13 Hard-Hitting Music Career Truths About Getting Into The Music Business

by Tom Hess

If you are serious about getting into the music business, here are 13 hard-hitting truths you better know:

1. You don’t have to be “famous” (or sell millions of records) to make a full-time living in the music business.

What you need instead is:

2. Multiple streams of income. This is the secret to making a lucrative, stable & secure music career even if you aren’t a household name. 

3. Being rich and being famous (as a professional musician) often don’t go together. (I know of many musicians who sold over a million records and toured the world, but still have day jobs.).

4. The music industry is one of the oldest, most stable industries in the world. Professional musicians have existed through every economic downturn, pandemic and world war in history.

5. The above doesn't mean you can be passive and expect success. Nor does it mean you shouldn’t prepare for periodic recessions that affect all industries. (One way to prepare is to save money during the good times in preparation for worse times.)

6. Just because a record company executive or promoter knows who you are (or thinks you are really talented) doesn't mean they’ll lift a finger to help your career. Connections mean nothing if they are not nurtured into meaningful music industry relationships.

7. A music business degree can teach you everything about the music biz... except for how to build a career in it.

8. The best (and fastest) way to turn your J.O.B income into music career income is to start teaching your instrument. (You can teach music temporarily in the early stages of your music career and phase it out when you don’t want to do it anymore.)

9. The second-best way is to switch to a job that lets you dial down your work hours while you ramp up your music career.

10. If you think “money is the root of all evil”, you’ll have a heck of a time convincing a record company to pour money into your music career.

Make money in music

11. The best way to promote your music is to have an email list of prospective fans you can easily contact anytime you want.

12. A record deal isn’t going to build your career for you. All it does is put wind in the sails (i.e. money) behind everything you are already doing in your career to grow it faster.

13. If you are still within your working years – you aren’t too old to start a music career.

Want even more help with making it in the music industry? Check out this article on getting into the music business.

Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains musicians how to leave their day jobs and build successful full-time careers in the music industry.

Learn how to make a living in the music business.

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