Pretend like you just lost your day job

10Feb10

Today I was thinking about what I would tell someone who was looking to transition from the “day job,” to being a full-time musician. The best advice I could think of was, “Pretend like you just lost your day job.” I thought, what better way to see if you are ready to take that step than to start acting like you just lost your job and you had to rely on music. I think alot of singers and songwriters have this idea that they should be doing music full-time but they don’t have a realistic grasp on what it would take. So if you pretend like you lost your day job, it may help you wake up and see where you really are.
The first thing you need to do is to look at how much money you NEED to make….not the millions you WANT to make from music. How much are your bills every single month? How much more would you need to be able to buy your own health insurance? How much do you need to maintain your music career….since it does cost money to travel, record, promote etc. Once you have a number you better add on another 10% just to add a little cushion for unexpected stuff. Oh, you also better think about self employment taxes, too. Fun!!!
Once you know how much money you need, then you need to think of how you are going to make it. Are you selling CD’s? Touring? Recording others? Making jingles? Writing songs? Doing audio editing? All of the above? You should make a list of ways you can use the talents and resources you have RIGHT NOW to start making money. The cool part is that you really DIDN’t lose your day job….but you can pretend you did. You need to act as if your rent is depending on you marketing your music business. Now the best part is that you will need make the time and bust your ass to start making the money that you need to make. You are going to need to become an expert at social media, marketing, networking, songwriting, sales, business and whatever else you do. You will need to search every nook and cranny to find every single opportunity you can to make some money. Remember you are just pretending that you lost your job, but you still need to work your buns off as if you really didn’t have anything to fall back on. Once you make enough to pay ALL of your bills for a few months….using only music money….THEN you maybe can walk away from your day job. Until then you will have many days that seem to never end and you will be tired, and worn out….but think of how rewarding it will be when you tell your boss that you are leaving because you are living your dream.

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2 Responses to “Pretend like you just lost your day job”

  1. Sound advice. It’s a full out scramble learning all the hats

  2. Great post. I’ve only ever made money from music, but it’s mostly been through teaching. I’m teaching full time now and really need to take the plunge as you’re suggesting hear to start making money out of my songwriting and composition.


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