In this episode, Jared shares the unconventional beliefs he has about being a musician, and how those beliefs shape everything he does.
Hey gigging musicians, it's Jared. And I wanted to share a couple crazy beliefs that I have that drive everything that I do. And I hope that, you know, you listen to these beliefs with an open, open mind, they're not that crazy, but in the gigging musician world, and particularly the music industry in general, I feel like these beliefs are a little bit different than the traditional thinking. And they're worth hearing out. And so before I tell you the beliefs, I just kind of want to share my journey about how I got into this whole world of gigging and why I do things the way that I do. And then I'll kind of reveal the actual belief pattern after that. So for those of you who are new to this podcast, even those who have been around for a while, my backstory, I'm a classical musician, I'm a violin player, I grew up playing violin in fourth grade and fell in love with it just fell in love with the sound of the violin and orchestras in general. And when I saw an orchestra on stage, I knew I wanted to be a part of that. And so I went to music school, once for my undergrad in music education at Penn State University. And then once for my master's degree in Wisconsin, for orchestra conducting. And the thing about those schools and the typical way that most musicians are taught to think about their music career is that, that you're taught how to audition, and how to work for other people, you know, other people are going to create these opportunities for you, and you're going to audition and become part of this system that's been around literally for centuries. And so for me, I believe that I listened to the advice of my teachers, and I saw all of my friends and colleagues doing this too. And I entered the world of auditions. You know, I've had some, some pretty small auditions, you know, I've audition for regional orchestras and made those but then, in order to really make a living as a performer, you have to keep trying to work your way higher and higher, kind of like the corporate ladder, you know, if you're in a corporation, you have to always be applying for higher and higher positions in order to make a comfortable living. Except in the music world, it's even more competitive, because there aren't that many spots. So I would say one of the most pivotal moments happened was in grad school for me. And what was happening was, I was applying for these higher profile positions. One of them was for it to be a conductor for the Air Force band, the United States Air Force band, I had had a grandfather who was in the Navy, and I was always interested in military music. Plus, being a conductor of one of the Air Force bands was a really freakin cool thing to me, I wanted that so bad. It was a traditional music opportunity. In that, you know, you had to prepare an audition, you had to basically check all of their boxes. But I was in grad school for orchestra conducting, and I was like, This is totally mine, I have this audition. And so this was not the first audition I've taken. Nor was it the first that I've been rejected. So I go to the audition, I prepare the music. And I take the exams that they had to take, get in front of over 60 military musicians and all of the officers just watching me conduct. And it was a thrilling experience to be like, that kind of audition was amazing. I loved doing that audition, just because I got to conduct these, probably some of the most talented musicians I've ever conducted. And, you know, I was really looking forward to getting that high level feedback. And so after the audition, the colonel pulls me into his office, which I didn't think they normally do. They typically they just tell you, we'll let you know how it goes and send you on your way. But the colonel pulled me into his office and said, Hey, like Jared, you've got some talent here. You're clearly a studied musician. And you've been putting in a lot of work. But unfortunately, we can't hire you, you. You're just still you need a little more experience. Please, like let's work together and come back next year, you know, maybe you'll get a job next year. And boy, was that disappointing, because that was not my first rejection. And it almost hurt more to know that I was that close to getting it and fail. You know, I've heard this in the past, it's easier to lose the third place than it is to get second place, because you can taste the victory, but then you kind of have it pulled away from you. So I was very frustrated, spend a lot of money on plane rides and additional, like lessons outside of what I was doing in grad school to prepare for this. And you know, just the rejection, the constant rejection. It's it definitely wears you down as a musician. And so for me that was about the point where I was ready to kind of throw in the towel or at least, you know, essentially give the middle finger to the traditional music system. Where you have to rely on other people for opportunities, I was done with that, I was ready to start making my own opportunities. And so that was when I really had this inspiration to start my own gigging group, my wedding string quartet, obviously, a lot of other things led to that. But effectively, that instilled in me the belief that I can make my own music career by making my own opportunities instead of relying on other people. So that is one of the big beliefs that I have. And I hope that you consider that belief for yourself. And I'm sure if you're listening to this podcast, you've already heard about success stories about how that belief of creating your own opportunities instead of relying on opportunities of other people can really transform your music career. It's kind of like, you know, not to get too nerdy about stocks or investing and everything. But there's a big term in financial management of diversification. And, you know, when I was actually a music teacher, we had one of those sales people from like the retirement funds, come to our school and just tell us their stick about, hey, here's how you should plan for retirement. Like, I'm only 23. Why am I thinking about this right now. But one of the things that he said over and over again, is you need to diversify the investments that you do, you know, don't just put it all on chipolte lay like, yes, that's a great stock right now. But will it always be, you should probably think about having it in some other funds, too. Because you shouldn't just rely on one source for all of your success. And to me that parallels exactly what we do in the music industry, is that we shouldn't put all of our eggs in one basket, you know, I shouldn't just rely on auditions and the old way of doing things for my music career, you know, instead, I'm going to build relationships, tons of different relationships and learn how to market my group and how to do this, that and the other. So that, you know, I'll have success in multiple areas without getting too distracted, of course. So I'm running out of time here, but I want to just share the second belief that I have, because this one's also very relevant and very important. And it actually follows the story of me getting rejected for from the Air Force band, is that once I started to believe I needed to create my own opportunities, I started to do it, I started to take action on it, which acting on it is so important. But once I started to act on it, and make the decision to start my gigging String Quartet dream city strings, all of a sudden, I was faced with a whole new challenge. I created this group, I had the players, I had music, we got in the practice room, we got on stage recorded some cool videos, and we're like, oh, man, we're gonna make a million dollars playing weddings. Of course, the reality of that is we didn't get a single gig when we first started. And I wonder why? Well, actually, I know exactly why. And that leads me to the second belief, which is, once I started to actually market my group, I started to invest time and money in learning how to market something. That is when we started to see the gigs. You know, I just thought, before I had that belief, I was like, you know, we got to just practice more, we got to do more stuff in the practice room, I got to buy better music. And that was fun. And it felt really good. And I got to play with my friends. But none of that actually led to a single gig. Once I started to invest the time and money in marketing, all of a sudden, I was starting to collect email addresses of brides and grooms who might be interested in having us play at their wedding. I started to have meetings with wedding planners who was like, Oh, yeah, you know, I love hiring string quartets. They make our wedding ceremonies so much more interesting, more lively. And for me, that was the marketing. And once that happened, and we started to get the gigs. That's when I really felt like gratified, I felt like I was getting the gigs that I wanted, I started to make a lot of money. While I was in grad school, it was enough to pay my my grad school bills and my rent and have enough leftover to get chipola instead of eating ramen. And then it you know, it was, it was really cool to see that like my friends who were in this group. in grad school with me, were also starting to pay their bills with the money that I was helping them earn. And had it not been for me learning and investing the time and money in marketing, I wouldn't have been put in that position. So just to recap, you know, the two big beliefs that I have in the music industry and in music and hope as a whole is that I believe that you can create your own opportunities and make a living as a musician locally. You don't have to rely on other people to do this. You don't have to rely on the old way of doing it. And I don't believe that you should rely on the old way. Of course you can use that to supplement what you're already doing. But you can do this yourself. I did it. I've helped other musicians do it for themselves and So I believe you can do it too. And then the second thing is that once you make that decision to start creating your own opportunities, the number one thing that will help propel your music career and give you more results than anything else more results than even getting in the practice room and writing new music, is by taking the time and spending money to learn marketing. So I hope you get some value out of that. I would love to hear if your experiences match mine, I would love to hear it if you don't believe what I'm, you know, the beliefs that I hold near and dear to me, because I'm always looking to learn and hear opposing viewpoints. But if you do believe those things, or you want to explore any more of those, then I invite you to come engage with me further. I am taking on a few more students to teach them all about how to set up marketing funnels and systems to make a living doing what you love. And you can reach out to me directly at Jared@BookLive.com. So thanks for listening. I'll see you on the next episode. The next