Thank you for your outpouring of sympathy and support over the past few weeks as our family has been helping my wife deal with her recovery from emergency triple bypass surgery. We’ve been shouting out updates from her weblog, and we’ll have many more stories to share with you over the coming months.
The biggest lesson I’m taking away from this experience is that, no matter what’s going on in your day-to-day, you’ve got to have two things to really make your life both worthwhile and manageable.
You need a clear understanding of the "big picture," even if you don’t yet know the exact role you’re going to play in it. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of day job, gigs, bills, relationships, etc. But there are a few moments in your life when the rubber really meets the road, and you find yourself either on that operating table or on the other side of the waiting room wall. And when you’re in either of those places, nothing else matters than getting through it.
So the second thing you need is a life that lets you "check out" when you need to. Passive revenue, like what you can earn from your songwriting, your merchandise and your fan club memberships (for starters), is going to be essential for you to live a long and healthy life in this business, especially when you find yourself unable to play out. My father, and his father, and his, all worked for companies that could help cushion the blow during an illness. We don’t have that luxury, and this is something that doesn’t just affect musicians, writers and other entertainers. It’s creeping throughout our business culture, and I shudder at the thought at what many folks must go through when enduring an event like this.
This year, in my own practice, I’m dedicating myself to helping our clients build the infrastructure they need to build a career they’ll love, that will take care of them when they need it the most. We’ll spend a lot of time talking about things like infrastructure and insurance. As always, tell me what you think we should be working on — especially in the context of helping you set yourself up for success and comfort, even when you’re facing a life-altering event.