Sometimes when I’m home on a weekday, I’ll bump into my neighbors on the street, or at the store.
They’ll often say things like “oh…got the day off today, huh?”
This makes perfect sense. I’m a musician and performer. If I’m not out on the road somewhere, I must have the day off.
If only they knew!
I decided a long time ago that if I was going to do music full time, it was going to take every ounce of organization and energy I could muster.
In short, I’d really need to treat it like a business.
If you’re serious about doing what you love and making a good living at it, you may want to think along those lines too.
Treat Your Career in the Arts Like a Business
What this means for me is that any weekday (Monday-Friday) when I’m not out doing performances, I’m plugging away in my office, building my little arts enterprise pretty much from 8am-5:30pm or so.
If I have a performance in the middle of the day, I’ll work before and after, for a total of 8-10 hours.
How much could there possibly be to do?
Your neighbors might not believe it!
For starters, there’s:
- social media
- grant writing
- content marketing
- new gig research
- artist roster listings
- showcase applications
- PR and media outreach
- dealing with computer issues
- website updates and maintenance
- contact list/database management
- responding to booking inquiries
- coordination with organizations we’re scheduled to work for
- corresponding with colleagues and industry contacts
- staying current on trends affecting our work
- concepts and research for new projects
- getting found in search engines
- giving back to the communities in which we work (the arts, education, history and folklore fields in my case)
IMPORTANT NOTE: we haven’t touched the artistic side of things yet!
How Much Office Time Will You Need?
During some slower seasons, I’ve spent close to a full week at a time, or more, at my desk. (Just one of the reasons why we need to set our rates accordingly.)
And you know what?
There’s always a HUGE list of things still undone at the end of that week.
If you’re pursuing better and more meaningful performances, the work never ends.
And that’s a good thing.
There is always more that we can be doing to build our opportunities and our business.
I have to say that after 20+ years, this approach really works for me.
So, what are you doing today?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below.
About The Blog
Since leaving a white-collar marketing job in 1992, Dave Ruch has been educating and entertaining full-time in schools, historical societies and museums, folk music and concert venues, libraries, and online via distance learning programs.
Along the way, he’s learned a great deal about supporting a family of four as a musician.
The Educate and Entertain blog provides articles, tips, encouragements, and how-to’s for regional performers (in any region) interested in making a great full-time living in the arts.