(Original Photo By: Hyper House)
“Don’t wait for people to acknowledge you and your work, be courageous and confident in your work. Beauty lies within our differences; don’t change to fit into what you think people want.”
We have all heard the saying “if you want something, you have to work for it,” or something to that effect. But what about after that? What happens when we have done the work, but don’t have the voice to make people listen?
In a time where there seems to be way more people than jobs, we can’t always let our work do the talking. Finding the ability to do that, however, can require a great deal of courage in overcoming fears and anxieties from failure. Laura Wasser, Founder of Hyper House (creative agency developing and shooting footage for the likes of TIDAL, RocNation, Adidas, and Rihanna), has learned exactly how important it is to believe in oneself and the opportunities that can flourish when you have pride in your work.
As a kid who grew up in the MTV generation, Laura often found herself racing home after school to watch hours upon hours of music videos. Inspired, she would write her own stories to go with songs she loved. That creative spark never fizzled out, as she now runs her very own creative agency where those stories can come alive for real.
In order to get to the place she is in now, however, Laura had to develop a tough skin and courageous outlook.
“When I was at my first job as an assistant with artist manager, Dave Kaplan, I sat in meetings with “creatives” and I realized that a great idea was a great idea – no matter who came up with it. Dave Kaplan taught me to be courageous in what needed to get done and nobody needed to know I was 21, all they needed to know is that I was intelligent and had a mission to accomplish.”
All too often we see young, aspiring industry professionals turned down or away due to lack of experience, lack of connections, or simply their youth alone. Allowing our work to be something bigger than merely a representation of our green experience can be tough to master, but once it is achieved it can set someone apart from the rest of the pack.
“When I was in my 20’s & 30’s I always hid behind my bosses and coworkers instead of taking credit for my work. I would fear failure and, in turn, let people take credit for my work and ideas. While this did make me a secret weapon and indispensable employee, in the end, I harbored a huge amount of resentment for consistently being the workhorse while I watched my peers escalate in their careers.”
When starting out, the level of self-doubt that comes hand-in-hand with trying to stand on your own two feet in such a cutthroat industry only increases as you reach higher levels. Laura dealt with self-doubt a lot throughout her career, but has developed a method to combat it when it rears its ugly head.
“Both personally and professionally self-doubt has been my #1 struggle to overcome. When it comes to the daily challenges of balancing my kids, my husband, and an incredibly successful new creative agency – self-doubt has a way of appearing to keep me in check.
Like when I got the amazing opportunity to create a Beatles commercial for network television, I thought “Am I really this talented or is this a fluke?” Or when I’m handling tough employee and client situations. I have to constantly ask myself these questions that always help me get through to the other side: are my goals true and does this fit into them? Is it something that I know I have to or really want to do? Am I capable of delivering or, even better, over-delivering? And lastly, what is the worst possible outcome of my decision or actions?
Once I run through these questions I can find a strong place to move forward from. Being a solo entrepreneur/business owner in the creative space can be lonely at times. I find that I can be my own worst enemy. These questions steer me in the right direction each time.”
Every careful and thought out decision Laura has made thus far has delivered some incredibly inspiring moments as well. From working with The Beatles on a global commercial, to Jeff Jones at Apple Corps to make it all happen, Laura considers herself lucky in every sense of the word. The opportunity to work with arguably the biggest band in history made her feel as though everything she had been working towards came into fruition before her eyes. She felt she had finally made it.
But working on the business side of an art-driven industry certainly has its pitfalls. The responsibility of upholding that art’s integrity is great, and demands attention to detail.
“I wish that all people had the understanding that music is a person’s art and that by paying for it, it’s supporting the artists and future artists to come. Music is a part of everyone’s lives, and it’s important to support the humans that are making it. Musicians should be able to make a living and paying a fair price to listen to it on all our devices should be the norm – not the exception. Not going to point fingers, but there are large companies that make a huge amount of money who are paying little to nothing to the artists for their music.”
As she continues as a role model for young women who wish to fight their way to the top, Laura hopes that there will soon be more female representation.
“Maybe it’s our current political climate lately, but I feel we still aren’t equally represented. Last week I spoke at a women’s conference about how to give speeches in the boardroom or at events. It’s still something that I get nervous about and I thought it was important to share that with the people at the conference because it shows that it’s normal, but you can overcome it. Another thing that I am able to do as a business owner is to actually hire women. About half of my team is female and most of them are on the tech/online side of things, which is pretty rad.”