Taking Risks: Spending Money, Spending Time

Aaron Strumpel

Aaron Strumpel

“Many desire greatness who cannot figure out what to do
on a rainy Sunday afternoon” 
Bits & Pieces Magazine

 “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those
who are doing it”

And so these two quotes set the stage for a short blog on taking risks.  Lately my thoughts have been geared toward the average American’s pursuit of the American Dream – highschool, college, a 9-5 job, make money, buy a car, buy a house, get married, have kids, repeat the whole process.  There’s nothing wrong with the American dream…especially if that’s what you want.  The goal is to not do something just b/c everybody else is doing it.

So often in this blog I talk about looking at what you are currently doing and taking it to the next step.  You can’t expect to go where you’ve never been if you’re doing the same things you’ve always done.  Taking Risk is the only way to reach new heights and people do it all the time…b/c they have to.  Examples: starting a new business, bringing a girl home to mom and dad (even if you know you’re rents wont like her:), investing in a fund (probably not too smart at this particular time in history 🙂

exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance

here are what I think are the two biggest risks for an artist…

Spending Money
Calvin College, in Grand Rapids Michigan, holds its annual Festival of Faith & Music  (FFM) every April.  This year, they began a “bandspotting” contest giving indie artist a chance to submit their music to share a bill with a major national act as well as be  on the FFM Compilation.  Submission cost only $50.  Aaron Strumpel of Boulder, Colorado (pictured above) won and will be sharing the stage with Over the Rhine and Lupe Fiasco. Talk about a sweet return! 

Spending money is usually the biggest risk that artists dont want to take…and for good reason!  If you don’t have it, how can you spend it?  But if you can find of a handful of things that are worth investing in save up that money.  If you think about the fact that Aaron will get to play for thousands of students next weekend, get his music on FFM’s compilation CD, and share the stage with major musicians with connections, Aaron is getting a 2000% return on his $50.   Not to mention that he’ll make additional money off CD sales, mp3 sales through iTunes, and getting plenty of hits on his myspace.

Spending Time
When you’re working 40 hours a week elsewhere, its hard to committ time to your music.  I’m not suggesting you quit you job…especially if you don’t realistically think you can do that.  But what about going part time and devoting more time to your music.  Spend a few more hours each week looking for gigs, learning about new resources for musicians, and actively promoting your music.

Giving your time to music (promoting, not just playing) is a huge sacrifice that most people don’t consider a sacrifice.  But think about: we as Americans would more readily give our money to an orphan than hop a plane over to a third world country to literally help that child. That’s why they say time is more precious than money.

Here’s a great blog on risk by ArtistEmpowerment.com.


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