If you have read my book, Lessons From a Street-Wise Professor, think back to Chapter 10: “Six Non-Linear Career Journeys.” These are stories of very successful entrepreneurial musicians. I chose to include them because they represent five different areas of the music business, but I had a secondary reason as well. They all have reached their goals in different ways. There really is no one single road to success in music. If you gain experience, be observant, have good role models and develop an entrepreneurial mindset, your time will come.
Once a friend of a friend asked me what her daughter could do to prepare for a career in music. Her daughter was then a high school student and was considering a college major in music. Half-jokingly I gave her a flip answer. I said, “Tell her she should 1) get a paper route, because then she will know how many papers she has to deliver just to purchase one CD; and 2) get a ukulele, because she will learn how to harmonize tunes with just three chords.” In other words, know the value of a dollar and work on your ears. But, something was lost in my profundity: I forgot that kids haven’t had paper routes in 30 years. Got to change that one.