We had the good fortune of connecting with Billye Sands and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Billye, how do you think about risk?
From my experience – and reading about other people who have had successful careers – it’s absolutely imperative to take risks! If you don’t, you just don’t grow! I also believe in taking calculating risks. Please please PLEASE do your research before you just jump into anything. There are a plethora of resources out there that we didn’t have before, plus we’re more connected than ever before. YouTube, audiobooks, online encyclopedias, Reddit and other blogging sites, professors, community leaders, etc. If you’re willing to put the effort in to achieve your dream, there are plenty of people out there willing to help you out! Once you have done all that, there’s just one thing left to do – JUMP and go for it!

I have always been shy, but there was a point in my life that I realized “I won’t get anything done if I don’t put myself out there, market my work, talk to that girl…” I was tired of not achieving what I wanted in life. Once you’re willing to take more risks, I promise that everything else will fall into place (with effort). I’m not going to pretend like I have it all together – I still make mistakes, still am very timid, and still procrastinate, but I never quit unless I’ve exhausted all of my resources and it’s time to move on. Just keep pushing!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Even though I have my B.S. in Music Production from Full Sail University, I did not want to restrict myself from finding work outside of solely the audio business. In September of 2020, I landed a job at my local television station, WALB-TV. I was hired on as a newscast director! In the beginning, it was rough, as it was my first television job, but I have amazing coworkers who helped guide me along the way. I want to give credit to my mother, for she is a news anchor at the same station, and she’s the one who informed me of the job. The rest was up to me. I dug in, learned as much as I could from not only the production side (other directors, audio engineers, camera operators) but also the news side (anchors, producers, multi-media journalists).

Fast forward one year later. It’s still a struggle (it is live television after all haha). I had to break out of my shell and learn how to communicate with everyone, for if I don’t speak up, the show could end up disastrous! Each day, I keep pushing and if I make mistakes, I own up to them and keep it moving. Patience and research are major keys to my success.

Outside of live television, I’ve been hired on as the audio lead for indie game developer Stride Star Studios. We’re in the midst of developing and releasing a few video games, so keep your eyes peeled! (Twitter: @StrideStar_ Instagram: stridestarstudios)

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ooooh I love this question!

I’m a foodie, so the first thing we’d do is find a local spot to grab a bite, preferably somewhere we don’t have back home (I’m a sucker for street food). Then we’d check out a history museum, art space, pool hall, and/or a park. Then we’d find a local LGBT+ friendly club and get our party on! If we have time, we’ll also get massages.

My group of friends is super funny, so wherever we go, we’re definitely gonna have a GREAT time!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was living in China, I finally got the chance to listen to the book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It was published back in 1937, but its words still ring true today. It kind of reminds me of the Chicken Soup books, or Brian Griffin’s “Wish It, Want It, Do It” haha. In this book, Hill talks about manifesting what you really want. Be completely honest with yourself, sit down, and write a personal mantra, something simple, but you can commit to. One of the many lessons I’ve learned is that “Persistence often makes the difference between success and failure. It is a state of mind that is essential to success and can be overcome through effort.”

Another inspiration is the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. I highly encourage whoever is reading this interview to read the whole poem, but the last two lines specifically are what moves me the most:
“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
I have those lines written on my mirrors at home, and I try to repeat them to myself daily. To me, it means that no matter how many trials and tribulations come at me, I can choose how to react and take the helm of my own life.

So shoutout to Napoleon Hill and William Ernest Henley!!!

Website: billyay.weebly.com

Instagram: @bill_YAY

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/billyay

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BillyeSands

Image Credits
The black and white portrait of me was taken by Yang Yang, a photographer friend of mine in China.

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