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How can I make money at a young age?

I like to to play video games, take photos of myself and others, and listen to music. I kinda want a career around that like produce samples and beats for artist. Or maybe become a personal photographer for a celebrity, etc. music-production photography

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Subject: Career question for you


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Paul’s Answer

From someone who was in the music industry for 30 years, I can definitely give you some insight. I can also guarantee you're not going to like parts of my answer. I will stick with music, since that's my area of expertise.
1. Any creative career in music is EXTREMELY difficult right now to make money. Here's the dirty little secret of the industry: most artist make NO money from their recordings - and that includes beatmakers. The ones that do make money are doing other things, such as touring, merchandise, or possibly retaining their publishing rights.

Here's a little inside story from when I was teaching music production. One of my students had the opportunity to audition some beats for an A-list hip-hop artist. He liked a couple of them, so he gave them two choices: A) sell me the beat for $500, and I will keep the opportunity open for buying more beats from you; or B) I buy the beat for $50,000, and "I never want to see your face again."

Let me break that down for you. The first option means you make a little, with the possibility of more. Notice the word "possibility." Odds are fair you'll never hear from him again. The second option not only means you've closed the door with him, chances are good he'll pass on to others that you're "difficult to work with" - essentially blackballing you from the industry.

It's not fair, and because you have essentially no bargaining power in this situation, you have no other options. If you REALLY want to pursue beat-making, develop a network of artists and producers in your own community. If one of you breaks through, odds are good he/she will want to work with the same team that got them there. Think the 90s Seattle grunge scene, or the 80s New York hip-hop scene.

The next thing is, learn about the business! Learn about publishing, licensing, streaming, downloads, 360 deals, music libraries - anything you can to know how it all works. We're in a time of major innovation, and there's no telling where the next big opportunities are going to come from.

If you're truly passionate about it, you're gonna do it no matter what I tell you! So arm yourself with as much information - and as many people in your network - as possible. Those are your best chances for success. Good luck!

Paul recommends the following next steps:

Develop your local network and music community
Learn all you can about ALL aspects of the music industry
Consider moving to a major market (depending on your goals)
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MJ’s Answer

It's great that you're thinking of how you can make money at your age! It's important that you realize why you want to earn money. If it's just so you'll have some spending money then there are numerous things you can do. If it's because you want to get a head start on a future career, then you may be more limited. I'm going to answer first as though you want to start something now, hoping it will help with a future career.

First of all, it's good that you've identified some things that you enjoy doing. That's key to enjoying and being successful in a career. Second, anything that you can learn now in any of those areas is NEVER WASTED so start now researching. Read up on how a photographer can become a personal photographer for a celebrity. Read the stories of what some of them do as a personal photographer, how they got their job, and the pros and cons of it. Read all you can on photography and take all the classes you can. Try to find an established photographer who will let you shadow him or her so that you can learn first hand about photo shoots and the like. Even if you make no money to start with, the photographer may see your value and offer you a job as an assistant. The key is to get your foot in the door. All of that goes for any job with music (or anything else for that matter) also.

Now I am DEFINITELY not an expert on YouTube but here are a few things I've noticed; you CAN make money on YouTube with video games and listening to music and the younger you are when you start - the more time you have to establish yourself so that when you reach adulthood you may have an impressive following thereby making some money. I, personally have watched two boys who listen to and critique a variety of songs. They have fun and get to learn about different types of music. I enjoy listening to their points of view on each song! If I were younger and looking to start a YouTube channel, I would consider doing something like that myself!
My granddaughter and I play Roblox together and I've seen a few videos on that and Minecraft that are very popular. Use your imagination to come up with other ideas. Keep in mind, though, that it probably won't make you any money for quite some time. Still, it's something you can do in your spare time if you are working at another job. Plus it never hurts to have more than one stream of income!

Now, if you're looking for just anything because you want a little spending money, make sure whatever you do is honest work even if it's not something you enjoy. I worked in a prison and believe me when I say, you don't want to spend time there! There will ALWAYS be bad with the good in any job so keep that in mind and be prepared. Remember, whatever you choose now most likely won't be permanent. I don't know how old you are but many places of employment will hire someone who is 15 with a parent's consent so you might look at some fast-food establishments, apparel stores, bookstores, etc. . And if you're younger than that here's something I had my boys do when they were young: we lived close to some big lakes where there were LOTS of fishermen so we started a worm farm and sold the worms by the dozen. Worm farming is pretty easy if you have a yard that your parents don't mind you using a part of or you can even do it indoors. Yep - really! Here's a link to check it out:,vermicompost%2C%20as%20Modern%20Farmer%20shares
Just copy and paste into your search engine

And while you're looking, here's another link to get you started in other areas:
Check it out. There are some good ways to earn money and it also might spark a new idea of your own!

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Clare’s Answer

I think the most important thing is that you know what you like and want. Although for awhile it might be difficult while you're so young to find something in the field you're interested in, so you may have to broaden your horizons until you have some experience under your belt. Just don't get discouraged!

Good luck :)