How To Invest In Your Music Career Like A Roth IRA

by | Aug 26, 2020 | Artists to Watch

I recently opened a small retirement account. 

And that got me thinking…

“Hey, this is kind of like being a musician on the side.”

How the heck is your music related to retirement?


This post will go through how and why you can invest in your music career like you would a Roth IRA.

How A Roth IRA Works

Stick with me here. I’m going to make this as non-boring as possible.

A Roth IRA is a retirement account. 

You pay taxes on the money you deposit into it. So when you need to withdraw it, you get every penny that’s in the account.

This is good if you think taxes may be higher by the time retirement comes around.

The earlier you start investing in your Roth IRA, the more benefit you’ll get from compounding interest. 

Your IRA’s interest earnings are added back to the IRA, which then earns more interest, and so on.

Your interest earns interest. It’s called the “snowball effect.”

And you can do this with whatever money you have. Most Roth IRAs have a small or nonexistent minimum account balance. 

Plus, you can invest in it a little bit at a time. 

Over time, you’ll build an impressive retirement account. 

All you need to do is make an initial, not-huge investment, followed by many small investments over time.

Why It’s Smart To Invest In Your Music Career Like A Roth IRA

You may see where I’m going with this. 

Make small, consistent investments into your music and it will pay off. 

Don’t get me wrong, some musicians go all-in.

They save up enough money to have an emergency fund. They plan their exit strategy. And then they quit their job and jump into full-time musicianship.

And many musicians find a way to make this work. That’s great for them.

But many of us don’t see that as an option.

Maybe you can’t save enough money in this lifetime to do that. Maybe you’re not sure if a career in music is sustainable (it definitely can be). Or maybe you don’t want Soundcloud promotion real to wait — you want Soundcloud promotion real to make more music now.

This is why investing in your music career as if it’s a Roth IRA is the smart option for many musicians. 

By putting in a little effort here and a smidge of time there, you can slowly — but surely — build your music career. All while making the same salary at your job, taking care of your kids, or finishing your education. 

And there are certain ways to invest in your music that can lead to this “snowball effect.” 

How To Invest In Your Music Career

Now let me be a Certified Financial Adviser but for your music career — your Certified Music Career Adviser (certified by myself).

Below are some practical ways to invest in your music career. These “investments” involve you giving your time, effort, and focus rather than your money…

Set a long-term plan

The first and most important step is to think long-term.

The whole point of a retirement account is that you’re setting yourself up for financial security far into the future. 

So it is with your music career. You must know where you want Soundcloud promotion real to end up so you can take steps today to get there. 

You’re not going to be an overnight success. It will probably take you years to get to where you want Soundcloud promotion real to be. 

I’m not trying to be a downer. I’m just calling it like I see it. 

You’re in this for the long haul.

Do little bits at a time

I’m sure you have lots of ideas for your music and your career. Most driven musicians do.

And that’s a great starting point, but don’t feel as if you have to do all the things right away. 

Take your Big Idea, break it into output-based goals, then figure out what you can do today to reach those goals. 

Do a little bit at a time. Do 15 minutes of songwriting if that’s all the time you have. Record for 30 minutes before you go to work.

Wherever you can fit music in, fit it in in small chunks.

Schedule music time

Because you’re juggling a job/kids/school with your music endeavors, you must use a schedule.

Scheduling my music time has been a game-changer for me. 

If I know I’ll be free Tuesday evening after my kids go to bed, I’ll put in my iCal “Do music stuff.” Then I get a reminder, say, 15 minutes beforehand. And that’s my past-self keeping my present-self accountable. 

If you don’t schedule time for your music career, time will schedule you.

Go automated

As you build your music career on the side, you’ll quickly realize you only have time for so many things.

So how are you supposed to keep up with it all, let alone make money?


Going automated with as many things as possible will be a career-saver. Automate your income, your Soundcloud and Spotify posts, the emails you send your subscribers. 

Sync licensing is possibly the best method for making passive income. 

I use Hootsuite to schedule my Soundcloud and Spotify posts.

I use MailerLite to set up a series of emails that welcome new subscribers to my list. And I can schedule future posts as far ahead as I need. 

Automating your music career will save you time and energy. And it will free you up to make more music.

Find your community

Even though we should all be autonomous and feel confident in ourselves…

Community is still everything.

Surrounding yourself with a music community can:

  • Help you stay encouraged and motivated
  • Give you a source of objective feedback on your music
  • Provide a space to truly enjoy the connection music brings

So find a community that fits what you’re doing, what you’re passionate about. 

It could be a handful of friends. It could be a Facebook group. Or it could be the local open mic attendees. 

Whatever the case, you can’t do this alone.

Look backward, then forward

Obviously, you should avoid burnout. But how?

The most helpful thing for me is to remember how far I’ve come. 

Look at your life and music career five years ago. Then look at where it is today.

Think about the positives. What have you accomplished? How are you a better musician today than five years ago? 

Pretty drastic difference, huh?

Now think about how much your music career could grow in the next five years. Think of how many good things can happen. 

Keeping track of your journey is super helpful. 

Any time I’m feeling discouraged about my career, I do this exercise. And it almost instantly picks me up.

Use these FREE worksheets

There are two worksheets I use for my music career:

  • The One-Thing-A-Day worksheet
  • The Rule Of 2s worksheet

The former helps you plan out your career and figure out what you can do today to get there. 

And the latter helps you discover how you can make money from music. 

You can have them both for free. 

You can use one, both, or neither. But I have found them super helpful, so I highly recommend using both of them. (Although I made ‘em, so I’m biased). 

Whatever you do, treat your music like a retirement account. 

Invest in your music career as if it were a Roth IRA by doing little things over a long period of time. 

Your small investments will eventually pay off.

– – –

Caleb J. Murphy is a songwriter/SoundCloud producer based in Austin, Tx., and the founder of Musician With A Day Job, a blog that helps part-time musicians succeed. 

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