“I am happy to make money. I want to make more money, make more music, eat Big Macs and drink Budweisers.” – Kid Rock
by Walter Price
Having Some Success? A little extra change in the pocket…
Hey, that’s pretty cool; you’re making it making music. That is like winning the arts lottery, kinda. Now, what to do and not to do with this little bit of success. These are the questions.
Growing up my early years found my family and I near poverty most of the time. My teens saw an increase in ‘luxuries’, if you will. But life as a kid with a father who worked in the oilfield business by day and honky tonk troubadour by night was still a bit rough compared to the rest of the haves types my age.
When I started in local radio and a decent income began to trickle in as a single party animal, I was doing okay. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I was able to do what I wanted financially. Then I made some mistakes that would find me broke as a stupid joke a few times again and again. I would like to think now I’ve got things nearly figured out. ‘Nearly’, I emphases.
If you’re an artist who thinks only poverty will carry your music legacy and emotional state. This read isn’t for you Silly.
Here are some been there done that tips:
Spending money you have and don’t have.
It seems that people who grow up with ready available cash don’t fall into as many of the pitfalls the lower classes do when they see a huge increase in income for the first time. I suggest that the first time you see a huge chunk of change. Do almost no spending.
That’s right, do nothing crazy person. Sit on it, contact a financial adviser. For a small fee, somewhere in the $1000 range. What?! “That is stupid-crazy cash man!!” Yeah, well no not really. An RIA (registered investment adviser) would be your best type of financial peep to start with. These money minded cats work for you and not stock or funds. You can worry about broker-dealers etc. later on.
“Most people need a planner. The ones who don’t need one are usually smart enough to use one.” – Loren Dunham
Let me make it clear, I am no financial expert but I like keeping what money I’ve made working my ass off. Plus there are the facts that people (your fans) really feel uncomfortable when their favorite artists go broke after buying a ridiculously large and unnecessary house after one semi-hit song or that car that looks like a spaceship that you can’t even drive on most roads and the drugs. And don’t forget that it is almost always impossible to regain what you’ve lost due to being financially retarded.
The history of music is cluttered with stars that have spent like morons. Don’t let this be you. Being super talented, cool and then wise will make you look awesome and smart in the long-term.
Don’t overestimate your success or your longevity.
Ever heard of Deep Blue Something,? Nah, unless you’re a huge 90’s fan or from Texas probably not. What this band did was have a huge single “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and an awesome album Home in 1994. Cool, right? Nope, this band overestimated on many levels. Spending tons on nonsensical this and that’s, legal problems, line-up changes and got themselves into the One Hit Wonder Hall of Fame and in some $$$ troubles.
I will end up sounding like a stoned and happily passive hippie after a bit. Hope not but if you see a track, EP or album make its way onto any chart, find your audience blow-up in size or watch as your merch gets a super cult status and sells like hotcakes…take it easy stallion. Wait a bit and see if this wave produces some legs.
Don’t blow your wade all over the face of a giant tour bus, super infamous and pricey producer or whatever until you know for sure. It will be hard to tell when is the right time but it will smack you in the glistening face you call your own. Keep in mind, all those things are really for you and your band mates and not for your fanbase. They could give a shit as long as you have killer songs and killer concerts.
There is plenty of time to live the rockstar lifestyle after you know you can and still eat in a few years. Nothing more embarrassing than a band with a huge tour bus and no audience to help pay the gas…I’ve seen it in person many a time.
Anytime I get my panties in a twist to bestow upon people my learned knowledge or pass along what I consider super helpful advice or just some generally thoughtful ramblings about the music business I always go back to one basic thing. If you want to make music and want or expect to see any sort of money from it learn yourself some basic and then advanced (if you is smart enough to want to keep your cash straight) business, arithmetic and basic accounting rules. No one digs counting numbers right? But if the numbers are $$$ it should make things more WOW!
The internet has a load of free courses for musicians or for the common mortal to dig into. Try ‘em out in your spare time and you like it, you will be way happier in the long run. Your music is your small business, think about it.
“Money is better than poverity, if only for financial reason.” – Woody Allen
I’ve stressed this before and here it is again.There will be money made from your music. It is up to you by who and by how much those ‘whos’ make. I’d prefer to keep the majority of my cha-ching in-pocket. My pocket.
That is all I have to say about that…
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