Why did I do it?
Many people have asked me how I had the balls to “fire” my boss and quit my job in the thick of an economic collapse (I literally quit on April 1, 2009 when the stock market was at rock bottom and unemployment was skyrocketing), to go off and start my own business.
Basically, I grew them. It wasn’t some overnight decision, although my last boss was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I have always been a free agent. Even when I was employed it was by choice, when my values and my employer’s values were shared and we were working toward the same vision, then I accepted their pay and benefits. When I could no longer ethically work there any more, I left. That’s the simple explanation.
The long explanation is I should have quit long before I did. It was misery. But I needed to do my homework and build the courage to do so. I am not ashamed to admit I was scared sh*tless about making this choice. But you only live once. Was I going to wait until I was 65, old and decrepit, to pursue my dreams? HELL NO!
Subsequently, I picked up THIS BOOK and discovered I am not the only one forging my own reality, nor is it as difficult to achieve as most people think, especially if you are driven and passionate.
DO NOT DO THIS if you pansy out at the slightest bit of adversity. But if you are driven, passionate, and never take no for an answer, take the plunge and become self-employed. The satisfaction is PRICELESS. It’s especially easy to do if you have a supportive family and a secondary income stream to tide you over while you build your small business.
My chosen profession is SONG WRITING for both publishing and performance needs. It’s actually a surprisingly lucrative market. You just need to know how to find the opportunities, and there are LOTS OF RESOURCES for that.
1. SONICBIDS (gigs and licensing opportunities; offers FREE TRIAL.)
2. TAXI (a brokerage house between song writers/artists and industry people seeking songs for specific applications; steep membership, but they provide written reviews and critiques on most rejections.)
3. “Hey, That’s My Music!” (Music pro guide to Music Supervision, Licensing and Content Acquisition; basic information you probably don’t need if you are already a member or BMI, ASCAP or any other Performing Rights Organization.)
It basically covers EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW to become a successful producer and seller of SONGS, the greatest durable good in the world, in my humble opinion. It’s the gift that keeps on giving in the form of royalties and licensing.
As a musician, you may already be writing songs for your band or a new CD. Why not make some money for your efforts? Lord knows you aren’t going to make very much playing shows, unless you are already a rising star, in which case you don’t need to keep reading this, right?
These days, you can pretty much be your own publisher and keep all your copyrights. It isn’t like the old exploitative days of early rock-n-roll. Even if you hire a middle man publisher to get started, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
With all the new media, advertising, iPhones, cable channels, video games, everyone is looking for independent songs to license. It’s EASY to get a song picked up. If by chance your song ends up in a popular motion picture or gets used by a pop star who does not write his/her own stuff, prepare to tour Europe on the royalty payments. Hey, it happens. Like I said, you create your own reality. Songs don’t write themselves and money does not grow on trees. So if you are lazy, DON’T DO THIS. This is something only the reality-makers can do. Passive doesn’t cut it.
Although, there are EXCEPTIONS to every rule.
That’s my story, and I am sticking to it. I could not imagine ever going back to work for THE MAN. He sucks.
TAXI’s Music Biz FAQs contain songwriting tips music-business information, and articles on Film & TV Music placement.