Working with music full-time is amazing, but it’s not as easy as just making your own music or just waiting for things to magically happen. It requires a lot of effort and planning, as I’ll talk about in the following thoughts.
4 THOUGHTS FROM ME
1. Avoid ‘taking the leap’. It requires effort and you need to be able to handle your finances before you ‘take the leap’ because money will not magically appear. And probably, if you don’t have money, it will make you anxious and make you do ‘anything for a buck’, which is never good. Instead, switch careers like Tarzan, which means not letting go of a previous income source until you have a good hold of a future income source. Before you go for your full-time music career, develop a possible source of income to help you out and take the leap when you have enough to leave without problems (I only did it when I matched my 9-5’s salary).
2. Having a music career doesn’t mean you will only work on your music all the time. It could be that if you’re going for an ‘artist-only’ career, but that is really hard financially. Instead, you’ll probably do other kinds of work that are all related to music, which technically will make you learn a lot and will help your music production as well. Therefore, discover which kind of ‘income work’ excites you and focus on growing this alternative income stream before taking the leap. Some examples of them: Teaching 1on1, Online Courses, Preset & Sample Packs , Audio Engineering services (mixing and mastering), etc. Check more options in our previous post.
3. Be the voice telling you what to do. If you have a full time music business, you are your own boss and no one is going to tell you what to do. Sometimes, however, it is hard to motivate yourself and you will need a friend (me) or someone/something to get you back on track. Therefore, understand (1) how to get yourself motivated, especially on the toughest days since you won’t have a boss to keep pushing you, and (2) make your decisions all be aligned to achieving your goal and keeping yourself motivated to achieve them, i.e., your life has to be shifted towards achieving this goal.
4. Have some safety nets in the bank. This is extremely important especially if you are a self-employed / full time musician. There will be months that you make 15k and months that you make 1k, but life and bills won’t stop, so you always gotta have a backup. First, understand that your ‘salary’ is the average of the last three/six months, so don’t spend above your salary limits. Two, sometimes you will have to invest in order to grow, and living paycheck to paycheck may stifle your growth. Third, to be safe, put 6 months – 1 year of costs in the bank to make sure that you’re covered for a while if times are bad.
1 QUESTION FOR YOU
How can you RIGHT NOW start your full-time music career? Understand that ‘starting’ doesn’t mean quitting your job right away since, before doing this, you must:
1. Have a vision and a plan of how you’ll earn income. This must be actionable, tangible, measurable, and depending primarily on goals that you can achieve with your efforts;
2. You’ll most likely need to open a company to receive your income. However, when starting, you’ll need to find a name, a logo, and all that marketing stuff “we love”;
3. Don’t overthink a plan, just DO IT! A lot of your plans will only come to life when you sit down and start DOING them. Once you have a plan, start with it and adjust as you go.