This is part seven in a series of interviews I’ll be doing for a new segment on Budget and the Beach called Cool Careers. You always hear how you should follow your passion and do what you love. I happen to know a few people who I think are doing just that. Maybe you’ll get some inspiration for your own career.
Two things are synonymous with the South Bay area of Los Angeles (in my opinion): Beach Volleyball, and Jared Young. Ok, well let’s put it this way, if you play beach volleyball, then I’m 100% certain you’ve either played with Jared, competed against him in a tournament, been coached by him, or have been to one of his many live music shows…and probably all of the above. He is just that guy…the one that everyone knows and likes. And he’s a hell of a musician as well, having played in bars since he was 17 years old, and has recorded five albums.
I first met Jared, who is originally from Conway, Arkansas, about six years ago when I first started playing beach volleyball. I thought there was no way someone could be that energetic and positive all the time, but cut to six years later and I’m eating my words. I’m pretty certain at some point Jared will resolve all the conflict in the Middle East.
Earlier this year, Jared, who was a corporate events manager and events host for a big LA corporate entertainment outfit, asked me to help out in a video he was making about his new company, Rhythm Republic (where he is President and Co-Founder), not only was I excited to participate, but was also excited for him that he was venturing off on his own and marrying his two passions: Music and team building/leadership events. If anyone seems to love what they do for a living, it’s him.
How did Rhythm Republic get started?
I had wanted to do something like this for a while, but every time I would think about getting it started, something would come up and I’d get sidetracked. Then I got introduced to Ameenah Kaplan (West coast drum coach for the Blue Man Group), and she and I got to talking and realized that if we put our heads together we could come up with a very unique experience to offer companies and co-workers. I’d been doing team building for years – now it was time for beat building!
What are your biggest goals for Rhythm Republic?
We have some very definite financial goals that we’d like to hit in the next two years, but in terms of my vision for Rhythm Republic – I’d love to have 4 or 5 teams of “Beat Builders” traveling around the US, bringing our unique brand of team building to conferences and corporate meetings all over America. That would be awesome! Our event is super high-energy team building, and different than anything else out there. And it travels easily, so nowhere is out of reach.
What is the best thing about what you do?
I’m not working for someone else – every ounce of sweat, creativity, and hard work goes directly into my company and into my future. I feel like I have a lot of control over my future.
What is the hardest thing?
The hardest thing is definitely keeping up with the mundane things – it’s super fun to be creative and create new programs and events, but no one is going to see any of it if you don’t write the copy for the website, set up social media, learn Quickbooks, etc. But it’s all necessary, obviously. And from an event perspective, the hardest thing is getting people to understand that we aren’t a traditional drum circle – there are lots of good companies that already do that – so we go do a lot of site visits and showcase events to get people to understand who and what we are.
A lot of my readers are thinking about leaving the full time world and becoming entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers. What advice would you give to someone who wants to venture out on his or her own?
Do everything you can while you are getting a paycheck so long as it doesn’t interfere with that job – build your website, file your incorporation papers (LegalZoom is a dream), and get started as best you can before you jump in. My other advice is get a corporate credit card with 0% interest for the first year, so you can charge things you need for your first job while waiting to get paid for your first job, and whatever you do don’t overspend on high-priced legal or financial advice unless you are already swimming in money. Save that cash and figure it out yourself!
Do you have any side hustles in addition to your main job?
Yes, I still play music and host traditional team building events for clients that are looking for something “less rock and roll” than Rhythm Republic.
What upcoming projects do you have (personal or professional) that you would like to plug?
We are going to be hosting some Rhythm Republic showcase nights around Los Angeles to show people what we are all about – any of your readers are welcome to attend and very welcome to send our info to their HR rep or meeting planner, to make sure their next corporate sales meeting gets some beat building! Send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know someone who would be perfect for my cool careers series, send me an email at budgetandthebeach *at* hotmail *dot* com.