Music Makes Money

Some of the most successful businesses today are based on someone’s talent (or talents) – an example being an artist selling paintings – and these businesses can be easily tapped into by young people today. Many teens (or even kids) are musically gifted, or can learn to be, and many actually use that to their advantage. There’s a general rule in life (which applies to business quite well, actually, though not always accurate, but that’s another story): if you’re good, then you’re paid for it. That means that if you’re a good musician, then people want to hear it (and pay for it!) Here are a few examples where you can make some nifty cash.

Band/Solo Artist – Make sure you can make some good music though, before you plan on making some money out of it. Ask yourself: “Would I buy my music”? If so, record some demos (you can do it quite for quite cheap now, or even for free), and send them out to talent agencies or promoters. This demo could also be an album; sell your album to other people in real life, or even online (my friend sells his album on iTunes). This is a great way to make an easy $10 – $20/album. A great step would be to look for open-microphone nights, competitions (or talent shows), or jams – they all give some wonderful publicity, and usually have some juicy cash prizes. You could even ask a café, restaurant, or recreation center if they’d be interested in having some live musicians – they might pay $10+/hour, or maybe $50 a night. You could even be a busker on the street (go to your municipal hall and apply for a license, first), and make $20 or more an hour!

Pianist – Making money from being a pianist applies mostly to those who are really good, so you’ll have to be very experienced before you plan to make some moolah. Try asking hotels if they’d like a “live ambient artist” (someone who provides background music), or talk to event planning services, because they often need pianists. Like a solo-artist, you could compose and record your own songs and sell them. Talent agents are often at competitions, and if you can impress them, they can help promote you too.

DJ – Being a DJ is a fun, entertaining, and often high-paying job (if you’re a good one). Contrary to popular belief, it’s not an age-limiting job: I’ve heard of 9 year olds rocking bars. DJ’s can be paid sometimes upwards of $50/hour for a wedding. Though it is usually very expensive to get into, anywhere from $700 to $5000 (for truly high-end, state-of-the-art stuff), if you are determined, you can work that off. Again, make demo mixes (or if you’re a mobile DJ, record videos of yourself), give them to promoters or clubs or bars (look for ones that sell food, because they can often let minors in if they do) or even your school! DJing your school dances are great – commercial school dance DJ’s charge far too much, and you could undercut them a bit, and clean up quite nicely. If you have any other questions about this in particular, email me, because I’m a DJ myself!

How I Make My Money

For the past year or so, I’ve been doing a lot of work. Though it’s not a regular, steady job, I find that I’ve made more money that my friends – right now I average at least $100 a week, and am paid anywhere from $10/hour – $30/hour.
The Lowdown

For the past year or so, I’ve been babysitting. However, this level of babysitting has been very professional – sometimes 5 kids at once (and I’m 15!) – and you get special bonuses for that. I’ve been such a responsible babysitter that I manage about 6 or 7 repeat clients. I usually have 2 or three jobs per week. 5 hours a job x $10 a job x 3 jobs a week = $150 a week, just from babysitting! I even have a steady weekly gig, for 4 hours, managing 3 kids – I just get up earlier, and by the time the job is done (it’s in the morning, on weekends), I haven’t missed any part of the day at all. Sometimes I only have that $40 job, but that’s more than enough for my weekly spending needs. I’ve probably made upwards of $2000 between September and now, just from babysitting.

In July I started my own landscaping and garden care business. I started by mowing my neighbour’s lawn, then my own. Because both properties are moderately big, I can charge about $30 – $35 a mow. It now takes me less than an hour to mow a large size lawn. I began offering more services: edging, weeding, gardening, watering, and other yard work. Because edging often comes with mowing, I might take in $45 for an hour and a half worth of work. Multiply $45 by twice a week, and that’s $90. Then I got some odd weeding and yard work jobs – from working about 8 hours, I received about $110 for yard work and weeding.

Recently, I got a job. No, it’s not a typical job in the sense that it’s for an establishment – I work for myself. I was phoned by a person wanting a weeding job on a really large property. It’s so large that it’ll provide consistent work – on my own time – at about $10/hour. I choose my own hours: recently, I’ve been doing about 2 hours/day, and about 9 hours/week because it’s summer; I expect 5 hours, or $50/week, when school starts… which I’ve just realized is tomorrow.

So here’s what it all looks like:

4 hours every week babysitting for one person = $40

Average of 3 hours every week additional babysitting = $30

1 yard mow/trim average, a week = $45

Weeding job = $50

Additional = $30

Total = $195/week, or $780 a month*.

I realize this figure is high – $195 is sometimes irregular, and I may make only $40 (*it’s actually usually around $500/month), but you get the jist of it. Once you’re comfortable with knowing that babysitting is not just a job for a 12 year-old girl (and that there’s no shame in it), and that landscaping is easy and not that time-consuming, there’s easy money!

136 Great Ideas Before Breakfast

Many people who are successful entrepreneurs will also be 136 great ideas before breakfast type of people. However the way to be successful in business is to be able to work out what the good ideas are and what the bad ideas are and to then just focus on one great idea and make it work.

If you want to achieve something in life you have to be able to dedicate yourself to one thing at a time. The more things you have going on the bigger the chance you have at failing everything. I would rather achieve one great thing rather than fail at a lot of things. You have to learn not to spread yourself too thin.

An important aspect of having great ideas is to know timing. When you come up with an idea you have to access whether it is the right time for this idea. The idea you have may be great but it maybe that the market isn’t ready for it yet or that there are some factors going on in today’s world that would see it not realizing its full potential. These ideas you have to keep hold of and keep accessing when the right time to go with them is as if you go with a great idea at the wrong time it is going to be a waste of a great idea.

When you think you have a great idea always do your research, find out if there is anything out there like your idea. Just because someone may have a similar idea don’t be put off as this information may prove to you that there is a market for you and a space for your product.

Always pitch your idea to other people and be ready to take on board criticism and feedback. I would much rather have people tell me that my idea is rubbish at the start instead of launching it in to a market or investing in it only to find out it was a bad idea and to lose money or reputation. You can’t be too precious about your idea, the only way it is going to be great is if you have the ability to listen to criticism and tweak your idea until it is perfect.

After you have ironed your idea out and tweaked it you have to believe in your idea, as if you don’t believe in it or are unable to show your belief then no one else will. You have to be motivated and determined, just because you have a great idea it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to get off the ground. Having a great idea is only half the battle you have to back it up with working the hardest you ever have to support it.

One thing above all is don’t sit on an idea don’t be one of these people that come up with a great idea, sit on it and then watch someone else come up with a similar idea and make money and fame out of it. With an idea you never know how great it will be unless you push it all the way.