033 – Producing Income is a Life-or-Death Matter

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Podcast

If you treat your business like a hobby, you will make a hobby level income. If you don’t value your clients, then whatever income you have will dry up, especially if you don’t have a day job.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares his experience as a longtime freelancer, community builder, and entrepreneur.



00:17 – A critical mindset shift for artist entrepreneurs
01:28 – Having a safe, secure reliable income doesn’t allow you to make the switch
02:50 – The struggle of transitioning from employee to entrepreneur mindset
03:09 – Stop playing games


There will be multiple mindset shifts you go through as an entrepreneurial musician. But I think one of the most important ones you will go through is embracing your business, your customers, your clients, anything that produces an income for you as a life-or-death matter.

Think of it this way. Most people have a day job that they rely on for their income. But what if that dried up tomorrow? What if you did not have an income from your job? How would that change the way you look at the customers and clients that you have right now?

This is a very real scenario. It happens to a lot of people. I get that many people would then take that opportunity to look for a new job, right?

If you were to embrace becoming more of an artist entrepreneur, the thing that you would look at is, “Okay, now that I don’t have a job, I need to embrace my customers and clients that I have as a life or death matter, and serve them in a manner that lets them know how much I care about them” because you can’t afford to lose those customers or clients anymore.

This tends not to happen when you have a safe, reliable monthly income. Even if it’s not amounting to much. Even if it’s only $30,000 – $40,000 a year. If you have that and you know it’s coming in, the temptation is you never make this mindset switch.

And I’ve seen it with people who, unfortunately… They told me they were entrepreneurs, they said they were entrepreneurs, but their mindsets said otherwise. They were employees. They were in an employee mindset.

When I shared with them that clients, to me, were a life-or-death matter, they laughed. They didn’t understand how that worked.

They’d always been in sales jobs and stuff like that, so they got the hustle. They got that they had to call people. They got that they had to build a relationship, and that there was a certain amount of responsibility that went with their job. But if they hit their figures or above, it’s not like they cared about it.

Where someone in my position, losing a client could be a big deal. I’m diversified enough to be able to make things work, but in a situation where I’ve got five clients and they’re each bringing me $500 to $1,000 a month, that’s my living. Losing one client would mean making a sacrifice.

This is where a lot of people struggle, making that switch from employee to entrepreneur mindset. Even in their artistic careers, they never get to the point of treating their customers and their clients and their business and their income as a a life-or-death matter because they always have something they think they can fall back on.

If you want to know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, to bring that mindset to your artistic career, stop playing games. Give up the day job and see what it’s like. Even if it’s just for a few weeks or a couple months, try it out for yourself. See what it’s like, because now your life depends on those clients. And now you’ve got to build a better relationship with them. And now you’ve got to show up in such a way that lets them know that you care about their business.

Stop playing games. Click To Tweet