In our economy they’re two types of people. You are either an:
- Employee or Employer
- Buyer or Seller
- Worker or Boss
- Consumer or Producer
- Copier or Creator
- Member or Leader
- Musician or Music Director
- Performer or Composer
- Customer or Investor
- Spender or Saver
At the end of the day our happiness can be fulfilled whether we’re in slot 1 or slot 2. Not everyone is an investor, music director, producer, leader, creator, composer. Some folks are just fine being a musician, performer, customer, copier, spender, employee. And if that’s what makes your life fulfilling than that’s okay.
Many musicians don’t feel like they don’t get ahead in today’s industry, but the reason is the way we think on how to invest our time and money.
Flustered Joe Rock Parable
Joe Rock was about to turn 30 years of age and was still living with his parents. His resume was pretty impressive having graduating Berklee School of Music, landing several tours with major artists traveling the world, recorded several albums as a hired gun, several music videos, dozens of television appearances. He’s still getting calls for gigs when he’s not on tour but it’s tougher being a freelancer because not every music artist is willing to pay his rate.
One summer afternoon while shuffling through unpaid bills and huge student loan debts, Joe Rock’s stress levels began to increase.
“How am I gonna pay off these bills?”, he flustered.“I’ve had a successful career so far. I traveled the world, been on television, recorded albums and I’m still trying to get by!”
Joe Rock had enough of the rat race. Is he gonna be able to pay for an engagement ring for his girlfriend let alone provide for her and maybe his future family?
What about retirement?
“Do they have 401k type plans for self employed musicians? Because I do wanna retire one day. I never thought about these things when I got out of college because they never taught me anything about retirement or even how to manage my money. I figured I’ll just land a high paying gig with a major artist and tour but that doesn’t even last forever.” He thought to himself. Joe Rock fell into the emotional exciting bliss of the music industry instead of the reality of it.
Joe one day jumped online and googled, “how to be wealthy” to hopefully find some answers but got blistered with ads. But there was this one ad that caught his attention, it was announcing an investment workshop for free. Of course Joe’s skeptical attenna dismissed the ad but did get him curious about investing. Joe had no real idea what investing was, of course he’d heard of the word, it just didn’t really interest him until now.
Joe Rock started researching investing and stumbled into some books, one was Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. He learned several important words that he never really heard of until now. Here they are:
- Assets: Simply put, assets put money back into your pocket. (real estate, businesses, song royalties.)
- Liabilities: Takes money out of your pocket. (TV’s, tablets, cell phones, consumer debt, women. Lol.)
- Passive Income: When you work very minimal to none to receive income. (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, The Waltons, Paul Mc Cartney.)
- Earned Income: Where you physically have to work 100% of the time to earn a paycheck. (Most people fall into this category.)
Joe learned that successful investors invest in assets that produce passive income. This was mind boggling for Joe because he thought wealth was all inherited or luck was involved. He finally realized that the opposite was true, and soon discovered that the wealthy think differently than the how the average person thinks.
“The wealthy think smarter not harder.”
Then Joe thought there must be famous musicians that think this way. Googling “wealthiest musicians” he found several lists of the richest musicians on the planet and realized the top musicians were on every list he found.
“Did these guys create their wealth purely on song royalties?” He thought to himself.
After studying more about these artists the research shows every music artist on the rich list invest in many assets other than song and album royalties. Though song royalties is great passive income it’s not the only form. The richest musicians on the planet learned from the richest people on the planet. Go figure.
Joe compiled a list and learned from the 10 wealthiest musicians on the freaking planet at this moment in time 2015 among others and learned quite a few gems.
- Madonna Net Worth $650 million: Assets include: Merchandise Sales, TV rights and DVD sales, Material Girl Clothing Line, Truth or Dare Perfume, Smirnoff Vodka, Vita Coco Water.
- Paul McCartney Net Worth $800 million: Assets include: Music Publishing, Apple Corps, MPL Communications, Beatles Catalog.
- Sean Combs Net Worth $550 million: Assets include: Badboy Records, Sean Jean Clothing, Restaurants, Ciroc Vodka, Revolt TV, Enyce Clothing line.
- Jay Z Net Worth $500 million: Assets include: Rocawear Clothing, Damon Dash Clothing, Carol’s Daughter Beauty Products, Brooklyn Nets NBA Team, J Hotels, Armand de Brignac champagne, Block Starz Music, Gain Global Investments Network LLC, Roc Nation Sports.
- Dr Dre Net Worth $620 million: Assets include: Beats Audio, Aftermath Record Label, Hp Laptop Line.
- Celine Dion Net Worth $400 million: Assets include: Nickel Restaurants, Album Sales, Les Productions Feeling Inc., Le Mirage Golf Club, Schwartz’s Restaurant, Pure Night Club, Celine Dion Parfums.
- Bono (U2) Net Worth $600 million: Assets include: Album and song royalties, Clarence Hotel, Elevation Partners private-equity firm, Forbes Media LLC, Facebook stock.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber Net Worth $1.2 billion: Assets include: Really Useful Group, Song and Album Royalties, Musical Theatre.
- Beyoncé Net Worth $350 million: Assets include: Album Sales, Dereon Clothing, Real Estate, Endorsements.
- Kenny G Net Worth $50 million: Assets include: Album Sales, Starbucks Investment, Stock Investments.
Wow! What a list.
Why Kenny G? Well, because he’s one of my favorite instrumentalists and his bass player is slammin’ and I recently found out that Kenny G is a stock trader and I myself in the last year have been study stock trading. So I guess we’re two peas in a pod… Kinda.
Back to the story.
When Joe first started playing music as a young kid he never dreamed that he would have to learn how to invest, save, and manage money. All Joe wanted to do was perform and compose and that’s fine and dandy but when we try to mix earning a living and our passion together then we have to master both sides of the coin. Most musicians are lazy asses and don’t want nothing to do with managing or investing money they just want to perform and receive a paycheck. That’s the way poor people think.
For almost 10 years in the music business Joe finally realized that he was money’s bitch and it controlled and slapped him and his guitar for too long.
“Never more! I will take hold of my life, family and finances and it will never control me for as long as I live! Grrrr!!!” Joe shouted.
That’s it Joe Rock, you go boy!
Before we leave here Joe has compiled a small list of books to get you fellow musicians starting in your journey. If you don’t like reading than it must suck to be you. I didn’t enjoy reading myself but when you have a thirst for knowledge it doesn’t matter what you like or dislike you’ll do it either way. There are audio books available.
- Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco
- E Myth by Michael Gerber
- Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley
Joe read these titles and his mindset completely changed from thinking like the 99% to thinking like the 1%. Thinking like the 1% of successful musicians will keep you moving forward while thinking like the 99% will keep you complacent and ignorant.
Vision for the future
Choosing music as a profession in the future will be respected and upholded like any respectable profession because musicians get no respect these days. Only a small percentage of musicians these days get steady work. Everyone sees it as a hobby rather than a profession and I believe if we start thinking and acting like professionals then soon it will be considered as one.
Please leave a comment below and please voice your opinion.