Going Full Time with Music
A while back I asked my newsletter subscribers what their biggest music related problem was at the moment. Here’s an email I got that I got from Adam that I think will interest a lot of you.
“My biggest thing is moving from one career to another and the doubts of success and earning what I’m currently earning again.
How can one get the connections, to able to take the plunge so they can practice harder than ever before to provide music that people love.”
First of all, great questions, Adam. I’m assuming you are a musician from your second question. But this advice really applies to any creative activity. What I would suggest is working on your new career part time first, before you make the leap. So, if you’re working a traditional 9-5 day gig I would put in the extra time and effort NOW at night and the weekends to test the waters. This way you can judge what you’ll be making per gig and it simply becomes a matter of doing the math. Sometimes it is a matter of building up clientele. This can take a while or be very fast. All depends on how much effort you put forth and your networking skills.
Another thing I would suggest is at least initially have some different paths to make money. As a musician, I’d be thinking about live shows, teaching lessons, recording music for tv and film placements, etc. This all depends on your skills and strengths of course. The reason I suggest having more than one iron in the fire is perfectly illustrated by COVID. Right now, in some parts of the world there’s no live shows going on. With other alternatives for income you could spend more of your time teaching Skype lessons for example. At least for the time being.
Formulating a backup plan, even if temporary, is a must. Creative careers can be feast or famine so having backup options can save the day. When you are your own boss there is not necessarily the safety net of a regular paycheck.
I have a few thoughts on connections. First of all, don’t think meeting the right person or people will necessarily change your life. There still has to be substance there. What I’ve found is that if you are writing amazing songs or are an over the top player, put your stuff out into the world yourself and word will get around plenty fast whether you know the “right” people or not.
I suggest playing it cool with connections and let them help you if they are interested. Being pushy or giving them the hard sell will make pretty much anybody feel uncomfortable. In other words, if something is meant to happen with them it will.
As far as approaching famous musicians for help with your career, this can be really hit and miss. A lot of the time musicians are more interested in just living their life rather than helping out someone else. I get it. Think about it, what’s in it for them? Sounds harsh, but it’s not their job to help new bands. In that case, I would say know who you are trying to pass your demo to. If they are in the business of discovering new talent, you never know. If someone approached you would you put your life on hold and start doing everything you could to help them? You get the point, I’m sure.
You will probably work harder than you did at your day job to make this a reality, but if you truly love it, it’s worth it.
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