If I sold tables…
If I sold tables I would likely spend my time huffing saw dust, painstakingly measuring cuts, remarking on how you can never have too many wood clamps, etc…
If I sold tables I would invest in tools of the trade that make it easier and faster to do my job. These tools might include: a miter saw, circular saw, wood clamps, more wood clamps, MORE WOOD CLAMPS, a planer, a jointer, more wood clamps, etc…
If I sold tables my tools would be reliable for decades (assuming I invested in quality products which are available in todays market).
If I sold tables I could build “x” amount of tables in “x” amount of hours and then sell them directly to someone who wants to buy them.
If I sold tables I wouldn’t need a middleman to help me sell my tables. I could set up an online store, market on relevant social media sites, advertise online to targeted audiences, and measure sales.
If I sold tables a win would be clear. A win = someone bought my table.
If I sold tables It would be relatively easy to determine my pricing. Let’s say I am able to make one table a day in my shop and I want to value my time at $500 / day. I then charge $500 for my one table.
If I sold tables I could approach local businesses, flea markets, show rooms, etc… and connect with real people who might be interested in purchasing.
If I sold tables once my product was purchased I would immediately receive recompense.
If I sold tables I could scale by investing in equipment & workers to help me make more tables faster and grow my business.
I sell music.
Because I sell music I pay out of pocket to upload my music to online stores who then whore my music out to gain subscribers and pay me fractions of a penny in return.
Because I sell music I receive payouts two - three months after a sale.
Because I sell music I have to be a lifestyle brand, email marketer, social media expert, website designer, graphic designer, accountant, writer, producer, composer, engineer, promotions expert, influencer, preferably really attractive, and so on…
Because I sell music It’s a little hazy what a win is. A win = a fan? But what does that even mean now. A win = a follower on Spotify? But I don’t own the relationship.
Because I make music it’s very difficult to scale my business. Most of the skilled folks out there willing to do any of the work I actually want to outsource charge more than I make an hour (rightfully so because what they / I do is valuable).
Because I make music there is extreme pressure on me to do everything myself.
Because I make music my mom worries a lot.
Because I make music society scoffs a lot.
Because I make music I feel marginalized, belittled, and made to believe that my art is worthless.
Because I make music I feel I have very little control over the consumption of my art and the terms of consumption.
BECAUSE I make music I am my own boss and I make the rules.
BECAUSE I make music I don't have to set an alarm in the morning and haven’t for three weeks.
BECAUSE I make music all my skills, creativity, passion — the best of myself all comes into play each day I work.
BECAUSE I make music I can work a half day on Monday.
BECAUSE I make music I won't ever have to miss a friends bachelor party, engagement party, wedding, friend vacation, etc… b/c a boss says I have to work.
BECAUSE I make music I get to meet incredibly gifted wonderful people who inspire me.
BECAUSE I make music I have more joy in my life.
BECAUSE I make music I get to have fun at my job.
BECAUSE I make music I likely have a decreased chance of brain disease and will probably still be witty smart ass when I’m 70.
BECAUSE I make music life is fuller.
BECAUSE I make music I am not a cog.
BECAUSE I make music I get to shape culture.
I make music.
Zach Hughes is the founder of Lost Harbor Music. Zach is an independent music producer & recording engineer based out of Nashville, TN.