I get a lot of messages and outreach from different people all asking the same thing. “How did you get to work in the music world full time”. The more I get asked this question by different people from all walks of life I find it increasingly difficult to answer. From my perspective everyone has a different journey and most are not the same. We all live in different places, have different networks, and come up from different backgrounds. Most paths are not the same and are unique to each individual. So in a sense asking how is just asking me to tell you a story about my path I took and my journey. What’s more important than how is WHY. If you have a good enough WHY you will usually find a HOW.
I’ve come up with 3 common themes I’ve seen for myself and my colleagues in the music industry.
In order to gain that of which you do not have you must sacrifice something that of which you do have. Sacrifice can come down to anything sleep, nights out with friends, relationships, and more. Growing my first business I was working 30-40 hours a week along with manning a full time 40 hour a week corporate day job. I would have events that would end at 2am on a random Tuesday. I'd be home by 3:00am after packing out of the venue. I would do this only to wake up at 7:00am to be at work by 8:00am. I must have done this over 100 times in 2 years.
When I wasn’t at my own events I would usually be at home working or planning or doing something to prep the next show. My friends would be hitting me up Friday night to catch a show or go out and have drinks and a lot of the time I would decline and spend hours at home behind a computer working.
2) Time Management is Choice Management
What you choose to do with your time will simply make or break you toward getting to work in this space full time. Time management is choice management. If we manage our choices and focus on what truly matters toward reaching our goal it’s simply a matter of time until you leap the hurdle. Make the choices to journal, read, network, and work on building your personal brand. Do a little bit each day. Success is never found in the big choices we make but simply in the little choices we make everyday. This ties into sacrifice as well. What choices are you willing to sacrifice to better serve your time? Afterall time is the most valuable thing we as humans own. You can never find gain of it, don’t waste it.
3) Mentorship and Education
A smart man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Mentorship played one of the biggest roles in my journey and I feel as if it helped so many others who made the leap into working in music full time. Learning from someone else's mistakes and experiences can help you navigate yourself to be much more efficient earlier on. I’m not saying this will eliminate the mistakes that will happen cause THEY WILL HAPPEN. Failure is inevitable along the journey. It’s how you get up and respond to that failure with courage and persistence when you come to face it. It’s how you pick yourself up after falling or being discouraged by others. It’s listening to the voice in your head that tells you that you are good enough and if you work hard enough there is a way to accomplish your goal.
Want to give yourself an advantage?
EDUCATE YOURSELF. There are millions yes I said MILLIONS of resources out there. If you can’t find it in a book or on youtube then keep digging. The internet has leveled the playing field for everyone. You don’t need a bunch of money or connections to start. Everything you need to learn and everyone you need to connect with is at your fingertips. The biggest things that helped me on my journey were Journaling and Reading. I read tons of books on self development, music, psychology, and marketing. Audio books in the car and in the gym helped me knock out 40 books in 2019. I plan to read over 50 in 2020. Educate yourself and you’ll be equipped anywhere you go for any situation you encounter.
The Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow
Chasing after a dream of working in music can sometimes feel like you’re chasing a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It seems so out of reach yet so beautiful and close. However in this world this pot of gold is attainable if pursued long enough and consistently enough. The best part is after you sacrifice, manage your time, educate, and network, the reward… It's beautiful. Working full time in the music industry is a PRIVILEGE that not all get to do. It’s a highly coveted space to work in. While it’s tight and the cost of entry is high, there is room for everyone. If you want to find your way in bad enough and you’re willing to truly sacrifice you can find your place as well. Work hard to network and meet the right people and most importantly be good to everyone you come in contact with. You never know who may play a huge role in your career down the road. The music world has a funny way of always having things come full circle.