Weekly Digest: December 25, 2021

Weekly Digest: December 25, 2021

David Andrew Wiebe, October 2021Hey creator!

And there’s always more where this came from

Must-Have Resource

The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition Kindle and paperback editions are now available. The hardcover edition is coming soon.

The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.

How to Create Your Music Career Financial Model

How to Create Your Music Career Financial Model

It’s easy to say, “do this” or “do that,” but I will be the first to tell you that, through the years, I’ve adjusted my financial model multiple times to cope with the realities of urgent circumstances.

In fall 2017, I travelled to Japan for a two-week vacation. My friends were incredibly generous in paying for most of my meals and letting me stay at their homes. So, my main expenses were services (like massage), the occasional toy or gift, transit, and a few solo meals.

I’d budgeted a certain amount of money for my trip and was proud of myself for coming in well under after returning home to Canada.

And the trip was well-earned and well-deserved. I’d worked hard, done right by people (as much as I could), and besides, I was starting to burn out. My emotional resilience was at an all-time low.

From about 2015 to 2017, I thrived financially. But everything started to change after I returned from Japan.

First, my car broke down. So, I had to replace it. Then, the government chickens came to roost, asking for an exorbitant sum of extortion (otherwise known as “taxes,” apparently – you live and learn).

Since that day, I have survived. I have had good months, for sure, but thriving is now a faint memory. And that has been an important lesson all its own.

One thing I can say about survival is that it keeps you on your toes – you rarely if ever find yourself resting on your laurels!

One thing I can say about survival is that it keeps you on your toes – you rarely if ever find yourself resting on your laurels! Click To Tweet

And so, what I want to share here are some truisms, some principles, that probably will never go out of style, unless our global financial model changes drastically in the coming years (which I’m not writing off).

It’s remarkable how few principles have stood the test of time in my life.

Pay Yourself First

It’s a hard lesson to learn, but it’s the most important one you can ever internalize.

The government, the credit card companies, your services providers – name anyone that is not you – they will never care about your financial well-being as much as you do, except to get every penny out of your wallet they possibly can.

Bills can honestly wait. They tend to be long-suffering. And I’m speaking from personal experience.

If you want to maintain a good relationship with billers, then it would be wise to stay in regular communication with all the companies you have an outstanding balance with.

But before you throw the total balance of your paycheck on your credit cards, you should sock away at least 10% of your income into a savings account. Even if you can’t pay all your bills in full.

Face the reality that, at minimum, the government is going to come looking for that 10% next year, anyway.

If push comes to shove, and it will (economic meltdowns seem to happen every decade or so), no one is going to take care of you. So, you take care of you.

Pay off Your Smallest Debt First

There are obviously different schools of thoughts on this, but I find you can get more momentum in your financial life by paying off your smallest debts first.

Since I have had success with this, it stands the test of time as a principle.

Establish a Clear Financial Picture

People tend to fear monitoring their finances, but when you’re trying to pay off debt or work your way out of a trying circumstance, you want to be as clear as you possibly can be on a few things:

  • How much money is coming in?
  • How much money do you have immediate access to in a crunch (balances owed, tax credits, savings, etc.)?
  • How much money are you spending?
  • How much money are you owing?

If you aren’t clear on these four things, you will find it challenging to move the needle on your financial life.

Clarity has a way of eliminating fear, which is likely the opposite of what you’d expect.

Clarity eliminates fear. Click To Tweet

Leverage Whole Life Insurance Plans as Your Infinite Banking Concept

Since we’re talking about things that are working for me now, this one is worth mentioning.

An Infinite Banking Concept leverages the compound interest associated with whole life insurance plans to help you become your own banker.

My policies have been a lifesaver for me in the preceding months. I’m not sure what I’d do without them.

If you want to get started with your own IBC, though, you’ll want to talk to a qualified expert. As with anything else, there are legitimate service providers and money-hungry shills, and you don’t want to end up with the shills. So, do your due diligence before committing.

Closing Thoughts

At the end of the day, you’ve got to do what works for you. But I honestly can’t see too many situations where the above wouldn’t work, regardless of your financial goals.

Outside of these principles, most things are fair game, whether it’s setting up multiple savings accounts (“buckets” as we used to call them), investing (consider that everything is speculative), or buying a home (can’t make that decision for you, but for me personally a home, car, or boat has never equated an “asset”).

Quick reminder – you can now get the Kindle edition of The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition (just in time for the holidays). Don’t get left behind – be the first to get my latest work into your hands!

Learning from Your Wins as a Musician

Learning from Your Wins as a Musician

I’ve been experiencing a bit of financial pressure as of late.

By now, it’s kind of old hat. I’ve been through this before. So, while there is some cause for concern, I know that worrying isn’t going to add a second to my life. Staying in action is going to be a better use of my time, energy, and resources.

And whenever I’m in a crunch, I start reflecting on what worked in the past. What did I do to get out of the situation?

Here are some things that immediately came to mind:

  • Reduced my spending. Which is a rather natural response to feeling financially stretched.
  • Tracked my spending. At one point, I tracked all my expenses on a whiteboard for a full month. By the end of that month, I was already in much better shape financially.
  • Filled my mind with positive thoughts. I read books and listened to audios about the Law of Attraction.
  • Spent time in gratitude. I said “thank you” out loud multiple times per day. I made a daily list of things I was grateful for. I actively sought out ways to feel and express gratitude.
  • Took inventory. I will look at what I own, what I can get rid of, what I can sell, and so on.
  • Cleared the clutter. I’ve always found that taking out the garbage and recycling, cleaning the dishes, and generally completing unfinished tasks makes space for the new to flow into my life.

There may not be any correlation between the actions taken and the results produced. But I tend not to write off anything as insignificant. While the past doesn’t always have the answers, there is always something to be learned from it.

I’ve won this game before. And there is something to be learned from that.

Is there more to learn from failure than success? That’s what we’ve been taught to believe, but I think it’s nonsense. We just need to pay attention to our successes more. Stop judging everything as good or bad, because all the pain we experience is proportional to how “bad” we experience something as. You can’t quantify the magnitude of “bad” because it’s individual. I don’t know what “bad” feels like to you.

What do your successes have in common? Start paying attention to them. There’s something to learn from your wins, just as there is something to learn from your losses.

Why You Must Reinvest in Your Music Career

Why You Must Reinvest in Your Music Career

I once booked a showcase at a local coffeehouse and invited one of Calgary’s most notorious singer-songwriters to perform (meaning he wasn’t necessarily known for all the right reasons).

Well, he was kind enough to oblige to my requests, he showed up on time, and conducted himself like a pro. Despite his average talent, his comfort level on stage and willingness to treat the opportunity with respect and professionalism left me feeling like I booked the right act for the occasion.

I got to talking with him while other acts were performing, and he shared something interesting with me.

He was known for putting out a new album each year, something most artists only aspire to, but never seem to get around to.

And he mentioned that a lot of people wondered how he was able to do it. After all, the cost of recording can be quite high.

What he shared with me was this:

“Most people think I have an outside source of funding, or my parents bankroll me. That’s not the case, although I do minimize costs whenever I can. The truth is, I save every penny I earn at every single performance. Then, I reinvest that money into my career.”

The simplicity and shrewdness of this strategy blew me away.

He’s right – most artists don’t do this. And it ends up shrinking the pool of opportunity available to them.

When you don’t have the funds for those rare moments when inspiration and opportunity strike, you can’t grab hold of the lightning. You end up having to pass up on it for another occasion because you don’t have the resources necessary to pursue it.

There’s a reason I teach artists how to manage their money. It’s not that you won’t go through difficult times financially. It’s that if you establish the right habits and direct your money intentionally, you’ll be ready for when lighting strikes. You’ll be able to take hold of compelling opportunities as they arise.

For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.

Weekly Digest: October 2, 2021

Weekly Digest: October 2, 2021

Sales has been the theme of the week.

And isn’t there something fundamentally slimy and icky about sales? Doesn’t it make you cringe just thinking about it?

Maybe, maybe not, but the point is we all have an association with sales, and oftentimes it’s negative.

We’ve had that experience of being sold to, or being recruited for a network marketing company, or being roped into a deal that didn’t feel right. For some reason, we always seem to conjure up the worst experiences we’ve ever had first instead of thinking about the dozens of frictionless transactions we make every single week.

To transform our relationship to sales, we need to look at why sales are so important:

  • Without sales, we can’t create a sustainable career or business
  • Without sales, we can’t grow and scale our career or business
  • Without sales, we can’t adequately show our appreciation and gratitude for others, their time, and their contribution to us

I’m all for volunteerism and humanitarian work. Last quarter, my team and I raised about $300 for the education of underprivileged children in South America.

But you also want to know that what you’re doing is of value. You want to be validated. And importantly, you want to continue to provide a service to others that gets better with time.

What can you do in your career or business to ensure a steady stream of sales?

And going beyond that, what small and local businesses could you start supporting? In the strange times we’re in, the giants keep getting bigger, and the small guys keep getting dumped on (if not because of closures, then with taxation).

Let’s sow some seeds and build some goodwill. Start buying from smaller eCommerce or brick and mortar businesses. Support other artists. Show that you care. And if you see someone that could be doing things differently to improve their products and services, offer feedback and contribute to them (that includes me).

We don’t need to make sales about ourselves. We can make it about the people who are going to benefit from doing business with us. We can make it about contributing to others in a meaningful way. You vote with your dollar. Don’t just talk a big game. Act on your values.

You vote with your dollar. Don’t just talk a big game. Act on your values. Click To Tweet

New Value-Packed Blog Posts & Podcast Episodes

Here’s what I created for you this week. Click on the headlines that pique your interest.

Must-Have Resource

There’s a personal development program I’ve been through three times, and each time I go through it, I learn more about myself and what matters most to me. I’ve also been able to improve my health, grow my business, and challenge myself intellectually.

The name of the program is The Gold Within.

Any artist looking to get clear on the impact and difference they want to make in the world (their brand) should go through The Gold Within program at least once.

The Gold Within

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.