In a previous post about the Hollywood Fringe Festival, we featured Live Nation employee Ben Hill, who, while working full-time, has managed to produce one of the largest performing arts festival not just in L.A., but in the world.
Now, we want to share Ben’s solid words of wisdom, for anyone who’s interested in successfully pulling off any type of creative side hustle while maintaining a “9-to-5”:
First and foremost, remember who pays your bills.
“Remember who’s paying you—who’s putting food on your family’s table; it’s not the thing that you’re doing on the side,” says Ben. “You need to make sure that your work responsibilities are not compromised and you actually have time to do everything you want to do and not degrade the work you’re doing for the company.”
Be prepared to sacrifice, especially your Friday and Saturday nights.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival, which takes place for 2-3 weeks in June, requires 11 months of planning and preparation.
“You need to be willing to sacrifice your social life in quite a lot of ways, because you’re pursuing something serious,” said Ben.” I didn’t go out Saturdays, I didn’t go out Fridays. I stayed in and I worked so that I could accomplish this.”
“You need to know what your priorities are,” said Ben. “Know what your different roles are in life. Have various organizational systems that will help you prioritize and know ‘what can I be doing right now—I have some downtime –what can I be doing?’ Be a master of time management.”
Don’t try to do it all yourself; have a team—and a good one, at that—behind you.
As many as 50 volunteers assist Ben with the Hollywood Fringe Festival any given year.
“Don’t try to do it by yourself; put together a team so that you can delegate responsibility,” Ben said. “You’ll find that many people with a little spare time can accomplish quite a lot. It’s very important to find a group of people who have like minds.”
At the end of the day, dive in and do it!
“We were talking to one of the most esteemed theater journalists in L.A. when we were getting started and he said the single greatest thing you could do is to just do it,” said Ben. “If you can make it happen the first year, then that is an extraordinary accomplishment. That opening day of the first year, we didn’t know how good it would be yet, but we knew that it was there and it was accomplished. That was probably the most rewarding thing.”