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January 1, 2014
 

Financial stability equals agile strategy

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Written by: jay
Money-vs.-Time

One of the problems us musicians face with is the downside of our lifestyle choice and creative brain. It’s been shown that creative people are more likely to have a messy environment, and chaos breeds chaos. With a messy environment and chaos we often find life knocking a little too hard on our door, and sadly, money is something we as musicians tend to make a little later on. I don’t know of many aspiring professional musicians who don’t have stories of how they were broke and unable to pay the bills.

At this point, however, many of us throw our hands up and do one or two of a few things. We externalise the blame to an outside force beyond of our control. We ignore debts and borrow more money. We accept defeat and stop trying to stay financially solvent, and we begin to live hand to mouth, day to day, and focus entirely on our music as our way of escape.

While it is true that musicians, like many entrepreneurs, tend to ‘make all our money at once’, this model does have some drawbacks which ultimately could cost you your ‘fortune in waiting’. Like other types of entrepreneurs, as a musician you will need to be able to strike when the iron is glowing hot. This concept is usually what keeps musicians from having a full time 9-5 job, and that’s okay, but on the other end of the spectrum you can find yourself paralysed and unable to move when the opportunity presents itself.

Let’s assume your bank balance is close to zero or in the negative. What would happen if the producer of your dreams invited you come and have a sit down and a chat that required getting on a flight to get to. The opportunity which has been delivered to you by the oh so generous cosmos would dwindle into if’s, but’s and maybe an awkward phone-call or email and you would have ultimately lost the chance to sit down and have coffee with your idol.

How about if a major retailer wanted to order 200 copies of your album for a pilot run in their flagship store, but wanted them properly stamped and authored with a bar-code and CD jewel case. The minimum you can usually order in this case is a run of 500, and you would need to find over a thousand dollars to achieve this from most CD duplication companies. Again, you would have missed your chance to get to your just out of reach millions. Isn’t the world a bitch?

So what can we learn from this slightly depressing but eye opening discovery? Well, don’t go running off and taking a 60 hour a week job. That’s the ‘giving up’ thing that you’ve been afraid of because you won’t be able to commit to your music anymore. Even more importantly, when the opportunities arise you will have the money to get to them, but probably not the time. Again, it would not work. The answer is, I believe, to stay out of debt. Owe nothing to anybody (except in the rare circumstance that it will make you more money), keep as much of your time free as you can, and find a job or other income source in which you can up and leave without burning too many bridges. In other words, make yourself easily replaceable so that you can pay the bills, have an emergency fund for flights, album printing, and bribery (Joking… Kinda…) and gain the feeling of true freedom in which you can go anywhere when you need to, get the doors open that need to be open, and fight your way to the fortune you’ve always dreamed of. Like the best of us, walk the fine line of money vs time and try not to fall off either side. Good luck!

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About the Author

jay




 
 

 
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