Posted: Sep 5, 2017
Category: The Musician Business
**Guest post written by Carlos Castillo of Schwilly Family Musicians - music marketing strategist, web designer, live performance recordist, international road-tripper, lap steel player, and Captain of the Schwilly Family.
"Over in our Facebook Group I was asking about what excuses people are allowing to hold them back.
As it turns out I've had a LOT of the same excuses hold me back over the years. So I reckon it would be useful for you to know how I put them behind me.
Interested? Here we go!
This one hits REAL close to home. On my most recent road trip, I got to the point where I couldn't even sit in my car comfortably. And every time I ate, I fell an unearthly pressure in my chest.
At one time in my life I was an Olympic level athlete. And my wife is antsy to start having kids. So hitting a low point like that was a real eye-opener.
One thing I can truly attest to is that "you ARE what you eat". That didn't mean so much to me when I was in my 20's. I must have been eating steel and adrenaline. But now that my "grown up" body has taken over, it's time for me to think in longer terms as far as my health.
I recently discovered a book called "The End of Dieting: How To Live for Life". And this book has changed my life. Within a few days of eating the recipes from Dr. Furhman's website my CONSTANT heartburn, which had been plaguing me for decades went away. I also lost 20 pounds and gained a TON of energy within the first month after changing my diet.
Who HASN'T been there? Especially with the OVERWHELMING amount of information online, it's way too easy to get stuck in "learning" mode, which ultimately prevents you from taking action.
If you don't know what your next step should be, look around for someone that's where you want to be and follow their lead.
You can ALWAYS ask me what your next step should be. And I will ALWAYS have an answer for you. So the only question that remains is: "Will you listen AND take action?"
Hey, you're talking to a guy that was homeless and unemployed when I decided to take ownership of my future. I KNOW about not having money. It's practically my scientific speciality ;)
How did I do it? I sold my blood plasma to pay for my website and email list. Then, I got a job. Yes, a J-O-B! And instead of getting an apartment, I continued to live in my van and invested that money into a $1,000 training course on how to build entrepreneurial businesses online and OTHER business related investments.
Call center jobs are pretty easy to come by in the U.S. and they are pretty easy to leave, which makes them GREAT opportunities for Musicpreneurs.
And even if there weren't any call centers in my area, I would have sold fruit by the side of the highway or showed up at the Home Depot parking lot at 5am everyday to stand in line with the rest of my people looking to improve their lives.
Why? Because I wanted it THAT bad. How bad do YOU want it?
Already have a job, but a bunch of bills and responsibilities to go along with it?
Here's a little something I learned more recently that made it so I had the $3,500 I recently invested into my business: PAY YOURSELF FIRST. It's pretty simple. For EVERY dollar you make, AS SOON AS it hits your bank account, take a dime (10%) and use it to either pay down a credit card or stuff it in a piggy bank until youneed it for your business.
It will force you to get creative about fulfilling your other financial obligations. But they will still get met AND you'll have money to invest in yourself when you need it.
There was a point when my business was growing but I was still tethered to my day job to make ends meet. So I hit a glass ceiling in the growth of my business because I didn't have enough time to put into scaling it up. Then I discovered "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss. It's seriously the best $15 ANY entrepreneur can invest in their career. Within 4 months of buying that book I left my last-ever day job for good.
Also, "Pay Yourself First" applies to time just as much as money. Before I do any client work, or marketing, or even write you these emails, I spend 1-2 hours working on building my business. Currently I spend that daily time on developing the "Musicpreneur Apprentice". If that means taking a later shift at the factory, do it. If that means getting up at the butt-crack of dawn, do it. Again, how bad do you want it?
Technology trumps geography. Anyone with an internet signal has access to BILLIONS of potential fans.
Sure you can move to Nashville. But you'll face an INSANE amount of competition in a horrifically "cliquish" environment.
OR you can set up a comfortable music space in your home out in the forest and use the interwebs to grow > engage > and monetize your fanbase.
I love my home and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. And I certainly didn't leave the backbiting, childish, political, corporate world just to get into the same type of environment. In fact, I stay away from anything "Music Industry" related as much as possible. I've personally found that success is much more attainable without all that BS.
In an artistic field like ours perfection is an illusion. It's entirely subjective and everyone who consumes your music has their own idea of what "perfection" is.
As a Musicpreneur, you don't have to get it perfect. You just have to get it going.
Lack of ACTION is what's holding you back, not lack of perfection.
Seriously? You've probably already learned to operate musical equipment and recording programs that are MUCH more complicated than Wordpress.
Sure, technology might have been "hard" in the 90's. But nowadays it's quite user-friendly and any software company worth their weight in bubbles has Tech Support and Customer Service that will help you overcome any obstacles you encounter.
And there's always the option of hiring some help with all that money you saved by paying yourself first.
That's a myth. I just bought some music TODAY. But don't take my word for it. Here's Vlad's comment from that post:
"I believed this for a long while. Oddly enough it's when I started CHARGING for my music that I realized it wasn't true at all. Someone paid me $20 for my $3 EP on Saturday. And a majority of buyers have paid OVER my asking price. People are awesome."
Welp. I'm out of excuses. And I hope you are too ;)
Carlos Castillo is a Musicpreneur, Artist Business Developer, International Road-Tripper, Lap Steel Player, and Captain of the Schwilly Family Musicians. Find him at SchwillyFamilyMusicians.Com, or on Twitter at @CaptainSchwilly"
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