Many musicians have figured out the secret sauce so they’re able to go on tour when they want to without quitting their job entirely.
But some jobs are more flexible than others – if you can take 2 to 4 weeks off at a time, or work remotely during that time, that’s great!
But if you can only get a long weekend here and there, it’ll be incredibly difficult to grow your music career. If that’s the case, it may be time for some changes so you can hit the road once shows and touring are safe again.
Listen now to ditch the golden handcuffs and become more invested in your music career so you can achieve your dreams!
What you’ll learn:
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Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes
Welcome to Episode 58 of the Bandhive Podcast.
It is time for another episode of the podcast where we tell you how to run your business more efficiently and effectively. And in the case of this episode, we're going to tell you how to do things outside of your business so you can have a business to come back.
Teoh, My name is James Cross, and I'm here with Matt Hose of alive in Barcelona. Have you been doing in the past 10 minutes since we last talked, Matt, I've been hosed. Oh, boy. This is gonna become a theme now, isn't it? On Lee, if you're lucky. Okay. Okay. Well, I don't know if the listeners could be considered lucky at this point, at least if they made it through last week's episode. Because as much as I enjoyed that episode, I made so many puns, I think Probably it's gonna be a little hazardous toe Listen to if you go back if you haven't heard that one.
And I'm trying to think of a pun right now, and this is what happens. I just keep talking until I think of a pun. And I I really have no idea what to say. Except that, you know, you should always know your enemy. And if puns aren't your enemy, then that's okay. Just embrace them with arms wide open. James, you have hit a new all time low. You know, it's really the bravery that it takes to make these puns. It's incredible. You gotta have a disturbed mind for all these puns.
Disturbed mind E. You are the worst. Oh, yeah, I can just imagine when the podcast is famous in, like, five years, people are gonna listen to this And like, there will be 10,000 fists waiting to pull may. Oh, it's a land of confusion out here, Matt. It's a land of confusion. Oh, my gosh, That's all right. You just gotta take the power back. Yeah, man. It's the power of love. The love for puns. What is love? Baby, Don't hurt may. I'm pretty sure people are gonna so way should banter on away from this and get into our topic.
What is today's topic? James, What are we talking about today? We're going to go down a little Dream street here. No, I don't think is not the Mythbusters. We can try this at home anyway, For lots of artists, you have a dream. Whether that is making a full time living or just getting your music out there and having it changed people's lives. There are so many different things that create a dream for somebody who wants to make music. And there are lots of different ways to get there.
The unfortunate thing is whether you're trying to go full time or just want to do it as a hobby, you're going to have to have some kind of work bringing in the income until you are lucky enough that your music I shouldn't just say lucky enough lucky enough and have put in the work that your music is giving you enough income toe live on. Chances are it's not gonna be amazing. Get rich scenario, but you can make enough money with your music toe live on, and that's the key here.
But until then, unfortunately you're gonna need, like I said, some way to make money. The issue is, if you have a steady day job that is absolutely a band killer, I'm not going to make the bright side joke again. Just for the record, I'm not going to use that two episodes in a row. But even with the best of intentions, if you're trying to put food on the table, if you have a job that puts golden handcuffs on you, that will hold you back from your musical dreams no matter what they are.
Like I said, even if you're just a hobbyist, you're going to have to find time for your music. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have golden handcuffs if you love making music but want to provide for your family, and that's your main goal. That's fine, but recognized the effect that that has on your music. On the other hand, if you want to be playing music every second of every day, you can't have a day job. That's just not gonna work out. I should specify when we're saying golden handcuffs.
We're talking like you know, white collar jobs or high paying blue collar jobs, Something that has benefits and is too good to pass up on. At least that's what you think it is. It's too good I can't give up on this. I can't quit my job because I'm making 60 bucks an hour. Like Okay, you're making 60 bucks an hour. Are you happy? Do you need 60 bucks an hour toe live? If you are making 15 bucks an hour doing something else, would you still have enough money to survive on if the answer is yes.
And that gives you less stressful work to take home? Because, you know, chances are if you're making 60 bucks an hour, you're probably taking your work home with you. So Okay, if you work food service and make 15 bucks an hour, including your tips, you're gonna have less work to take home. Can you do that? Okay. If you could live on that, you'll have more time to focus on your music. Food service is just one alternative. There's also retail. But thanks to the Internet, there are a Brazilian ways you could make a living without working a job.
You hate and be flexible on your own terms. Now, I've got some experience with this. Not super recently, Matt, though I know you have some great experience here. Do you want to jump into this? Yeah. Absolutely. I'd love Thio. So you know, you already mentioned a good first one waiting tables. You know, food services, actually, um, and specifically serving is very, very, very beneficial. Toothy touring lifestyle. Being in the music industry is already in the gig economy. You are basically individually playing shows To make an individual paycheck from that individual job and waiting tables is basically the same thing. Onley.
It's compartmentalized even smaller. You, as a freelance server, essentially are going to tables and providing service. And they are giving you money based on the job that you dio. So it's basically the same exact thing. Only the difference is you put on a uniform, you go into the same building every day, and it's a little bit more routine and habitual. The awesome thing about serving is that there are always other servers who are looking to pick up hours, and there's a lot of flexibility is far as coming and going for tour Ah, lot of times as long as you're a hard worker and you've developed good quality relationships with your managers leaving for long periods of time and coming back is something that a lot of employers will absolutely let you dio because they're always looking for a hardworking employee to come back.
And on top of that, they generally can fill a server position kind of easy for the times that you're gonna be gone for me. I served for quite for five years, six years, and it was great for touring. They gave me opportunities that I could not have had working any other. You know, like you're saying a white color or high paying blue collar job. I couldn't have done that if I was as a manager. Pretty much as soon as the business comes in and tells you like, Oh, here's the benefits package that you're gonna be receiving for your job.
That's basically their way of saying like, this is what we're leveraging for your time. You're not gonna be able to leave whenever you want. You're gonna have one week of paid vacation a year. You know you're gonna be ableto have insurance. You're gonna be ableto have paid time off or whatever This that and the next thing Sick days. You know, they're giving you these benefits to leverage your time investment. So if you need your time investment for playing music, well, then you can't be playing. You know, you can't be working for these benefit giving places.
You need to be working gigs. That's already what you're doing. You're already pushing for that style of life when you're going into the music industry. This is a part of the gig economy, and it really is like the Wild West of the gig economy. Now, I'm sure some of you have heard this term gig economy before, but some of you probably haven't the gig economy are your uber drivers. They are your door dash delivery people. They are your insta CART shoppers. They are your task rabbit handymen.
They are your gig spot workers. There's all sorts of platforms online, like James was talking about earlier applications on the Internet that basically allow you to work freelance jobs and be able to have some sort of income on your schedule and on your own terms. The power of the gig economy lies in its scheduling. You have complete control over your own schedule. You know exactly how much money you're making. You know, as long as you're a budget er and I know James has mentioned why nab you need a budget?
Probably 50 times so far in our podcast, you can use these tools to basically, you know, so you can take yourself out of the equation. You can say, Oh, I need to make this much money. This is these are my bills. Okay, Well, I could go out like an uber drive. Now, if uber driving's a little, you know, if the demands of uber are too high, each gig economy job is gonna have some sort of different demand from you. Essentially, you know, with uber driving, you need to have a clean car.
You know, most people like music and things like that. So the people who are driving uber full time when they're, you know, not doing other things. Those people are, you know, they're making sure that their cars air up capped. You know, some of them have bottles of water in the car, snacks, things like that. They're trying to earn a living but they're in complete control of their schedule. They've made that trade of the freedom in exchange for maybe a little bit higher paying job, maybe insurance or something like that.
They figured out exactly what it is in their life that they were willing to leverage for their time. If you have a different skill set like, let's say you're a graphic designer or a voice actor or and these are things that you want to do on the side to kind of push your entertainment skill set into multiple industries. You can do this. There's platforms like fiber or sound better or up work where you're actually able to find clients on your own. Develop a quality relationship. You can set your own rates, thes air platforms that do a lot of your marketing for you.
They cover a lot of like the really hard expenses for when you're starting a business, especially a freelance business. Until the gig economy started happening, there weren't really a lot of places where you could easily go and just find someone and digitally bring them to your house or digitally start working with them. I would advise every single one of you to start getting into the gig economy right now. Now, whether that's Lyft or uber door dash grubhub task rabbit or insta cart or Amazon Flex is another one where you can deliver Amazon packages.
These air basically tools that are gonna allow you to free up your time that make you your own boss that give you freedoms that working at a corporate job can't offer you. Yeah, absolutely. You know, I was a lift driver a few years ago. I got a new car and I had a nice paying job, which I ended up leaving because golden handcuffs. But I did the math when I was buying the car and I said, You know, if I drive for 2 to 3 hours a week, I can pay off the car.
And then about two months later, my job gave me a race, so I stopped driving for a lift. But for those 2 to 3 months, it was It was a good time, you know, I met some really interesting people, met two ladies from Minnesota. This was in San Diego, who just about how to fit that I was playing Motion City soundtrack because they were from the same city as Motion City. And they're like, I haven't heard anybody playing this band for, like, 10 years. I'm like, Yep. Well, I like him s Oh, that was fun.
And, you know, things like that. And now I've moved on and run. My own business is and you know, five or up work Sound better those air all great if you don't have an established network. But if you do have an established network of people who would be looking for your service, there are even more opportunities there. So, for example, if you do graphic design and you've been playing shows for 10 years and you know everyone who is in a D i y band in your area guess what?
You have hundreds of potential clients right there that you can reach out to say, Hey, you know, this is the album are I've done. If you're working on something new, I'd love to, you know, drop a draft for you and see if you're interested in hiring me to do your album art. Same thing goes, if you know you're the person in your band that can do recording and do it well enough. Say, Hey, you know, I I really like your music. I think maybe we could work together.
I could make something really awesome. Do the production for you. Let me know what you think. Here's my stuff. All that is great. It takes a lot more work than five, or or sound better or up work. But you have full control of the project. You don't have to go through their systems and they don't take a cut, so that's an advantage. But if you're starting from scratch and you don't have that network building, that's going to be extremely difficult to Dio. It's so tough to start a business from scratch with zero clients.
Ah, lot of people start a business, and then it fizzles out after 2 to 3 months when they realize how much work it ISS. It is an incredible amount of work, but just imagine that when you start, you know, a booking agency or whatever you convened driving down the road at 65 miles an hour, obviously not driving yourself. Somebody else in the band is driving your in the back of the van, sending out emails, booking shows. That's amazing That's how toe be in the music industry, because when you're just driving down the road, you're not making any money.
If you could make money while you're driving down the road again, not yourself driving. That's awesome. A couple years ago, five years ago, actually, Frank Carter and the rattlesnakes were on their first tour and I set up a phone interview. They called me from the van is they were driving down the road in England. You know, that's the beauty of the Internet. They were in England. I was here in Vermont, interviewing one of my favorite singers. You could do pretty much anything remotely now I wouldn't say you should do remote recording while you're in a van.
But you know, you could do remote guitar parts. Plug him into a die on your interface record remote guitar for somebody you know they need to lead. Guitarist. There you go. There are so many options out there for what you can dio. It is up to you to find what works for you, and not only that, but what works for your clients because if you have a service that you can dio that is in demand. You will find that business with a little bit of effort. Absolutely.
There are a couple other ways, you know, And really, that's mostly what this episode is about. It's us just kind of pointing out to you that there are tools out there that can help you adapt out of your situation in order to slant your focus. More towards music with, Let's say, songwriters. A lot of you guys spend a lot of time writing words. It's what you do. Your writers on DSO look into content writing. There are always people who are looking for content writers. The entire world is digital.
Right now. The entire world has websites. The entire world is blogged posts. The entire world is articles and you know what they need. They need people that are constantly filling their sites with content so that people keep going back to them. Ah, lot of the time your content might not even get used. But the thing is, these other major businesses, they're using the law of large numbers. They're hiring out people on there saying, Hey, I'm gonna hire 10 people to write 10 articles and then they're going to go through those 100 articles, and they're going to pick out the five best, and that's what they're going to use for their Tuesday post.
Every week they paid, you know, $1000 and they have six weeks of content now. Granted, that's for a larger business, But you could be one of those content writers. That's the point that I'm actually getting at. I've done content writing. It might have been like three tours ago where my drummer was driving the bus. I was content writing for a website. My guitarist Waas, on the phone with one of the bands that he manages. My bassist was messaging one of his social media clients, and then I believe that my other guitarist, who's what he was going to school.
I believe he was there working on school Stuff is well, but the point is, while we were sitting there driving across, you know, hundreds of miles between shows we were all working towards something are full time. Job is no longer going into McDonald's is not going into a retail store are full time job is now focusing on how we can work remotely and honestly, you have to chase that money all the same. And so using some of these tools to help you develop a clientele base is absolutely wonderful.
Certain jobs you can't do remote. And that's just how it is. But graphic work, voice acting, work, content, writing work. If you have a home, you can put it on Airbnb as long as you're complying with your H O A or your covenant policies. Or basically, whatever the law of the land is where you're at now. Obviously, currently, you know that's not gonna be the case. We're all still in our homes, and nobody's touring anyway. But it's food for thought for when you start to leave on tour and you're gonna have apartment that somebody else could come and stay at for 300 bucks.
And then you can actually get on Task Rabbit and hire somebody to come and clean that place and reset everything for like, 50 60 bucks. If you put that place on the market for, like, 152 100 bucks a night and then you pay somebody 50 bucks cool, you just made 100 $50 for nothing for existing What's the risk? You know they might damage some of your stuff. So don't keep you, You know, maybe lock up all your stuff. If that's your plan, maybe you have to restock some goodies, things like that. You gotta make sure you have some kid friendly DVDs or whatnot.
The point is that the overhead is like, slim to nothing. And then once you have that asset, it's just something that can actively make money for you. It's not for everybody, but it's another avenue. So basically, what you need to dio is analyze your life, figure out what system works for you. What tools do you have at your disposal? Obviously, you're not gonna go be a lift driver if you don't have a car. Obviously, you're not gonna Airbnb your apartment. If you don't have an apartment, you have to look and see what tools you have.
If its delivery work. Can I do that? If it's you know, do I have music production software? Can I do voice recording? Do I have a laptop for remote content writing? Determine what tools you have, and then you can determine what gig work you can actually start doing and then start doing that gig work, you'll start to taste it. You'll taste that freedom and some of you will then go. I don't want to do this anymore. If this is a requirement, if I have to sacrifice you know, some people need routine.
And let me tell you that the music industry is not for you. Then if you need that consistent routine, it's, you know, you're gonna play a show at a different time. Every night you're gonna have a different number of miles to drive. You're gonna have to be reaching out to clients and times when it's inconvenient for you. You're gonna have to be factoring in time zones. You're gonna have to be making sure that you keep up with your clients while you're exhausted and not sleeping well. It's demanding.
It's very hard. It's mentally taxing. You know, they say that the mental health in the music industry is among the lowest among artists because combined with the fact that people don't pay money for their stuff, they also have to put themselves through extreme conditions in order to do it. You know an artist when they're commissioned for a piece, they do it wherever they want But when a musician is commissioned for a show, they have to go to that venue. There's an old joke that, you know a musician is the only person who will take $10,000 and equipment, stuff it into a $5000 car, drive 1000 miles to play a show to 100 people and to get paid 50 bucks.
And it's absolutely true, because if you are a musician, if you are the true, you know the Bard's the minstrels of the day If we are the nomads who travel to perform because that's like we're troubadours. This is literally what we were born to dio and those of you who know that you were born to do this. You know it in your soul. You know how it feels, You know, that you were born to create, and that's all there is to it. Then these are the tools that you have to utilize in order to make sure that you can compete in today's markets.
Yeah, I think that is a great closing point. But one last thing I want to throw out there that I thought of when you were mentioning not having a car. If you do have a car similarly to how you can rent out your apartment or house on Airbnb, there's an app called Touro Tur Oh, where you can list your car. It's literally Airbnb for cars so somebody can come pick up your car or you can take it to them and they will rent it for X number of days at whatever price you set.
You know, obviously look at what other cars in your area are going for similar cars, but it's a really cool app. And this is something else. You know, if you have a roommate who can hand over the keys and then just check for dense when they bring it back, you know, get the keys back, check the mileage, make sure there's no damage. You can have your roommate do that. We're like, Yeah, I'll give you 10 bucks every time because it takes like, five minutes. You know, super easy I When we moved from L. A. To San Diego a few years ago, I rented a 95 Toyota Tacoma.
It was a 21 year old truck for like, 20 bucks a day. It was great. Now obviously in your car would go for more. So if you're paying 300 bucks a month on your lease or your payment plan or whatever, and you can get 40 bucks a day for renting your car out, rent it for 10 bucks a month. And, yo, there's your car payment $400 minus tax. You're probably looking about $300. That is another great way to earn some money, either. If you're just not using your car often or if you're on the road and somebody can do the handoffs for you, that's the beauty of the gig economy, the freedom that it delivers to you. Now.
Freedom is the enemy of safety, and so it has its pros and cons as well. If you're renting out your car to somebody, what if they get in an accident? Yes, of course. There's insurance policies and things like that set in place to help you, you know, cover your butt essentially, but it's still a giant headache. Even if you're covered it all corners, it's still even if I can jump through a flaming hoop, I still have to jump through the flaming hoop. That's why I say it's really important for each and every one of you to figure out exactly what's going to suit you.
For me. Personally, I'm not a material person, so I am totally happy. Like letting people stay in my house or letting people rent my car during, you know, when we're not in a pandemic. But in my particular situation, I have a car that I'm still paying on. So I would not loan that car out. That's a really good point. I can't. I can't physically do it. So there's things that are gonna bar me from actually being able to do that. And then inversely, I also have another car that is paid off now.
I could rent that one out, but it's also a stick shift. So maybe I wouldn't want Thio. There's different pros and different cons, and then whatever is important to me, I'm gonna weigh that and I'm gonna say, Yeah, I'm gonna do this like, oh, maybe I'm not gonna rent out my car. But I am gonna rent out my apartment space so that maybe the you know, $1000 in rent I have to pay this month. I can rent this out for, you know, three or four days, maybe 23 weekends and boom, I just made 800 bucks.
So now my wrestling, $200. There's lots of awesome ways to really leverage your time. Leverage your money, leverage your bills. You know, if you're staying on apartment, the best thing that you could do is have your apartment make you money that does it for this episode of the podcast. As someone who's done all kinds of work from working in a pizza shop or McDonald's to driving for a lift, there are so many different ways you can earn money. Obviously, when you're a musician, you have to support yourself somehow.
So please take this into consideration. Make sure that you can meet your minimum lifestyle needs for you and your family. If you support a family when you're listening to this, that all aside, we have some exciting news for you. Next week, things will sound and look a little different for the podcast. We can't wait to show you what's going to be going down, and we hope you will like the changes that we're making. So we'll be back next Tuesday at 7 a.m. Looking forward to showing you what the new interational of the podcast is gonna be like.
But don't worry. All the stuff you love is going to stay, and things will only get better from here. Thanks so much for listening. We hope you have an awesome week. Stay well. And of course, as always, keep rocking.
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