It is not always what you take in, but also what you pay out. You can be successful with very little, as long as you know how to manage your finances. Music business is a tough game at the best of times and my friend Walter at the Global Texan Chronicles has written a good article on how to manage your finances HERE.
But as I lately talked about the value of art and the balance between art and entertainment, I think it is also fair to point out that sometimes being true to your art means scratching the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes you need to say no to some aspects of your work. And sometime this means turning down money. I had a good musician friend who told me to “never turn down the money” and I know what he meant. But if I always lived by that rule, I don’t think I would have lasted as long as I have.
Over the yeas I have seen it all. I have seen bands bad-mouthing other bands to get the gigs. I have seen musicians shooting their own friends in the foot, biting the hand that feeds them, all for a short-term gain. And most of those musicians never advanced their career from that level. Karma, whether you believe in it or not, is a bitch! The tittle of this post, Survival of the fittest, does not mean the survival of the meanest. It means survival of those who can run a lean business with a good conscience.
It’s the simple rules of treat others the way you want to be treated. If you don’t have the money, don’t live the rock and roll lifestyle, simple as that. It is amazing how little you can live on if you set your mind into it. And sometimes that is required to fulfil your dream, especially when that dream is making living as a musician.
Then again when the times are better, save some for the rainy day, but also allow your self to live a little. You worked hard, so you deserve a reward. But don’t go overboard. I recently got hit by a dose of GAS (Gear Accusation Syndrome). I wanted to buy a new guitar, I still do. But I had to think whether I really need another guitar, and if so, is there anything else I could sell first to pay for it. Be smart with your money and your equipment.
Being a musician is one of the most rewarding, but at the same time extremely tough job and it is definitely for every one. It is the survival of the fittest.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE