In this episode, Jared shares the little-known secret that musicians need to focus on in order to make a living from their art.
What's up musicians? It's Jared and today I wanted to chat about the necessary balance that artists need to create in their life in order to make a living off of their art. But before we dive-in, this episode is brought to you by Gigging Secrets, my new book that I just released, that has a step by step framework on how to actually make a living as a performer, get your copy at GiggingSecrets.com. Alright, so I want to first preface this episode by saying that this is about making a living as a performer, it is not just about making art, because you know, one of those things doesn't necessarily require all of these rigorous things that I'm about to talk about, you know, people can make art for a variety of reasons. And they're all perfectly valid, and they're wonderful. And I do them too, without thinking about how I'm going to make a living off of it. But if you're going to be making a living off of your art, then there needs to be a mindset shift. Because it can't just be about making the art, you have to think about how you're going to be making a living off of it. So I was also, you know, I went to music school twice, with the intention of making a living off of my art. And in both of those experiences and music school, almost 98 99% of what we focused on was the artistry. So when I'm saying artistry, I mean everything as in technique on my instrument, music theory, music history, pedagogy in case I wanted to teach students, which I didn't. But it was focused on the artistry repertoire classes, what's what what songs what pieces are available for your instrument and other instruments, musicality, phrasing, shaping, artistry, there was a huge missing component, which was the business of my art, which they didn't teach me. And I, this is all part of the origin story of why I started to write Gigging Secrets and why I created the app BookLive Pro. But this was so missing in both of my experiences in music school. And I was taking auditions trying to make a career out of music, and failing over and over again. And I kept hitting a wall and just feeling so desperate and embarrassed that I wasn't making this career that was promised to me, by my attendance of music school, you need to go to music school, shouldn't you get a get a job as a musician. And so that is when I, you know, literally on campus, walked from the music building over to our schools business building. And I was not a business student. In fact, it was a little bit too late for me to even try to take any business classes. But what I did do was I joined student organizations, for business students, one of those was the collegiate entrepreneurs organization. And then another was the student startup challenge where they, for both of those, they supported student entrepreneurs and getting their projects off the ground. And because they were housed within the business school, they had a very business focus to them. And I felt like a fish out of water I was, I had no idea what they were talking about, like market positioning, and, you know, advertising costs and average cart value. I was like, I don't know what any of this means. But I see that they're working hard on the business of their art. And they're having results. They're having success because of that. And so that's when I started to really model them, I followed what they were doing. I read the books that they suggested, I got one on one coaching sessions from some of the teachers and some of the other students who were in the business school. And that's when I started the string quartet Dream City Strings. And, you know, before I even like started booking gigs, or anything, I first entered into a pitch competition for the student organization, collegiate entrepreneurs organization. And for this pitch competition, the requirements were you had to give a 92nd elevator pitch about a project that you were working on. And the premise was you were going to pitch this to a potential investor. And if the judging panel thought you did an effective job of pitching it, then, you know, the mock judges would give you an investment, but in actuality, I would win a cash prize, and then a free trip down to the national conference for this group down in Florida, Tampa, Florida. So I was excited. You know, this was way out of my comfort zone. But I figured why not? You know, I'm working on the business of my art. Let's put put it to the test in this small way. So I did, I came up with a pitch for Dream City Music. I wish I had it recorded, maybe I'll try to dig through it and see if I could find it somewhere. But I gave this pitch, it was in the middle of a lecture hall. And they're probably like 50 to 75 people in the audience. Some of them were teachers, business professors, judging the pitch, a lot of them were just students. So I gave the pitch, and then sat down and waited until the rest of the pitches were done. And then they announced the awards. And third place was some sort of like, coffee Keurig pod invention. Second place was, I think it was like a way for private, I don't know, private tutors to get connected with students. And then I was like, nervous not thinking I was gonna win or anything, just like, this was my first pitch. Then they announced first place, Dream City Music. And I was so pumped, I ran up, I shook the hands of the the judges and the other winners, they gave me a big check. It was one of those giant checks that you see when you, I don't know when you win the lottery or something. But mine was just for $500. Plus, I got that free trip to Tampa. And, you know, that was a really cool when I enjoyed the recognition for working on the business of my art. But more importantly, it meant to me that I do have the skills to actually make a living as a performer. Because I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, it's I was taught 99% artistry, but there was a missing piece, which is the business of your art. And I'm going to say that the ratio of 99% to 1% is way off, you should not be working 99% on your artistry, unless you're in the 1% of talented musicians of which I'm not. But the actual ratio. And I believe this is true, because I've also seen other, you know, music, career specialists on Instagram and tick tock and everything, it should be 5050. So that means 50% of the time you're working on your art, writing new songs or practicing covers, or I don't know, learning learning new techniques and skills, and just becoming better at your art. But 50% of your time should be focused on the business of your art. And if you don't know what that means, then your 50% business time should be focused on learning. You know, if you don't know something, if you lack the knowledge of it, then you have to spend the time and the effort to get that knowledge. Because it's not just going to come naturally to you, from my experience, two degrees in music, and nobody really taught me any of the business. I had to put in the effort to walk across campus, meet the business professors ask them, What do I do. And when they recommended join these groups join these clubs, I took their advice. And I did it. And it obviously won me these small little wins, like 500 bucks, which is like a gig or so. But it also gave me the skills to go and get my own gigs. So the skill of pitching something, I use that every day. You know, I use that when I'm talking to people who are planning their private events, they're looking for music, they have a problem, which is they need entertainment, to keep their guests occupied or to accompany their wedding. And then I have to pitch them on Dream City Music as the solution to their problem. And because I went to learn that skill that was, you know, in the early phases, my 50/50 my business training was focused on pitching just for that moment. And that's that's not all, of course, you know, I put a lot of it in the Gigging Secrets book. But to this day, I still maintain that 50/50 ratio. Obviously, on a daily basis, the ratios are gonna change every so often, but in the long run, my intent is for it to be 50/50 and I do believe 100% that if you spend 50% on your artistry, and 50% on the business of your art, you'll be able to accomplish your goals and get the results that you want make your career as an artist. So I hope that advice helps you. And if you are looking to get some of the knowledge that you're missing, you know, maybe you don't know what direction to get started in. You got to check out my new book Gigging Secrets. It is the underground playbook for making a living performing. It is the lessons that I've learned when I was creating Dream City Strings. You know, I made a ton of mistakes in that business. And the nice thing is in this book, I wrote about those mistakes and taught you how to avoid them. So go ahead and get your copy at GiggingSecrets.com and thanks for listening to the Gigging Musician Podcast, and may all your performances be spectacular.