I pilot business ideas and test out dream jobs for a living. AMA!

Bree Weber
Mar 12, 2018

As founder of Pig Pilots, I test business ideas and career paths that seem impossible. Each pilot idea is randomly selected and needs to show potential within just one week, through pre-set conditionals, otherwise I move on to the next one. So far, I've been an indie musician, pet photographer and video game streamer. Ask me anything about what I've done, how my process works, and what I've learned thus far.

Here's a video on the process behind Pig Pilots.

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Conversation (64)

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As someone who owns a business, would you say that not everyone is made to have a business of their own and would be best as employees?
Mar 15, 6:53PM EDT0

I'd love to believe that everyone is capable of owning their own business and being their own boss.

But yeah, it seems like some people are just not suited to the different challenges that comes with self-employment. Even getting past the logistical transition of taxes, time management, finding your own work, etc. there is a mindset shift from employee to business owner.

Some people make that mindset shift right away and others take years of struggle to do the same. But, if you're never able to change your perspective and think differently about work and business, you're probably better suited and would be happier as an employee.

Mar 17, 12:35PM EDT0
What would you like to see change and come into play in the next few years? Just anything!
Mar 14, 11:17AM EDT0

This is such a big question that I'm going to have to pick something at random lol

I would love to see the visa and travel restrictions calmed down. This would make it far easier to travel and explore other countries, cultures, and geography. The concept of a global citizen has always been appealing to me.

Obviously, this is part of a much larger global and political landscape with complex issues at hand, but gosh, it'd be nice!

Mar 17, 12:31PM EDT0
For the younger ones who are still deciding on their college course, what are some tips you can share so that they would enjoy their future jobs?
Mar 14, 10:13AM EDT0

Something that I wish I had been encouraged to do would be don't choose a major freshman year. Take a year after high school to explore, whether that's travel around, doing an internship, or taking a variety of classes.

The second thing is, you don't have to decide your life at 18. Even if you do, you'll probably rethink it and change (everything) later down the line. 

While those are 2 pretty relaxed approaches to the job hunt, this last one is less so. There's a difference between following your passion and being lazy. Not working hard or exploring opportunities because the task or job doesn't fit into your idea of what you think you want probably means you are probably missing out. Even the jobs I've had in unrelated industries taught me a lot about what I want and how to enjoy working in new industries.

Mar 17, 12:29PM EDT0
Not all jobs are made for everybody - did you enjoy working on all those dream jobs or are there ones you particularly hated?
Mar 14, 8:45AM EDT0

No, not all jobs are for everyone!

I wouldn't say that I've hated any, probably because I was putting them on my master list to be randomly selected. So, it seems likely that (even subconsciously) I was choosing jobs I'd be interested in.

That said, one job that I was certain I would love, but was totally wrong about was pet photography. I'm a massive animal lover and know my way around Photoshop, so I definitely thought taking photos of adorable critters and editing their images would be a blast. In reality, it was actually really frustrating lol

Mar 17, 12:25PM EDT0
How long were you a pet photographer and how many assignments did you work during that time?
Mar 13, 9:25AM EDT0

I was a pet photographer for one week. With all of the pilot ideas that I test, I set a time limit of one week to see growth towards three tests, – passion, purpose, profit – but if I don't meet a conditional that indicates there's immediate potential and growth, I move on.

Unfortunately, pet photographer was a short lived pilot idea, so I didn't get to take on many assignments. I was able to interview several photographers who specialize in pet or animal photographer and explore some of my own photography of animals.

Now, since I've swapped over to video game streamer, I'm enjoying being a casual iPhone camera snapper :)

Mar 13, 1:03PM EDT0

What are some tips you can share to someone who wants to land a dream job?

Mar 13, 1:16AM EDT0

For starters, be sure it's your dream job. It can be easy to fall into the trap of yeah, I guess that's what I want to do.

The 2nd part of that is know why it's your dream job – including, accepting all the things that suck about the job. That might be hours, pay, commute, colleagues, or the time it takes to get there. If you can accept all that, you're on the right track.

Lastly, work harder than you think you should or have to. If it's your dream job, it's probably others' as well, meaning you'll have competition and obstacles in your way. Do you research, know the industry, figure out what everone is doing, then do it differently. Better yet, do it better.

Mar 13, 1:34AM EDT0
What made you think of testing businesses to try out what career options and work and what doesn't?
Mar 12, 5:58PM EDT0

Like everything else that I love in my life, I started it on a whim.

The core concept is something I've been thinking about and playing around with for a couple years. It was honestly something that I was afraid of doing and the older I got the more it felt like it was too late.

But in the beginning of this year, I decided I needed to take the plunge and do something that felt impossible to me – the whole premise of Pig Pilots: doing what is feels impossible.

I can get pretty attached to what I'm doing, so I knew that I needed to work within a system that measure growth, otherwise, I'll continue at something even if it doesn't take off or show signs of potential. 

Combining those two ideas – the impossible with a controlled experiment – is how I came up with Pig Pilots.

Mar 12, 7:05PM EDT0
How important is stability in your life? How stable do you feel your career is at this point in time?
Mar 12, 5:25PM EDT0

Super unimportant, like, the lowest possible priority.

I value freedom and autonomy over stability. I am not working towards any of the traditional goals that society tells us are the milestones of life. I don't want a corporate job or a mortgage or even a retirement savings fund.

So, while my career isn't technically stable – I don't know how much money I'll earn this week or exactly what hours I'm working etc – I feel stable in the direction I'm heading and confident in the growth I've already seen.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 7:06PM EDT.
Mar 12, 7:00PM EDT0
Hows your video streamer career coming along? how did you start and what are you currently working on?
Mar 12, 4:27PM EDT0

So far, awesome!

I've already hit a lot of typical early video game streamer milestones, like number of viewers and followers. I'm a twitch affiliate streamer now, and made money in my first month on the platform.

Right now, I'm focused on bringing new viewers to my channel and building the community that's already growing there. Once people land on my stream, they tend to hang for a while, talk with me and everyone else in the chat, and get involved in whatever is happening at the moment. That's the community that I want to build – inside jokes, bad puns, people making friends – and it's happening. Now, I want to grow it.

Mar 12, 4:34PM EDT0

What are the top 3 reasons I should tell my friends about your video game stream? What do you "bring to the table"?

Mar 12, 4:01PM EDT0

You asked for 3, I'm giving you 5. 

  1. My channel has a growing community, so it's great place to connect with others and make friends (or frenemies)
  2. My gaming style is on point; you're going to get so many noob insights, you'll wish you were a noob again
  3. If you like puns you should know we're punstoppable
  4. Sometimes, I wear a onesie
  5. The stream might end this week, unless I meet conditionals by Tuesday (yeah, tomorrow). So this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The flight crew is open for recruitment.

Mar 12, 4:15PM EDT0
For how long were you an Indie musician? What did you do to become a musician?
Mar 12, 4:01PM EDT0

I spent one week as an indie musician. All of the pilot ideas last one week unless I meet pre-set conditionals that indicate there's potential.

No conditionals, then I re-roll the next idea.

I re-learned how to play the clarinet. I intereviewed several musicians including a principal in the state symphony. I busked with my clarient downtown. All this after not touching music for a decade.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 4:37PM EDT.
Mar 12, 4:05PM EDT0
Who's your biggest source of inspiration that keeps you get going in following your dreams?
Mar 12, 3:17PM EDT0

I am most inspired by hard work, mine or another's. Being able to see what people are capable of and witnessing their abilities or accomplishments as a direct result of their hard work is what motivates me to do the same.

I believe we often think about accomplishing goals like a movie montage, where the weeks (or years) of hard work whizzes by with a catching tune and we see the results of that work for far longer than we saw the process. But, of course, that's not reality. So, seeing someone do the hard work and grind their way to success encourages me to do the same.

Mar 12, 3:42PM EDT0
While working on anything from as a musician, photographer, and video game streamer do you think on a subconscious level?
Mar 12, 12:06PM EDT0

I'm not sure if I entirely understand your question.

Whenever I do anything that feels creative to me, I try to follow my instincts and respond naturally. I do think this is my subconscious at work.

Let me know if I've missed the mark on what you were asking.

Mar 12, 3:39PM EDT0
Are you still learning/playing music?
Mar 12, 11:53AM EDT0

When indie musician became my first pilot idea, I picked up music after a decade of not playing. I was really surprised how much I remembered and what I was still capable of.

While, indie musician was not a successful pilot idea, it did inspire me to return to music, so I have pulled my clarinet back out and am re-learning the piano.

I always loved music theory and would eventually like to continue learning about scoring and composition.

Mar 12, 3:37PM EDT0
How much time do you devote to video streaming on daily basis?
Mar 12, 9:10AM EDT0

I have purposefully made my daily stream schedule quite variable in order to test how popular certain days and times are for my stream. The shortest stream has been 1 hour and the longest has been 24 hours (yup, 24 straight hours of gaming). 

Last week, I streamed 50 hours total and this week will probably be closer to 30. The weekends are the most popular, so if I take a day off from streaming, I do it mid week.

Mar 12, 3:35PM EDT0
What exactly is video game streaming and how are you pursuing it as a career?
Mar 12, 8:00AM EDT0

Video game streaming is a live, online experience. Gamers can record themselves playing a video game (or sometimes commenting) by streaming their game screen and themselves live to the internet.

Viewers can engage by watching along for entertainment or education, chatting in the chat (viewable by all), and following or subscribing to a channel, much like YouTube. In fact, YouTube is one of the platforms that allows live streaming including video game streaming.

I use Twitch as my primary streaming platform, as it is primarily made up of video game streamers and started as a gaming-only platform. Streamers can earn money in the form of donations, subscriptions, advertising, and platform-based currency.

Much like YouTubers who turned their weekly videos into successful brands and companies, gamers can do the same by providing insightful tips, entertainment, or creating a community within their channel.

I'll be streaming today at 5pm ET if you want to see what it's all about.

Mar 12, 3:32PM EDT0
Do you have a stable source of income at this moment?
Mar 11, 11:08PM EDT0


I am digging into my savings in order to float Pig Pilots until it's successful. In the meantime, I've got some income from long-term freelance clients, but Pig Pilots is my full-time job. 

One of my requirements to keep a pilot idea going is a monetary conditional that increments up each time it's met, so any pilot that doesn't show signs of profit is considered a failure, and I re-roll the next one.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 4:02PM EDT.
Mar 12, 3:27PM EDT0
Why do like to create new business ideas? What is your ultimate career goal?
Mar 11, 5:25PM EDT0

I've always enjoyed the process of building an idea into the core components of a business. I am constantly going on tangents, turning jokes about missed opportunities and non-exsistent businesses into branded company ideas. 

My ultimate career goal is own my business – one that is consistently growing and improving – that I am passionate about and allows me the financial stability to explore the world. Ambitious? yes. Impossible? no.

Mar 12, 3:25PM EDT0
What did you study during the school/university? How has it helped you pursue the ideas that come to your head from time to time?
Mar 11, 1:50PM EDT0

I studied music and literature in undergrad, and studied publishing culture in my MA. My BA was the definition of liberal arts, which I supplemented with finance, accounting, and marketing classes. My MA was basically a MBA focused on one industry. Altogether, my education taught me how to critically anazlye anything from works of art to company spreadsheets.

I don't know that my education has encouraged or inspired me specifically to puruse ideas, but rather taught me how to explore ideas for merit rather than simply dismissing them outright.

Mar 12, 3:22PM EDT0
"In order to be a great writer, you must read great books. In order to be a great #musician, you must listen to" Who's your favorite musician and what do you like the most about him/her
Mar 11, 12:47PM EDT0

I really love musicians who use music to tell stories. Even when I listen to instrumental music, I can envision the story that follows the song.

The band I can always listen to is Cake.

When I first started streaming video games, I purposefully did not watch other streamers, because I didn't want to copy what everyone else was doing. In the early stages it can be tricky to recognize when you're learning from masters and when you're simply imitating.

Now that I've started to develop my own style and rules for my channel, I am watching those great streamers to see what they're doing that I can apply (rather than imitate) to what I've created. 

Last edited @ Mar 12, 4:42PM EDT.
Mar 12, 3:18PM EDT0
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