SIDEGIGS, BJs, and all that JAZZ
This is a conversation I had multiple times over the last couple of weeks, and when I also saw an article by the amazing Walt, I figured it's a good time for a few lines on ze blog as well.
We're talking about money.
If you worry. If you're stressed about making enough money with your next gig, your next release, you next collaboration. If you don't make the investment in the studio, the coach, the photographer, the tools and equipment, because you can't (or believe you can't) afford it -
Then, my friend, it might be time for a side gig. A BJ (as Walt calls it). That stands for bridge job, which describes exactly what it is - a tool to get you from where you are, to where you want to be. It's not something you're going to be doing for the next 20 years. It's also not a sign that you're giving up.
There's no shame in it. You might even like it.
I'm a firm believer in doing 2 different things anyway. Just so you use your brain and hands a little differently, and expand your horizon. Years back I took on a few language students to bridge a financial gap I experienced in the later stages of a high investment music project. This is something I had always done and liked, starting as a young teenager. Taking on a few students gave me a good excuse to not only read Kafka and Dürrenmatt again, it also allowed me to test out new brain friendly learning techniques, and I met wonderful people I wouldn't have met otherwise. As a really sweet bonus this led to some interesting (and well paid) branding jobs and referrals.
I like doing 2 things. I wouldn't have it any other way.
The trick when finding a BJ that suits you is to find something that doesn't cost you too much in terms of time and energy, and that doesn't drain your mental capacities.
Bonus points if it allows you to exercise or practice a skill you would be spending time on anyway.
What should you do?
Figure out what that is for you - what do you enjoy doing that people are willing to pay for? This could be directly related to your art, like singing or music lessons. A different creative outlet, maybe photography. Or something you've learned to market yourself, like setting up homepages and social media profiles. If you don't need as much money, or you live in a country where people tip significantly, DJ or bar tend (which has awesome networking opportunities built in). It could also be something completely different - become the dog runner for your neighborhood, a yoga instructor, the girl who reviews movies for money.
And then make sure to batch it. Avoid doing a little at different times every day, that tends to be a recipe for disaster. Have days and time blocks that are reserved for your music related work. Keep track and find out what works for you. Maybe it's doing double shifts a couple of days and having the rest of the week for your own business that works best for you. Maybe you want to take a few weeks or a month for money work and then dive back into your art work.
If you've worked on your brand with me before, go through your "Who are you" section for hints and ideas. If you need help figuring things out leave a comment, or go here and let me help you.
You can do it!