The Future of Music Coalition has an article which lists the different revenue streams available to musicians. I highly recommend reading this list (hat tip to I Care if You Listen‘s article on taking charge of your finances) and seeing how many of them we can apply to our work.
Not all of the streams will make sense for everyone. But it would still be useful to try hard to figure out if there is any possibility of opening up one of the streams for yourself.
If necessary, perhaps imagine a Bizarro World version of yourself in which all of them must apply. Bend the rules of physics/taste and come up with how each one might apply to the Bizarro World version.
Then see if it maybe it would work in the real world after all.
Revenue streams and pivoting
The reason this is important to do, from an entrepreneurial standpoint is something referred to as “the pivot.”
Entrepreneurs don’t often end up doing what they started out doing. Somewhere along the line they realize they need to change their plans, sometimes drastically. Drastic changes of plans sometimes require changes in the way money is generated.
Having a firm grasp of different ways to generate money can be the difference between life and death of an entrepreneurial idea.
If we accept that the only way we can make money is by playing in an orchestra or teaching or waiting for a label to promote our music etc, then we are ceding our own agency in advancing our art and our careers.