How to Succeed as a Part-Time Musician

by | Apr 7, 2021 | Uncategorized

Are you a part-time musician?

Then you’ve probably asked yourself:

“What should I be focused on?”


“Is it even possible to achieve success if I can’t dedicate all my time and effort to my music?”

You might even be thinking to yourself, “should I even bother trying if I can’t do it full-time?”

At the outset, I want to ensure you that, even as a part-time musician, you can achieve success on your own terms.

Here’s what you need to know:

Follow One Course Until Success

The one thing musicians (and creatives) often fail to do, in general, is take the time necessary to identify what they’d like to achieve, and how they’re going to get there.

If you’re part-time, it means you can’t dedicate all day every day to your music. You’ve only got so much time to work on your passion.

So, you need to be clear on how you’re going to spend that time and make the most of it.

And yes, you will need to choose. If you don’t, you’ll be like every other artist that’s running around like a headless chicken.

Without knowing you or what your skills are, I can’t point you in a specific direction (but you can always take advantage of my First-Time Coaching Special, which is the heavily discounted version of my coaching program for newcomers).

But with live music in semi-permanent suspension, these are some of the more promising opportunities available:

But why, exactly, are these promising?

Because, for the most part, they don’t require you to build a fan base. You just need to identify opportunities or build a steady flow of clients. Not necessarily easy, but not as hard as building a fan base.

If you want to succeed as a part-time musician, you’ve got to FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Success. You need to be sold out to the cause!

And you will need to adjust and even pivot occasionally. But trying to do too much is the enemy of greatness for every part-time musician.

Trying to do too much is the enemy of greatness for part-time musicians. Share on X

Fail Early, Fail Often

If you want to be successful on your own terms (whatever that means to you), you can’t be afraid to fail.

You shouldn’t expect to know everything going in. That would be like going to high school and asking to take the final exams on the first day. The three years leading up to that point are what prepare you for those exams!

Don’t see yourself as superhuman. You’re going to be disappointed more often than you know and holding yourself to standards you can’t live up to is sure to add insult to injury.

Instead, humble yourself, get out there, and be willing to make mistakes. Stop trying to learn it all before getting out there and doing something.

Stop trying to learn it all before getting out there and doing something. Share on X

The reality is that you can never gain enough knowledge. And the moment you stop thinking that way is the moment you become unteachable.

So, do your best. Don’t worry about doing things the “wrong way.” Rights and wrongs are moving targets based on the situation and the people you’re talking to!

I’ve been a creative consultant and a coach for 10 years. I help creatives and musicians achieve clarity and find their focus. And even I have made mistakes too numerous to name!

Failure is just a feedback mechanism. It tells you what works and what doesn’t. Use that information to improve yourself and your processes.

Failure is just a feedback mechanism. It tells you what works and what doesn’t. Share on X

Document Your Journey & Share Publicly

Documenting your journey can end up helping you and others. It can even help you create opportunities and build an audience for your art.

This is not “do as I say, not as I do.”

Since July 28, 2020, I have been publishing daily about my journey.

In that time:

No, I have not experienced explosive growth in any one area. But I’m proving, as I’ve done so many times before, that publishing works.

Documenting your journey and sharing publicly allows you to:

  • Grow your fan base
  • Grow your email list
  • Grow your social media following
  • Attract clients
  • Make sales
  • And more

But we need to keep this simple. You need to dedicate 80 if not 95% of your time to working on your music, not to admin, social media, or building your website. Really.

So, make this as easy on yourself as possible. Here are some ideas that may work for you:

  • Write and publish a quick blog post at the end of the day
  • While in the studio, record a quick audio talking about what you’re working on and post it to YouTube
  • Make a vlog with your smartphone and post it to YouTube

That’s it! I’m not asking you to become a content marketing god. Trust me when I say I know how hard that is (I can’t believe I’m putting myself through the pain of building traffic to new web properties this year).

I just want to see you connect with your fans. And publishing is part of the program, no matter what method you adhere to (trust me – I’ve looked at most of the courses for musicians out there, and they all talk about publishing). It’s unavoidable.

Build Your Network Intentionally & Strategically

If there’s one last high-level thing I can leave you with, it’s this – build your network.

Pick a platform, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or otherwise, and start connecting with people.

You don’t need to learn sales tactics. You don’t need to know anything to start connecting with people in an authentic, genuine way.

In-person events are basically on semi-permanent suspension anyway, so you almost don’t even need to shower!

Show up. Be real. Add value. And don’t try to sell people. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

I’ve gotten plenty of work for just showing up (like I said, I publish daily). It keeps me top of mind with people.

Yes, I’m also intentional about connecting with people, especially on social media.

If you don’t know where to get started with that, take my coach’s course on Conversational Conversions (it’s just $9 and only an hour long, how can you go wrong?).

But trust me when I say the best opportunities will come through people. And if you aren’t ready, the opportunity will pass you by.

I can’t tell you how many advances from young ladies I missed simply because I wasn’t ready and didn’t know how to respond!

People say they want success dropped in their lap when they have no clue how to handle it.

People say they want success dropped in their lap when they have no clue how to handle it. Share on X

So, build yourself. Build your mindset. Prepare for success.

And I don’t know of a better way to prepare for success than to build your network strategically and intentionally.

Keep it simple. No NLP training required!

Final Thoughts

In summary, to succeed as a part-time musician, you’ll want to:

  • Choose an opportunity matched to your talents and stay focused on it
  • Fail early, fail often, and learn from your mistakes
  • Document your journey and share it publicly
  • Build your network intentionally and strategically (opportunity always comes from other people!)

If you need more help, that’s what I’m here for.

Get personalzied coaching with David

This post originally appeared on on March 18, 2021.