In this episode, Jared discusses an important yet often neglected topic among musicians: the mindset about money. Drawing from his personal experience and interactions with other musicians, Jared addresses the misconception that focusing on making money with music makes one a sellout. Instead, he emphasizes that money is simply a tool that musicians can use to achieve their goals, expand their reach, and ultimately create more and better art. Jared shares insights into the benefits of prioritizing high-paying gigs, valuing one's time, and building a network of industry professionals. He also challenges the notion of the "starving artist" and encourages musicians to adopt a more positive and practical approach to their finances. Whether you're a gigging musician looking to make a living from your art or simply interested in the intersection of money and creativity, this episode provides valuable insights and actionable advice.
What's up gigging pros! Its Jared Judge, welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Today, I want to chat about something really important, something that's not really talked about. However, I do see this mindset creeping into a lot of musicians that I work with. And it really sabotages their success, which the thing I want to talk about is money, specifically mindset about money. And my goal, I guess, for this podcast is to help you kind of think about the way that you view money in relation to your art, or view your art in relation to money. Because recently, I've been doing a lot more tic TOCs, and YouTube shorts. And one of them recently got some comments from musicians, because it actually kind of hateful comments, calling me a sellout because that, you know, I teach marketing and sales skills to musicians, so they could make more money with their art. And you know, a bunch of comments are calling me a sellout or that I help sell out. And I have to address that. Because, you know, I want to actually share that I believe it's okay to be a sellout. Because money is a tool that we all use, whether you like it or not, it is a tool that we use to live our lives. You know, it tools are not good or bad tools are just tools. And they're used by people to accomplish good or bad things. But I think most artists use money for good. Like, even if you work at a job you hate, you still do that, because you need money, you got to eat, you got to live somewhere, you got to have a car to get to your gigs. And money is the way that we do that. And sure, you may have criticisms for capitalism, or maybe you don't, I don't really know, or I don't engage in politics on this, this podcast, but the fact of the matter is, we do have to use money to get where we need to go. And I do believe it is completely healthy, to focus on getting money through your art. And that's why I love private events so much, it's because they have the highest return on your time. And I do believe musicians should value their time, very highly, you know, like minimum $100 An hour kind of thing. But definitely more than that when you when you start to get there. So money is not evil. And I think we really should start valuing money because not because of money itself. But because of what it does, that once you start focusing on getting money, through higher paying gigs or through, you know, recording sessions that pay a lot, turning down the lower paying gigs, once you start getting this money rolling in, it makes everything else a lot easier. So if your goal is to, you know, build a fan base, a lot of these platforms are pay to play, you know, say you want to expand your reach on Instagram, well, you could do that organically, that's going to take decades. Or you could use the tool of money to shortcut that and get your music in front of 10s, hundreds of 1000s Millions of people in a shorter period of time, because you used to the tool of money, which is basically just leveraging your time. Similarly, you know, if you have money coming in from high paying gigs, you can use that to fund your album recording. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, some might say that, you know, that makes you a great artist is your ability to output art. And if you're sabotaging your your ability to put out great art, because you know you're too broke. You can't afford this. But does that really make you a great artist? Or does that make you a starving artist? And is that really glamorous? And I would say no, it's not. It, I would much rather see an artist that's well fed and capable and putting out their best work, which I do believe that the tool of money get help with that. Sorry about all the birds, they're all really excited about this discussion. And so that's why I do feel like we need to value money in so much as it is a tool for getting things done faster for spreading our message faster. And, you know, I do believe that we all should use money for good and not evil. But nonetheless, I think it would be foolish to not recognize its value in relation to your art. And to the original people who who call me a sellout. I'm happy to accept that titled, yes, I am a sellout. I am an artist who sells my art in exchange for money so that I could do more art. Have more fun in the world. Get more Done, expand my reach. And I don't think there's any shame in that. I think that it's, it's foolish to do the opposite to sabotage myself, by not focusing on that, you know, it's like, oh, sorry about that, where focus goes, energy flows. And so, birds are very distracting right there. So if you focus on the activities that acquire you money, then you will, you will put energy towards it, and you will start to have momentum and other, you know, great opportunities will start to follow suit. You know, a great example is like, you know, I've been focusing heavily on corporate events, and weddings here in Denver. And I've been focusing that, you know, they are the high paying gigs, for sure. And because I've been focusing that I've been putting a lot of energy towards that. I've been building up this vast network of corporate event planners and wedding planners, and managers at these venues where these gigs happen. And this, those, that network has been building partnerships have been building fact, even just over this past weekend, you know, it played that farmer on the farm gig. While it was there. And as a result, you know, they said they host all these kinds I also got an email from somebody who runs a DMC, Destination Management Company, they were referred to me by a DJ in the wedding and corporate events market. And, you know, I of events, where my live music would be perfect, which is more didn't explicitly reach out to this person who runs the DMC, they reached out to me because of a referral. opportunities for me to play, get my art out there. And it's also going to pay quite a bit. These are going to be high paying corporate events, private events, weddings, those kinds of gigs in really cool spots, too. Like, I know, they operate a lot out of aspen in Breckenridge really cool like ski resort towns. So I'll get to do a little traveling, it gets to scratch that travelling itch, as well. And so that's kind of the idea. I was just kind of exploring, about how we talk about money as musicians. And I don't think there is any glory in purposefully, you know, adopting the starving artist identity. I think that's just sabotaging yourself, sabotaging your art, sabotaging your ability to do what you love. I don't think it makes better art. I think people who are are comfortable financially, not living paycheck to paycheck, are in a better position to put out more to put out higher quality and, and just contribute more to the things that we do. So I'm sure this is going to be a little controversial trip, some of you might be offended by that. But I hope that you keep an open mind to it. Because I find that, you know, I've achieved a lot of things by keeping an open mind. You know, I was very skeptical when I first started out on this journey. Little old music school, Jared was like, definitely had a closed mind about things other than just what they were teaching me in music school, which was how to be a better performer. And it took a lot of like, repetition and basically was like going to a mental gym. And working on my mindset. And opening myself up to other ideas was even like taking my first marketing course that was that was a hurdle I had to get over a significant amount of skepticism, about marketing in general, in order to even just buy the course and then login and go through the first couple of lessons. Even when I was going through the lessons. My skepticism, I'm sure sabotaged my early success, because I didn't go all in on it. I just dabbled. So hope you can keep me on my open mind about this. And I appreciate you tuning in helping me figure this out with you. Thanks for listening to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "You are just one gig away!".