The Broke Musician’s Guide to Life: Mozarts vs. Franklins

TBMGTLIn The Renaissance Soul, Margaret Lobenstein distinguishes between people like Mozart (“one passionate lifelong interest”) and those like (Ben) Franklin (“a great many interests”). I think the problem facing many professional musicians is that we’ve been trained to always be Mozarts, but increasingly we need to be Franklins.

I certainly identify music as my primary “passionate lifelong interest,” but I have many others. For a long time, I tried to be a super-hybrid of Mozarts and Franklins – wanting to be extra-good at everything I did. I’m slowly realizing that I need to put music first professionally, but that I can still incorporate many of my other interests such as entrepreneurship, productivity, and yoga. The trick is to be “just good enough” at these things – I don’t need to be a business guru, productivity consultant, or yoga instructor, I just need to know enough about them to enhance my career.

To borrow a page from Franklin, musicians need to be “healthy, wealthy, and wise.” When we aren’t, we’re “broke” – whether physically, financially, or emotionally. Unfortunately, the “early to bed, early to rise” part isn’t usually feasible for us. Because of this, musicianship isn’t always strongly associated with financial and personal responsibility.

My goal with The Broke Musician’s Guide to Life is to use my interests in business, productivity, and wellness to teach working musicians “just enough” to get and stay healthy, wealthy, and wise – in ways that are actually feasible (and still keep the music front-and-center).

Here is a basic overview of what will be covered in The Broke Musician’s Guide to Life:

Wellness (“Healthy”)

  • How to develop a diet/exercise plan that works for your body, budget, and lifestyle
  • How to get access to the healthcare and self-care that you need – even on a tight budget
  • How to make sure you get enough sleep, relaxation, and rejuvenation

Business (“Wealthy”)

  • How to set financial goals, monitor income/expenses, and track your progress
  • How to create a business plan, develop your personal brand, and handle being self-employed
  • How to develop organizational systems, effective work habits, and optimal productivity

Personal Development (“Wise”)

  • How to set/achieve practice and learning goals
  • How to simplify/streamline household and other responsibilities to free up time for things you love
  • How to develop healthy and fulfilling relationships with others

In many ways, this series is a complement to my other series, Gentle Steps – which guides musical learners in the early stages of their development through the process of practicing. In the case of the latter, I’m teaching Renaissance People how to be musicians. With The Broke Musician’s Guide to Life, I’m teaching musicians how to be Renaissance People.

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist, Instructor, Writer

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