You have probably noticed that the word “entrepreneur” is seen in print and heard in conversations more and more these days. I just did a search for it and found nearly 236 million entries. (It’s interesting to me that I did this same search in the first edition of this book in 2011 and found only 39 million entries. Either Google is now a much more thorough search engine or something is going on in entrepreneurship land!) And as I did in 2011, I quickly scanned the first three or four pages, and observed that each entry talked mostly about starting a business. So what does the subject of entrepreneurship, being entrepreneurial or being an entrepreneur, have to do with us? We’re musicians. We’re artists. We play music because we love it. That’s true, but we also like to eat and to sleep in a bed at night.
The truth is that musicians, in general, are very entrepreneurial. We have to be, because very few of us can rely on just one type of activity to put enough bread on the table. We may play in an orchestra, but we also might teach at home or at a local school or university. We may repair, refurbish or even make instruments. Some of us play freelance gigs, or compose, arrange and publish music. And others may have “day gigs” (read: side businesses) outside of music as tax preparers or realtors—you name it. As musicians we usually put together several income streams to create our careers. The good news is that by doing this we craft a career around our strengths and interests—something that is unique to us. And by doing that we will never become bored or burned out.