One of the biggest freedom juniors are entitled to is receiving their driver’s license. What do they do with it? They drive to parties, school, hospital, and last but not least, work. Yes, work. Junior year is when someone becomes independent enough to earn their own money, their own salary, and their own wages. But does work always have to outside of one’s house?
Not necessarily. Alex Brinkley, a junior in Kamiak High School, showed that you can earn money without traveling elsewhere.
Alex’s career of audio/video production (making songs, recording other artists, directing/editing/furnishing videos, creating slideshows) took off during his sixth grade year. As a hobby, he created videos and recorded music. Over the weekend, Alex would have his friends over for a recording music or shooting videos. It wasn’t until recently when Alex started profiting from his audio/video production business. Because the request for recording and making videos went skyrocketing, Alex was left with no choice but to put a price on his service. Still, his services are magnificent, as you will see in the later portion this article.
As a student myself, one of the biggest questions I had was the parent’s reaction and the management of time. Alex stated that his parents were “encouraging” about Alex’s business launch. He said that his business culminated over a long period of time before it became a full-blown avocation where he spends majority of his time on it. At first, Alex recorded songs for his friends and created videos for his English class projects. As people knew more and more about Alex’s talent, more and more request were made, until Alex couldn’t do it for free. Thus was the start of his audio/video production career.
“Time management is the most difficult part of my job,” Alex said. In times when he’s working on a substantial project, Alex only had two or three hours of sleep each night for a couple of weeks. Nevertheless, Alex doesn’t fall back in his schoolwork. He stated that “there’s a work ethic that follows when you start your own business because then you have two responsibilities to take care of: your school life and your business.”
Alex, even though he’s now a well-established entrepreneur, was a beginner back in ninth grade. His first customer was from a parent asking him to make a slideshow of her senior daughter for her graduation. After thirty hours of arduous work, Alex was paid $250 for his effort and his service. “It was rewarding for me, since I was paid a true amount rather than a small portion.”
It wasn’t easy for Alex to establish his career. His whole business started off as a trial-and-error. Back when he was in sixth grade, Alex would push a button in the camera, see what it does, and repeat the steps until he understood the full functionality of the button. Doing this over and over and over and over helped him familiarize with the equipment he had, which consists of a MacBook, a software called Final Cut Pro, and a camera called Sony AX 2000.
Where did he get his inspiration to start such a significant project? Alex said that his biggest role model is Connor Oberst, a singer-song writer from Omaha, Nebraska. Connor, like Alex, started recording his own music when he was thirteen years old. Over a period of ten years, Oberst started a record company in which he sold his music. He won numerous awards and hosted many music concerts. Alex admires the similarity he shares with Connor Oberst. “It’s amazing because Oberst started out with so little and ended up so big. I started my business as a hobby, but now, I take it very seriously.”
With a talent like this, there is so much possibility for Alex’s future. He is currently looking at the Berklee College of Music, located in Boston, Massachusetts. For his major, Alex wants to study media arts. He is also looking at schools located in Hollywood, since Hollywood is the power engine to all the movies that are filmed in America. Attending a school in Hollywood would give Alex so much more experience than other places.
People like Alex are the ones that think outside the box. Commonly, we think of “job” as a work that is done outside our houses in a franchise store, such as McDonalds, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, and much more. However, Alex showed us jobs don’t have to involve driving and leaving our houses. His entrepreneurial spirit served better than most of the students out there, who spend their weekends working at wherever they work at.
So, next time when you pick up a job application for a nearby store, think twice. Is it worth my time? Will I keep up with school work? Do I really have to work here? And if that last question hits you, look at Alex, and learn from what he has done with his passion.