Several weeks back, the New York Times published an article by a business coach based in Mesa, AZ, titled “Is This the Time to Chase a Career Dream?” and ever since reading it, the words of the article has been nagging at my sub-conscious, and not just because of its obvious applications to our readers.

 

(A little demographic background: While many of our readers here are independent musicians who have been working in some way as independent musicians for some time, based on comments, emails and twitter DMs, approximately 25% of the readers here are people who have just decided to pursue their musical dreams sometime in the last few months.)
As you can probably determine from the title, it is one of the seemingly-endless economic crisis articles that basically says that the lemonade to be made from this (large) financial lemon comes in the form of being able to pursue dreams that one could not previously pursue while holding down a full-time job. Like many of you, my eyes tend to glaze over whenever another one of these articles appear, but this particular piece has stayed with me. Why?

 

There are two main parts of this article that I appreciated.  First, its honesty.  It does not simply say, “Go live your dreams and the rest will follow.”  It is very realistic in it’s description of the challenges that come from switching careers in order to follow one’s dreams. 

Second, it has stayed with me because it tries to determine why some people find success doing what they love and why some do not.  In just a few paragraphs, it is far from an exhaustive analysis of this point, but it does seem written with this goal.

And what is that determining factor that makes some dreams become careers? The answer is actually quite simple–from the article:

What separates crazy dreams from viable business ideas? I don’t think that it has anything to do with the idea, or the profession, or the market itself. It has to do with the person.

In indie musician terms, if you are willing to do what it takes to make music your career, than the key factor that will determine if you succeed is not your band, your songs or how many MySpace friends you have.  The key to your success is you.

Many people may say that there is no money to be made in music; many of your friends and family may believe that you should go back to your 9-to-5 and give up your rock’n'roll dreams; inside, you may even be asking yourself if music is worth the struggle and frustration and sacrifice.  Should you listen to these voices?

I can’t answer for you, but I can say that if you decide that music is your dream career, you can count on MusicIsMyDayJob to help you make it happen on your terms.

Again, from the NY Times article:

In this time of economic chaos, people…may realize that if they are going to live with uncertainty, and work like crazy to secure their livelihood, that they might as well pursue something they care about deeply.

We agree.  How about you?
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Image courtesy of takacsi75 via Flickr

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