Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.
MAN VS. ROW… LIVE!
I’m excited to be speaking on song idea discovery and development at the 2014 Songwriting And Music Business Conference in Nashville, TN! Click the image below to find out more. I’d love to see you there!
“The Jump” is the financial leap from a full-time day job to pursing songwriting on a full-time or serious part-time basis. It may be when you quit your job to sign a publishing deal, or it may be when you quit your full-time job to write, whether paid or not. You have to put yourself in a position to survive long-term. The odds are against you landing a big publishing deal or a life-changing cut in just a few months. Basically, if you’re gonna jump out of the boat, take a life-raft. You don’t know how long it’ll be before you wash up on the shore of the promised land, if ever.
Here are five ways to prepare to make “the jump.”
1. Get out of debt.
2. Save money, save money, save money.
Like I said, you’re probably not going to land a publishing deal or big cut right out of the box. Be prepared to pay the rent for a while.
3. Build a side gig.
What can you do on a flexible part-time basis to generate income? I spent over a year as a Starbucks barista – those 20 hours per week (from 5am to 10am) got health insurance for my family (saving $600 per month). I also got a TON of free coffee, which rocked. I miss that part- but not the getting up at 4am part. Maybe you wait tables or get some other part-time job. Or maybe you build your own side business, like selling on ebay, teaching guitar lessons, or whatever else you can do. The point is not to totally rely on music for your income, at least starting out.
4. Build spousal support.
Does your spouse work? Few songwriters can support their families with only their songwriting income. I know some writers who are fortunate enough to have a spouse that works (and wants to). I’m fortunate enough to have a wife who stays home with our kids and also keeps a few haircut-and-color clients on the books each month (or at least did before we had the second baby- we’ll see what the future holds). And even more than any financial support from your spouse, you’ll need his or her emotional support. That’s huge. You have a big, long roller coaster ahead of you. If you don’t have support at home, it’s going to be doubly difficult.
5. Lower your overhead.
Along with dumping debt, how else can you lower your monthly expenses? Maybe you don’t need all 7,000 channels. Maybe you can eat at home a few more times each month. Getting on a budget and naming each dollar at the beginning of the month will be a big help. You’ll need to be disciplined with your finances.
Good luck. Build it to last.
Anything you’d like to add or ask? Leave a comment! Are there any topics you’d like to see addressed in a future MvR post? Thanks!
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Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter
Brent Baxter Music: http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com
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