The first way to advance yourself as quickly as possible in the audio industry is to find the right people to gel with.
The way I did that was I worked with a guy called Kevin Metcalf. He was a lot older than me and knew little about tech. I, on the other hand, was familiar with it and was into programming – that was my skill set. He had the credibility and was very experienced as a mastering engineer, but then he didn't have any of the skills that I had.
It's brilliant: I'm offering him all my experience, but I'm gaining some of his clients at the same time. I'm mixing in those circles, so now I'm advancing a lot faster than I would have otherwise. When you're younger and don't have the experience, the best thing you could do is offer things that you can do as somebody younger. You're going to be more familiar with the genre of music that's popular at the moment, with new technology, and with fresh, different sounds that older guys like me don't grasp.
I do much more than a lot of people my age, but I still find learning a new bit of software annoying, and I can't be bothered. Having somebody younger do that for me is of great value to me, and I will try and give back as much value as I can give by getting them in the right circles.
Most things go in a wave pattern. What you need to do is make sure that you're not on the old wave. People like novelty. If you're part of a scene, you want to be on the wave that's just coming up.
Let's say you're into grind music: if you were part of the scene five years ago, you would have been one of the guys coming up. If you've put the time in and know it better than the people already in the establishment, they're going to want a piece of you, because that's where the money's going. And as that wave comes up, you become a part of that genre, part of that crest, and part of the establishment after that.
It's all about learning what is coming next so that you can be part of that new wave. When the old thing goes, the establishment moves on to the new thing, along with all the money and all the experience. Be part of the new thing and get around the right people. I can't stress that enough.