When No One Can Fire You

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Last year I ended up losing one of my biggest clients I’d ever had. It was nothing personal, they were just moving away. It was a huge blow financially, and at the moment I wondered how I was going to make it with this large chunk of my salary vanishing at the end of the month.

Less than 2 months later, I hardly noticed the difference in my income every month. The reason was simple: you can never be fired or lose your whole salary when you have multiple streams of income. Here’s a short list of the top things that paid my bills over the last year: 

 

Performing 

Teaching

Composing

Recording

Music directing

Arranging

Live sound reinforcement

Music producing

Mastering 

Mixing

Custom patch creation

Worship directing

 

With this many different areas bringing in tiny bits of income, it makes it very hard for any one person to ultimately decide your fate financially. Most of my friends have a single boss who at any point could decide that they’re not necessary, and fire them. Some people thrive in this situation. I decided a long time ago that it wasn’t what I wanted for my career.

What has this lifestyle allowed for me? A lot of flexibility, and the ability to pursue my dreams without worrying about pleasing someone over me. 

The biggest downside to this? You’re the boss. You don’t have any excuses if things aren’t the way they should be. No more evil overlords to ruin your perfect plans. You can’t point the finger at an incompetent staff any more. You hired them, and if they’re not living up to expectations, it’s your fault.

Is it worth it? It’s up to you. If your goal is to become a full time professional musician, I don’t think you really have a choice.