It’s official, I am 50 and have decided to take on my bucket list.
Late in 2015, I started to get disillusioned with what I was doing as a career. Don’t get me wrong, I love marketing, social media, video and other work, but my true passion, music always seemed to take a back seat.
As 2015 drew to a close, I kept wondering why some made a living at music and I could not. Then, on New Year’s Eve, I had an epiphany. The truth of the matter was – I was blocking my own way. In order for one to be happy and achieve all you can, one must remove the shackles of what one believes they cannot do. So, my New Year’s Resolution became – BE a musician, first and foremost. This was truly a scary proposal because I did not want to be a starving musician. You can’t quit your dayjob, right? Nothing can be further than the truth.
Now, I am not saying anyone should just up and change their life. What I am saying is to be true to yourself. If you are good at something, great! That does not mean you need to do that for a living if it means sacrificing your passion. I love marketing, I just don’t want to market everyone else’s products anymore. I was offered business partnerships for several companies to launch or expand their product lines during the second half of 2015, all with excellent financial potential. Something kept nagging me in the back of my brain though, causing writers block, web design block, marketing block, let’s face it, I was just blocked. I kept thinking to myself – as soon as I do this, then I can do music again. Well, the reality is you must put ALL your effort into your endeavors to achieve what you want. Engaging in a new business would require at all my focus for at least a year or two, then maybe I could have some time to get back into music. So, in about 5 years I might be gigging part time. Establishing a band takes time also, so, really I might be gigging enough to make a few dollars part time to support my hobby by the time I am 60. Wait – 60?
Noooo! This all hit me hard New Years Eve. I would most likely have to wait till I was 60 to get to my lifelong dream, and then have about 5 years doing it. That would not do. So, I thought about where I lived, who I could contact, what place would be best for me to make an actual living at music at my age. The choice became so clear once I focused on it. Las Vegas! I lived here from 1999 to about 2008, when the housing market crashed. I saw more live music in that time than in my entire life before. Casinos, bars, restaurants, clubs, parks, all have have entertainment here constantly, 7 days a week, even the streets have paid musicians and entertainers, not to mention private parties and corporate events.
I literally decided to move back on January 1, 2016. By the end of January, I had secured a lease on a music studio. I moved in Feburary 2 and began rehearsing by myself in my new “office”. I ran an ad on Craigslist and wouldn’t you know it, the first bass player and drummer that came to try out fit perfectly with my musical tastes, style and vision. Amazingly enough, once I decided to become a full time musician and put all my thoughts and effort into it, the pieces just happened to come together amazingly fast.
I am writing this just 2 weeks after my 50th birthday, my first writing since September 2015. The band is sounding great, my writers block seems to have lifted, and I have a renewed sense of purpose. I will get to market and do what I love, for me.
In conclusion, to anyone who reads this, do what you must, but you must do what you love. Sure, there are risks and it is scary. But you only live once and you don’t ever want to wake up one day and say to yourself “I wish I had tried to…?” If you find yourself saying that now, maybe its not too late.