Matt McCovann responds to a music business professional who asks for career advice after losing his dream job.
Dear Music Bizzer,
I feel your pain. This year I lost 95% of my clients (from what was my “dream business” of over 13 years).
This can be a very difficult idea to swallow, but I believe (from personal experience as well as watching many others) that these seeming “roadblocks” are actually great “redirects” toward something much better — something even more in line with your true desires. But you have to be open to it of course. This may seem hard to believe if you are one of the few people who actually loved their day job, only to lose it before you were ready to move on.
For me, because I stayed open to the idea that there’s a “silver lining to every cloud,” I could see that the few clients that remained were my best-paying, most grateful clients, and that I now had a lot more spare time to enjoy my family and finish writing my latest book (“Feel The Magic in Your Mind“). I realized that this was what I was really wanting — despite the leap of faith needed to work out how to pay the bills with only a few clients. It was life’s way of saying “Okay, it’s time to get a lot closer to your dream life.” It sounds funny, but I was actually forced to live a more enjoyable, less stressful life.
Most people don’t really love their job at all — it’s just a chore they must perform so that they can pay their bills. So, for them, it’s a little easier to see that there could be something better awaiting them, and it’s easier for them to leave their old job behind (mentally) when the time comes to move on. However, for you it may be a little harder to let go without feeling like you’ve been “robbed” of something great. But please know that life is operating in your best interest, and while sometimes growth brings pain (temporary), it doesn’t have to bring suffering (long-term) if you remain hopeful and trust in the “bigger picture.”
Now, it’s a difficult time for you, of course — there would be a lot of potential fear and dismay around the “loss” of your job and income, I’m sure. So it’s crucial to move quickly to a more hopeful mental state, so that you don’t “solidify” those thoughts of loss and start experiencing a rather depressing new reality. It’s time to consider a new possibility. Something better is just around the corner. What could it be? What could be a way to do the best parts of that job you loved, but in a way that gives you more freedom and perhaps even more per-hour income? What about an internet-based business offering information products (passive income!) and consulting for bands and musicians wanting to do their own marketing/promotion? I personally know of one band (Staark) already that is looking for that sort of information and would gladly pay for it, and there would be thousands of other bands and musicians out there looking for the same thing.
So what’s next? Once you get yourself into a place where you can trust that this situation could actually be a gift (an open door to something better), ask yourself two questions: “What would my dream life look and feel like?” and “What steps can I take today to start moving toward that as quickly as possible?” Then start writing down everything and anything you can think of to see which ideas are the best or easiest from which to start. Then jump in and get started! You’ll learn to live a life you love, like so many others who have dared to do the same.
Read another guest opinion about how to recover from loss of a dream job.