MONDAY BYTES — June 16, 2014

A few weeks back my friend and colleague Keith Hatschek*, who writes a terrific blog forDisc Makers, asked me to do an interview and we had a great conversation about Portfolio Careers.

“Portfolio career” is simply the term we use to describe a typical freelance musician’s varied and multi-track worklife.

Typically, musicians are so busy taking care of the next thing on their busy schedule, that they don’t step back and assess their portfolio. But just as you would an investment portfolio, balancing and managing a portfolio career is important.

This week: One way to get a handle on how your “career investment portfolio” is doing is take out a blank piece of paper and draw a diagram of your career, using whatever shapes or forms you want to represent the various components of your work life (part- or full-time jobs, private teaching, and the various types of gigging you do).

We’re not worrying about the aesthetic value of this rendering, just get it down on paper so you can visualize your work life.

Once you’ve got all of the work accounted for on the page, step back and take a look at how you’ve depicted the relative importance of each kind of work. Notice what’s dominating and what seems short changed.

This can be a great way to get a read on the balance of your work life and prompt the conversations and actions that will lead to improving the picture!

* Keith directs the Music Management Program at University of the Pacific and has written two music industry books. His excellent blog covers everything from performance contracts, to booking tours, and tax tips. Check out the series HERE.

As always, I welcome hearing your thoughts and feedback!

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