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How To Phase Out Your Day Job and Start Working On Your Music Career Full Time (Part 1)

On this episode, you’ll discover how and why you must treat your craft as your day job!

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Brett Manning  00:10
Welcome to the Singing Success Show Podcast. I’m your host, Brett Manning, and this is your co-host. 

Dustin Small  00:16
Hey y’all, Dustin Small here. 

Brett Manning  00:21
What’s our topic today? What are we talking about?

Dustin Small  00:22
We’re talking about how to phase out your day job and start working on your music full-time.

Brett Manning  00:28
Oh. “Don’t quit your day job.” How many of us have heard that? Or should you quit your day job? 

Dustin Small  00:33
Stay tuned, folks. 

Brett Manning  00:35
Stay tuned. First, some shout-outs.

Dustin Small  00:37
Yes. I wanted to mention Lockeland’s billboard single release. I wanted to congratulate Lockeland on his release. 

Brett Manning  00:47
Let’s talk about Lockeland.

Dustin Small  00:48
Let’s talk about them. 

Brett Manning  00:49
It’s a really killer vocal trio. They saw me at a “Master Class” thing that I did recently here in Nashville. Lockeland came in to work with me. And now I have been working with Benny and also doing harmonies with my newest up-and-coming coach, Chase. They just had this nice, beautiful CRS performance as well as the album release. Go check them out. There’s a pretty magical blend. It’s pretty fantastic.

Dustin Small  01:18
Yes, as we’re recording this right now, this week is CRS. I actually get to be a part of a performance tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to. But there’s a lot of things going on this week that, if you’re in town, you should definitely check out. 

What else do we have? We have Olivia Lane returning from her UK tour! Congrats, Olivia!

Brett Manning  01:38
Olivia Lane works with Chanel. She was coming to our vocal retreats as well and had her life changed. If you hear her story on there, it’s pretty fantastic—the things that have happened before and since. She actually was on that song show with artists critiquing her music. They had two people who I’m connected with. One by the name of Leona Lewis. We’ll talk about her in a second. She got to critique someone who she probably didn’t know was our student.

Dustin Small  02:06
She’s phenomenal, yes. 

Brett Manning  02:09
Ryan Tedder was also on that show. I have a fun Ryan Tedder story that I may tell someday of when he used to be in Nashville. He was a roommate of a friend of mine. It’s a pretty fun story.

Dustin Small  02:19
Ryan is a creative monster genius.

Brett Manning  02:21
Oh, gosh!

Dustin Small  02:22
Yes, it’s insane. 

Brett Manning  02:24
If I could tell you the backstory, you would be blown away. But carry on. 

Dustin Small  02:27
I’d like to stay right here. Thank you very much. [laughter] But we digest. 

Brett Manning  02:34
We digest. 

Dustin Small  02:35
Speaking of Leona… 

Brett Manning  02:36
I divest. 

Dustin Small  02:38
Speaking of Leona, we heard she was seen at the debut of Emma recently, if you guys are Jane Austen fans.

Brett Manning  02:45
All the girls are going: “Emma!” [makes sound of crowd]. Jane is on the other side. She’s going, “Emma!” Hysterics. All the guys are going, “Kill me.” But deep down inside, we really do like Pride and Prejudice. It’s pretty good. I watched it alone. I think I got nine points docked from my man card for watching that alone.

Dustin Small  03:08
Yes, I was about to say, I’m going to have to take that for a minute. I’m going to come and do that. We’ll give it back later. 

Brett Manning  03:13
No, but after that, I killed something with my bare hands. 

Dustin Small  03:16
Oh good. 

Brett Manning  03:17
It was a fly, but I felt pretty good about it. 

Dustin Small  03:19
Sometimes that’s all you need, man. It’s a win.

Brett Manning  03:22
With my chopsticks.

Dustin Small  03:24
Impressive, sir. Next, wax on, wax off.

Brett Manning  03:31
Karate Kid reference for you, millennials. If you haven’t even seen the original Karate Kid, you’ve got to see it. 

Okay, phasing out our day jobs. 

Dustin Small  03:41
Yes, let’s jump right in. 

Brett Manning  03:42
Man, my college roommate, who’s become a lifelong friend, is a huge influence on me. A brilliant guy. But at that age, you tease each other a little bit. He heard me singing Prince. Prince’s: ♪ Don’t have to be beautiful… ♪ I’m up there singing “Kiss”. That’s a high song. He’s hearing me up there, and he’s trying to sleep because he’s sleeping in. And he goes up: “Man, can you stop singing like a girl? Freakin don’t quit your day job. Ugh! You’re driving me crazy.” I got mad at him, like: “You want to sleep all day? I’m going to sing. I don’t care if you like my singing or not.” And we kind of got into this argument: “Don’t quit your day job. Don’t quit your day job.” And later on, I’m teaching voice.

Dustin Small  04:32
And it became the day job.

Brett Manning  04:33
It became my day job. And he heard me singing and he was like: “I didn’t know you can sing like that.” I said: “There was nothing wrong when I was singing with Prince either. That was cool.” “I know. I can’t believe I said that to you.” I reminded him that he’d said that. He said: “I said that to you? Gosh, that was a mean thing to say.” And I’ve had a lot of people say stuff like that to me.

Dustin Small  04:55
It’s just a tool in the toolbox to be used for the right application. You’ve got to have a variety. Hammers can’t do it all, man.

Brett Manning  05:04
You also need screwdrivers. But it’s funny; we talk about these day jobs. How do you phase out? I’ve got some fun little notes. And talking about quitting your day job, should you quit your day job? What if your day job is your music? And you were talking about that yesterday, as we were having some notes.

Dustin Small  05:31
Generally, the great idea—at least these days, because it becomes harder and harder to extract money from the music industry as opposed to it taking it from you—is, I would say, don’t at first. Definitely, don’t quit your day job. I would have something in place that allows you to breathe a bit. It’s where the music can still be expression. 

We were talking about that on the last podcast—there has to be a bit of failure and a little bit of rub along the path. It’s like a checkpoint, if you will. If nothing goes wrong and we’re just blissfully walking down this path, we may have missed the right turn that was back there because we didn’t have anything to challenge our current direction. 

That being said, if your overhead is X amount of dollars and you can’t be comfortable taking a breath to relax, create, and be the artist you were meant to be, then by all means, have the day job. If you’ve got to go wait tables or hand coffee to people, you should never be ashamed of having a job.

Brett Manning  06:46
That’s right. Every job is honorable. I remember someone who wanted to work with me and I thought they needed experience to work for me as a coach. I mentioned to this person’s father that it wouldn’t hurt for her to go work at Chick-fil-A. It was like, “Chick-fil-A is so beneath me.” No, it’s not. It’s a great organization. It builds character. Those kids have amazing characters and good personalities. They learn to engage people. What’s the little thing that they say when they’re…

Dustin Small  07:20
Oh, yes. Anytime you say thank you, [like], “Hey, thanks for the honey-roasted barbecue packet that you just gave me”—that was my shameless plug, because that stuff’s amazing—they always respond with “My pleasure.” It’s a fun little game, if you want to be like that. They will always say, “My pleasure.”

Brett Manning  07:39
And then sometimes they say, “My pleasure, my treasure,” if they know you. The guy who knows me is like, “My pleasure, my treasure.” 

Dustin Small  07:46
But he made it his own thing. 

Brett Manning  07:47
Yes. It created that character. A lot of times, people don’t realize the people who do make it in the industry… And that’s weird because we say making it. It just means you’re doing it. Don’t say “make it” anymore. Say, “doing it.” You’re not making it. You’re doing it. 

Dustin Small  08:05
Yes, it’s a process; it’s not a stop.

Brett Manning  08:08
That’s right. If you aim for a particular goal, what happens is that you hit it, and you’re like a dog chasing a parked car. Now, what do I do? I got the car. I’m sitting there barking at it. You got your goal. There are a lot of people talking about a lack of satisfaction when they reach their goal. This guy got his valedictorian. He was not the smartest guy, and he eventually worked up. He had this valedictorian and he said: “I was so excited, and I got it. I went up there and I got my award. I sat down and I was like: ‘That’s it? Now what?'”

Dustin Small  08:43
Why is there the stigma of the sophomore album bombing? I think we just gave an example of that. You pushed for something for so long—whether it’s 10 years or more, like we were talking about on the last podcast—you finally get there. You’ve “made it.” Well, now what?

Brett Manning  09:06
Made it instead of doing it.

Dustin Small  09:09
Now you’ve committed to X amount of records for X amount of time with a label if you’ve chosen to go that way. And then they’re calling you, asking you to spit that second album out. And you don’t have any passion. You don’t have any angst or anything real to draw from. That probably made that first record so good, which is why it connected with so many people and why so many other different organizations wanted to work with you—because you’ve been through something. You have something to say.

Brett Manning  09:37
I love that because it reminds me of this whole thing about when the work starts: When you’re actually doing it instead of making it. You guys made a baby, you and your wife. You just had your second child. 

Dustin Small  09:54
So I’ve been told. 

Brett Manning  09:55
Yes, so I’ve been told. But it’s not like, “Now we just had a baby.” It’s like, “Now the work begins.” Now we’re going to watch these kids grow up the rest of their lives and be part of their lives in some way shape or form for a long, long time. Eventually, they’ll grow up and they’ll grow older and they’ll be on their own and that’s a different thing and you’ll transition to there. The lifespan of a kid is almost like the lifespan of a great career, like 18 to 21 years.

Faith Hills still does Vegas stuff, but she’s not really putting out a record. She hasn’t had a hit record in a long time. But she still has that career, that part-time thing. Her husband is still doing some stuff. But the average person doesn’t get that long a career and doesn’t see it like that—like you’re giving birth to a career. So making it is actually not making it; it’s doing it.

Dustin Small  10:48
Starting it.

Brett Manning  10:49
Staring it is making it and then doing it is doing it. And doing it with excellence and diligence. So just working on a thing—who cares? A lot of people are lazy and they give up before they even try. We talked about that in a past podcast. People quit before they’ve even started.

Dustin Small  11:14
Yes. Diligence is a great transition into the next point: If you are lucky enough to have made it past the period where you have to have one or two day jobs just to pay the bills and you’ve gotten the notoriety and put the time in, and a lot of people are calling you now instead of you having to pound down doors, where do you nurture the next chapter so you can make music your day job? My humble opinion is that you treat the music like your day job. There’s no difference whatsoever. 

You set an alarm. You get up with purpose. If you have an office, great. If not, take a room in your house, or if you’re rooming with someone, take a section of your room, and that is your office. You’re going to wake up with a plan every single day. You’re not going to have lunch alone, if you can help it. If you’ve got to buy lunch for somebody else, sit across, and just let them talk… 

There’s a book. We need to look up who wrote it. It’s called Never Eat Alone. That’s the main point of the entire book—to be in front of as many faces as possible and find ways that you can serve others by constantly setting aside time to commune with people, not being isolated to your bedroom. I should say we’ve all been proven wrong in that regard a few weeks ago whenever Billie Eilish mopped the floor with everybody at the Grammys with a record that she literally made in her bedroom with her brother. We’re not knocking that; I think it’s incredible. But generally speaking, in an industry town that’s built on relationships, if you’re not in front of people as much as possible daily, treating this like work and like your day job, nobody’s going to really care when you get to that point of looking left or right to figure out: “Who’s going to be there to help me with my next move?” You have to be in front of people to essentially make them care. Nobody cares until you make them care.

Brett Manning  13:21
That’s right. And nobody will care about your career as much as you do. And when you show that you care about other people, then there’s a chance they’re going to care about you. But they’re still not going to care as much as you. A lot of people are waiting for somebody to help them. Like, “Well, nobody’s helping me.”

Dustin Small  13:40
Yes, you do see that a lot. People show up and are like: “Okay, I’m here!” 

Brett Manning  13:44
Yes. I had somebody who was like, “Well, nobody’s helping me!” I said, “What are you doing? You have a brain. You’re a smart, resourceful person.”

Dustin Small  13:53
Who was the last person you helped? Who was the last person you bought lunch or coffee for?

Brett Manning  13:58
Thank you. Thank you. And when’s the last time you just got online and looked up how to work Logic, Reason, or any music software that’s cheap? GarageBand is free and there’ve been great records made on GarageBand for real. The mic doesn’t know what it’s being recorded into or where it’s being recorded. It does know that it’s in Nashville—the equipment. Quite frankly, there’s no excuse for not getting Logic. It’s like the massively upgraded version of GarageBand. You can get it for $200. And if you can’t afford $200 for recording software plus a decent little microphone—

Dustin Small  14:39
Don’t quit your day job yet. 

Brett Manning  14:40
Yes, don’t quit your day job. You’ve got much bigger problems if you can’t invest at least $1,000 in your home studio. You don’t even have to do that much—$500 will get it done. But if you can’t invest that much, again, you’re not ready to quit your day job. And you quit your day job when your day job actually becomes that thing. 

Dave Ramsey talks about gazelle intensity. A gazelle runs like 40 miles an hour and a cheetah runs 70 miles an hour. But the gazelle can outrun the cheetah. He cuts very fast. When he cuts, the cheetah will run past him. He will have to turn around at 70 miles an hour and then begin to accelerate. When he comes, he cuts again and he finally gives up. He’s like: I’m not going to catch you. 

Dustin Small  15:29
It’s too erratic, essentially.

Brett Manning  15:30
Yes, because they get exhausted very quickly.

Dustin Small  15:35
Having laser-like focus, you’re saying, is the key to drowning out the abominable dross that is the day-to-day life in general.

Brett Manning  15:47
That. And gazelle intensity is the person who will press really hard to get away from debt and get away from the place of panic where “I’m not making any money” and “I’m not doing anything.” Well, then get gazelle intensity. You can work 12 hours a day for a little while. 

You shouldn’t wear yourself out. The proverb—Solomon, who was one of the richest men who’s ever lived—says: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich.” Have the wisdom to show restraint. You’re not going to wear yourself out 12 hours a day for a little while. Then you can chill and relax. And you work diligently and wisely. You don’t spend money you haven’t earned yet. And that’s the biggest problem. I say these three rules for success in this are simply: Always do what you say you’re going to do—that’s really hard—spend less than you earn, and be generous. 

As Christians, we tithe and give to the local church, charities, and other stuff like that. As Sylvester Stallone and Sam Walton said, you can’t outgive God. You start giving and it comes back to you and you’re like, “Wow, the flow.” And sometimes I get panicky with my money and think: “I’ve got all these things I need to do and all these expenses. I’m not generous.” So I begin in that panic mode instead of just: Throw down, get tough and then follow my own rules. If I follow those three rules, I’ve always been successful when I’ve done this.

Dustin Small  17:21
Yes. The generosity brings people closer because now you’ve ended up on the radar for the right reasons. You’ve made them care about what’s going on in your world. 

Brett Manning  17:32
That’s right. 

So let’s talk about these other two. “Do you have an office yet?”

Dustin Small  17:43
You’ve got to have a space. 

Brett Manning  17:44
You’ve got to have your space. It can be in your house. It can be a rental space. For me, a lot of people know that I leave my house just to do simple work. I go to a coffee shop because, when I’m at home, I’m thinking about home.

Dustin Small  17:59
Netflix Beckons a little too often. 

Brett Manning  18:01
Yes. Things distract me there. In a coffee shop, that’s just my workflow. I like to sit there with a beautiful cup of coffee, bone broth, kombucha, or whatever. I’ve got my headphones on. I’m listening to something inspiring. I have to get myself into that mood.

There’s a difference between diligence work or just playing scales. [plays brief melody on piano] If I’m working on a piano piece [plays another brief melody on piano], I don’t have to be that inspired to play, but I have to be inspired to flow into that as a writer. I can’t always write or create something unless I have a workflow. That type of discipline and diligence is a totally different thing. 

If your entrance into the music career depends on creativity, you have to have a space for that in your life where you say, “This is the time where I have… ” I’ve said this in past podcasts and I’ll remind them again: I think I started the hashtag goddate. This is my God date in the morning. I’ve got my coffee, my organic eggs, and all my different foods. I’m listening to some Bach or Beethoven or Mozart or whatever—usually Bach and some other classical. Tchaikovsky’s “Hymn of the Cherubim” will put you in heaven in seven minutes. I’m listening to that and I’m reading something inspiring, probably the Bible or some devotional or something to inspire myself. I wait until I do that. If I don’t do that, the rest of my day just feels off. I can’t get into that flow—that workflow. 

If I just jump straight into work, I feel like it’s like, as a married man, you’re leaving home without kissing your wife goodbye. It’s like, “Hey, bye.” Really? A hug? “Love you” or whatever. I never say goodbye to my kids without them or me saying: “Love you!” “Love you, Dad!” “Love you.” Every time we’re on the phone: “Love you!” Even if I’m just going to see them in five minutes. It’s a habitual thing. You create habits that you refuse to break. When you break those habits, you feel out of sorts. 

This is why you and I have talked about this. Sometimes, vacations are great. Sometimes, they feel weird. Sometimes you need to break the flow and have a vacation, but there’s still certain habits that you have daily that you can’t follow up on on a vacation. I’m not at my favorite coffee shop, you know? “Oh my gosh, I’m in China. What do I do? I don’t have my headphones on. I don’t have anything.” I’m just talking with all these people. 

Dustin Small  20:42
Eat some General Tso’s. 

Brett Manning  20:45
General Tso’s. Then you’re eating chow mein or whatever for breakfast.
But again, get into that creative place and find a way that you can habitually get back there. 

Dustin Small  21:02
Do you schedule your creative time? 

Brett Manning  21:07
Yes and no. You can schedule time. You and I have scheduled time to write. And we write and we write well. You can do it. Sometimes it works really well and sometimes it doesn’t. You never know until you start getting into it. And sometimes three hours is enough and sometimes 30 minutes is enough. 

The reason why is because of something called Parkinson’s law, which I may have said in a past podcast. But I’ll remind you because I’m not assuming that everybody watching has seen every podcast. Parkinson’s law says that work expands to meet the time permitted. If you were studying for an exam and had two weeks to do it, but instead you crashed all night long—

Dustin Small  21:53
I’ve never done that. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Brett Manning  21:56
You’ve never done that. But it works. Your work expands. You become hyper-focused. You block out everything else. You block out all your social media. You block out all the phone calls. You don’t open up several tabs. You’ve got one thing open and you’re focusing on one thing really intensively.

Dustin Small  22:15
Yes, because, despite what a lot of people think, multitasking is not really a thing, honestly. You may be okay at doing a few things decently well, but let’s be honest, you’re going to be missing something somewhere.

Brett Manning  22:30
Yes. The ultimate multitask is when you realize you have a bunch of tasks and compartmentalize your mind. You’re like: “Okay, over there.” [makes pushing-away motion with hand] It’s like in the movies, like the Minority Report, where they have the computer screen in the air and he moves it—

Dustin Small  22:46
I was thinking J.A.R.V.I.S. But yes, that’s a good one too. 

Brett Manning  22:48
Yes, all those. They move these things over. You take that in your mind and you go, “Over there.” And it’s in your notes. You’re on your phone, a notepad, or whatever and you say: “I refuse to look at these until I’ve done this.” 

The dog who chases two rabbits catches neither one. And the person who gave me that quote was a guy chasing about five rabbits and caught, maybe, one of them eventually. 

Dustin Small  23:14
So he knew from experience.

Brett Manning  23:15
Yes. But he was still doing it. He was telling me, “Don’t chase two rabbits,” and I was like, “How many rabbits are you chasing?” “Well, a lot” because he couldn’t turn down opportunities. 

In our last podcast, you said a really great hook and I thought, “That’s great.” I wrote it down immediately. “You can choose your creative time, but you can’t always choose to be creative.” So, when creativity hits you, take advantage of it. I’ve been in the middle of a lesson and said to somebody—after scale, I’ve been sitting here thinking about an idea—”Can you hold on a second? This is a 50-minute lesson. We’ll just give you the full hour, but I’m going to take three minutes here and just play this before I forget.” They said, “Yes, cool.”

Brett Manning  24:06
And sometimes it’s happened at the end of the lesson—there wasn’t a lesson after—that they said: “Hey, can I write with you?—because I like what you wrote.” “Yes, what was your idea?” “Well, with ‘Poppy’.” [plays brief melody on piano] When she heard this, she goes: “That just reminds me, like, what if? Just what if? What would have happened if I just… ” And that’s all she kept saying: “What would have happened if… It just sounds like that.” Right after I listened to her, I said: 

♪ What if I’d driven around the block, to waste a couple of ticks on the clock ♪

And she goes, “Or maybe ‘decided not to stop.'”

♪ What if I decided not to stop, you would have never entered my thoughts ♪

Then I said: 

♪ What if I found someone else, would I have the void that only you could help ♪

Almost as fast as I’m playing it, we wrote that song. Or maybe, “met you on a different day, would I’ve looked at you some other way?” It came so fast. 

“Already Mine” came so fast. You played the thing. 

♪ Excuse me if I’m too bold ♪ 

What a great opening line. You had that line, though. You said, “Excuse me if I’m too bold, but you’re the force that shakes me up.” I was like, “That’s pretty good.” 

Dustin Small  25:39
But that speaks to the process and the fact that you were comfortable enough to invite me into that process because of the repetitions. It’s been done so much in that environment that you were comfortable with it. You were in your office. You were in your space of work. You already knew what it took to be productive in that environment. And that’s huge, I think.

Brett Manning  26:07
It is. But also remember for everybody watching this, you have these workspaces, do not be afraid to say, “Siri, open up my voice memo.” She’ll do it for you. You don’t have to look at her. Siri, “Open my voice memo,” and then you start recording.

Dustin Small  26:31
She’s a good employee.

Brett Manning  26:32
She really comes through for us. And then you start talking. Or you wait until you have a stop light and start it. Boom. And you set it down here and you just start waxing eloquent.

I wrote a song called “Beautiful Redemption” about three months ago. Literally, I rattled off this stream of consciousness for five straight minutes. When I was done, I was like: “Wow, there are more lyrics than what I need for the song.”

Dustin Small  27:00
Yes, that’s generally what you want too, because stuff’s going to end up not working out at times. Don’t get stuck on something.

Brett Manning  27:07
That’s right. But if you get a steady flow of creativity, don’t interrupt it. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot and say, “I’ve got other things to do.” No. You don’t get to choose when those moments come. You get to choose to try to bring about that moment. But if the moment hits you, respond to it.

This is one of my favorite Mitch Hedberg jokes. And you’ve got to say it like Mitch, because he’s talking like this. [does impersonation] You know, like a hippie stoner guy. A funny dude. He said: “I write jokes for a living. I get my best inspiration when I’m asleep, so I keep a pen and paper by my bed. Sometimes I wake up and think of something funny, but the pen is at the other side of the room. And I think, ‘The joke probably wasn’t that funny.'”

Dustin Small  27:56
[laughter] [coughs] It got me choked up.

Brett Manning  27:59
And the reason that should inspire laughter immediately is because we’ve all done that, man! We’d be like: “I have this idea. I’m too lazy. My phone’s way over there. I don’t want to write this down.” And I’ve done that too. Before I woke up, I would dream of hearing a song in my sleep. And sometimes I’m sitting here and I mumble the song. I think: “This wasn’t very good.” When I wake up in the morning, I listen. I think: “Wow, when I woke up, it sounded good.” There’s a song called “More” that I recorded a little bit. I heard most of it in my sleep. I woke up and wrote the whole same thing. 

Dustin Small  28:39

Brett Manning  28:41
Wow,  you need some more water. Oh, here’s a little hint. Go like this: [makes gulping sound with throat] “Gulp.” [makes several more gulping sounds with throat]

Dustin Small  28:47
[makes gulping sound with throat] Gulp. [makes several more gulping sounds with throat]

Brett Manning  28:51
It’s a little thing I did in this vocal hack thing that we’re doing. 

Dustin Small  28:53
Oh, it’s already better. 

Brett Manning  28:54
Yes. It feels weird, huh? It can make your eyes water if you get that little tickle in your throat. I had a kid who was a big athlete. A big buff dude. He was doing the exercise and his voice slipped a little bit. And all of a sudden, tears fell down his face. He goes, “Why am I crying?” I said: “You’re not. It’s just that that tickle creates that watery eye feeling. It simulates an allergy.”

Dustin Small  29:15
And we know nothing of that in Nashville. 

Brett Manning  29:16
Nothing, no. This is the allergy capital of the country. Not New York, New York; Nashville, Nashville. If you can make it in Nashville, you can make it anywhere because it’s the allergy capital. I know people who have been here for six or seven years and are still having allergy attacks. Some people who’ve been here for 20 years are still having allergy attacks. I have finally overcome this city. I have conquered you. You cannot cause allergies anymore. [does impersonation] “But easy. After 20 years. Of course.” [does different impersonation] 

Dustin Small  29:43
And we’re back, folks. 

Brett Manning  29:47
So you… 

Dustin Small  29:49
So regarding our day jobs. 

Brett Manning  29:50
So you can translate over to your day job if you can actually get a job in the industry that is doing what you want to do. A lot of people work in studios as interns. You’re free labor. But then the person says, “I like how you work.” Come and intern for me if you’re a hard worker. If you’re not, I’m not going to like you. I’ll fire you if you’re a bad intern. I will. Quick. “Fire me? But I’m free.” You cost me emotional energy, bro, sis, whoever you are. If you are coming to intern for me and you are lazy, you are taking up space. 

Dustin Small  30:31
You’ve got to love the work.

Brett Manning  30:33
Yes. But I’ve hired people who started out as interns. I’ve hired people who just started out as consultants. One of the top people in the company right now came in. She helped us with some social media. I said: “You’re really good. I’d love to have you as kind of a CEO type thing.” She’s grinning because she’s off-camera right now. 

And here’s the rule—and we can put this in the notes down below—power flows to those who take responsibility. Do you remember Jesse back in the day? He became CEO because he was taking responsibility. Now, he had other passions and ambitions and I had to let him do those things. It was a good mutual thing for him to go do production. And he’s a worship leader. 

Dustin Small  31:29
Yes, we ended up working together afterward.

Brett Manning  31:32
Yes. He’s fantastic. What a great musician. He actually played on my record as well. 

Dustin Small  31:36
I played on some of his productions as well. 

Brett Manning  31:39
Yes, he’s fantastic and brilliant. But he was taking responsibility at the company. I said: “Well, you’re doing more work than everybody else. So welcome. I’d like to give you this job position.” And then he’s not quitting his day job. 

And if your day job resembles your music, it could either hurt you—and you know this—or kill you, because then you get burned out. For some of y’all, you don’t need to do music for more than two hours a day. And we’re going to talk about that in an upcoming podcast about what type of career you want. 

Dustin Small  32:13
Being laser-focused on that.

Brett Manning  32:15
Yes. It’s probably a good jump-off point unless you have anything to add to that.

Dustin Small  32:18
No, I think it’s wrapped up with a nice little bow on it. 

Great job, Brett!

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Welcome to the Singing Success Show podcast! I’m your host Brett Manning, and joining me today is co-host Dustin Small. In this episode, we’ll be discussing how to transition from your day job to working on your music full-time. Many of us have heard the advice “don’t quit your day job,” but should you actually quit? We’ll explore this topic and share some shout outs to talented musicians like Lachlan, an amazing vocal trio, and Olivia Lane, who recently returned from a UK tour.

We also discuss the importance of having a dedicated workspace for your music career. Whether it’s an office, a rented space, or even a section of your room, having a designated area where you can focus on your music is essential. Treating your music like a day job means setting goals, being disciplined, and creating a routine that allows for creativity and productivity.

We emphasize the value of being diligent and putting in the necessary effort to succeed in the music industry. This includes showing up, engaging with others, and being generous with your time and resources. Building relationships and making connections is crucial, as nobody will care about your music as much as you do. We also discuss the concept of “making it” versus “doing it” and the importance of finding satisfaction and purpose in the journey itself.

We share insights on phasing out your day job and the importance of financial stability before making the leap. It’s essential to have a plan and the means to sustain yourself while pursuing your music career. This might mean having a part-time job or finding other sources of income that allow you the freedom to focus on your music.

Additionally, we talk about the creative process and the importance of seizing creative moments when they come. Whether it’s during a scheduled writing session or an unexpected burst of inspiration, it’s crucial to take advantage of these moments and let your creativity flow. We also highlight the need to be flexible and not get stuck on certain ideas or expectations.

In conclusion, transitioning from a day job to a full-time music career requires dedication, discipline, and careful planning. Treating your music like a day job, building relationships, and nurturing your creativity are all essential aspects of this journey. Remember that success is not just about “making it,” but also finding fulfillment in the process and embracing the opportunities that come your way.

If you are coming to intern for me and you are lazy, you are gone. But if you’re a hard worker, if you’re diligent, then there’s a chance that you could eventually be employed and make that your day job. So intern, get your foot in the door, learn the industry, learn the ins and outs, and if you prove yourself, you might have an opportunity to transition into a full-time career in music.

Another aspect to consider is networking. Networking is crucial in the music industry. Connect with people, build relationships, collaborate with other musicians, attend industry events, and put yourself out there. The more people you meet and the more connections you make, the greater your chances of finding opportunities and advancing your music career. Don’t be afraid to reach out and offer your skills and services to others. By being proactive and building a strong network, you increase your chances of phasing out your day job and working on your music full-time.

Now, let’s talk about persistence. Making music your full-time job requires persistence and resilience. It’s not an easy journey, and there will be challenges and setbacks along the way. But if you’re truly passionate about your music and dedicated to pursuing your dreams, you must persevere. Keep honing your skills, improving your craft, and pushing forward even in the face of adversity. Remember, success rarely happens overnight. It takes time, effort, and a lot of hard work.

Lastly, financial stability is crucial when considering transitioning to a full-time music career. Before quitting your day job, ensure that you have a solid financial plan in place. Evaluate your income and expenses, create a budget, and save up enough money to sustain yourself during the transition period. This financial stability will provide you with the freedom and peace of mind to focus on your music without worrying about immediate financial pressures.

In summary, phasing out your day job and transitioning to a full-time music career requires careful planning, hard work, networking, persistence, and financial stability. It’s a journey that takes time and dedication, but if you’re passionate about your music and willing to put in the effort, you can make it a reality. So don’t quit your day job right away, but instead, take strategic steps to build your music career and create opportunities for yourself. Good luck on your musical journey!