Why do you want to be a professional musician? Are you doing it for the right reasons? What if you spend 20 years honing your craft, gigging and building your fan base, and your reward is making a comfortable living that covers your bills but doesn’t make you rich?Still interested?
The idea that you will be a multimillionaire if you get involved in the music industry is popular one. Delusional, but popular. If you work like a dog and constantly strive to improve as an artist and an entrepreneur, you may be able to sustain yourself through music alone. The musicians who are making millions are very rare. It’s a fact, so embrace it while you reflect on the path you have chosen. If you are passionate about making music, driven to perform and interact with your fans and feel fulfilled by the journey, you are probably in the right profession. Don’t delude yourself with thoughts of crazy money and stardom. It could happen, or you could win the lottery. Too harsh?
It’s frustrating to work in an Industry where most people are completely out of touch with reality. Look at the REAL numbers and then think about it. There are approximately 9-12 million independent artists, all trying to become famous. Do the math.
Interestingly, musicians seem to feel that they deserve millions for making art. Why? Do engineers deserve millions for designing bridges or helping to shore up infrastructure to make the nation safer? Do teachers deserve millions for educating our youth and setting them on a path to success?Why do artists deserve ridiculous fame and fortune more than other professionals for doing what they love throughout their lifetime?Well it’s art you say, and that is special and I should be treated differently because I create. OK, so does every visual artist deserve to have every painting they create sell for a million bucks?
The reality is that our engineers, teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc. are all grossly underpaid. They have very difficult and at times dangerous jobs but they will probably never get rich doing them.
All of this doesn’t mean that you can’t rise to the top. You have a greater chance of getting there if you have a plan. Let’s clarify that; if you have a realistic plan that is well thought out with details of how you will accomplish every goal on your list.
One of the best blogs I’ve read this year about the reality of the music business was written by Michael Trampe for Hip Hop DX magazine. Do yourself a favor and read every word no matter what your genre happens to be. This is a brilliant read and one that will give you a realistic perspective and 10 great Laws of Success. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to really know the game!
“Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty”~John Lennon