written by owen on 2018-Mar-16.
I get asked almost every time I even mention that I have a website; "So do you make any money from it?" I usually explain that it is not about the money. Until recently I never thought deeply about the question. I began to wonder if making money from your work/hobby is preventing a lot of young people from actually starting projects, doing and finishing stuff? Is entrepreneurship driving young people to become capitalist idlers?
Information, beauty and nonsense
At a closer look my website is rounding about 15 years old. If it was a child it would be in high school right now preparing for CXC (or whatever they are calling it nowadays). But the website is not just a place that I keep in the hopes of one day becoming rich and famous; it is a long running side project that I use to pad my resume. It sits right next to my love of cycling in the country (a story for another time). Somewhat of a character flaw that I developed after high school but everyone is not the same, it could have been anything, a website, paintings, poetry, sketches, photos, the ultimate power in the universe etc.
Young people need to understand how small things are an investment in personal self development. When you look back at your past you can see how far you have come based on the things you have created. Even while writing this article I am improving my own grasp of the English language. You have to always strive to be better and not only in material things like toys and clothes but in your own capacity to build, create and help others.
And I do not just put up the website and leave it. I keep adding projects over time. The point I am trying to get across to young people is that you have to keep doing stuff. Even if you do not make any money from it. Waiting around for a "buss" is a waste of your time. You have to have a hustle as well as hobbies to keep you from going insane. You are not a special snow flake. Old - Older people than myself would say "the devil finds work for idle hands" but in today's social media age you could as well change it to "the devil finds idleness for idle hands".
Social media is killing your creativity. Don't learn Node.js (programming) or "Entrepreneurship" just because future geeks are hyping it up. Some of these people are paid to hype stuff up. Learn it because it can help you do what YOU want to do. Use the tools you have on hand or you will always be the rabbit chasing the social media carrot. Young people are spending more time on social media than they are on themselves. You can choose to spend all your college/university years re-posting articles trying to get likes and reading inspirational books and quotes from Oprah and Steve Jobs. Oiling the gears of other peoples SEO. But when you show up at a job interview with no work experience and nothing in your hand, what do you have to show? Student loans? No one is going to give you a job because they feel sorry for your student loan debt.
You might be able to find that one picture you posted on IG that blew up (got 10k likes) but that will only be helpful if you are applying to be a social media manager. Social media managers are like 1 per company i.e. if the CEO doesn't employ their cute nephew first.
While you are getting your life drained in a Call Center (or toiling away on a farm in the country) DO NOT be content with being the most fashionable among your work mates or having the most followers on twitter. Followers are just a number. Build real stuff that you can see and touch. See, touch, change, improve and build upon. It does not matter what it is. It could be stuffed pillows. Build it and get good at doing something - anything.
In everything you do you have to consider the return on investment (ROI) of your time. What return are you getting on your time now? Is scrolling down an infinite list of pictures and videos bringing you closer to your dreams? When you see famous people taking it easy and traveling the world, the question in the back of you head should not be: "how did they get to where they are now?" but rather "what were they doing when they were my age?".
They certainly were not playing candy crush and watching inspirational videos all day. The famous people you are worshiping now were building portfolios, had rich parents, being criminals, practicing or planning.
Effort and struggle
Creation takes time, effort and struggle. Creation is a journey. Even rich and famous people are constantly outputting crap content One has to decide for themselves whether they want to be a "consumer" or a "producer". There will always be struggles, people are not born big. "Anno everybody ago like you" or think you are making the best use of your time. You do not need a consensus on everything you do. Yes you do need help with most things but not EVERYTHING. Listen to your parents as long as you live in their house. Sometimes other people are not on your level and are looking company to join in on THEIR dreams and aspirations.
Even in dancehall music there is a wide range of creativity like M DOT R - Like a Dream(5,210 views) and Lanz - She Nah Leggo (NSFW explicit) (1,247,598 views). These people are all hustling for the same consumer base. Both songs were released the same time almost to the day. They are equally good at what they do but the views are vastly different. The diversity is what makes Dancehall work. Everybody can't be the same. Every cannot buss one time. But you have to be at the bus stop when the time comes to get on.
Homework and what you deserve
You might be actually "trying a ting" and not getting the likes you think you deserve but you have to keep it in the back of your head why you are doing what you are doing. For the love or the likes? You can do somethings in life for which you will never get full credit because people are busy. People are busy with life, driving really fast down a road full of potholes. Everyone just has to do their thing and you might get fight along the way. Just remember that it is a journey, not a destination. Stop wasting you time on being entertained.
Side projects are like homework. They are often not fun or profitable but they are crucial part to building a portfolio. When you were a child your parents would run you to do your homework before you could watch TV - TV was more entertaining but imagine if you never did your homework? You would probably still be watching TV now or half blind+near sited picking up bottles on the road side. Even so everyone needs some form of entertainment. So it might come down to how you balance both things out.
It does not matter what your side project is. It could be making jewelry, writing poems, training, video editing, drawing on little pieces of paper, painting smiley faces on coconuts, etc - IT DOES NOT MATTER as long as you are producing something that you like. You will get better the longer you stick with it. It might not be one thing or 2 or 3 things that you like but it is key to do something you like instead of what people want you to do because doing what you like helps you to keep at it (unless it is a illegal then you should stop and do something else before they will shoot you down. Do not stop doing what you are interested in simply because it does not get you a lot of likes or paid a tonne of money.
Do not sit in front of the computer/smartphone all day looking for things to retweet or playing Destiny 2 all night as soon as you get off work. Balance out your entertainment against your self development. Games like Candy crust and online multiplayer are a waste of your time, they are drugs, they never end.
The past is the past what matter is the what you are doing now. A little change in trajectory makes a big difference in your course over time. Live you life, make some stuff and stfu;
- Lila Ike - Biggest Fan
- Bang Bang Bang - Tracy Chapman