How’s the Rocking?

Hi Friends.

I quit my job on April 1, 2009, with the goal to pursue my dream of being a professional songwriter, performer, and music producer for ONE YEAR.

There was no good reason for choosing April 1 to quit my job and start my one year sabbatical, other than that my boss was being an especially big tool around that time, and I answer to no MAN. In retrospect, many people saw it as a foolish thing to do, but I had to do it.

I was gainfully self-employed for a full year. I did it and I succeeded far beyond my expectations.

During this past year, I researched and learned all about the music business, and recording/production. I wrote and produced songs in my own home studio and solicited them for commercial applications in film and TV.

I also make a decent living off of live music performances with three acts.

Most importantly, I got to be free and set my own hours, even if they were long ones. I probably worked at least 15 hours every day on music. But since it is my passion, and I love it, it isn’t even like work to me.

I’m great at it and it drives me.

I just want to thank everyone for being so supportive.

Fortuitously, I am still in business for myself and getting by well enough that I don’t need to work for THE MAN in the foreseeable future.

So my story isn’t over yet. But I am going to start writing a book about my experiences, and I will also be posting blogs on this subject matter at Red Stapler Brigade. Go SUBSCRIBE right now.

To succeed at self-employment, it is all about getting out of the “one job” employee mindset and into the “multiple income streams” entrepreneur mindset.

I make a living without a job through music sales, music licensing, music performance, merchandise sales, freelance writing, and even real estate rental.

My goal was to see if it was as hard as everyone thinks it is to be self-employed.

It was not. It was hard work, but it was super fun work. Being self-employed is just mind over matter, and not letting fear get in the way of taking chances and DOING things. Our whole society is enslaved by fear (Just ask yourself why you don’t quit your crappy day job…usually it is fear of not having money. Weird.) and that is why people toil to make others rich and have no free time, but are totally stressed out and end up dying early. Most people are just slaves to money. But less is often more.

If you want to try this yourself at home, I recommend you start with the resources I have listed below. It is always a good idea to do your homework and be armed with tools and ideas for success. I researched starting my own business extensively for a year before I actually quit my job. I attended free outreach seminars at a local state university to learn the ins and outs of self-employment.

There are tons of resources out there and it is not as hard or as scary as people think. The biggest fear factor to overcome is actually doing it, having the balls to “fire your boss” and take your destiny into your own hands. Once you take the plunge, it is much easier, because then you have no choice but to sink or swim.

I remember the first time I had to jump off the diving board at the pool as a kid. I was petrified. But my dad stood at the foot of the “plank” and said I wasn’t allowed to get off unless I jumped off. So I jumped off. And it wasn’t bad. It was really fun. Then I just kept on jumping off the diving board all the time.

If you are sick to death of slaving to make someone else rich while that same someone pisses your retirement away, these books will get you where you want to be. There is no harm in reading a book. You can decide to take the plunge after you read them. But start saving money, because these books are guaranteed to convince you to leave the rat race behind.

4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

Making a Living Without a Job by Barbara Winter

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

For the positive-thinking and spirituality-minded: The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

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About Cactus Joe

Cactus Joe is a songwriter, producer, performing musician, and free agent in Madison, WI. http://www.cactusjoeproductions.com

Posted on March 31, 2010, in Journal of Cactus Joe and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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