yourself, this life probably isn't for you.

[00:24:41] My next piece of advice. Prepare to be in this game for the long haul. Because this is a marathon, not a sprint. We've all heard expressions like "Rome wasn't built in a day", "Nothing good happens overnight", "Nothing that's meaningful will come easily", right? It's the same for any skill or successful career. You've got to think about this process and life itself like a marathon. You know, Nipsey talked about this all the time. He said instead of trying to build a brick wall, just focus on laying a brick. One brick at a time. Brick by brick, by brick, by brick. And eventually you'll look up and realize you built the whole wall.

[00:25:31] So the message is just put your head down and work. Detach yourself from the results and the outcomes. If something doesn't go the way you wanted it to go, just take a step back, assess the situation, and figure out how you can come stronger and more correct the next time. And do that until the day you die and you'll be fine. So remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Next piece of advice, my friends. Remember that ideas are easy, but execution is the hard part, and that's all that matters. And this one is super important because a lot of creative people think all their ideas are the shit. Fucking amazing. That would be awesome. "I'm brilliant!", right? But the problem with ideas is they aren't real. Ideas live in this imaginary world. I can't buy dinner or build a house or wash my car with an idea. The only three things I can actually do with the idea - talk about it, which is what most of us do; forget about it, which is what most of us eventually do; or execute on it.

[00:26:52] Until you execute on an idea, it means nothing, bro. And the only way to know if an idea is actually good is if you try to execute on it. So understand that you'll probably have hundreds or thousands of ideas over the years, and most of them will be shit. And that's okay. The more you try to execute on your ideas, the more real-world experience you will get. And that experience will help you to get a better idea of what kinds of things are worth your time and energy and which ones are not. For example, you might want to produce your own movies. You want to be a filmmaker, and you hate the idea of putting your films on YouTube for free, and you also hate the idea of licensing them to Netflix. So you decide you're going to build your own version of Netflix and convince the world to subscribe to your platform and pay to stream your independent films. You keep all the money, you have all the control, right? Sounds amazing on the surface.

[00:27:54] But let's think about it a little bit more deeply. Are you sure you know what it takes to build a platform like Netflix? Do you have any idea how much money that would cost? Do you really want to be responsible for marketing not only your movies, but the streaming platform people have to watch it on? Are you sure your movies are so good that people are going to pay you for them? Do you know what it takes to operate an online business? Are you really going to compete with the multimillion dollar media company that is Netflix? Do you really think you can get people to stop watching YouTube videos and watch your movies instead? These are just a few questions that you'd really need to consider before embarking on a journey such as that one.

[00:28:35] You might quickly realize that your idea simply sounds good, but it would be a monumental waste of time trying to execute on it. And that leads me to my next piece of advice. You must become ridiculously self-aware. I could go very deep into this topic right here because there are so many things that could be considered when it comes to self awareness. But out of respect for your time and to stay on topic, I'll just say that being aware of your thought process and your daily habits is essential when trying to better one's life or achieve a difficult goal. I believe that self-awareness is the key to making sure that you never make the wrong decision in life. The more you understand yourself, your purpose in life, and have a clear vision of what you want for your life, the easier it will be to make decisions that lead you in the direction you want your life to go in.

[00:29:33] So if you can't take a step back and take a pragmatic look at yourself, you may never figure out what you are doing to fuck your life up. You may never find any real direction in life because you can't even figure out where you really want to go. And so you may end up drifting from place to place to place, right? Going wherever life takes you. And please understand, there's absolutely nothing wrong with living your life that way. I'm just saying that if you're going to live your life that way, then it's better that you be aware you're doing it. As opposed to waking up 40 years later, realizing that you wasted your life simply because you never decided to take control of it. You know what I'm saying?

[00:30:14] So trust me, I know it can take years, sometimes even decades, for some of us to figure out what we really want to do with our lives. But waiting until tomorrow to get started will only make it take longer. My next piece of advice. Save your fucking money. Save your fucking money, bro. Put it in your pocket. You don't need to spend it. Trust me. I know you don't. I know I don't even fucking know you. And I know you don't need to spend it. Cut that shit out, man. This one is certainly for the young people listening to this right now. Save your fucking money. Resist the urge to go out with friends and buy overpriced drinks for temporary pleasure. Resist the urge to buy another ounce of weed. Resist the urge to buy new clothes just to impress people. Resist the urge to go out to restaurants when you know you've got food at home. I know you probably feel like you're missing out on your golden years. Because you'll only be 22 years old once in your lifetime so you want to party, you want to be free, you want to have fun, you want to enjoy life, right?

[00:31:29] But listen to me. There will come a time when you're going to need money for something much more important than getting drunk and partying and trying to impress people that you probably don't even like that much in the first place. Trust me. A lot of older people refer to like 18 to 30 as the golden years because they wasted their fucking lives not preparing themselves for a 30 to 90. This is all...Be young, have fun party, drink whatever or wasted fucking 18 to 28 studying sitting in a classroom because somebody told them that was the guarantee to a better future. Yeah, they call it their golden years because they know that is the time to set yourself up for success. Not 30 to 40. Not 40 to 50. Fucking 18, 28, bro. There are no rules.

[00:32:20] And I'm speaking very, very, very generally. Right? I think over generalizing because I know like I live in the United States of America, an opportunity here is not the same thing as opportunity in many places around the world. Like, trust me, I understand that. But I'm saying. Like if you're young, you have no kids, no spouse, nothing holding you down or excuse me, holding you back or tying you down like, bro. Save your fucking money. And just experiment. Just try shit. Different jobs, study different things in your free time. Just figure out what you're interested in. And once you find something that you're like, "Bro, I could do this every day for the rest of my life." Once you find something like that or "Bro, I'm so good at this that people will pay me for it." Once you find some shit like that, bro, go all in on that shit as soon as possible. As soon as possible. I'm not saying you're going to find it between 18 and 28. I'm just saying there's no better time to start looking.

[00:33:21] You know, there's no better time to start looking because you don't want to be 30, 33, 35, 40 years old with nothing going on. No clue of what you want to do. No skills that you've acquired over the years. No experience or nothing like that. No money because you wasted it all on some fucking bullshit. You don't want that. I don't even know you. And I know you don't want that. Save your money, save your money and focus on experience, focus on learning, acquiring valuable skills. So even if it never works for you as an artist in terms of money, you'll have skills that people will still pay you for, right? Save your fucking money because you might realize maybe you don't think about it at 17 or 18.

[00:34:09] But guess what? If you ignore all the bullshit online people are trying to sell you, some get rich quick scheme, if you ignore all your loser friends that make fun of you for working two jobs and not going to school like them, not going to the party on Friday like them, not chasing girls like them or whatever. Like, bruh. But if you can ignore all that shit, focus on yourself and preparing yourself for the life you want to live, save your money, work hard...four, six years. Bruh, you can be 24, 25, 26 ready to invest who knows how much money into a business? Or maybe you can travel for a year because you saved up so much money. It doesn't matter. You can always come back and go to school and get a job. That shit is going nowhere, right? Maybe you can put a downpayment on a house, whatever you want to do, invest that money, help your parents, whatever it is. You can't do it if you don't save your fucking money.

[00:34:59] You just don't understand the advantage you have by starting early. Starting early? You just don't get it. I didn't get it either. I'm still trying to comprehend it. But bro, you don't understand. The advantage you have by getting started early when it comes to acquiring skills, when it comes to saving and investing money, when it comes to developing your self, your character, your spirit, your charisma, your communication skills, your personality, your self-awareness, bro. Do not underestimate the advantage of getting started early. Okay. I'm not reading my notes anymore. But this one is super important, bro. Save your fucking money. Do not waste it on nonsense. You're going to need it one day because that's going to come a day. I know this is different in every culture. I think here in the United States, we're kind of famous for kicking our kids out of the house at 18, like "you're a man now, go and make some money!" And I know in other countries the culture is different. It's totally normal to be 30 years old living with your parents, and you might not leave their house until you get married. Here, it depends on the family, but generally speaking, especially if you're a man, people will look at you like a fucking loser if you're 35 living with your parents, especially because you have to, not because you want to. It's just this weird cultural thing. But anyway.

[00:36:15] Anyway, I lost my train of thought. Hang on. Now I remember what I was going to say is you don't want to get to whatever age is too old to be at home with your parents. It could be 30, 35, 40, whatever. You don't want to get to that place where your parents are like, "yo, you need to get the fuck out". Or you have no friends that you can stay with. You have no spouse that you guys can split the bills. You're like, you're on your own. As an adult and you have no money saved. Like money is not. Money is options, bro. Let me let me say it that way. Money is options. A lot of people think of money in different ways. It means status; it means wealth; it means I can buy shit. Fuck all of that. Money is options, bro.

[00:36:59] The more money you have, the more options you have. You have no money..when you have $0 in your bank account, you got very few options to make some shit happen, to feed yourself or to pay rent or survive the next 90 days. Then you got to get real creative, you know what I'm saying? But when you got money, you got options. You have a little bit of security. You can sleep well at night knowing "I don't got a job today or this week, but I got enough money for 6 to 18 months, living the exact same way I'm living right now." And of course, I'm just giving random examples at this point, but I'm just trying to say, like, bruh, do not underestimate the value, the power of having money saved to do with whatever you want. To invest in any venture or endeavor or dream that you've spent the last 8 to 10 years developing. Save your fucking money, bruh. You are going to need it.

[00:38:01] Now my next piece of advice, do not pay attention to what your peers are doing. It does not matter. I would like to think it's common knowledge by now, but I know it's not. A lot of people still get caught up watching other people online and focusing on what other people have and what they don't have. Let me say that differently. You might be one of those people that focuses on what other people have and what you do not have. But you can't get caught up in what your peers are doing or what they appear to be doing. You'll never know what anyone's life is actually like unless you spend every hour of every day with them. And you still might not understand it all because they were a person before you met them. Like there's so much that you don't see behind the curtain and there's no reason to waste your time thinking about that. Like somebody else making lots of money or having a great time or living their dreams doesn't really change anything in your life unless you let it, you know what I'm saying?

[00:39:06] So there's no reason to focus on all that shit. You need to focus on being thankful for what you have, first of all. And I know that can be difficult depending on how you were raised or what your life experience is. But you've got to try to be grateful for what you have, first of all, but then focus on what you want because then you're just naturally going to move in that direction if you're always focused on what everybody else has. You have no direction to go in because you can't go in their direction and live their life. So you're kind of just stuck where you are when you could be moving forward. But you can't move forward and look to the side at the same time. You're going to run into a wall eventually. You see what I'm saying? So don't get caught up in what other people are doing, but I'll focus on what you want and where you're going, and you'll get there much faster. That's just my experience, you know?

[00:39:53] So my next piece of advice is to nip that wannabe perfectionist shit in the bud. Now, what do I mean when I say "nip something in the bud"? What that means is basically go to the root of the problem, go to the source, and eradicate it at the very root, not just the top, so that it grows back and it remains a problem. Go all the way to the source and remove that motherfucker. Unroot that motherfucker. You understand what I'm saying? Like, imagine taking a whole tree out of the earth, removing it from the earth, roots and everything. Nip it in the bud, eradicate it. Cut it out. Stop it. It's basically what I'm trying to say. That wannabe perfectionist shit. You want to be a perfectionist? You say, "Oh, I'm not ready. I'm a perfectionist. I'm too much of a perfectionist to post my content and show the world what I can do. It's not ready yet. Let me work on it for three or four more months. It's just not ready, you know, I got to put those finishing touches on the work before the world sees it" is bullshit, bruh.

[00:40:55] You're not a perfectionist. You're just insecure. You think the world is going to judge you and your work the same way you judge yourself and your work. You think the world is going to criticize you as harshly as you criticize yourself. So instead of just posting the shit to see what happens, you think you know it's going to happen. And you don't post it, you don't share it, you don't tell anyone about it. Feel ashamed. You got to cut that shit out, bro. It's never going to be perfect. And maybe your art does fucking suck, but you won't know until you put it out there, my friend. Get out of your head and put yourself out into the world and wait for the feedback. It's...It's never going to be perfect, bro. Ever. And once you get feedback, then you can say, "Hmm, they like that. Let me do some more of that. Hmm, they don't like that. Why didn't they like it? I got an audience now. What would they like to see? Let me fucking ask them."

[00:41:57] "Hey, what did you guys think about this video or that painting or that song," or whatever. You have to put it out there. It's not going to be perfect, bro. If you want to lie...you want to live and work as an artist, making money off your ability to express yourself creatively, you have to put yourself out there. You cannot separate yourself from your artwork. So this, I mean, maybe you can, but what I'm trying to say is it's an extension of you. You're going to have to put it out there at some point. And actually you are not your artwork. And for that reason, when somebody talks shit or judges it or ridicules it or criticizes like, so what, bruh? So who gives a shit? It's a piece of art. If they don't like it, they don't...they don't fucking like it. It is what it is. And you see, in art and business and life, it's all kind of the same.

[00:42:48] You could say the same thing about yourself and your personality. If somebody doesn't like you, who gives a shit? Who cares? Like, keep it moving. We don't have to be friends. It's fine. No hard feelings. It's fine. It's fine. I don't care. Right? It's the same thing with your artwork, bro. Just put it out there. Put it out there as much as you can, as fast as you can. Because with every piece that you produce, if you're trying to get better and you're really serious about it, you're really involved in your process, like you're just naturally going to get better and better and develop over time. You can't do that if you're not constantly practicing the same way. You can't build muscle if you're not constantly working out, you can't build endurance if you're not constantly doing cardio work, you can't learn how to speak a language if you're not constantly...it's all the same, right?

[00:43:32] So just put it out there, bro. Stop judging yourself. And remember, most people are not judging you the way you judge yourself. And even if they are. Fuck them. Alright? So the next piece of advice. Remember that you cannot force creative work. You cannot force creativity. So you need to create or find, discover, whatever an environment that ensures you never need to force your creativity. Because energy has a huge impact on your ability to produce. And what I mean when I say that is the more self-aware you become, the more you start to analyse yourself and your environment and how both things affect one another, you might realize that the house you live in is a toxic environment and it has an effect on your mood and your energy to such a degree that you have no energy or space or quiet time to just focus and create the stuff that you love to create. So maybe you have to go to the park where you can be more productive or the library or sit in your car or go to your friend's house or rent a room or do whatever you got to do so that you can have an environment that you control and you can be free to create.

[00:44:49] Just pay attention to the way your environment affects your energy and your ability to do what you do best. Do not underestimate that it could be people in your life fucking up your flow. It could be where you live. It could be the time of day that you're trying to do something. Maybe you should choose a different time. Maybe you should stop telling certain people about what you're doing because they always bring their negativity. You need to be aware of that stuff. For real. Because it all has an effect on you and you have an effect on your work. So anyway, my next piece of advice. My last piece of advice is to read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Fucking Read. Read some more. When you finish reading, don't forget to read. And when I say read, I really mean educate yourself.

[00:45:43] Because I fucking hate reading, the activity...I fucking hate that shit. I like what I get from reading. I love the information I get from books, the wisdom that people who took the time to put into book form, I love that. But actually sitting and looking at the book and scanning line after line after line, I hate reading. I hate that shit. I only do it because there's just so much useful information in books. Right? But the point is, educate yourself. With videos, podcasts, books, whatever, blog articles, whatever it is. Educate yourself constantly. Do not get complacent. Do not get comfortable. You may think you're a master of what you do. You may have found a routine and a workflow that works perfectly for you. You've got to continue innovating, educating yourself, exploring new things, you know, experimenting, trying to grow. Do not allow yourself to get stuck in the same place. Not allow yourself to get stuck in the past while the world keeps moving forward.

[00:46:46] Do not get so attached to your way of doing things or your way of thinking or your way of seeing the world that you get left behind. You understand? Whether that be in business with your artwork and your personal, professional life, whatever. Educate yourself constantly. If you want to be the best at what it is you do, if you want to be successful at anything. Right? You can't be complacent. So I know even once you reached some level of success, it's easy to want to exhale and feel good about yourself and get comfortable. But that is the time that you need to go harder than ever. I've learned that from experience and from watching other people I look up to. You got to stay ahead of the game. You don't want to be playing catch up ever.

[00:47:30] Which goes back to so many other things I've said during this episode, like don't underestimate the value of getting started early and don't underestimate the value and the power of consistency. That's consistency in your production rate. That's consistency in your creative practice. That's consistency in your self education. Shit is a marathon. So I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, hope that some of these words, some of these ideas, these pieces of advice that I've gotten from self education and a whole lot of experience have helped at least one of you. Consider a different way of looking at this topic, which is trying to make a living as a creative. Maybe it's giving you some things to consider. Some things that you might go and research now or just think about and apply when you take on that difficult task of, you know, living life on your terms, doing creative work, you know, living, you know, walking down the road less traveled, as I say. I really hope that some of this information or all of it ideally was helpful to one, if not all of you. But with that, I'm gonna get out of here, man. So this has been another episode of The Life in English podcast. I am your host, Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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[00:00:00] What's up, Life in the English family? This episode is going to be long as fuck because I got a whole lot to say about this particular subject and every single one of these things I'm about to say is something I wish somebody would have told me when I was 20 years old, and I had decided that I wanted to do creative work. So here are some pieces of advice for all you young, creative people who dream of making a living, doing creative work. And I guess I shouldn't say all you young people, because, you know, middle-aged and older people can be creative and can start careers doing creative work later in life. Right? So I'm not trying to discriminate here. But anyway, think of this as like advice to my younger creative self, knowing that many people out there are in the same position. How about that?

[00:00:52] Now these pieces of advice are coming from somebody who for years now has thought about and only recently really tried to figure out how to make a living doing creative work. So I don't claim to have all the answers, but I have learned some important lessons from my experiences. So that's what I'm gonna share with you today. Now, before we get started, I want to make it clear that I'm going to be giving very general advice for two reasons. The first reason is I could literally talk for the next 3 hours straight about this subject, and I wouldn't get tired, but none of us got time for any of that shit, so I'm just going to be as concise as I possibly can without being vague.

[00:01:28] The second reason is the best advice is usually given when it's based on real situations. So without knowing what situation you're in at the moment, it would be hard to give some specific advice. And I also want to make it clear that I'll be using the words "artist" and "creator" and even sometimes "entrepreneur" interchangeably for the duration of this episode. So when I say "artist", I also mean "content creator" or "entrepreneur" and vice versa. Alright? So let's get started, man.

[00:01:54] The first piece of advice I got for you, you know, all you young creatives out there is to understand the difference between an artist and an entrepreneur. Now, a lot of talented artists have given people the impression that making a living as an artist is easy to do. And now that I hear myself, you know, reading my notes here, I just said I was going to be using "artists" and "entrepreneur" and "creator" interchangeably. And then my first piece of advice is knowing the difference between the two. So let me go back. I'll be using the words "artist" and "creator" interchangeably. Not "entrepreneur". Entrepreneur is something different. And that's the first piece of advice is to understand that difference. Okay? So now let me get back to my notes here.

[00:02:38] So a lot of talented artists have given people the impression that making a living as an artist is easy to do. But it is not easy. It's easier than ever before. But it's not easy. Some of these artists or creators are just shovel salesmen who want to capitalize on your vulnerability. And when I say vulnerability, I mean your high level of desire and your low level of knowledge that cause you to make decisions based on emotion and lofty aspirations rather than logic and patience. Now, before I continue, let me explain what I mean when I use the term "shovel salesmen". Now I'm referring to the California Gold Rush. I don't know what year it was, and I don't know if this is true. But, you know, years and years and years ago when everybody was rushing to California to dig for gold, it said that the people selling the shovels used to dig for the gold made more money than the majority of people actually digging for gold.

[00:03:40] And I'm not saying that, you know, all shovel salesmen are bad or manipulative or anything like that. I'm saying that some people try to make a task look easier than it is, just so they can sell you the tools you need in order to complete that task. And it's crucial that you recognize these people when you come across them. But many other artists give this false impression of life as a creator without knowing it. They simply neglect to expose their followers to all the work that goes into consistently producing high quality content. Most likely because it never crosses their mind or they, you know, wouldn't think or they don't think it would make interesting content.

[00:04:18] And generally speaking, very creative people tend to lack structure and discipline. They're not interested in doing the same thing every day or adhering to a schedule, answering to a boss or anything like that. They thrive on inspiration, not routine. They want to be free to experiment, explore, create, and express themselves. And so, many young, creative people fall in love with the idea of being able to wake up and do nothing but creative things. But they don't understand that there's a difference between waking up and only doing what you enjoy and getting paid to wake up and only do what you enjoy. The business, much like life, is both an art and a science.

[00:05:01] As an artist, you must understand that working for yourself looks glamorous on Instagram, but there's nothing glamorous about working 80 to 100 hours a week with no guarantee that you'll never be paid for that work. Excuse me. Ever be paid. Let me say that again. As an artist, you must understand that working for yourself looks glamorous on the Instagram, but there's nothing glamorous about working 80 to 100 hours a week with no guarantee that you will ever be paid for that work. You must understand that artists know how to make art. And entrepreneurs know how to make money. And unless you can figure out how to do both, you'll never be paid money to make art. So don't be fooled by these creative liberal types who try to demonize capitalism and make it seem like getting paid good money is a sin because everyone is a capitalist, whether they like it or not.

[00:05:56] And the fact of the matter is, without money, you wouldn't even be able to pay for the food you need in order to survive long enough to create something meaningful. So you've either got to get a job or learn how to make money for yourself. Which brings me to my next piece of advice. Understand that you have two choices. Do everything yourself or pay someone to do it for you. And this will make or break your chances of success. Every creator and entrepreneur gets to a point where he or she is responsible for too many parts of the production process. So let's use YouTube creators as an example. Before you see a high quality YouTube video, there are a lot of things that need to be done by the creator. Things such as research about the video topic, write the video script, or at least think of the main talking points, create an interesting, yet concise title that makes you want to watch the video.

[00:06:56] Create an eye-catching descriptive thumbnail that quickly and clearly communicates what you're about to watch. Decide how they're going to record the video, set up the camera gear and the microphone. Record the video. Transfer the video files to their computer and cloud storage. Edit the video, and you have no idea how many hours a good video can take. You really just don't understand how much time goes into great video editing. You just don't. You just. You just don't understand, bro. You don't understand. But anyway, next step, upload the YouTube video, upload the thumbnail, write the video description. Decide what day and time the video will be posted. Monitor the video's performance with analytical data from YouTube.

[00:07:42] Figure out why people aren't watching the entire video. Figure out how to make the videos better so people watch them completely, re-edit the video in various ways so you can promote it on multiple video-based social platforms. Post those videos on each of the platforms. Engage with the audience and use their feedback for new and better video ideas, research trends, and changes in your industry to make sure you're always the best in your space. Because there are 30 other creators ready to take your viewers attention away from you at any given moment. Just saying all those steps made me tired, bro.

[00:08:19] Imagine one person doing all of them for each and every video they produced. Only one of two things would happen. They would try to do it all and all of it would be mediocre because it's impossible to give 100% of your heart, soul, and energy to such a long list of challenging tasks every single day for years. And it's also impossible to be the best in your field at all of those tasks. Number two, they would end up quitting because they know they can't do it all themselves and they need to make money. So they'll go work a job instead. And this is true for creators and entrepreneurs alike. You cannot do everything by yourself. As a creator, you should be spending as much of your energy as possible on the thing you're best at. And in this case, that's being creative. Your creative work is something that no one in the world can do but you.

[00:09:15] Is Elon Musk manually building each and every Tesla that sold? No. Is Mark Zuckerberg writing every line of code for the metaverse? I doubt it. Did Steve Jobs assemble each and every one of the iPhones himself? Of course, not. All of them focused on what they were best at and delegated the rest of the work to capable employees. So you must focus on the activities that give you energy and make you forget about time. You must pay people to do the things that rob you of your energy and make you wish time would pass faster. If you can't manage to do this, you'll most likely lose all passion for your work and give it up completely or falsely conclude that it's impossible to make money doing what you enjoy.

[00:10:03] It's not impossible. You just need to learn how to create systems and delegate tasks to people the same way the owners of the company you work for do to your boss and your boss does to you. Which takes me to my next piece of advice. Learn about the fundamentals of business. If you don't understand how a business operates, you won't be in business for very long. Now the good news is you can learn everything there is to know about business using only the internet and some good communication skills. There are decades worth of free content that will teach you whatever you want to know, and sending direct messages to people you'd like to work with doesn't cost you a dollar. That means there's nothing stopping you from learning how to build the infrastructure that will support the life you actually want to live.

[00:10:52] Now, it's fucking hard. But it's easier than it's ever been. And I want you to remember that whenever you think about quitting. But getting back to my actual point, you must understand how a business operates. You must understand the difference between being self-employed and being a business owner. You've got to learn about things like the difference between a product and a service, sales, marketing, finance, what to do with and how to reinvest your money, leadership skills, managing teams, branding, and a whole bunch of other stuff. And I know that may sound hella boring and daunting in the beginning, but if you want to be the boss, you've got to pay the cost. You must be willing to educate yourself. And fortunately, these days, there are many ways to do that. So my next piece of advice is to understand all the tools you have available to you today.

[00:11:47] And all I really have to say about this is that there has never been a technology like the Internet before, never in human history. And you must not take it for granted. You might be sitting at home thinking about all the reasons you can't do something when all the reasons you can do something are sitting on the internet just waiting to be discovered. And what I mean by that is the Internet is so much bigger and richer than you realize. And if you know how to navigate it, you can find information on just about any subject you can think of, from websites to softwares to online communities and courses. Creative people literally have all the tools they need to run their own media company. And when I say media, it could be video, it could be audio or just written words. It should be all three, but it doesn't have to be. So the point is learn how to use the internet like a tool instead of like a toy.

[00:12:41] Now my next piece of advice is to think of yourself as a media company. The legendary Gary Vee has talked about this for literally a decade, and it's only now that I truly understand what he means. Because day by day, more and more people are spending ungodly amounts of time looking at a smartphone. And what that means is the smartphone is becoming the center of society's attention. And the only way you can sell someone something is if you have their attention and it doesn't matter what you're selling. It could be time, information, clothes, hope and experience, cars, paintings, whatever. If you want people to know about your work or your cause, your business, your mission, your content, your whatever, you need to figure out how to get people's attention.

[00:13:31] What I mean is we know we need to get people's attention and we know that the smartphone has most people's attention most of the time. So we need to figure out how to show up on people's phones and grab their attention. But everyone's different. Some people spend more time on Twitter reading and writing short texts, while others spend more time on YouTube watching long form videos of all kinds. Other people spend all their time on Reddit. Others love Instagram and TikTok. And your ideal customers could be on any one of those platforms. So if you want the highest possible chance of them discovering your work, especially without paying for advertising because you're a broke ass starving artist, then you need to learn how to appear on their screen using a form of media they already enjoy consuming whether it be video, audio, written words or all three.

[00:14:21] I'm going to leave some links to videos of Gary Vee talking to much more detail about the content production model that he and his team have developed and that I now use to make my own content. So if you're interested in being a content creator, artist or entrepreneur, and you like to talk in more depth about this with me, please join the Discord Server and send me a message because I really find this stuff fascinating, as I'm sure you could tell. But anyway, my next piece of advice for all you creatives out there, please understand that you do not have to work for yourself in order to do creative work. Working for yourself isn't the only way to make money doing creative work.

[00:14:58] Like I said before, trying to work for yourself could easily end up robbing you of all your passion for your craft. So before you stretch yourself out trying to find a way to monetize your artwork, consider a life in which you're paid to do various kinds of creative work. But someone else worries about things like payroll, reinvesting profits, coordinating schedules, buying materials, marketing the product, creating brand strategies and so on and so forth. Finding a quality creative job at a good company is just as hard as creating your own company, in my opinion. But owner and employee are two very different positions within a company and a lot of people should spend their time and energy simply trying to find the right employer instead of trying to become one. You might also find that you have other skills that are more valuable to the job market. So you could end up having a career in a different field and keep producing your artwork in your free time. And at the end of the day, it's all subjective and it all comes down to self awareness, like everything in life.

[00:15:59] So my next piece of advice for all you young creatives is to harness the power of broke. And this idea comes from the great entrepreneur and investor, Daymond John. I don't know if you guys are familiar. Maybe you guys watch Shark Tank or you've heard of FUBU. He's a dude that created that fashion brand. But anyway, he's written a book about it. I got this idea from him and he calls it Harnessing the Power of Broke. Let me explain. A huge mistake that inexperienced creators make is wasting money on the best equipment and or wasting time on tasks that don't really matter in the beginning of their careers. Like you don't need the new Sony A7S to record a great video. You don't need a Shure SM7B to record your podcast. You don't need a MacBook Pro to edit videos or design graphics. You don't need to build the sickest website or spend weeks planning.

[00:16:58] You need to take whatever you have available to you and just start doing shit. I suggest you do this because you're most likely broke and you can't afford to tie up your money in equipment, especially when you don't even know how to make money with that equipment yet. You don't even know if you really want to do this for a living. And in the event that you discover you do, or excuse me, in the event you discover you don't want to do it, you'd be stuck with a bunch of expensive equipment that you have no use for. And when you try to sell it, you're not going to get as much as you paid for it because equipment, especially, you know, electronic equipment loses its value the minute a newer model comes out. And we all know a new model comes out every fucking six days. Now, before I continue, let me explain what I mean when I say tie up, because I said you don't want to tie your money up in equipment. The first overt tie up in this case is more figurative. Think of it like a metaphor, because when you spend money, a $1,000 on an expensive camera, now you don't have $1,000 cash anymore.

[00:17:59] That money is sitting metaphorically or figuratively in the camera. So if you need 1000 cash or 200 or 500 to pay your bills or to do something real quick, you can't because all your money is sitting in that camera that you don't even know how to use to make money. So now your money is tied up. It's stuck. It's in prison. The camera is now a prison for that money that you spent when you could do a whole lot more with liquid cash, cash in your hand or your bank account that you can spend on various things, more important things. So in its essence, that's what I mean when I say tie your money up, okay? When you're broke, every dollar is precious to you. You can't afford to waste your money. And this financial poverty will force you to think outside the box when looking for solutions to problems that can only be solved with money.

[00:18:52] And this will get you in the habit of making smart decisions with your money, even if you end up being rich one day. If there's one thing I've learned from all the entrepreneurs I follow, it's that even as multimillionaires, they always start a new company in the cheapest way and the most efficient way possible. That's how you become a millionaire and stay a millionaire. You feel me? I mean, just think about all the billion dollar companies that were started in people's garages. They didn't build offices and factories and hire hundreds of employees to run a corporation. They just started with what they had, and they grew from there.

[00:19:28] But anyway, the point is, don't waste precious money and time on things that don't really make a difference in your ability to create. Have you ever asked yourself what camera was used to record The Avengers movie? Have you ever stopped to consider what type of microphone Kendrick Lamar used to record his last album? I doubt it, because if you're like most people, you don't give a fuck. You just want to watch and listen to or read something good. You subconsciously know that a camera cannot record a great video or make a great photograph. A microphone cannot produce a classic record. A computer cannot edit a feature film. Those are the things that artists do.

[00:20:12] Mr. Beast, one of the biggest YouTubers on the planet, got his first 200,000 subscribers with nothing more than an iPhone. He recorded and edited all of the videos on an iPhone. Casey Neistat shot feature films with a point-and-shoot camera. For four years now, I've been recording this podcast with the same $70 microphone that I bought on Amazon and using my iPhone 7 as a video camera. It's not the camera or the microphone that really matters. It's what you do with it once you turn it on.

[00:20:55] Now, another piece of advice I got for you is to remember that it's totally normal and it's okay to copy people in the beginning. Do not feel bad for copying people you look up to when you just get started. Everyone does that. We all start somewhere and all of us learn by imitating those around us. Right? That's how you learn your first language. That's how you learn to walk. That's how you learn to play soccer. Right? Some people say there's nothing new under the sun, which basically means you're almost certainly not going to create something that the world has never seen before. Every work of art is in some way a copy of one or many other creations. And another way of saying that is every work of art is in some way inspired by another. All artists steal ideas and techniques to make their work better.

[00:21:48] But the key is not to take someone else's style and try to make it your own. The key is to take someone else's style and let it influence your own. Many artists who want to blow up are tempted to copy whatever is popular at the moment because they think whatever is popular is what is good. But just because it's popular and making money doesn't mean it's good. There's no such thing as good or bad art. Art is any form of creative expression. Right? And there's no wrong way to express oneself through artwork. And just because it's popular today doesn't mean it'll be popular next month.

[00:22:29] So remember that it's normal to imitate your peers in the beginning. But if you want to stand out and differentiate yourself, you can not do that forever. You've got to come up with your own unique style. You've got to be yourself and let that shine through your work. So if somebody tells you that your work reminds them of someone else's, you haven't found your own style yet. Alright, my next piece of advice. Remember that absolutely no one gives a fuck about your work. I don't care what they tell you, nobody cares. This is another one that a lot of people don't consider before they try a career as an artist or an entrepreneur. It's lonely as fuck, bro. Because you're essentially saying to the world, I don't like the life path that was created for me. I do not like the terms and conditions of society's user agreement. So I'm going to create and walk my own path and live life on my terms.

[00:23:32] It sounds sexy as fuck when you see or hear an influencer on Instagram saying that shit, but there's nothing glamorous about it, my friend. Alright? It's lonely as fuck. I'm not saying that there aren't people in this world who love and care about you. I'm just saying that you shouldn't expect anyone to care about your journey the same way you do. Because people are occupied with their lives. Right? And in many cases people will think you're a loser for doing what you're doing instead of getting a job anyway. Right? Like a real adult. Other people would love nothing more than to see you fail. And this, of course, is true in many endeavors, not just art and entrepreneurship. So I guess what I'm really trying to say is you should know that will probably come a time when you realize that you're alone on this one. No one is coming to make sure that you're doing what you're supposed to do. No one is coming to pick you up and put you back on your feet when life inevitably punches you in the mouth. So if you can't motivate and rely on yourself, this life probably isn't for you.

[00:24:41] My next piece of advice. Prepare to be in this game for the long haul. Because this is a marathon, not a sprint. We've all heard expressions like "Rome wasn't built in a day", "Nothing good happens overnight", "Nothing that's meaningful will come easily", right? It's the same for any skill or successful career. You've got to think about this process and life itself like a marathon. You know, Nipsey talked about this all the time. He said instead of trying to build a brick wall, just focus on laying a brick. One brick at a time. Brick by brick, by brick, by brick. And eventually you'll look up and realize you built the whole wall.

[00:25:31] So the message is just put your head down and work. Detach yourself from the results and the outcomes. If something doesn't go the way you wanted it to go, just take a step back, assess the situation, and figure out how you can come stronger and more correct the next time. And do that until the day you die and you'll be fine. So remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Next piece of advice, my friends. Remember that ideas are easy, but execution is the hard part, and that's all that matters. And this one is super important because a lot of creative people think all their ideas are the shit. Fucking amazing. That would be awesome. "I'm brilliant!", right? But the problem with ideas is they aren't real. Ideas live in this imaginary world. I can't buy dinner or build a house or wash my car with an idea. The only three things I can actually do with the idea - talk about it, which is what most of us do; forget about it, which is what most of us eventually do; or execute on it.

[00:26:52] Until you execute on an idea, it means nothing, bro. And the only way to know if an idea is actually good is if you try to execute on it. So understand that you'll probably have hundreds or thousands of ideas over the years, and most of them will be shit. And that's okay. The more you try to execute on your ideas, the more real-world experience you will get. And that experience will help you to get a better idea of what kinds of things are worth your time and energy and which ones are not. For example, you might want to produce your own movies. You want to be a filmmaker, and you hate the idea of putting your films on YouTube for free, and you also hate the idea of licensing them to Netflix. So you decide you're going to build your own version of Netflix and convince the world to subscribe to your platform and pay to stream your independent films. You keep all the money, you have all the control, right? Sounds amazing on the surface.

[00:27:54] But let's think about it a little bit more deeply. Are you sure you know what it takes to build a platform like Netflix? Do you have any idea how much money that would cost? Do you really want to be responsible for marketing not only your movies, but the streaming platform people have to watch it on? Are you sure your movies are so good that people are going to pay you for them? Do you know what it takes to operate an online business? Are you really going to compete with the multimillion dollar media company that is Netflix? Do you really think you can get people to stop watching YouTube videos and watch your movies instead? These are just a few questions that you'd really need to consider before embarking on a journey such as that one.

[00:28:35] You might quickly realize that your idea simply sounds good, but it would be a monumental waste of time trying to execute on it. And that leads me to my next piece of advice. You must become ridiculously self-aware. I could go very deep into this topic right here because there are so many things that could be considered when it comes to self awareness. But out of respect for your time and to stay on topic, I'll just say that being aware of your thought process and your daily habits is essential when trying to better one's life or achieve a difficult goal. I believe that self-awareness is the key to making sure that you never make the wrong decision in life. The more you understand yourself, your purpose in life, and have a clear vision of what you want for your life, the easier it will be to make decisions that lead you in the direction you want your life to go in.

[00:29:33] So if you can't take a step back and take a pragmatic look at yourself, you may never figure out what you are doing to fuck your life up. You may never find any real direction in life because you can't even figure out where you really want to go. And so you may end up drifting from place to place to place, right? Going wherever life takes you. And please understand, there's absolutely nothing wrong with living your life that way. I'm just saying that if you're going to live your life that way, then it's better that you be aware you're doing it. As opposed to waking up 40 years later, realizing that you wasted your life simply because you never decided to take control of it. You know what I'm saying?

[00:30:14] So trust me, I know it can take years, sometimes even decades, for some of us to figure out what we really want to do with our lives. But waiting until tomorrow to get started will only make it take longer. My next piece of advice. Save your fucking money. Save your fucking money, bro. Put it in your pocket. You don't need to spend it. Trust me. I know you don't. I know I don't even fucking know you. And I know you don't need to spend it. Cut that shit out, man. This one is certainly for the young people listening to this right now. Save your fucking money. Resist the urge to go out with friends and buy overpriced drinks for temporary pleasure. Resist the urge to buy another ounce of weed. Resist the urge to buy new clothes just to impress people. Resist the urge to go out to restaurants when you know you've got food at home. I know you probably feel like you're missing out on your golden years. Because you'll only be 22 years old once in your lifetime so you want to party, you want to be free, you want to have fun, you want to enjoy life, right?

[00:31:29] But listen to me. There will come a time when you're going to need money for something much more important than getting drunk and partying and trying to impress people that you probably don't even like that much in the first place. Trust me. A lot of older people refer to like 18 to 30 as the golden years because they wasted their fucking lives not preparing themselves for a 30 to 90. This is all...Be young, have fun party, drink whatever or wasted fucking 18 to 28 studying sitting in a classroom because somebody told them that was the guarantee to a better future. Yeah, they call it their golden years because they know that is the time to set yourself up for success. Not 30 to 40. Not 40 to 50. Fucking 18, 28, bro. There are no rules.

[00:32:20] And I'm speaking very, very, very generally. Right? I think over generalizing because I know like I live in the United States of America, an opportunity here is not the same thing as opportunity in many places around the world. Like, trust me, I understand that. But I'm saying. Like if you're young, you have no kids, no spouse, nothing holding you down or excuse me, holding you back or tying you down like, bro. Save your fucking money. And just experiment. Just try shit. Different jobs, study different things in your free time. Just figure out what you're interested in. And once you find something that you're like, "Bro, I could do this every day for the rest of my life." Once you find something like that or "Bro, I'm so good at this that people will pay me for it." Once you find some shit like that, bro, go all in on that shit as soon as possible. As soon as possible. I'm not saying you're going to find it between 18 and 28. I'm just saying there's no better time to start looking.

[00:33:21] You know, there's no better time to start looking because you don't want to be 30, 33, 35, 40 years old with nothing going on. No clue of what you want to do. No skills that you've acquired over the years. No experience or nothing like that. No money because you wasted it all on some fucking bullshit. You don't want that. I don't even know you. And I know you don't want that. Save your money, save your money and focus on experience, focus on learning, acquiring valuable skills. So even if it never works for you as an artist in terms of money, you'll have skills that people will still pay you for, right? Save your fucking money because you might realize maybe you don't think about it at 17 or 18.

[00:34:09] But guess what? If you ignore all the bullshit online people are trying to sell you, some get rich quick scheme, if you ignore all your loser friends that make fun of you for working two jobs and not going to school like them, not going to the party on Friday like them, not chasing girls like them or whatever. Like, bruh. But if you can ignore all that shit, focus on yourself and preparing yourself for the life you want to live, save your money, work hard...four, six years. Bruh, you can be 24, 25, 26 ready to invest who knows how much money into a business? Or maybe you can travel for a year because you saved up so much money. It doesn't matter. You can always come back and go to school and get a job. That shit is going nowhere, right? Maybe you can put a downpayment on a house, whatever you want to do, invest that money, help your parents, whatever it is. You can't do it if you don't save your fucking money.

[00:34:59] You just don't understand the advantage you have by starting early. Starting early? You just don't get it. I didn't get it either. I'm still trying to comprehend it. But bro, you don't understand. The advantage you have by getting started early when it comes to acquiring skills, when it comes to saving and investing money, when it comes to developing your self, your character, your spirit, your charisma, your communication skills, your personality, your self-awareness, bro. Do not underestimate the advantage of getting started early. Okay. I'm not reading my notes anymore. But this one is super important, bro. Save your fucking money. Do not waste it on nonsense. You're going to need it one day because that's going to come a day. I know this is different in every culture. I think here in the United States, we're kind of famous for kicking our kids out of the house at 18, like "you're a man now, go and make some money!" And I know in other countries the culture is different. It's totally normal to be 30 years old living with your parents, and you might not leave their house until you get married. Here, it depends on the family, but generally speaking, especially if you're a man, people will look at you like a fucking loser if you're 35 living with your parents, especially because you have to, not because you want to. It's just this weird cultural thing. But anyway.

[00:36:15] Anyway, I lost my train of thought. Hang on. Now I remember what I was going to say is you don't want to get to whatever age is too old to be at home with your parents. It could be 30, 35, 40, whatever. You don't want to get to that place where your parents are like, "yo, you need to get the fuck out". Or you have no friends that you can stay with. You have no spouse that you guys can split the bills. You're like, you're on your own. As an adult and you have no money saved. Like money is not. Money is options, bro. Let me let me say it that way. Money is options. A lot of people think of money in different ways. It means status; it means wealth; it means I can buy shit. Fuck all of that. Money is options, bro.

[00:36:59] The more money you have, the more options you have. You have no money..when you have $0 in your bank account, you got very few options to make some shit happen, to feed yourself or to pay rent or survive the next 90 days. Then you got to get real creative, you know what I'm saying? But when you got money, you got options. You have a little bit of security. You can sleep well at night knowing "I don't got a job today or this week, but I got enough money for 6 to 18 months, living the exact same way I'm living right now." And of course, I'm just giving random examples at this point, but I'm just trying to say, like, bruh, do not underestimate the value, the power of having money saved to do with whatever you want. To invest in any venture or endeavor or dream that you've spent the last 8 to 10 years developing. Save your fucking money, bruh. You are going to need it.

[00:38:01] Now my next piece of advice, do not pay attention to what your peers are doing. It does not matter. I would like to think it's common knowledge by now, but I know it's not. A lot of people still get caught up watching other people online and focusing on what other people have and what they don't have. Let me say that differently. You might be one of those people that focuses on what other people have and what you do not have. But you can't get caught up in what your peers are doing or what they appear to be doing. You'll never know what anyone's life is actually like unless you spend every hour of every day with them. And you still might not understand it all because they were a person before you met them. Like there's so much that you don't see behind the curtain and there's no reason to waste your time thinking about that. Like somebody else making lots of money or having a great time or living their dreams doesn't really change anything in your life unless you let it, you know what I'm saying?

[00:39:06] So there's no reason to focus on all that shit. You need to focus on being thankful for what you have, first of all. And I know that can be difficult depending on how you were raised or what your life experience is. But you've got to try to be grateful for what you have, first of all, but then focus on what you want because then you're just naturally going to move in that direction if you're always focused on what everybody else has. You have no direction to go in because you can't go in their direction and live their life. So you're kind of just stuck where you are when you could be moving forward. But you can't move forward and look to the side at the same time. You're going to run into a wall eventually. You see what I'm saying? So don't get caught up in what other people are doing, but I'll focus on what you want and where you're going, and you'll get there much faster. That's just my experience, you know?

[00:39:53] So my next piece of advice is to nip that wannabe perfectionist shit in the bud. Now, what do I mean when I say "nip something in the bud"? What that means is basically go to the root of the problem, go to the source, and eradicate it at the very root, not just the top, so that it grows back and it remains a problem. Go all the way to the source and remove that motherfucker. Unroot that motherfucker. You understand what I'm saying? Like, imagine taking a whole tree out of the earth, removing it from the earth, roots and everything. Nip it in the bud, eradicate it. Cut it out. Stop it. It's basically what I'm trying to say. That wannabe perfectionist shit. You want to be a perfectionist? You say, "Oh, I'm not ready. I'm a perfectionist. I'm too much of a perfectionist to post my content and show the world what I can do. It's not ready yet. Let me work on it for three or four more months. It's just not ready, you know, I got to put those finishing touches on the work before the world sees it" is bullshit, bruh.

[00:40:55] You're not a perfectionist. You're just insecure. You think the world is going to judge you and your work the same way you judge yourself and your work. You think the world is going to criticize you as harshly as you criticize yourself. So instead of just posting the shit to see what happens, you think you know it's going to happen. And you don't post it, you don't share it, you don't tell anyone about it. Feel ashamed. You got to cut that shit out, bro. It's never going to be perfect. And maybe your art does fucking suck, but you won't know until you put it out there, my friend. Get out of your head and put yourself out into the world and wait for the feedback. It's...It's never going to be perfect, bro. Ever. And once you get feedback, then you can say, "Hmm, they like that. Let me do some more of that. Hmm, they don't like that. Why didn't they like it? I got an audience now. What would they like to see? Let me fucking ask them."

[00:41:57] "Hey, what did you guys think about this video or that painting or that song," or whatever. You have to put it out there. It's not going to be perfect, bro. If you want to lie...you want to live and work as an artist, making money off your ability to express yourself creatively, you have to put yourself out there. You cannot separate yourself from your artwork. So this, I mean, maybe you can, but what I'm trying to say is it's an extension of you. You're going to have to put it out there at some point. And actually you are not your artwork. And for that reason, when somebody talks shit or judges it or ridicules it or criticizes like, so what, bruh? So who gives a shit? It's a piece of art. If they don't like it, they don't...they don't fucking like it. It is what it is. And you see, in art and business and life, it's all kind of the same.

[00:42:48] You could say the same thing about yourself and your personality. If somebody doesn't like you, who gives a shit? Who cares? Like, keep it moving. We don't have to be friends. It's fine. No hard feelings. It's fine. It's fine. I don't care. Right? It's the same thing with your artwork, bro. Just put it out there. Put it out there as much as you can, as fast as you can. Because with every piece that you produce, if you're trying to get better and you're really serious about it, you're really involved in your process, like you're just naturally going to get better and better and develop over time. You can't do that if you're not constantly practicing the same way. You can't build muscle if you're not constantly working out, you can't build endurance if you're not constantly doing cardio work, you can't learn how to speak a language if you're not constantly...it's all the same, right?

[00:43:32] So just put it out there, bro. Stop judging yourself. And remember, most people are not judging you the way you judge yourself. And even if they are. Fuck them. Alright? So the next piece of advice. Remember that you cannot force creative work. You cannot force creativity. So you need to create or find, discover, whatever an environment that ensures you never need to force your creativity. Because energy has a huge impact on your ability to produce. And what I mean when I say that is the more self-aware you become, the more you start to analyse yourself and your environment and how both things affect one another, you might realize that the house you live in is a toxic environment and it has an effect on your mood and your energy to such a degree that you have no energy or space or quiet time to just focus and create the stuff that you love to create. So maybe you have to go to the park where you can be more productive or the library or sit in your car or go to your friend's house or rent a room or do whatever you got to do so that you can have an environment that you control and you can be free to create.

[00:44:49] Just pay attention to the way your environment affects your energy and your ability to do what you do best. Do not underestimate that it could be people in your life fucking up your flow. It could be where you live. It could be the time of day that you're trying to do something. Maybe you should choose a different time. Maybe you should stop telling certain people about what you're doing because they always bring their negativity. You need to be aware of that stuff. For real. Because it all has an effect on you and you have an effect on your work. So anyway, my next piece of advice. My last piece of advice is to read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Fucking Read. Read some more. When you finish reading, don't forget to read. And when I say read, I really mean educate yourself.

[00:45:43] Because I fucking hate reading, the activity...I fucking hate that shit. I like what I get from reading. I love the information I get from books, the wisdom that people who took the time to put into book form, I love that. But actually sitting and looking at the book and scanning line after line after line, I hate reading. I hate that shit. I only do it because there's just so much useful information in books. Right? But the point is, educate yourself. With videos, podcasts, books, whatever, blog articles, whatever it is. Educate yourself constantly. Do not get complacent. Do not get comfortable. You may think you're a master of what you do. You may have found a routine and a workflow that works perfectly for you. You've got to continue innovating, educating yourself, exploring new things, you know, experimenting, trying to grow. Do not allow yourself to get stuck in the same place. Not allow yourself to get stuck in the past while the world keeps moving forward.

[00:46:46] Do not get so attached to your way of doing things or your way of thinking or your way of seeing the world that you get left behind. You understand? Whether that be in business with your artwork and your personal, professional life, whatever. Educate yourself constantly. If you want to be the best at what it is you do, if you want to be successful at anything. Right? You can't be complacent. So I know even once you reached some level of success, it's easy to want to exhale and feel good about yourself and get comfortable. But that is the time that you need to go harder than ever. I've learned that from experience and from watching other people I look up to. You got to stay ahead of the game. You don't want to be playing catch up ever.

[00:47:30] Which goes back to so many other things I've said during this episode, like don't underestimate the value of getting started early and don't underestimate the value and the power of consistency. That's consistency in your production rate. That's consistency in your creative practice. That's consistency in your self education. Shit is a marathon. So I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, hope that some of these words, some of these ideas, these pieces of advice that I've gotten from self education and a whole lot of experience have helped at least one of you. Consider a different way of looking at this topic, which is trying to make a living as a creative. Maybe it's giving you some things to consider. Some things that you might go and research now or just think about and apply when you take on that difficult task of, you know, living life on your terms, doing creative work, you know, living, you know, walking down the road less traveled, as I say. I really hope that some of this information or all of it ideally was helpful to one, if not all of you. But with that, I'm gonna get out of here, man. So this has been another episode of The Life in English podcast. I am your host, Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • Which piece of advice stood out to you?
  • If you could do any type of creative work, what would it be?
  • Do you think art is important for the development of culture? Why or why not?
  • Who is your favorite artist? Why?
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
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Transcript

[00:00:00] What's up, Life in the English family? This episode is going to be long as fuck because I got a whole lot to say about this particular subject and every single one of these things I'm about to say is something I wish somebody would have told me when I was 20 years old, and I had decided that I wanted to do creative work. So here are some pieces of advice for all you young, creative people who dream of making a living, doing creative work. And I guess I shouldn't say all you young people, because, you know, middle-aged and older people can be creative and can start careers doing creative work later in life. Right? So I'm not trying to discriminate here. But anyway, think of this as like advice to my younger creative self, knowing that many people out there are in the same position. How about that?

[00:00:52] Now these pieces of advice are coming from somebody who for years now has thought about and only recently really tried to figure out how to make a living doing creative work. So I don't claim to have all the answers, but I have learned some important lessons from my experiences. So that's what I'm gonna share with you today. Now, before we get started, I want to make it clear that I'm going to be giving very general advice for two reasons. The first reason is I could literally talk for the next 3 hours straight about this subject, and I wouldn't get tired, but none of us got time for any of that shit, so I'm just going to be as concise as I possibly can without being vague.

[00:01:28] The second reason is the best advice is usually given when it's based on real situations. So without knowing what situation you're in at the moment, it would be hard to give some specific advice. And I also want to make it clear that I'll be using the words "artist" and "creator" and even sometimes "entrepreneur" interchangeably for the duration of this episode. So when I say "artist", I also mean "content creator" or "entrepreneur" and vice versa. Alright? So let's get started, man.

[00:01:54] The first piece of advice I got for you, you know, all you young creatives out there is to understand the difference between an artist and an entrepreneur. Now, a lot of talented artists have given people the impression that making a living as an artist is easy to do. And now that I hear myself, you know, reading my notes here, I just said I was going to be using "artists" and "entrepreneur" and "creator" interchangeably. And then my first piece of advice is knowing the difference between the two. So let me go back. I'll be using the words "artist" and "creator" interchangeably. Not "entrepreneur". Entrepreneur is something different. And that's the first piece of advice is to understand that difference. Okay? So now let me get back to my notes here.

[00:02:38] So a lot of talented artists have given people the impression that making a living as an artist is easy to do. But it is not easy. It's easier than ever before. But it's not easy. Some of these artists or creators are just shovel salesmen who want to capitalize on your vulnerability. And when I say vulnerability, I mean your high level of desire and your low level of knowledge that cause you to make decisions based on emotion and lofty aspirations rather than logic and patience. Now, before I continue, let me explain what I mean when I use the term "shovel salesmen". Now I'm referring to the California Gold Rush. I don't know what year it was, and I don't know if this is true. But, you know, years and years and years ago when everybody was rushing to California to dig for gold, it said that the people selling the shovels used to dig for the gold made more money than the majority of people actually digging for gold.

[00:03:40] And I'm not saying that, you know, all shovel salesmen are bad or manipulative or anything like that. I'm saying that some people try to make a task look easier than it is, just so they can sell you the tools you need in order to complete that task. And it's crucial that you recognize these people when you come across them. But many other artists give this false impression of life as a creator without knowing it. They simply neglect to expose their followers to all the work that goes into consistently producing high quality content. Most likely because it never crosses their mind or they, you know, wouldn't think or they don't think it would make interesting content.

[00:04:18] And generally speaking, very creative people tend to lack structure and discipline. They're not interested in doing the same thing every day or adhering to a schedule, answering to a boss or anything like that. They thrive on inspiration, not routine. They want to be free to experiment, explore, create, and express themselves. And so, many young, creative people fall in love with the idea of being able to wake up and do nothing but creative things. But they don't understand that there's a difference between waking up and only doing what you enjoy and getting paid to wake up and only do what you enjoy. The business, much like life, is both an art and a science.

[00:05:01] As an artist, you must understand that working for yourself looks glamorous on Instagram, but there's nothing glamorous about working 80 to 100 hours a week with no guarantee that you'll never be paid for that work. Excuse me. Ever be paid. Let me say that again. As an artist, you must understand that working for yourself looks glamorous on the Instagram, but there's nothing glamorous about working 80 to 100 hours a week with no guarantee that you will ever be paid for that work. You must understand that artists know how to make art. And entrepreneurs know how to make money. And unless you can figure out how to do both, you'll never be paid money to make art. So don't be fooled by these creative liberal types who try to demonize capitalism and make it seem like getting paid good money is a sin because everyone is a capitalist, whether they like it or not.

[00:05:56] And the fact of the matter is, without money, you wouldn't even be able to pay for the food you need in order to survive long enough to create something meaningful. So you've either got to get a job or learn how to make money for yourself. Which brings me to my next piece of advice. Understand that you have two choices. Do everything yourself or pay someone to do it for you. And this will make or break your chances of success. Every creator and entrepreneur gets to a point where he or she is responsible for too many parts of the production process. So let's use YouTube creators as an example. Before you see a high quality YouTube video, there are a lot of things that need to be done by the creator. Things such as research about the video topic, write the video script, or at least think of the main talking points, create an interesting, yet concise title that makes you want to watch the video.

[00:06:56] Create an eye-catching descriptive thumbnail that quickly and clearly communicates what you're about to watch. Decide how they're going to record the video, set up the camera gear and the microphone. Record the video. Transfer the video files to their computer and cloud storage. Edit the video, and you have no idea how many hours a good video can take. You really just don't understand how much time goes into great video editing. You just don't. You just. You just don't understand, bro. You don't understand. But anyway, next step, upload the YouTube video, upload the thumbnail, write the video description. Decide what day and time the video will be posted. Monitor the video's performance with analytical data from YouTube.

[00:07:42] Figure out why people aren't watching the entire video. Figure out how to make the videos better so people watch them completely, re-edit the video in various ways so you can promote it on multiple video-based social platforms. Post those videos on each of the platforms. Engage with the audience and use their feedback for new and better video ideas, research trends, and changes in your industry to make sure you're always the best in your space. Because there are 30 other creators ready to take your viewers attention away from you at any given moment. Just saying all those steps made me tired, bro.

[00:08:19] Imagine one person doing all of them for each and every video they produced. Only one of two things would happen. They would try to do it all and all of it would be mediocre because it's impossible to give 100% of your heart, soul, and energy to such a long list of challenging tasks every single day for years. And it's also impossible to be the best in your field at all of those tasks. Number two, they would end up quitting because they know they can't do it all themselves and they need to make money. So they'll go work a job instead. And this is true for creators and entrepreneurs alike. You cannot do everything by yourself. As a creator, you should be spending as much of your energy as possible on the thing you're best at. And in this case, that's being creative. Your creative work is something that no one in the world can do but you.

[00:09:15] Is Elon Musk manually building each and every Tesla that sold? No. Is Mark Zuckerberg writing every line of code for the metaverse? I doubt it. Did Steve Jobs assemble each and every one of the iPhones himself? Of course, not. All of them focused on what they were best at and delegated the rest of the work to capable employees. So you must focus on the activities that give you energy and make you forget about time. You must pay people to do the things that rob you of your energy and make you wish time would pass faster. If you can't manage to do this, you'll most likely lose all passion for your work and give it up completely or falsely conclude that it's impossible to make money doing what you enjoy.

[00:10:03] It's not impossible. You just need to learn how to create systems and delegate tasks to people the same way the owners of the company you work for do to your boss and your boss does to you. Which takes me to my next piece of advice. Learn about the fundamentals of business. If you don't understand how a business operates, you won't be in business for very long. Now the good news is you can learn everything there is to know about business using only the internet and some good communication skills. There are decades worth of free content that will teach you whatever you want to know, and sending direct messages to people you'd like to work with doesn't cost you a dollar. That means there's nothing stopping you from learning how to build the infrastructure that will support the life you actually want to live.

[00:10:52] Now, it's fucking hard. But it's easier than it's ever been. And I want you to remember that whenever you think about quitting. But getting back to my actual point, you must understand how a business operates. You must understand the difference between being self-employed and being a business owner. You've got to learn about things like the difference between a product and a service, sales, marketing, finance, what to do with and how to reinvest your money, leadership skills, managing teams, branding, and a whole bunch of other stuff. And I know that may sound hella boring and daunting in the beginning, but if you want to be the boss, you've got to pay the cost. You must be willing to educate yourself. And fortunately, these days, there are many ways to do that. So my next piece of advice is to understand all the tools you have available to you today.

[00:11:47] And all I really have to say about this is that there has never been a technology like the Internet before, never in human history. And you must not take it for granted. You might be sitting at home thinking about all the reasons you can't do something when all the reasons you can do something are sitting on the internet just waiting to be discovered. And what I mean by that is the Internet is so much bigger and richer than you realize. And if you know how to navigate it, you can find information on just about any subject you can think of, from websites to softwares to online communities and courses. Creative people literally have all the tools they need to run their own media company. And when I say media, it could be video, it could be audio or just written words. It should be all three, but it doesn't have to be. So the point is learn how to use the internet like a tool instead of like a toy.

[00:12:41] Now my next piece of advice is to think of yourself as a media company. The legendary Gary Vee has talked about this for literally a decade, and it's only now that I truly understand what he means. Because day by day, more and more people are spending ungodly amounts of time looking at a smartphone. And what that means is the smartphone is becoming the center of society's attention. And the only way you can sell someone something is if you have their attention and it doesn't matter what you're selling. It could be time, information, clothes, hope and experience, cars, paintings, whatever. If you want people to know about your work or your cause, your business, your mission, your content, your whatever, you need to figure out how to get people's attention.

[00:13:31] What I mean is we know we need to get people's attention and we know that the smartphone has most people's attention most of the time. So we need to figure out how to show up on people's phones and grab their attention. But everyone's different. Some people spend more time on Twitter reading and writing short texts, while others spend more time on YouTube watching long form videos of all kinds. Other people spend all their time on Reddit. Others love Instagram and TikTok. And your ideal customers could be on any one of those platforms. So if you want the highest possible chance of them discovering your work, especially without paying for advertising because you're a broke ass starving artist, then you need to learn how to appear on their screen using a form of media they already enjoy consuming whether it be video, audio, written words or all three.

[00:14:21] I'm going to leave some links to videos of Gary Vee talking to much more detail about the content production model that he and his team have developed and that I now use to make my own content. So if you're interested in being a content creator, artist or entrepreneur, and you like to talk in more depth about this with me, please join the Discord Server and send me a message because I really find this stuff fascinating, as I'm sure you could tell. But anyway, my next piece of advice for all you creatives out there, please understand that you do not have to work for yourself in order to do creative work. Working for yourself isn't the only way to make money doing creative work.

[00:14:58] Like I said before, trying to work for yourself could easily end up robbing you of all your passion for your craft. So before you stretch yourself out trying to find a way to monetize your artwork, consider a life in which you're paid to do various kinds of creative work. But someone else worries about things like payroll, reinvesting profits, coordinating schedules, buying materials, marketing the product, creating brand strategies and so on and so forth. Finding a quality creative job at a good company is just as hard as creating your own company, in my opinion. But owner and employee are two very different positions within a company and a lot of people should spend their time and energy simply trying to find the right employer instead of trying to become one. You might also find that you have other skills that are more valuable to the job market. So you could end up having a career in a different field and keep producing your artwork in your free time. And at the end of the day, it's all subjective and it all comes down to self awareness, like everything in life.

[00:15:59] So my next piece of advice for all you young creatives is to harness the power of broke. And this idea comes from the great entrepreneur and investor, Daymond John. I don't know if you guys are familiar. Maybe you guys watch Shark Tank or you've heard of FUBU. He's a dude that created that fashion brand. But anyway, he's written a book about it. I got this idea from him and he calls it Harnessing the Power of Broke. Let me explain. A huge mistake that inexperienced creators make is wasting money on the best equipment and or wasting time on tasks that don't really matter in the beginning of their careers. Like you don't need the new Sony A7S to record a great video. You don't need a Shure SM7B to record your podcast. You don't need a MacBook Pro to edit videos or design graphics. You don't need to build the sickest website or spend weeks planning.

[00:16:58] You need to take whatever you have available to you and just start doing shit. I suggest you do this because you're most likely broke and you can't afford to tie up your money in equipment, especially when you don't even know how to make money with that equipment yet. You don't even know if you really want to do this for a living. And in the event that you discover you do, or excuse me, in the event you discover you don't want to do it, you'd be stuck with a bunch of expensive equipment that you have no use for. And when you try to sell it, you're not going to get as much as you paid for it because equipment, especially, you know, electronic equipment loses its value the minute a newer model comes out. And we all know a new model comes out every fucking six days. Now, before I continue, let me explain what I mean when I say tie up, because I said you don't want to tie your money up in equipment. The first overt tie up in this case is more figurative. Think of it like a metaphor, because when you spend money, a $1,000 on an expensive camera, now you don't have $1,000 cash anymore.

[00:17:59] That money is sitting metaphorically or figuratively in the camera. So if you need 1000 cash or 200 or 500 to pay your bills or to do something real quick, you can't because all your money is sitting in that camera that you don't even know how to use to make money. So now your money is tied up. It's stuck. It's in prison. The camera is now a prison for that money that you spent when you could do a whole lot more with liquid cash, cash in your hand or your bank account that you can spend on various things, more important things. So in its essence, that's what I mean when I say tie your money up, okay? When you're broke, every dollar is precious to you. You can't afford to waste your money. And this financial poverty will force you to think outside the box when looking for solutions to problems that can only be solved with money.

[00:18:52] And this will get you in the habit of making smart decisions with your money, even if you end up being rich one day. If there's one thing I've learned from all the entrepreneurs I follow, it's that even as multimillionaires, they always start a new company in the cheapest way and the most efficient way possible. That's how you become a millionaire and stay a millionaire. You feel me? I mean, just think about all the billion dollar companies that were started in people's garages. They didn't build offices and factories and hire hundreds of employees to run a corporation. They just started with what they had, and they grew from there.

[00:19:28] But anyway, the point is, don't waste precious money and time on things that don't really make a difference in your ability to create. Have you ever asked yourself what camera was used to record The Avengers movie? Have you ever stopped to consider what type of microphone Kendrick Lamar used to record his last album? I doubt it, because if you're like most people, you don't give a fuck. You just want to watch and listen to or read something good. You subconsciously know that a camera cannot record a great video or make a great photograph. A microphone cannot produce a classic record. A computer cannot edit a feature film. Those are the things that artists do.

[00:20:12] Mr. Beast, one of the biggest YouTubers on the planet, got his first 200,000 subscribers with nothing more than an iPhone. He recorded and edited all of the videos on an iPhone. Casey Neistat shot feature films with a point-and-shoot camera. For four years now, I've been recording this podcast with the same $70 microphone that I bought on Amazon and using my iPhone 7 as a video camera. It's not the camera or the microphone that really matters. It's what you do with it once you turn it on.

[00:20:55] Now, another piece of advice I got for you is to remember that it's totally normal and it's okay to copy people in the beginning. Do not feel bad for copying people you look up to when you just get started. Everyone does that. We all start somewhere and all of us learn by imitating those around us. Right? That's how you learn your first language. That's how you learn to walk. That's how you learn to play soccer. Right? Some people say there's nothing new under the sun, which basically means you're almost certainly not going to create something that the world has never seen before. Every work of art is in some way a copy of one or many other creations. And another way of saying that is every work of art is in some way inspired by another. All artists steal ideas and techniques to make their work better.

[00:21:48] But the key is not to take someone else's style and try to make it your own. The key is to take someone else's style and let it influence your own. Many artists who want to blow up are tempted to copy whatever is popular at the moment because they think whatever is popular is what is good. But just because it's popular and making money doesn't mean it's good. There's no such thing as good or bad art. Art is any form of creative expression. Right? And there's no wrong way to express oneself through artwork. And just because it's popular today doesn't mean it'll be popular next month.

[00:22:29] So remember that it's normal to imitate your peers in the beginning. But if you want to stand out and differentiate yourself, you can not do that forever. You've got to come up with your own unique style. You've got to be yourself and let that shine through your work. So if somebody tells you that your work reminds them of someone else's, you haven't found your own style yet. Alright, my next piece of advice. Remember that absolutely no one gives a fuck about your work. I don't care what they tell you, nobody cares. This is another one that a lot of people don't consider before they try a career as an artist or an entrepreneur. It's lonely as fuck, bro. Because you're essentially saying to the world, I don't like the life path that was created for me. I do not like the terms and conditions of society's user agreement. So I'm going to create and walk my own path and live life on my terms.

[00:23:32] It sounds sexy as fuck when you see or hear an influencer on Instagram saying that shit, but there's nothing glamorous about it, my friend. Alright? It's lonely as fuck. I'm not saying that there aren't people in this world who love and care about you. I'm just saying that you shouldn't expect anyone to care about your journey the same way you do. Because people are occupied with their lives. Right? And in many cases people will think you're a loser for doing what you're doing instead of getting a job anyway. Right? Like a real adult. Other people would love nothing more than to see you fail. And this, of course, is true in many endeavors, not just art and entrepreneurship. So I guess what I'm really trying to say is you should know that will probably come a time when you realize that you're alone on this one. No one is coming to make sure that you're doing what you're supposed to do. No one is coming to pick you up and put you back on your feet when life inevitably punches you in the mouth. So if you can't motivate and rely on yourself, this life probably isn't for you.

[00:24:41] My next piece of advice. Prepare to be in this game for the long haul. Because this is a marathon, not a sprint. We've all heard expressions like "Rome wasn't built in a day", "Nothing good happens overnight", "Nothing that's meaningful will come easily", right? It's the same for any skill or successful career. You've got to think about this process and life itself like a marathon. You know, Nipsey talked about this all the time. He said instead of trying to build a brick wall, just focus on laying a brick. One brick at a time. Brick by brick, by brick, by brick. And eventually you'll look up and realize you built the whole wall.

[00:25:31] So the message is just put your head down and work. Detach yourself from the results and the outcomes. If something doesn't go the way you wanted it to go, just take a step back, assess the situation, and figure out how you can come stronger and more correct the next time. And do that until the day you die and you'll be fine. So remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Next piece of advice, my friends. Remember that ideas are easy, but execution is the hard part, and that's all that matters. And this one is super important because a lot of creative people think all their ideas are the shit. Fucking amazing. That would be awesome. "I'm brilliant!", right? But the problem with ideas is they aren't real. Ideas live in this imaginary world. I can't buy dinner or build a house or wash my car with an idea. The only three things I can actually do with the idea - talk about it, which is what most of us do; forget about it, which is what most of us eventually do; or execute on it.

[00:26:52] Until you execute on an idea, it means nothing, bro. And the only way to know if an idea is actually good is if you try to execute on it. So understand that you'll probably have hundreds or thousands of ideas over the years, and most of them will be shit. And that's okay. The more you try to execute on your ideas, the more real-world experience you will get. And that experience will help you to get a better idea of what kinds of things are worth your time and energy and which ones are not. For example, you might want to produce your own movies. You want to be a filmmaker, and you hate the idea of putting your films on YouTube for free, and you also hate the idea of licensing them to Netflix. So you decide you're going to build your own version of Netflix and convince the world to subscribe to your platform and pay to stream your independent films. You keep all the money, you have all the control, right? Sounds amazing on the surface.

[00:27:54] But let's think about it a little bit more deeply. Are you sure you know what it takes to build a platform like Netflix? Do you have any idea how much money that would cost? Do you really want to be responsible for marketing not only your movies, but the streaming platform people have to watch it on? Are you sure your movies are so good that people are going to pay you for them? Do you know what it takes to operate an online business? Are you really going to compete with the multimillion dollar media company that is Netflix? Do you really think you can get people to stop watching YouTube videos and watch your movies instead? These are just a few questions that you'd really need to consider before embarking on a journey such as that one.

[00:28:35] You might quickly realize that your idea simply sounds good, but it would be a monumental waste of time trying to execute on it. And that leads me to my next piece of advice. You must become ridiculously self-aware. I could go very deep into this topic right here because there are so many things that could be considered when it comes to self awareness. But out of respect for your time and to stay on topic, I'll just say that being aware of your thought process and your daily habits is essential when trying to better one's life or achieve a difficult goal. I believe that self-awareness is the key to making sure that you never make the wrong decision in life. The more you understand yourself, your purpose in life, and have a clear vision of what you want for your life, the easier it will be to make decisions that lead you in the direction you want your life to go in.

[00:29:33] So if you can't take a step back and take a pragmatic look at yourself, you may never figure out what you are doing to fuck your life up. You may never find any real direction in life because you can't even figure out where you really want to go. And so you may end up drifting from place to place to place, right? Going wherever life takes you. And please understand, there's absolutely nothing wrong with living your life that way. I'm just saying that if you're going to live your life that way, then it's better that you be aware you're doing it. As opposed to waking up 40 years later, realizing that you wasted your life simply because you never decided to take control of it. You know what I'm saying?

[00:30:14] So trust me, I know it can take years, sometimes even decades, for some of us to figure out what we really want to do with our lives. But waiting until tomorrow to get started will only make it take longer. My next piece of advice. Save your fucking money. Save your fucking money, bro. Put it in your pocket. You don't need to spend it. Trust me. I know you don't. I know I don't even fucking know you. And I know you don't need to spend it. Cut that shit out, man. This one is certainly for the young people listening to this right now. Save your fucking money. Resist the urge to go out with friends and buy overpriced drinks for temporary pleasure. Resist the urge to buy another ounce of weed. Resist the urge to buy new clothes just to impress people. Resist the urge to go out to restaurants when you know you've got food at home. I know you probably feel like you're missing out on your golden years. Because you'll only be 22 years old once in your lifetime so you want to party, you want to be free, you want to have fun, you want to enjoy life, right?

[00:31:29] But listen to me. There will come a time when you're going to need money for something much more important than getting drunk and partying and trying to impress people that you probably don't even like that much in the first place. Trust me. A lot of older people refer to like 18 to 30 as the golden years because they wasted their fucking lives not preparing themselves for a 30 to 90. This is all...Be young, have fun party, drink whatever or wasted fucking 18 to 28 studying sitting in a classroom because somebody told them that was the guarantee to a better future. Yeah, they call it their golden years because they know that is the time to set yourself up for success. Not 30 to 40. Not 40 to 50. Fucking 18, 28, bro. There are no rules.

[00:32:20] And I'm speaking very, very, very generally. Right? I think over generalizing because I know like I live in the United States of America, an opportunity here is not the same thing as opportunity in many places around the world. Like, trust me, I understand that. But I'm saying. Like if you're young, you have no kids, no spouse, nothing holding you down or excuse me, holding you back or tying you down like, bro. Save your fucking money. And just experiment. Just try shit. Different jobs, study different things in your free time. Just figure out what you're interested in. And once you find something that you're like, "Bro, I could do this every day for the rest of my life." Once you find something like that or "Bro, I'm so good at this that people will pay me for it." Once you find some shit like that, bro, go all in on that shit as soon as possible. As soon as possible. I'm not saying you're going to find it between 18 and 28. I'm just saying there's no better time to start looking.

[00:33:21] You know, there's no better time to start looking because you don't want to be 30, 33, 35, 40 years old with nothing going on. No clue of what you want to do. No skills that you've acquired over the years. No experience or nothing like that. No money because you wasted it all on some fucking bullshit. You don't want that. I don't even know you. And I know you don't want that. Save your money, save your money and focus on experience, focus on learning, acquiring valuable skills. So even if it never works for you as an artist in terms of money, you'll have skills that people will still pay you for, right? Save your fucking money because you might realize maybe you don't think about it at 17 or 18.

[00:34:09] But guess what? If you ignore all the bullshit online people are trying to sell you, some get rich quick scheme, if you ignore all your loser friends that make fun of you for working two jobs and not going to school like them, not going to the party on Friday like them, not chasing girls like them or whatever. Like, bruh. But if you can ignore all that shit, focus on yourself and preparing yourself for the life you want to live, save your money, work hard...four, six years. Bruh, you can be 24, 25, 26 ready to invest who knows how much money into a business? Or maybe you can travel for a year because you saved up so much money. It doesn't matter. You can always come back and go to school and get a job. That shit is going nowhere, right? Maybe you can put a downpayment on a house, whatever you want to do, invest that money, help your parents, whatever it is. You can't do it if you don't save your fucking money.

[00:34:59] You just don't understand the advantage you have by starting early. Starting early? You just don't get it. I didn't get it either. I'm still trying to comprehend it. But bro, you don't understand. The advantage you have by getting started early when it comes to acquiring skills, when it comes to saving and investing money, when it comes to developing your self, your character, your spirit, your charisma, your communication skills, your personality, your self-awareness, bro. Do not underestimate the advantage of getting started early. Okay. I'm not reading my notes anymore. But this one is super important, bro. Save your fucking money. Do not waste it on nonsense. You're going to need it one day because that's going to come a day. I know this is different in every culture. I think here in the United States, we're kind of famous for kicking our kids out of the house at 18, like "you're a man now, go and make some money!" And I know in other countries the culture is different. It's totally normal to be 30 years old living with your parents, and you might not leave their house until you get married. Here, it depends on the family, but generally speaking, especially if you're a man, people will look at you like a fucking loser if you're 35 living with your parents, especially because you have to, not because you want to. It's just this weird cultural thing. But anyway.

[00:36:15] Anyway, I lost my train of thought. Hang on. Now I remember what I was going to say is you don't want to get to whatever age is too old to be at home with your parents. It could be 30, 35, 40, whatever. You don't want to get to that place where your parents are like, "yo, you need to get the fuck out". Or you have no friends that you can stay with. You have no spouse that you guys can split the bills. You're like, you're on your own. As an adult and you have no money saved. Like money is not. Money is options, bro. Let me let me say it that way. Money is options. A lot of people think of money in different ways. It means status; it means wealth; it means I can buy shit. Fuck all of that. Money is options, bro.

[00:36:59] The more money you have, the more options you have. You have no money..when you have $0 in your bank account, you got very few options to make some shit happen, to feed yourself or to pay rent or survive the next 90 days. Then you got to get real creative, you know what I'm saying? But when you got money, you got options. You have a little bit of security. You can sleep well at night knowing "I don't got a job today or this week, but I got enough money for 6 to 18 months, living the exact same way I'm living right now." And of course, I'm just giving random examples at this point, but I'm just trying to say, like, bruh, do not underestimate the value, the power of having money saved to do with whatever you want. To invest in any venture or endeavor or dream that you've spent the last 8 to 10 years developing. Save your fucking money, bruh. You are going to need it.

[00:38:01] Now my next piece of advice, do not pay attention to what your peers are doing. It does not matter. I would like to think it's common knowledge by now, but I know it's not. A lot of people still get caught up watching other people online and focusing on what other people have and what they don't have. Let me say that differently. You might be one of those people that focuses on what other people have and what you do not have. But you can't get caught up in what your peers are doing or what they appear to be doing. You'll never know what anyone's life is actually like unless you spend every hour of every day with them. And you still might not understand it all because they were a person before you met them. Like there's so much that you don't see behind the curtain and there's no reason to waste your time thinking about that. Like somebody else making lots of money or having a great time or living their dreams doesn't really change anything in your life unless you let it, you know what I'm saying?

[00:39:06] So there's no reason to focus on all that shit. You need to focus on being thankful for what you have, first of all. And I know that can be difficult depending on how you were raised or what your life experience is. But you've got to try to be grateful for what you have, first of all, but then focus on what you want because then you're just naturally going to move in that direction if you're always focused on what everybody else has. You have no direction to go in because you can't go in their direction and live their life. So you're kind of just stuck where you are when you could be moving forward. But you can't move forward and look to the side at the same time. You're going to run into a wall eventually. You see what I'm saying? So don't get caught up in what other people are doing, but I'll focus on what you want and where you're going, and you'll get there much faster. That's just my experience, you know?

[00:39:53] So my next piece of advice is to nip that wannabe perfectionist shit in the bud. Now, what do I mean when I say "nip something in the bud"? What that means is basically go to the root of the problem, go to the source, and eradicate it at the very root, not just the top, so that it grows back and it remains a problem. Go all the way to the source and remove that motherfucker. Unroot that motherfucker. You understand what I'm saying? Like, imagine taking a whole tree out of the earth, removing it from the earth, roots and everything. Nip it in the bud, eradicate it. Cut it out. Stop it. It's basically what I'm trying to say. That wannabe perfectionist shit. You want to be a perfectionist? You say, "Oh, I'm not ready. I'm a perfectionist. I'm too much of a perfectionist to post my content and show the world what I can do. It's not ready yet. Let me work on it for three or four more months. It's just not ready, you know, I got to put those finishing touches on the work before the world sees it" is bullshit, bruh.

[00:40:55] You're not a perfectionist. You're just insecure. You think the world is going to judge you and your work the same way you judge yourself and your work. You think the world is going to criticize you as harshly as you criticize yourself. So instead of just posting the shit to see what happens, you think you know it's going to happen. And you don't post it, you don't share it, you don't tell anyone about it. Feel ashamed. You got to cut that shit out, bro. It's never going to be perfect. And maybe your art does fucking suck, but you won't know until you put it out there, my friend. Get out of your head and put yourself out into the world and wait for the feedback. It's...It's never going to be perfect, bro. Ever. And once you get feedback, then you can say, "Hmm, they like that. Let me do some more of that. Hmm, they don't like that. Why didn't they like it? I got an audience now. What would they like to see? Let me fucking ask them."

[00:41:57] "Hey, what did you guys think about this video or that painting or that song," or whatever. You have to put it out there. It's not going to be perfect, bro. If you want to lie...you want to live and work as an artist, making money off your ability to express yourself creatively, you have to put yourself out there. You cannot separate yourself from your artwork. So this, I mean, maybe you can, but what I'm trying to say is it's an extension of you. You're going to have to put it out there at some point. And actually you are not your artwork. And for that reason, when somebody talks shit or judges it or ridicules it or criticizes like, so what, bruh? So who gives a shit? It's a piece of art. If they don't like it, they don't...they don't fucking like it. It is what it is. And you see, in art and business and life, it's all kind of the same.

[00:42:48] You could say the same thing about yourself and your personality. If somebody doesn't like you, who gives a shit? Who cares? Like, keep it moving. We don't have to be friends. It's fine. No hard feelings. It's fine. It's fine. I don't care. Right? It's the same thing with your artwork, bro. Just put it out there. Put it out there as much as you can, as fast as you can. Because with every piece that you produce, if you're trying to get better and you're really serious about it, you're really involved in your process, like you're just naturally going to get better and better and develop over time. You can't do that if you're not constantly practicing the same way. You can't build muscle if you're not constantly working out, you can't build endurance if you're not constantly doing cardio work, you can't learn how to speak a language if you're not constantly...it's all the same, right?

[00:43:32] So just put it out there, bro. Stop judging yourself. And remember, most people are not judging you the way you judge yourself. And even if they are. Fuck them. Alright? So the next piece of advice. Remember that you cannot force creative work. You cannot force creativity. So you need to create or find, discover, whatever an environment that ensures you never need to force your creativity. Because energy has a huge impact on your ability to produce. And what I mean when I say that is the more self-aware you become, the more you start to analyse yourself and your environment and how both things affect one another, you might realize that the house you live in is a toxic environment and it has an effect on your mood and your energy to such a degree that you have no energy or space or quiet time to just focus and create the stuff that you love to create. So maybe you have to go to the park where you can be more productive or the library or sit in your car or go to your friend's house or rent a room or do whatever you got to do so that you can have an environment that you control and you can be free to create.

[00:44:49] Just pay attention to the way your environment affects your energy and your ability to do what you do best. Do not underestimate that it could be people in your life fucking up your flow. It could be where you live. It could be the time of day that you're trying to do something. Maybe you should choose a different time. Maybe you should stop telling certain people about what you're doing because they always bring their negativity. You need to be aware of that stuff. For real. Because it all has an effect on you and you have an effect on your work. So anyway, my next piece of advice. My last piece of advice is to read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Fucking Read. Read some more. When you finish reading, don't forget to read. And when I say read, I really mean educate yourself.

[00:45:43] Because I fucking hate reading, the activity...I fucking hate that shit. I like what I get from reading. I love the information I get from books, the wisdom that people who took the time to put into book form, I love that. But actually sitting and looking at the book and scanning line after line after line, I hate reading. I hate that shit. I only do it because there's just so much useful information in books. Right? But the point is, educate yourself. With videos, podcasts, books, whatever, blog articles, whatever it is. Educate yourself constantly. Do not get complacent. Do not get comfortable. You may think you're a master of what you do. You may have found a routine and a workflow that works perfectly for you. You've got to continue innovating, educating yourself, exploring new things, you know, experimenting, trying to grow. Do not allow yourself to get stuck in the same place. Not allow yourself to get stuck in the past while the world keeps moving forward.

[00:46:46] Do not get so attached to your way of doing things or your way of thinking or your way of seeing the world that you get left behind. You understand? Whether that be in business with your artwork and your personal, professional life, whatever. Educate yourself constantly. If you want to be the best at what it is you do, if you want to be successful at anything. Right? You can't be complacent. So I know even once you reached some level of success, it's easy to want to exhale and feel good about yourself and get comfortable. But that is the time that you need to go harder than ever. I've learned that from experience and from watching other people I look up to. You got to stay ahead of the game. You don't want to be playing catch up ever.

[00:47:30] Which goes back to so many other things I've said during this episode, like don't underestimate the value of getting started early and don't underestimate the value and the power of consistency. That's consistency in your production rate. That's consistency in your creative practice. That's consistency in your self education. Shit is a marathon. So I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, hope that some of these words, some of these ideas, these pieces of advice that I've gotten from self education and a whole lot of experience have helped at least one of you. Consider a different way of looking at this topic, which is trying to make a living as a creative. Maybe it's giving you some things to consider. Some things that you might go and research now or just think about and apply when you take on that difficult task of, you know, living life on your terms, doing creative work, you know, living, you know, walking down the road less traveled, as I say. I really hope that some of this information or all of it ideally was helpful to one, if not all of you. But with that, I'm gonna get out of here, man. So this has been another episode of The Life in English podcast. I am your host, Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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