by Cari Cole

Musicians are lucky. You may not feel it all of the time, but you live a life of passion. You don’t make music because you have to, you make music because you want to. It was born from your desire and your love of music. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it’s a very challenging career to make money in. If you’re not sitting in a Broadway orchestra pit or out on a cruise ship singing covers for a living, making a consistent income is not a given, no matter how talented you are.

Musicians have turned to licensing in the past decade to bring in additional income, but unless you have a licensing house who is pitching you constantly, that can dribble in as well. Touring and merch are other sources, but just being on the road can eat up profits.

Yet the reality of making a living from your music does exist. It is possible. So I put together a list of the essential components I see artists making it work utilizing.


How to Plan for Your Best Year Yet in Music:


1.Grow Your Mindset

No matter how hard we work, or how talented we are, we can only achieve what we believe is possible. The first and most important aspect of attracting success starts with your mindset. Ever wanted something with all your heart, set out to get it and acquired it? That’s a perfect example of using your mindset and intention to achieve.

As we turn into the New Year, promise yourself to pay closer attention to holding a clear unwavering mindset of your goals. See if you can strengthen your vision as you move through the year instead of dilute it.



2. Grow Your Hustle

Every artist has to learn how to hustle. How to use your skills to make a buck and find a way to contribute to the world around you. There are many ways to bring in income while you’re rising up. Join Musicians On Call and sing to the elderly or sick, put on an open mic and make a profit from the door or get a percentage of the bar from the owner. Build a tour for a group of musicians and negotiate a percentage of the door and merch for your efforts. Work on building your catalog for licensing and attend music conferences to meet publishers and supervisors. Learn how to build websites or do graphic design to support your career while you’re out on the road. You can do this!



3. Grow Your Connections

Opportunities come from connections. Make a pledge to yourself to grow your connections this year. Whether that means going to music conferences, making appointments to see industry, joining a mastermind and grow your network of industry folks — pledge to get yourself in the business this year, instead of on the outside looking in.


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