This year, you should expect to see plenty of colorful music industry personalities declaring 2023 the point of no return for independent artists.

They will convince you that if you haven’t put in the hard work of diversifying your artistic income streams to this point, you will quickly become irrelevant, smelly, toothless, and ugly.

These comments should be accompanied by dramatic headlines like “the music business sucks,” “the music industry is tanking,” “the music business is the worst possible business you could be in right now,” and the like.

Here’s what you need to know:

This is Marketing, Plain and Simple

Don’t get me wrong – it’s brilliant. But this type of marketing simply isn’t in alignment with who I am, and that’s why I haven’t ever taken to being a doomsayer.

I have, on occasion, gone on rants or aired grievances about things that haven’t gone as expected in my career, but I have never said “the music industry sucks” or anything even resembling that.

These colorful personalities have a platform (not just a soapbox) to shout from, so good for them. But so far as I’m concerned, the moment you’re given a platform, you have a greater responsibility to the people you’re serving. Giving the wrong message at the wrong time to the wrong people is to take for granted that responsibility.

So far as I’m concerned, fear-based messaging is the precursor to tyranny, and I have unfortunately witnessed it firsthand.

And what these personalities are really after is your money. That’s it. They want to scare you sick so you will open your wallet and buy their course on how to spend the next 10 years of your life building sales funnels that don’t work.

Income Diversification is My Domain

This is not me saying “get off of my lawn.” This is me saying I am unparalleled and unmatched in this domain. I have developed many business plans, and coaches and consultants inevitably come back to me saying, “I don’t know anyone who’s been able to identify as many revenue streams as you have – people usually struggle with this.”

And let’s be as fair as we can possibly be here. Some of these personalities talking about the music industry today don’t have the benefit of having watched it for the last 15 to 20 years. Meanwhile, I’ve been writing songs and making content about the industry since 1997, playing guitar since 2001, blogging about the industry since 2007, and podcasting about it since 2009.

If you haven’t been following along, then you’ve missed out on thousands of ideas you could have already implemented and benefited from. Income diversification is not your problem. Lack of ideas is not the problem. Lack of implementation is.

Do Not Fear

The Smithsonian says humans were creating musical instruments as early as 40,000 years ago.

I personally don’t have much confidence in the idea that human beings have been around for that long. But that’s another discussion for another time. What matters here is that music has existed, in some way, shape or form, as far as time stretches back.

The music business will have its ups and downs. But music will be fine.

Like some hapless preacher who thinks the world is going to come to an end in 2023 (no one has ever been right about this by the way), the clueless will look at one short-term dip in a line graph and be shaken to their core (“I’ve got to warn my people! The world is going to end!”).

There will be bumps in the road, but music will always thrive. Don’t be moved. Don’t be deterred. Don’t be shaken.

Final Thoughts

I have repeatedly warned of shills and charlatans in the music business. And right now those people are saying the industry sucks. If the music industry really sucks, then why are they still in it? It’s almost as if they’re opening their kimonos – revealing how desperate they are for business. But I have no doubt 2023 will expose more and more of the corrupt.

Beware who you spend your money with. Because if they’re talking about how horrible the music business is now, imagine how much worse their screaming is going to get. They’re not going to shut up about it.

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