In this episode, Jared Judge interviews Nicole Riccardo. She provides advice for musicians on how to invest in themselves and their careers. She recommends investing in courses and coaching in order to learn the skills necessary to succeed in the music industry. Additionally, she advises musicians to think long-term when making these investments, as the skills learned will be valuable for the rest of their life.
Hey gigging pros. It's Jared and welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. I am pumped today we have a special guest. She's a flute player, but she's also a kick ass marketer. Her name is Nicole Ricardo and Nicole is a freelance flute player. She runs her own marketing agency, totally crushing it. Huge social media following and I am just so pumped. So Nicole, welcome to The Gigging Musician Podcast. Yeah, thanks so much for having me. Yeah, our pleasure. I'm super excited because on The Gigging Musician Podcast, and through our work at BookLive, we try to teach musicians that you need to take ownership of your career. And a big part of that is learning the things that they don't teach you in music, school or lessons, which is, how to market yourself and how to sell what you've got. And you've done that you're like a huge case study for that. And I, I look up to you quite a bit. And I'm sure musicians are going to get a lot of value out of this. Thank you. So let's start with the musician, Nicole. So tell us a bit about your background as a musician. How did you get started? And what was the trajectory of yourself as a musician? Yeah, well, I started pretty young, I first started music lessons in first grade, actually, for piano because my, my kindergarten teacher, she was so sweet. She would always play piano for us and have these cute little songs and whatever. So, you know, I just like loved her became obsessed. So I started taking lessons in first grade. And I've always been one of those people that like, um, every time I well, I get bored pretty easily. And every time I get bored, I'll just like learn something new. So I learned a lot of instruments over my time. Started with piano fourth grade joining choir, then, band, I started playing flute than I really wanted to be in jazz band. So I taught myself how to play saxophone. And yeah, I mean, by the time I graduated high school, I can actually play all the woodwinds, except the scenes, my fingers are not big enough to reach them. But what is the whisper key? By the way? Who knows? Yeah, who even knows? But yeah, a flute was always really my primary. And the moment for me when I kind of decided like, Oh, I think this is what I want to do is actually in seventh grade. So also really young. Um, but yeah, I just was sitting there with with my best friend at the time, she was a violin player, I was obsessed with the Beatles. And I was just begging her to play Let It Be for me. And so she's playing it. I'm sitting there. And I just felt so. So content, so happy. And I was just sitting there, I was like this, like, this is what I want to do. I want I want to help other people feel like this is what I want to do for my life. So yeah, moving forward, I ended up going to a performing arts high school, where half of my day every day was music, and it was pretty intensive. We had juries and everything, even in high school, which I'm like, Oh my God, I don't know if I would have gotten through a friggin performance degree if I hadn't had that experience in high school. Um, but yeah, then I went to college, I got my bachelor's and master's in flute performance. And I mean, honestly, the whole time I was there though. I feel like I was kind of midlife crisis thing every year, you know, like, oh my god, am I really actually going to be able to like make this work? Is this am I just making a big mistake here, you know, and I actually did have at one point, I did have a double a double major, but I could not complete it because it required an internship and we all know with music, it's too intensive. You cannot just, you know, go take an internship and something also that ended up not happening, but, um, yeah, so that's kind of the music, you know, path but then after graduation is obviously another story. And after I graduated, I was doing the whole freelancing for a while, you know, I had had students teaching at a music school I was gigging around I was subbing with quite a few orchestras, actually, but I mean, we all know this. It's like yeah, all of those things that it sounds super glamorous, right? Like yeah, I was a freelance musician. I had all of these gigs I was playing principal flute here and there and blah, blah blah. But the reality is those are one off they're very inconsistent you're basically sitting around having to cross your fingers like hoping somebody gets sick which is like shitty I don't ever want to be hoping for that, you know, and and they also pay shitty right like even between all of those things, I still was barely able to make ends meet. So I mean, something obviously had to change so then that you know, had to go get a nine to five. Yeah, for sure. Were you taking auditions to try to get one of those salaried orchestra jobs? Yep. I sure was. I was taking auditions actually, from the time I was in undergrad. I have always been very, like, very eye on the prize, if you will. And even you know, with my teacher telling me like, oh, you should not be taking auditions right now. We need to focus on your, your technique and your blah, blah, blah, right, your fundamentals. I'm like, Nope, I'm taking auditions. So like I've Yeah, and I, you know, got into the finals for a few things. But yeah, never, never one one. And, you know, it's kind of you reached that point where you're eventually like, oh, shit, like, I'm really I'm not going to be able to pay all my bills. So what am I going to do? Am I going to keep trying to make this work and trying to force this because you know, my pride, my ego is like, Oh, I can't do something that's not not music related. I can't do that. You know, I'll be a failure. We have that so freakin ingrained into our brains. But that's another soapbox. I will not right now. Um, so yeah, yeah. Well, I know exactly how you feel. You know, I did the audition circuit to and was a finalist and never quite got it. But sometimes those are blessings in disguise. I'm 100%. You before our formal interview, I was asking you a little bit, a couple of questions. And I asked you about how you got into your current job. And you mentioned that in college, you actually ran a woodwind quintet and did a lot of marketing for them. Could you tell us about that experience before we get into what your day job was? And then the whole marketing agency thing? Yeah. So it's really funny kind of looking back now. It's like I was getting, I've been getting nudges that maybe I should be doing the whole marketing thing for a really long time. And I think it really started with the quintet, honestly. So yeah, I was running a woodwind quintet. And kind of going back to the whole you know, I've always been very eye on the prize kind of gal. Um, I, we, we did the damn thing. You know, it wasn't just like, oh, I want to put together a woodwind quintet. So we can play pretty music or I want to put together a woodwind quintet. So we can play summer music on my recital, right? It was like, we went hard, like we put together Yeah, of course, we put together concerts, but we also put together benefit events that we you know, would send out press releases for and get press for we commissioned new music, we were awarded grants, we and we also did a tour, which again, looking back now is kind of like wild because we literally were brought on to other universities doing guest artists, residencies, doing masterclasses doing recitals, with the students, and we were still students ourselves, right? Like, granted, we were in grad school, and not to toot my own horn, but we were like, really fucking good. So. But yeah, you know, it's like, that's really not typical, that students are able to do something like that. And I, you know, didn't necessarily realize it at the time, because I've just always been kind of, you know, I get this idea in my head, and I'm like, Yeah, we're gonna do it. Like, I don't care. I'm not taking no for an answer. We're doing it. Um, so yeah, I was put together all of that stuff was helping with our, you know, fundraising, blah, blah, blah. We even we were featured on the radio, we even actually got offered a record deal from Naxos, which is like, you know, again, it's, it's, I feel like the whole quintet thing. It's another kind of testament to that, you know, it sounds all super glamorous and exciting, blah, blah, blah. Right. But like when you pull back the curtains, I'm not really because you know, the Naxos steel. That's the one that usually people are like, Oh, my god, that's amazing, right? But like, yeah, okay, but what you don't see behind the scenes is you actually have to pay for the recording, which is going to be you know, like 10 grand plus and pay for the first pressing and blah, blah, blah, right. So it's like, oh, is it really that glamorous? I'm not really but anyway. Yeah. So that's where really all of my marketing started was was running the quintet and, and putting together all of those will creating all of those opportunities for us. Yeah, that's incredible. It was was the quintet. Like part of your curriculum, was it required? No, I, I just really how it happened is I was obsessed with one of Mes Longos Quintets and I really, really wanted to play it. So I was like, Oh, I'm gonna put together quintet. So I did. And, you know, we just like really vibed and everybody was very serious about it. And we were all kind of on the same page. And we went through a couple iterations of like, members before we kind of got there, you know, but yeah, eventually we got the right people in the right places. And like, Yeah, let's do this. That's so cool. I mean, I played a bunch of Maslanka in school as well, and he's an amazing composer. Super interesting music. Oh, good. Yeah. And I just love that that turned into this whole thing that on the surface sounded like you were queen to the quintet. They're just gigging everywhere getting a record deal. But it's heartbreaking to hear that it didn't actually pay out like, you know, I'm sure it was a great experience. But as we all know, experience doesn't pay the bills. Yeah, exactly. Which is, has definitely contributed a lot to my, my values and opinions and what I do now with my marketing work and helping musicians, and yeah, making sure that you are getting freakin paid because we got bills to pay. Yeah, for sure. That's a great transition. Would you mind telling our listeners what you do now? And then we'll kind of back up as to how you got there. Yeah, absolutely. So now, I kind of have a while I guess really three aspects of what I do, I do still play. And sub with a few orchestras, I'm actually excited, I finally got, you know, now that music is starting to come back, just got my first email for subbing with my favorite orchestra. So yay. Um, but the marketing side is primarily what I do now. So I do side one, my personal side of things as I run online courses and do coaching with other, it is still primarily a lot of musicians, but just creatives and general freelancers on actually starting and building your business, setting up your business structure for sustainability, blah, blah, blah. And then the other side is actually my agency where it's more done for you. So all of the things that that I've done, the things that I teach. So you know, building websites, SEO branding, social media, we we do all of that for you through my agency and our media. That is amazing. So could you tell us like an example of a couple of musicians that have gone through some of your things and what they're up to? Yeah, absolutely. I actually was just talking about one of them this morning with my team. But yeah, it was really cool. Actually, I've been so I started running my signature program is called Create Your Career, which is literally takes you through exactly what I did, transitioning out of my nine to five and back into being a full time musician. And the one of the girls that was in the very first round that I ran at that course, she was actually still in school at the time. And well, actually, there were a few people from that round that have done this. But anyway, yeah, she finished grad school and was kind of building things up while she was in school. And she's multi passionate as I am. And so when she graduated, yeah, she's working for herself full time. Now she teaches she teaches private lessons. She's that's really what she wanted to do. But she's also very passionate about writing. So she also does freelance writing on the side and is creating digital downloads and has some back end funnel for that. So that way, she's also generating passive income on a regular basis. So yeah, that's, that's really one of the ones that I'm very excited about, and super happy to have been a part in helping her do that. And, I mean, there were a few other people actually, from that very first round, who kind of did similar things. Another one, she was in school wanted to build a private studio. So she started doing that in school, when she graduated, she was able to, you know, graduate with a business basically, and not have to be miserable. Like I was in a nine to five, and she's teaching full time. And then another one of the girls, she, she actually started because she was also interested in the marketing aspect of things and social media marketing. And so now, she was doing so well. I actually stole her and she's part of my team. Taylor Nice. Yeah. So I She's my right hand woman now. But yeah, so she helps and our media with Actually, she's now transitioned into building websites for us. And she still does still do some social media stuff. But yeah, and she teaches some flute lessons as well. But she also loves photography. So she does photo shoots too. So it's yeah, I tend to a lot of attract a lot of multi passionate people because I am as well but you know, we kind of talked about this when we were talking earlier. I think that's really one of the the biggest beauties about once you have these skills, and you know how to market you know how to sell you know, how to create your own opportunities, you can do it with everything, you know. And so if you're one of those people that you like to do multiple things, or maybe, you know, your interests change frequently, right, like maybe right now you're like, oh, yeah, I want to, I want to be a flute player, blah, blah, but then maybe next year, you're like, you know what, I'm really into this whole photography thing. Like let's start doing that, like, you can change and pivot and do it whenever you want. You have so much more freedom and flexibility. I mean, you can do whatever you want. It's just there's so many possibilities. Yeah, for sure. I find one of the the things that you need, like we, you and me and other leaders in our field need to do is we need to sell the concept of marketing. You know, many people just think if I do my craft as best as I possibly can, that will translate to a career. What would you say to them? And how would you sell the concept of marketing to them? Yeah, it's actually one of the phrases that you will find me saying on repeat is just being good at what you do is not good enough anymore. And to be honest with you, I've gotten some pretty upset messages from people when I say stuff like that, because they're, you know, they'll be like, Oh, you're basically telling me I need to have like, two full time jobs, I need to be good at what I do. And then I also need to learn how to market myself and don't I'm like, Yeah, you do. Like, I'm telling you this, because I love you. But yeah, if you want to actually have a career doing what you want to do, it is simply like, if you just objectively looking at the numbers, it is not a smart decision to cross your fingers and rely on the fact that you're going to be able to land a job in quotes write a job, because the reality is, how many of them are there, you know, and then the other side of this, which nobody talks about is how much do they pay? Right? Like when I graduated the year after I graduated, there were, I think, five auditions in the entire US for salaried orchestra, flute jobs, and every single one of them paid less than $30,000 a year, full time jobs, full time jobs. Okay, that is barely enough to live off of. And I know like, when I was in college, I certainly did not have any concept of that, like, oh, yeah, that'll be fine. That's great, whatever. But Lady girl, no, once you start adding on those student loans, and like, Okay, do you ever want to like go on vacation? Like, do you want to maybe actually ever be able to buy a house, you know, it's just like, that is just not going to cut it. But that's one of those big things that people just don't talk about when you're in school. You know, it's very much eyes on the prize, if you want to be a successful musician, like what even is that now, right? But if you want to be successful, you are you're landing an orchestra job, or you're getting a professorship Right. Or if you're a music ad, you get a band director, job, and that's it. That's what successful is, but you know, they, it just the reality of it is, it is very unrealistic to expect that that's going to happen to you. And I'm not I'm I definitely don't want to be that person sitting here saying, like, Don't pursue your dreams, blah, blah, I'm, I'm a big fan. Like, if you think you can do it, like, Yeah, fucking do it, like I believe in you go do it, go win that job, you know, but it's like, also have a plan B, and that plan B needs to evolve, if you don't want to, you know, do I ended up having to do and like you do the starving artists thing, and then realize, oh, shit, I actually can't pay my bills with this because it's too inconsistent. And then you're in a nine to five, and you're fucking miserable. Like, we are not taught when we're in school, how to get out of that situation? Like, how do you create your own opportunities? How do you get your name out there? How do you make sure that people know who you are, like, I already know you're amazing at what you do. But we need other people to know about it. If you want to generate an income with what you do, it doesn't matter how good you are, if nobody knows about it. So that's really where marketing and selling comes in. And with selling. I mean, that's a whole other thing, because people will be like, Oh, I don't want to sell myself, blah, blah, blah. And I want to feel like a used car salesman, you know, but really, at the end of the day, it's like, okay, well, who's who's gonna do it for you, then, right now? Are you like, do you just have like, 10s of 1000s of dollars chillin in your bank account to spend on marketing, like a full marketing team, that's gonna go do it for you. But even if you do, like, the other side of that is, they're not you, you know, like, they're, you are never going to find anybody in this world who will care as much about you, as you do, you know, so you it, it, you're always going to be your best advocate. Right. And that's true, whether it's, you know, advocating for yourself marketing wise, or in health care, or whatever it is, right. You always have to be your own best advocate. And something that I always like to say when I'm talking about this is, you know, if you can't tell me, why you do what you do, the way you do better, or differently than all of the other, you know, hundreds 1000s to hundreds of 1000s of people that do the exact same thing that you do, like we have a very big problem here. Because you are the CEO, you are the person in charge. You're the boss and if you can't tell me why you're such a badass and why you're different than the million other people Like, okay, why am I gonna want to hire you? Why am I gonna want to work with you? Why do I even care who you are, you know, and like, I know, this is all this very much tough love, but it's like, oh, this is the shit that like nobody talks about that needs to be talked about, you know, it's just like, it's just the reality of it. And I know going back to like, God, if I was like college, Nicole hearing this, I my panties would absolutely be in a bunch right now. And I'd be like, you know, who do you think you are? This is like, I know, I'm just gonna win the audition. And like, I would get very offended by all of this right now. But it's like, okay, then we need to kind of take a step back and look like, Well, why? Why am I? Right? That's right now, right? Is there? Is there some truth? And what's what's going on here? And I'm just not wanting to accept it, which is generally the case. But yeah, so there's a lot of a lot of tough love. Yeah, no, I love it. I mean, everything that you're saying are things that I'm also saying too it's like, okay, great. Yeah. And I wish that it was more talked about, and I think that you're doing the music industry a great service by talking about it in the way that you do. And I think I am, too, and I think we're all going to be better off because of it. But yeah, you're right. You know, I was thinking about music school. And even the concept of music school is kind of like a gigantic advertisement for a pipe dream. You know, they, they don't mention that you need to do any of this. They say, like, do all of the things that your professors say, which is take our lessons, practice eight hours a day, take music theory, history, whatever. And then by the end, you'll get your job. Yeah, and we've all been lied to. Yeah, yeah, pretty much. And it's like, and oh, God, I'll try out. I'm gonna try real hard not to get too on my soapbox about this. But, um, yeah. And then you know, you have some schools, I will give them credit. There are some schools now who are starting, you know, they're developing entrepreneurship programs or whatever, or they're at least starting to like, teach about it and encourage like, oh, yeah, you should build your website, right, blah, blah, blah. But here's the other side of this. And this, like, someone who does this professionally, oh, it gets me real jazzed up. Because I cannot tell you the amount of times I've had, we've had clients come to us, and they're like, Yeah, I was, you know, so and so professor had me build a website in college, but like, it was just a project. And I don't really know how we're supposed to do it in a way that like, works for us, and blah, blah, blah, and you know, so it's like not doing anything for them. They spent all this time and energy and usually money too, because you have to buy the domain name and, you know, pay for the hosting site and whatever. But they're not taught how to actually do it. Because generally, and this is not the case for everyone. So like this, oh, don't come for me if you're a professor who is not in this category, but what I have found is a lot of places will have professors teaching this stuff, who like legit, they don't even know what they're talking about, you know, it's like, okay, when was the last time you actually had to build a private music studio 20 years ago, 40 years ago, like putting up fliers is not going to work anymore. I'm sorry to tell you, Susan, you know, or they're like teaching you, you know, oh, build your website, but they don't actually know how to tell you how to build a website. Or they'll say, you know, oh, yeah, social media. That's great, right, but they don't know how to tell you how to actually use it. And so dad is like, I mean, we know that the classical music world is always like a million years behind everyone else. I'm like, this is one of the biggest things that oh, it drives me nuts. I'm like, so you're just gonna take 10s of 1000s of dollars from all of these students pumping them out with the degree degree degree, but you're not actually going to, like care enough to bring on people who know about how to actually market themselves and teach your students how to market themselves. So they can actually go out there and have a better chance at getting a job like, I don't know, it just like, make sense to me. Because then maybe your students are going to have better success rates, and then that's gonna reflect better on you. Like, Shouldn't that be a priority? But like, apparently not, I don't know. I guess I just don't know what I'm talking about. Like, I've only built you know, multiple, six figure businesses. You know, it's like, it's fine. I don't actually know what I'm talking about. Don't listen to me. You know, so shout out if anybody you know, is runs a music school and needs an entrepreneurship program by someone who actually knows what they're talking about. Let me know. Um, but yeah, that oh, it drives me nuts. Yeah, I could tell us something you're very passionate about. And I'm to it. I hate it. Sorry. Sorry, Susan, if you're offended when you listen to the end, by the way, that is not like, again, Don't come at me that is not a specific person. Just using a random name. Like, you know, Karen, so. Oh, awesome. Well, you mentioned a bunch of mistakes that teachers make when they're teaching their students. What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see musicians make when they're just getting started with these things? The biggest thing is waiting too long, for sure. Um, and as musicians, we've much tend to be perfectionist, which makes sense. I mean, we are it is ingrained into us to be that way, right? Oh, if you walk into the audition, if you make one mistake, you're out. Right. So we're all perfectionist. But what I see a lot is, we'll have these ideas spinning in our head, right? We're creative. I know you have amazing ideas. I know they're in your head. But I also know you're over there telling me you're waiting for something, right? Oh, I can't, I can't start doing this. Because like, you know, I don't know if I'm actually qualified, like, I don't have this certification and blah, blah, blah, Yeah, or like, oh, I don't really like I don't have any pictures yet. So I can't start posting on Instagram, or like, oh, I don't really even know exactly like what I'm going to offer yet. Because I have these, like, you know, three ideas. And I'm not sure which one I'm gonna go with yet. So I'm just not gonna post about it yet. You know, blah, blah, blah. Like, we're we're always waiting to try to get all the ducks in the row. But the thing is, when it comes to marketing, and selling yourself, you know, one of the primary ways you're going to do that is by having your own audience, right? You need people who know who you are, that you can sell to, that you can market to that are going to support you, your community, right. And one of the primary ways you're going to do that is by building them on social media. And it does not happen overnight. In fact, it's a pretty slow process. And so if you like, the longer you wait, every single minute that you wait, you are doing yourself such a big disservice. Even if you don't know exactly what you want to do, even if you don't know exactly what idea you want to pursue yet, even if you don't have new photos from your photographer, blah, blah, like you need to start taking action right now. Like, like yesterday, like last week, like last month, okay? Because it does not happen overnight, it takes time. And so it is it's an investment in yourself, it's an investment in your career, it's an investment in your future, you know, by doing those things, and there are I know that there are a lot of fears that can come up with musicians, again, with perfectionism with, you know, oh, if I post this video, it's not perfect, blah, blah, blah, right. But it like it doesn't matter, you just you need to start now. And the reality is, it is a part of your marketing, which is really the lifeblood of your business. You know, going back to again, we've said multiple times that people don't know who you are, and what you do, you're not going to create opportunities for yourself, you're not going to make money. So you have to start investing in that now you have to look at it as this is a part of my business. And you can either you know, if you don't want to do that, fine, go get a nine to five, and then have somebody else tell you what to do. And you're going to have a long list of all of these things that you also don't want to do. Or you can decide, you know, to, I'm going to put my big girl panties on. And even though I may be afraid and half years and my perfectionist tendencies are coming up, and I don't have it all figured out, I'm going to show up and do it anyway. Because this is part of my job. And if I want to work for myself, if I want to get paid, doing what I enjoy doing, if I don't want to have to be miserable, in 9 to 5, then this is the reality and I have to grow my own audience, I have to invest in this, I have to do this. And if I if you keep showing up, it will pay off. Yeah, it's not gonna happen overnight. But if you show up consistently, if you put in the work, you will see results. It's literally like if you are taking one small baby step a day, even one small baby step a day, you're still going to get to that end goal, eventually, like I can't tell you when it'll happen. But like it's it's literally inevitable. If you are taking the steps you will get there. But you have to take the steps, Right! And I love that like you're essentially selling entrepreneurship to musicians who maybe aren't necessarily they don't think of themselves as entrepreneurs. But the thing is, like, as soon as you decide to become a musician, you decide to become an entrepreneur, whether you like it or not. Yep, and the thing about being an entrepreneur is you only get paid when you get results. Mm hmm. You know, if you have a nine to five job, you get paid every two weeks whether or not you do the best job you possibly can. But when you are an entrepreneur, you you eat what you kill. So if you're not bringing new blood into your business all the time by marketing yourself, then you're frankly just not going to get paid. It's it's logic. Yep. So yeah, we talk we speak the same language. Nicole, I love chatting with you. This is great. I know like, how many more hours do we have? We got? Let me go grab my wine. Hold on. We got one more minute. Any other last minute pieces of advice for the gigging musicians who are listening to this podcast? Um, I would say this is another phrase I like to say a lot but feel the fear and do it anyway. It's always gonna feel scary, especially when you're first starting out and like even for me now I've been doing this for God who knows how many years and like there are still things where I'm afraid to hit send on that email or I'm afraid to You know, reach out to that person or you know, it's there, there's always going to be that fear there. And the sooner that you can kind of accept and understand that and acknowledge it, and then be like, You know what, but I'm not going to let you be in the driver's seat. This is what I want to do with my life and your your dedication, your commitment, then that has to be stronger than your fear of doing things, your fear of, you know, perfectionism, of selling, of marketing of having to learn new skills, right? Like, things are only hard, because we've never done them before. Once you've done them and you you do it, you do it again, you do it again, it's gonna get easier, right? It's just like learning our instruments and playing our instruments. Yeah, you probably were like, Oh, I don't know what to do with this thing. The first time you picked up your instrument, right? Like God, I'd sat in the frickin garage for two weeks, feeling dizzy, trying to, like, make a sound, you know, but it's you have to, you just have to let that commitment to the life that you're wanting to create yourself that has to trump everything. And you just you have to keep going keep putting one foot in front of the other. And then the other thing that's also kind of tied to this is you don't have to learn everything yourself. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Like there are people like us who have been there, we've done this, we've gone through the trial and error, we've spent the freakin years figuring it all out, like, ask us, come learn from us. And this is an another thing kind of tied with, uh, you know how Music School doesn't teach us this, like, the online education industry has become so much more normalized, especially with everything 2020 You know, going online, blah, blah, blah. So like digital courses, learning from people in that capacity, like, I have digital courses now. Or, well, I've had them for a while. But, you know, like learning from people in that capacity that is normalized, like do that if you're not getting the education on how to market and sell yourself in school, which spoiler alert, I know, you're not come learn from us, you know, normalize like, pain to also invest in courses and stuff like that, or like coaching, education, training, whatever, like, you don't have to do this alone. I mean, you can if you want to, but like to have fun, it's gonna take you you know, however many years it took us to figure it out, however many 1000s of dollars we spent, you know, reading books and doing our own education and trial and error. And, like, it's a pain in the ass, like, I'm just gonna, like split or it's a pain in the ass and it sucks. So just like come learn from one of us, and accelerate the process, right? Like, give me um, take my course Create Your Career, and it takes you if you go through it with the whatever the plan that it's intended, it takes 10 weeks, you know, boom, 10 weeks, you now know everything that took me like, five years to learn and trial and error, like make your life freakin easier. You know what I'm saying? So, there you go. Yeah, that is amazing advice. And you mentioned the word invest. You said invest in courses and coaching. It's not really that you're investing in those things, you're really just investing in yourself. Because, you know, if you think about it, like, I could invest my money into the stock market and get an 8% return in a year, or I could invest the same amount into a course, which is actually investing in myself and then build $100,000 or more business out of this. Yeah, exactly. And it's like those skills you're going to have for the rest of your life, you know, it's like, like, okay, yeah, I can go invest in a new head joint for my flu. And eventually, I'm going to need a new one because it'll, you know, I'll outgrow it or wear out whatever, or, you know, I could invest in a coach who's going to teach me how to actually market myself and then I'm going to be able to use that for the entire rest of my career to create opportunities and generate income for myself like that is I think a big mindset shift that a lot of musicians need to make is investments like that it is a long term investment. Also another spoiler alert, you can write them off on your taxes. Oh my gosh, Nicole, you've got me so fired up. I'm ready to like go work on my business. Our listeners to our to how can our listeners find your stuff and connect with you after the podcast? Yeah, so I am primarily an Instagram Gal. So you can come by me on Instagram. My handle is @NicoleRiccardo, my last name has two C's in it. If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to DM me. I'm always in my DMs I don't by happy to chat happy to answer questions. And I also have a Facebook group. If you are more of a Facebook person or if you do both Facebook and Instagram. My Facebook group is called Create Your Career. So you can search for that. Join that on Facebook. Come Come hang out with us. Awesome, amazing. Well, thank you so much, Nicole. It has been so much fun. And thank you to the listeners of The Gigging Musician Podcast. This has been your host Jared judge. Thanks again for listening. And remember "You are just one gig away!"