Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Never have a limit on your income

A wise man said, “Never have a limit on your income.”

Example he gave:

If you sell pens for a living and someone orders a million pens, no problem! You just place an order with your manufacturer for a million pens, get them to the customer, and celebrate.

But if you do hands-on massage for a living and a recent spot on Oprah gets you a waiting list of 10,000 people, “you'll wish you were in the pen business.”

Point being : if you make a living only providing an in-person (hands-on) service, you are limiting your income. If you were in a “while you sleep” business, there is no limit to how much you can make.

So... what about musicians?

For the last few years, many people have suggested that the products (CDs, even downloads) are now just the free giveaways to get people to go to the show - that musicians are only in a hands-on service-provider business now.

Of course I disagree because I watch CD Baby pay more and more to musicians every month (while they sleep).

Musicians MUST NOT buy into that “only earn by performing” belief because it limits your income.

I spend a LOT of money on music, but haven't been to a live concert in years. The recorded music has great value to me, whether MP3s, CDs, or even subscription services.

What other ways can music be a “while you sleep” income-earner for musicians? (STUPID BRAINSTORM WARNING:)

WHAT ELSE? (Please “Leave a Reply” in Comments.)

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