How to deal with sickness and pandemics as an independent musician

March 13, 2020

As independent creators, we have to think differently. All the time.

While employed people can just call in sick for the day (at least in Europe), this isn’t true for independent artists. We have to take care of ourselves. We have to run a business.

The bigger your business (and team), the less you have to think about everything when it hits you.

But when it hits you – no matter the size of your business – sit down and make a list of all the things that must be finished within the next days. Then focus on only these things only. And ignore the rest.

I’m a huge fan of viewing things from the big picture perspective. If you follow me along for quite some time, you know that already:)

You might be sick for some days and then get better. And in a few months, you get sick again. And the circle repeats. So to reduce the stress, there’s a simple long-term solution:

Diversified income streams. Having more than a few active income streams, you will be less stressed than most creatives out there.

So instead of whining about all the bad, plan ahead and focus on what you can do right now to make your business and thus personal life a little bit better, starting today.

For starters, write a list of all the income streams you currently have. Income from streaming, memberships, tip jars, sync licensing, shows (tickets), merch (shows and digital), music lessons, other contracts, and whatever else you might have.

Next, validate which income stream you could add next with the least effort. Focus only on building one income stream at a time. Also, think about active and (semi-)passive income streams. 

For example, playing a live show is active – you get paid for the time you show up (and plan the whole thing). Having a library of songs on Spotify will bring in some passive income – you get paid for work you did in the past.

Of course, it’s a great idea to build more and more (semi-)passive income streams, but they take some time. So if you’re short of the ready, better focus on active income.

And in times of the C-virus, you can still give shows to your fans. But instead of showing up at a certain location, do them online. Maybe limited by a ticket presale on Zoom or Skype. Or as a live stream on Youtube or Twitch. You can sell tickets, merch, bundles, collect email addresses and donations, and much more. All while doing your fans a favor:)

This current pandemic is just one reason why you should diversify your income streams. But it’s a damn good one.

I read and reply to every message.

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