When you work a gig for $20/hr, or perform in a show for $400/wk, you’re directly exchanging your time for money. That can be all well and good, but what if that $20/hr gig was only one of multiple pieces of income you were earning that day? What if you had multiple businesses bringing in money while working on other projects, and had investments that were also generating revenue?
Chances are, if you’re able to do this, you’ll be able to worry much less about your day to day financial future- and will ultimately be able to continue an artistic career for much longer than previously imagined. I just don’t think it’s sustainable to worry about “making this month’s rent” for more than a couple years. It’s at that point that many people become fed up with just scraping by, and trade in their barely making it artistic lifestyles for low level 9-5PM jobs…which might be more stable, but are certainly not a path to a comfortable life…not to mention the fact that it involves giving up a large portion of one’s time to pursue one’s artistic dream.
I like to think of it this way- if, as artists, we get to “do what we love” day in and day out, why shouldn’t we have “hobbies” that are actually entrepreneurial by nature? This blog, for instance, is my new hobby. For the time being, it’s a project of love…but I certainly hope to monetize it soon.
I think you can really monetize any side gig into a passive income stream. I have actor friends who have created birthday party businesses, vintage cocktail mixing companies, and traveling cabaret shows, to name a few. All of these businesses have one theme in common- they create income for their owners while their owners have the ability to work on whatever else they’re passionate about. They give their owners the freedom to do whatever they want. For a lot of non-artists, this means they can pursue hobbies…but for artists, it can give you the unlimited freedom to pursue and build your craft.