June 17, 2018
It's no secret that most creatives (including me) are introverts. We really just want to stay in our cave and make stuff-- the last thing we want to do is go out there and "sell" ourselves, right? But here's the thing: you could be doing the best work in the world, but if nobody sees it, how are you going to get hired?? As most of us have learned from experience, if you just make stuff and put it up on your portfolio, it's like a tree falling in the woods... nobody hears it! So if you want to get paid to do what you love, you've gotta be consistently putting yourself out there. You have to let people know who you are and what you do, AND asking them to hire you-- whether that's in person, by email, DM, whatever it takes... you've gotta let them know you exist.…Read More
June 5, 2018
How to make money from your blog, podcast or YouTube channel
Ironically, I've been struggling to write a catchy intro for this post, probably because I feel like a post about writing should be well-written. But I keep coming up short, so I'm just gonna cut to the chase: If you're one of the many people who have asked how to make some money off your blog, podcast, or YouTube channel, here's (almost) everything I've learned from 10 or so years of "professional content creation." And for those of you who are asking "who the hell are you and why should I care what you think about this," here's my best answer: I've been blogging since 2008, written somewhere around 2500 blog posts, written for some national outlets MetalSucks, Substream, and Terrorizer among others, and have done a ton of ghost writing for business outlets like Virgin, IBM, and Entrepreneur. I've hosted and produced a few podcasts, including ones that had…Read More
May 29, 2018
The sad truth about getting hired
If you want to give your career a big shot of steroids, I want you to listen closely: what you need is a big, flashy name on your resume (or client list). What I mean by that is, find a way to have some big, super recognizable company on your resume - because for better or worse, that will make people take you seriously and pay attention to you more than anything else - for better or worse, if you've got Facebook or Adidas or Amazon or whatever, fill in the blank big name company on your resume, people will instantly think you know what you're doing. It's kinda dumb, but it's the truth. I think a lot of people find themselves in the same situation I was in when I was first starting out, which is that you're reasonably good at what you do, but you can't get anybody…Read More
May 24, 2018
You are not “damaged goods”!
If you've ever wrestled with insecurity, especially feeling insecure because you were the kid who grew up in a fucked up family and you feel like you're damaged goods or somehow less than the people who grew up in "normal" families, then this one is for you! If you grew up in for lack of a better word, a fucked up situation - whether that means that you grew up poor, had some dysfunctional shit like a family member dealing with addiction or getting in trouble the law, I bet you've ever been pissed off about it and felt like it was gonna hold you back. Because when the normie kids were being driven to soccer practice after school or whatever, you were taking the bus home and dreading coming home to your fuckhead dad or alcoholic mom, working 6 days a week to help support your family or whatever…Read More
May 19, 2018
Choose Your Friends Wisely
There are about 9 million punk/hardcore documentaries now, and even though I think most of them are pretty lame I watch every one - and ditto for any any graffiti-related thing I come across on YouTube. Why? Because although easily 80%+ of it is total shit, when there's something good it's GOOD - it connects with me in the way that leaves you thinking about it for days. Such is the case for a movie I stumbled across called "Quality Of Life," which tells the story of two friends in the San Francisco graffiti scene (watch the full movie here, I highly recommend it). To make a long story short, after getting in some trouble with the law, one of them gets scared straight and becomes a graphic designer while the other one continues down the path of self-destruction and spirals out of control - the point of the movie…Read More
May 13, 2018
How to decide where to focus
Today I wanted to answer a question I got by email from Michael that I know a ton of you are also struggling with: "From the latest articles I’m struggling to understand what exactly role and skills are. The problem is not knowing how to choose. Is it the most lucrative potential thing or is it what you enjoy most. I understand the need to choose but still don’t get how you make that decision." In essence the question is, do you go for the thing where you're maybe not quite as passionate but the money is probably gonna be better, or do you say fuck it and pursue the thing you're the most passionate about? So for example let's say you have two things you're passionate about, like maybe graphic design and, say, writing about movies. You like both of them, but maybe you like writing about movies a little…Read More
May 8, 2018
Do ONE THING and ONLY one thing!
Guys, I'm just gonna give it to you straight: when it comes to your work, you need to do ONE thing. Not two, not three, ONE THING. I know you a lot of you have a ton of interests and passions and that's great, but the reality is that you need to focus on doing ONE and only one thing, and then becoming incredibly good at that thing. So if you're one of these people who says you're a graphic designer and you want to write a novel and you also do music videos, I'm just gonna tell you straight up, BAD IDEA. You need to pick one. Trying to be all those things is just not gonna happen, and if you're feeling frustrated because you aren't getting as much traction as you want for you work, it's almost certainly because you're trying to do too many thing. I know…Read More
May 3, 2018
The cold, hard truth about productivity
If you struggle with productivity and getting shit done, then listen up - I'm gonna give you some real talk that might sting a little bit to hear, but if you take it to heart - it might be the missing piece of the puzzle that you've been looking for and help you level up your productivity. Spoiler warning: the answer is NOT in reading more books, downloading the latest app or some ""productivity hack"" you heard from some guru... the answer is DISCIPLINE. Here's the deal: I hear so many of you guys say "I don't have time" to do this or that... and honestly, that is just straight up BULLSHIT. Unless you can honestly say that you’re making the most out of every single minute in the day, your problem isn’t a lack of time, it’s a lack of time MANAGEMENT. https://youtu.be/ZrRBuZoEQ84 Honestly, you aren’t that busy. I’ve…Read More
April 28, 2018
Just say NO to lame projects!
There is almost NOTHING more important for creative professionals than your portfolio: basically, you ARE your portfolio. Think about it... what's the very first thing you do when you read or hear someone's name come up and want to see what they're all about? You look at their work, right? And you make a judgement of that person - whether they're cool, whether they're good, and whether you respect and would want to work with them - based on what you see in the first few seconds of skimming their portfolio. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, it just is what it is... your portfolio is EVERYTHING - you will be judged by it. And therefore, you should be putting a massive amount of time, energy and thought into building the absolute best body of work that you possibly can. https://youtu.be/lGPJDhfFOyo I'm telling you all of this to…Read More
March 29, 2018
Growing up poor is an ADVANTAGE!
Like a lot of the people reading this, I grew up poor. Not dirt poor where I was worried about where my next meal would come from - more like, "drinking powdered milk and everything you own being from Goodwill" level poor. What really sucked wasn't so much BEING poor (the trivial stuff like not having the latest toy or whatever), it was FEELING poor... like I was inferior. Feeling ashamed, like other kids lived in a place where I wasn't allowed to go. And the really insidious thing is that when everybody you know is in the same situation, you accept it. You think this is just the way life is, so there's nothing you can really do but suffer though it -- like the line in "One With The Underdogs," "taught to accept defeat." I know this because it's how I saw the world until I was well…Read More