This is the only way to learn anything new.
No one is going to pay you to learn something new.
Something you're not really, really good at.
You're only going to get paid for things you already know.
Things you're really, really good at.
That's why people pay you in the first place.
Because you know what you're doing.
But that also means that if you insist on getting paid for each and everything you do, you'll never learn anything new.
Sure, you shouldn't work for free when it comes to the thing you're already really good at.
The thing you use to make a living and already have a proven track record.
So the only way to learn anything new is to do it for free.
To get rid of the mindset that everything you do, you need to get paid for.
If you think like that you'll stop learning the moment you leave school.
Or what not.
So here's the thing...
You'll never end up writing that book if you wait for a publisher to find out about you.
Write a blog instead.
Self publish stuff online.
The same applies to music, art and pretty much everything else out there.
You'll also never end up starting a company if you wait for that investor to show up and invest in your idea.
Bootstrap that business instead and work for free.
If you keep waiting for people to take the risk, if you keep outsourcing the risk to other people, then you'll never learn anything new.
Then you'll keep doing what you've always done.
And you'll stop learning.
So instead, take the risk yourself, do stuff for free, learn new skills and invest in yourself.
Will it pay off?
Maybe it will.
Maybe it won't.
It worked for me.
I write for a living.
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]