Why Musicians Need Residual Income

work from homeAs many of my friends know, in addition to running my own home based businesses, I am a freelance bassist in the Houston area. I absolutely love playing music and can’t imagine my life without being able to get out there and play bass. (Insert cheesy “slappa-da-bass” line here!)

I’ve had some amazing opportunities with some incredible artists and I’m always looking for ways to expand and improve. Of course, so are countless other musicians around the world.

As I get to meet and connect with various musicians in the studio, at the clubs, in theaters, etc… there seems to be a fairly common thread to most of our conversations. Typically, most of us will ask each other, “Do you have a day gig?” or “Are you gigging full time?” or something along those lines. We all want to know how the other one is doing and we all want to know if our fellow musicians are able to provide for their lifestyle, families, etc … doing this thing we all love so very much.

Being a musician is an amazing experience. If it’s in your blood, then you know there is no escaping that internal drive to learn a little more, become more proficient, and … of course … support yourself financially. It’s also a very challenging business model. It’s pretty much feast or famine for the local musician.

As I write this article, we are deep in to the Christmas season. Many of my musician friends know this is the “hot season”. We are gigging more in the months of November and December than other other time of year thanks to Corporate Christmas parties and events. Many of us know that when January comes around, it will feel like live music has been vacuumed off the planet. One drummer I worked with recently said,  “Man, when January gets here, I’m taking a nap for the entire month!”. Napping for a month sounds really nice! But if your income is attached to your gigging schedule, that’s going to be tough.

Which brings me to one of the biggest challenges local musicians face: Cash Flow. When the gigs are rolling in and the calendar is stacked, life is good. But as we all know, there are seasons where the calendar is empty and we are wondering if our phone is ever going to ring again.

This is why I encourage all musicians to create an additional revenue stream with some sort of home based business. This article is going to open you up to the possibility of creating residual income through a home based business without having to give up on your musical ambitions.

The challenges of the regular “day job” include things like not making enough money and being locked in to someone else’s schedule. You may not be able to book gigs because your boss has you sticking around for a few extra hours. But if you have your own home based business, you can have the flexibility to set your own hours.

I have been fortunate enough to work from home since the year 2000. I left a great corporate job to be able to spend more time with my family. Today, being able to set my own hours means I can make time for rehearsals, gigs, studio sessions, etc.. That, by itself is a big advantage to having a home based business.

One common misconception when people learn that I work from home is that they think I don’t actually work. We joke about me being “successfully unemployed” but I think many folks truly think I’m not working because I’m not getting out of bed at 7am. Most of the time, I’m barely getting in to bed by 3am and I like to sleep so a regular day for me might include starting a gym session at 11am.  That schedule works for me.

That flexibility is a beautiful thing. It may mean I have to stop working to get to a gig and then start working when I get home from a gig. The flexibility afforded me by running a home based business allows me to do that.

Just recently, a fellow bassist called me to fill in for him on a 3-day run. I needed to leave within 20 minutes to make it to rehearsal. Thankfully, my home based business schedule allowed me to move a few things around and I was able to do the gig. If I had a regular job, it is highly unlikely I would have been able to talk a boss in to letting me leave early for a last minute gig call. When rehearsal was over, I came home, had dinner with my girlfriend and went back to work. I had a bit of a late night but the freedom to do it like that is a major benefit to me. The gig paid pretty well and the check arrived today.

Another big benefit and maybe the BEST reason to start a home based business is:

Residual Income.

Residual income is a thing of beauty. Why? Because once you’ve built it, the money keeps coming in. My home based businesses are literally creating residual income for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Let that sink in.

When I’m on a gig, residual income continues to come in.

When I’m sleeping, residual income continues to come in.

When I’m in the studio, on a show, in a theater, sitting in a restaurant, on a date … residual income continues to come in. If I don’t have a gig this weekend, I still have income coming in! I’m not saying that to impress anyone. I simply want to impress upon you the importance of creating residual income for yourself.

Most of the time, when I am talking to other musicians, I hear the traditional complaints about needing (and still hating) the “day job” so they can pay the bills while they are looking for gigs. I understand and respect the desire to make the money. I’m simply asking that you consider a home based business you can run on the side, part-time, and create residual income for yourself so that you are not so worried about money.

Imagine being able to take gigs because you WANT them rather than “need” them to keep the lights on.

On a sad note, we all know that age creeps up on us. We all know that things happen. As I get older, I realize that many of my musician friends are also getting older. They can’t keep running that crazy schedule. Or they get in to some sort of accident that prevents them from playing as much as they once did or,  in some cases, prevents them from ever playing again.

Building a residual income with a home based business allows you to prepare financially for such events.

I want to encourage you to ask any questions you have, check out the ads on this blog, and be open to  the possibility of creating an additional income stream for yourself. If you’re in the Houston area and would like to talk, let me know. I’d be happy to sit down with you, show you what I do, and answer any questions you have about this crazy home based business world.

In the meantime, may the gigs continue flowing your way and may you be continually blessed as you do this music thing we all love so dearly.

Yours In Success,


Brian Rooney