You’re a business. Act like it!

Sonos Wireless Music Player

We know that it makes some of you very uncomfortable to think about the part of your career that isn’t about music, but you have to do it. Here we are during tax season and if you’re still filling out the EZ forms because you don’t want to think about it and need that $300 bucks, yeah, you need to change your approach. First and foremost, just because you’re not rich and famous yet, doesn’t mean you’re not in business. If you upgraded a guitar, replaced a set of headphones, bought a book on songwriting – you see where I’m going with this – if you spent any money towards your career, you’re trying to be successful and the IRS recognizes that. Those are indeed business related expenses and you should take advantage of that. I remember a friend’s husband told me I was an entrepreneur about ten years ago. That’s the first time I had ever heard that applied to myself. Eight years of film and media school and no one ever mentioned that I along with my classmates were entrepreneurs. It never occurred to me. But once it did, it changed my life. Not just for taxes but also in the way I felt about my pursuit of a career in entertainment. It can be so frustrating when you’re not seeing the success you believe you deserve – it’s embarrassing and there’s a healthy amount of shame for wanting to do something other than sit at a desk and collect checks. I picked film because I wanted to see the world and have my work days be different every day. Plus, I wanted to make the big dollars. Financially, I have had my fair share of jobs. But the day I realized I was an entrepreneur, I have looked at my life and career path differently. I’m no longer ashamed or disappointed. People still say to me they can’t believe I never made a movie – well, I say not yet. Respectfully, I’m still alive and I’d rather have not made any movies at all than ones I am ashamed to put my name on. And now that I know I’m a business person, I’m comforted by the knowledge that I’m building something. I’m the architect of a life that’s bigger than just working a 9-5 and making another company rich. Sure, it’s easy for other people to throw rocks at it but who cares what they think? I mean, I really don’t care and neither should you. You’re brave enough to share your talent with the world. Maybe you’ll be rich, maybe you won’t. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to pay your bills, have your freedom AND know it’s all from something you built? Follow your bliss. And you don’t have to have an MBA – do what gets you excited. Right now, just in my friendship circle I have one friend who’s starting her own craft beer business, one friend who is doing online psychotherapy sessions, one friend who is following a lifelong love of music and starting a DJ career – all of those are examples of people I know who are following their passions and turning them into profits. And that’s how you have to think of yourself, too. If a life in music (or whatever you love)  is everything to you, get after it. And really, give it everything you have. There’s no room for part-time passion. Be smart – I’m not saying walk in and curse your boss out or storm off of the only source of income you and your family have – that wouldn’t be smart. However, I’m saying make a plan and if this is your dream, do the work necessary to attain it.


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