Ben Conde turned up on Interviews By Riley, a series where young entrepreneurs sit down and run their mouths about whatever their deal is. The interviews are pretty good, and of course Ben Conde’s is the best because we all know that Ben Conde is the best.
Well, 4th best. In 2011.
This interview is a great peek into the mind of someone who has transcended our little scene and is using his experience in yoyoing to push into larger success out in the real world. There’s a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from this, as long as you aren’t sad because someone said “f*ck”. If that makes you sad, just watch Ben’s routine below and skip the interview entirely. Everyone wins.
Check out an excerpt of the interview below, and then click through for the whole thing.
BEN CONDE: My name is Ben Conde, I went to DePaul University with Riley in Chicago and after I graduated I moved out to LA to learn about the entertainment industry. Now I’m traveling around the world and performing yo-yo. I’m a professional yo-yo player.
RM: You’ve been a world class yo-yo player for a long time, but last I heard you had a full time job. How did you get to taking it full time?
BEN: I’ve been playing yo-yo from when I was 4 years old, I got really damn good, competing, performing and being sponsored by brands. Yo-yo has became part of my lifestyle, and once I grew out of competing, I wanted to understand how to position myself in the market.
I always valued the idea of pursuing a life you wouldn’t regret, as cliche as that sounds, and ever since I discovered a lifestyle of not being afraid to go after what you want and living each day like it could be your last, [I’ve thought,] “Why not go after a life that makes you happy?” To me, that means impacting others and feeling like I’m helping them.
Moving out to LA, the idea was to learn about how I could bring yo-yo into the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry impacts the entire world, so the plan is, I go out to where the entertainment industry is and I see where my expertise fits in.
RM: What do you mean when you say you grew out of competing?
BEN: Once you hit a certain level, putting in all these hours in and reaching a high ranking in the world, you understand what it feels like to be [at the top] and that drive to compete and try to win starts to go away because the feeling just gets repetitive.
Like, no matter whether you get 1st or 4th place, in reality you only really matter to the yo-yo community.
Maybe you’ll catch a break here or there, but you’re really not affecting society that much because a yo-yo is just a toy to society. So that started to get me to rethink, “How could I contribute [to society] and satisfy my creative self through yo-yo?” I ultimately turned to Youtube. I understand how to video edit, I understand marketing and that’s basically what Youtube is. If you can market your channel — people will watch.