the myth of being paid to create and why its doomed to fail


Can you hear the buzz…. the murmer… the consistent droning on and on from “experts” who tell you this mythical story? Have you heard about the unicorn that you can catch, called “being paid to create”, doing what you love, making money while you sleep, and all the other lifestyle hyperboles?


I feel like every time I come across a new creative seminar, workshop or webinar, that people are talking about how to get paid to create. I want to preface this by saying that it is doable, and achievable. The thing is, it’s just gotten overrated and overdone as far as people stressing about working with brands.


People tell me all the time— “I just want to work with brands and get paid, and that’s all I want to do.” They want to work with Pepsi, Coke, Nike, Adidias and more—and they want that to become their full time income and career.


They want to be full-time content creators and get paid to post photos of themselves in brand-gear on social media.


This seems like a dream come true, but it can strip you of success long-term (by not having a deeper meaning of why you do what you do).


I’ll get into more of this in a moment.

Let’s touch on what you’d be sacrificing.


You Could Be Sacrificing Your Career.

Okay, you know how Beyonce reps Pepsi, and Taylor Swift has a branded partnership with Coke? Well, neither of them gave up their careers to do so. Working with these brands is just an added bonus, and an additional income stream for them. It’s not the “only.” It’s not all they do. It’s only a small fraction of what they do.


You don’t hear about Taylor Swift giving up her career to sing, because she has a partnership with Coke. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the amount of money that Coke offered Taylor for the partnership is very little in comparison to the financial gain that she built with her entertainment career.


Moral of the story?

Working with brands should not be your “end all be all.” It’s certainly not for all the celebrities and top influencers that we see on a regular basis getting “paid to create.”


No one is entitled to financial gain for being a creator. Like anything else, it must be earned. For example, Beyonce and Taylor becoming celebrities was no “stroke of luck.” they’ve each been working hard at it, tirelessly and completely committed since they were children.


And although, I’m sure they dreamed of working with brands, I think the real dreams were inspiring and entertaining hundreds of millions of people (because that’s what they do today).



Find Your Purpose Past Wanting the Credibility of Working with Brands

Anyone that’s achieved high levels of success, and that’s worked with top brands getting paid to create—has a definite chief aim or purpose that’s much deeper than the surface level of working with big brands.


In fact, if you haven’t mastered anything—brands won’t work with you or even be attracted to you. 


Think About Your Goals and What You’re Here to Do:

  • Really contemplate why you want to work with brands—is it that you just want the credibility of having Pepsi on your portfolio?
  • What are you looking to accomplish for yourself long term?
  • What are you looking to change in the world?


Start identifying your clear, concise goals. I even have a goal setting workbook that you can download here, for free.


If you’re looking to work with brands, just remember that it’s not the end-all, be-all. It’s a tool, just like anything else.


I like to work with big brands, because it gives me the credibility in the eyes of others. In other words, it’s a signal to people who want to work with me or follow me, that I have my sh*t together. Past that, working with brands is not my chief aim.


Rather, my top goals are to help as many people as I can become financially and career-stable. I want everyone to have options, and not feel like they have to work a job they hate, or they have to make certain decisions because they don’t have an abundance of money.


I desire to help people build their personal brands to a point that they always have options, and people are always seeking them out for work. It’s career independence. And really, it’s the only way I see of having real control over your future (having career independence).


This isn’t just about being an entrepreneur. Because you could be an entrepreneurs and be completely dependent on your clients, not have built a personal brand and you become stuck in a certain way of life that you may not be satisfied with.


This is about having such awareness for your name, what you do and the value you provide to the world.


It’s about building a brand for yourself.

Once you do this, of course you’ll get paid to create. But really, you’ll be getting paid for all the painstaking work you’ve put in over the last however many years. These things take time.


Life is a game of inches.

The best thing you can do for yourself right now (if any of this article is resonating with you) is to start building your brand. It takes YEARS. I don’t mean a few years, I’m talking 10-30 years. It’s done by laying one brick of accomplishment at a time.


The best advice I can give you, is to start now. 


You’ll achieve so much in the time that you start, even though it will be challenging. There’s nothing quite like re-inventing yourself and putting yourself out there. It’s crazy, dangerous and exhilarating. People will love you and others will judge you.


The reason you do it, is because there’s no other way.

I promise—you’ll fail. But it’s half the fun of it.


The failure is where you get to learn everything you must about yourself, and master the game. Don’t fear it, embrace it.


“It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

– J.K.Rowling


She said it—you fail by default. Don’t take the default road of life. Take control—risk failing and build your personal brand.


Building a Personal Brand is the BEST Thing You Can Do to Secure Your Future

No joke friends. If you have a personal brand that people recognize you can do just about anything.


Just think… Trump. Is it too soon?

His personal brand is what won the presidency. And whether you agree or disagree with him, his world view, or how he treats people—you know who he is, what he does and what he stands for.


As a result of his incredible recognition of his own brand, he was able to leverage mass attention to win the presidency election of 2016. Need I say more?


Rather than focusing so much to “get paid to create.” Focus on what value you provide for others, and make it clear as day in all of your marketing materials.


For example, I help entrepreneurs build their personal brands with social media to take control over their careers and have longevity in career and financial stability.


Ask yourself these questions to find your value:

  • What value do you provide for others?
  • What can you give to the world?
  • What’s so important to you, that you think can change the game for others (in a great way)?
  • What’s your personal branding statement?


If you loved this article, you’ll probably like these too…

Brand Strategy Ultimate Guide: How to Build a Brand Essence

Brand Strategy Ultimate Guide: Radical Differentiation

How to Make a Personal Branding Statement

How to Make Money as a Personal Brand Starting on Day 1

How to Become an Influencer in 6 Steps

How to Get 10K Followers Instagram in Under a Year

How to Use Instagram Stories to Market Your Brand


Think I’m on track or I’ve lost my marbles!? Let me know in the comments 🙂