Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Articles → 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?

Recently, some people suggest that the recorded music is now just a free giveaway to get people to go to the show. They say that musicians are only in a hands-on service-provider business now.

But you can see the flaw in this plan. As a musician, you must not buy into that “only earn by performing” belief because it limits your income.

What other ways can music be a “while you sleep” income-earner for musicians?

Whatever income ideas you’re thinking, make sure you’re being paid for more than just your time.

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