Hobby VS Profession. By, Bob Lefsetz

Posted on December 11, 2012 by

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HOBBYIST

Pays for his equipment.

PROFESSIONAL

Gets it for free.

HOBBYIST

Earns his living outside music, his career is first, music is second.

PROFESSIONAL

First goal is to give up his day job, second goal is to make a lot of money.

JOURNEYMAN

A subset of professional. A journeyman just loves to play, get high, go on the road, experience the camaraderie.

STAR

Needs to dominate. Being a member of the group is not enough. If he or she can’t make it to the very top, they’re disappointed.

STAR

Knows he must be batting 1000 in at least one department. Must be able to sing, play or is beautiful. In a perfect world, all three. If you’re not batting 1000 in one of these categories, either practice or admit you’re a hobbyist.

JOURNEYMAN

If you want to play behind the best, your first skill must be networking. Your second skill must be the ability to get along. Your third must be your playing. If you get in the door and can’t deliver musically, you’re going to wash out. If you’re a journeyman, practice is essential. You should never be the weak link. You should not only pick up where the front person is going, you should make him or her look better.

HOBBYIST

Has got no idea what it takes to make it. You can read “Billboard” and the rest of the trade magazines, they give you no idea how business is done, nor do any conferences or seminars illuminate the business fully. In order to know the business, you must know those in it. The music business is ruthless. Many want to be in it and it’s almost impossible to stay in it. Before you decry the person at the top, investigate how he got there and how he stays there.

STAR

Long or short term? Short term…go on TV, although that paradigm is evaporating as I write this. “X Factor” is a nonstarter, the new “Idol” will be irrelevant and “The Voice” will crater soon, just like “Millionaire.” Short term stars should think about getting out as soon as they get in. Become a movie star, tie in with the Fortune 500, you’re running a business, credibility is irrelevant. If you’re a long term star, your material is key, as is your credibility, think about tomorrow in every decision you make today.

HOBBYIST

Copies the riffs.

PROFESSIONAL

Creates the riffs.

HOBBYIST

Plays for money and complains the club owner is ripping him off.

PROFESSIONAL

Scalps his own tickets or keeps prices artificially low and employs paperless ticketing to get tickets in the hands of his fans.

HOBBYIST

Has no fans.

PROFESSIONAL

Relies on his fans. If your only fan is your label and radio, you’re in trouble.

JOURNEYMAN

Might have a few fans in the audience, but his fans are the stars.

HOBBYIST

Buys off the rack.

PROFESSIONAL

Believes in customization.

HOBBYIST

Is all about the truth.

PROFESSIONAL

Never speaks the truth in public.

JOURNEYMAN

Only speaks the truth to other journeymen. Otherwise, his job is in jeopardy.

HOBBYIST

Will never become a professional. He’s too wrapped up in his cocoon, he believes in safety, despite people telling him how good he is. It’s a personal leap of faith to professionalism, and he’s not willing to make it.

PROFESSIONAL

Exudes self-confidence. Is willing to risk everything to make it. Passion and desire are almost equal to talent.

HOBBYIST

Is afraid of getting screwed.

PROFESSIONAL

Has and will continue to get screwed until he becomes a superstar. If you haven’t been screwed, you haven’t made it.

JOURNEYMAN

Laughs about being screwed. His joy is in playing.

HOBBYIST

Has no manager.

PROFESSIONAL

Has a manager who is the secret to his success. Without a good manager, you’ve got no career.

JOURNEYMAN

Is his own manager. Nobody else cares that much.

HOBBYIST

Makes his records at home.

PROFESSIONAL

Makes his records in his engineer’s home.

JOURNEYMAN

Makes his records at home.

HOBBYIST

Thinks it’s all about luck and life isn’t fair.

PROFESSIONAL

Makes his own luck and isn’t concerned with fairness.

HOBBYIST

Has time to give his opinion.

PROFESSIONAL

Is too busy working to give an opinion.

HOBBYIST

Fields no offers. He creates demand.

PROFESSIONAL

Sifts through more offers as he gets more successful. Eventually gets to the point where he employs someone else to say no, so he doesn’t look bad.

JOURNEYMAN

Is a juggler. He’s thinking about not only this gig, but two down the line.

HOBBYIST

Is genuine all the time.

PROFESSIONAL

Is rarely genuine, he doesn’t trust people and is wary of being stepped on, having his career thwarted.

HOBBYIST

Talks like he knows everybody.

PROFESSIONAL

Actually knows everybody.

HOBBYIST

Pays for his concert tickets.

PROFESSIONAL

Can always get in, can always pay, but usually is invited for free and rarely shows up.

HOBBYIST

No one cares if he’s absent.

PROFESSIONAL

You feel his absence.

HOBBYIST

Sells crap. Stunned that the world doesn’t stop and see its “greatness.”

PROFESSIONAL

Doesn’t go to market without an ace, a killer song or production.

HOBBYIST

Wastes time arguing.

PROFESSIONAL

Has got no time. If he hits a roadblock, he finds another way.

HOBBYIST

Is thrilled to be playing live anywhere.

PROFESSIONAL

Will not play unless you pay him, no matter what the promotional advantages or how good the cause is (unless it’s a radio station show).

HOBBYIST

Can see today.

PROFESSIONAL

Can see tomorrow.

HOBBYIST

Is shocked that illicit favors have to be performed to get ahead.

PROFESSIONAL

Would blow anybody to get ahead, of either sex. It’s his one and only life and one and only career, nothing’s going to get in his way.

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