Hustle Harder: Diversify Your Portfolio

By Donny Goines  |  08/29/2008

Donny GoinesI recently had a meeting with my people, Jonathan and Adam over at Same Plate Management, in regards to my career and I thought they really made some interesting points. One of which was that music shouldn't be the only thing I focus on because this business is shaky and even though my music is the foundation of it all, there's no reason why I can't become involved in other things as well.

In this day and age making a profit from your music can be difficult. Honestly speaking, the average artist will probably never make enough money to sustain a career musically and the odds are against you. Not to say it's impossible, but your chances of making a decent income are slim to say the least. As of now, the only check I have ever received was for $150 dollars. Two and a half years and that's the only profit I've made. Crazy right? Yeah I could have charged for many things and found ways to try to make money from the music (I chose to build up my buzz instead of focusing on profit), but this situation is not uncommon for many artists and if you find yourself struggling to make ends meet, maybe you should branch out and try new things.

One thing I've learned thus far is that there IS money out there. You just have to know where to look. As an artist, you have to view yourself as a business. With that being said, you can not put all your assets in one product because if that business fails, you will not make any profits. So what do you do? Simple, diversify your portfolio.

No I'm not talking about stocks and bonds (although if you had the money, it wouldn't be a bad idea to invest in some) I'm talking about doing different things to generate income. Take me for example, I have many plans I am going to put into action soon and one of them is to sell DVDs of my popular "Bars" series. That is something that I can do now in order to generate income BESIDES my music. You can sell merchandise, model for clothing lines, whatever ... but sometimes you need to do other things to sustain while pursing a career in music. Not only will it help to generate money you can put towards your movement, but it can also make you more desirable in the eyes of labels and other organizations (people like to do business with those who have more then just one thing to offer). It also provides some sort of safety net because all your eggs are not in one basket, so in case your music isn't selling like it's supposed to you can have something to fall back on. Like any accountant, I would highly suggest to think about some of the things you can do besides music to supplement income because this business is a fickle one.

The meeting I had was very promising. We are coming up with creative plans and I'm really excited as to what the future holds. Although music is where my heart is, I can't rap forever and I know this. Therefore I'm going to make sure that my portfolio is a diverse one. Much love.

For more on me and my music visit my Myspace page at