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’ll 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, nor the part where we need to keep our instruments and other tools of the trade in good working order!
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 25 years as a full-time musician, this approach still 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.