Friday, July 10, 2009

A Few Lessons Learned

Well, I've been preaching here weekly for a year at this point, and by now, I think you probably have a pretty good idea about my basic philosophy on financial matters. This blog was intended to be just a simple primer on personal finance for musicians, and going into much greater depth would defeat that purpose. Besides, I think I'm beginning to repeat myself. Besides, I think I'm beginning to repeat myself. From here on out, I'll be posting only when inspiration strikes or I stumble upon some exciting new financial insight. But for now, let me leave you with a few thoughts to chew on.

1. Stability = Prosperity
Also known as "a bird in hand is better than two in the bush". Most of my musician friends who suffer from financial trouble also have unstable gig situations. As I've mentioned before, it's tempting to drop your steady local gigs whenever a short-term, high dollar gig comes along, but that quick windfall might be followed by an extended period of NO income. You can do well by sticking with the steady work you already have and building upon that.

2. Don't Excuse Yourself
I constantly have to remind myself that I am fully, solely responsible for my own career. I know that I can't be all things to all people. I can't be a master of all trades and skills. But I can and should try. If the project you're working on requires computer skills, teach yourself those programs. If you're going to be living and working in a foreign country for a while, really try to learn the language. If you accept a gig, practice the material thoroughly, regardless of what the gig pays. Never excuse yourself from understanding what's going on. And never excuse yourself from doing your fair share of the work, even if you know that someone else would take up the slack for you.

3. It's Always Better to Know than to Not Know
Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is just ignorance, and it always has negative consequences. This is obviously related to the previous point. We all have limits to the information that we can absorb, and there are some facts that simply can't be known or are hard to face up to, but I can't think of a single circumstance in which I'd be better off not knowing the truth than knowing it. Always seek to be thoroughly informed, and you will make better decisions.


ln said...

Thank you for this blog! I was so excited when I first found it, and it's really nice to have a personal finance resource directed at musicians. Thank you for the work you've done, and know that I'll be referring back to these posts for my own benefit in the future. (I'm a blogger and I know it can feel like you're shouting into the abyss, so just wanted to let you know ... you aren't!)

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