I started this business in 2004 when I was 16 years old. My dad and I bought a $1000 used PA that literally was set up like a starter pack with mic's chords and everything and we got a gig at the small bar my mother worked at hosting an open mic for very little money. My dad saw it as a nice to have, but I saw the stars.
I didn't know what I wanted to do yet, but I wanted to build something bigger. I think my original thoughts were to write some songs, show up at random bars, and by the following year I'd drop out of school for a record deal. It turns out, record deals were in short supply to 16 year old quiet kids with almost no stage experience. I know because I tried to contact ever company that had anything to do with record deals and not a single one gave me a second look.
Plan B was to prove them wrong. I guess if they weren't going to take me at my word and give me a record deal, I would just create a record label and get famous myself. Again, it apparently didn't work that way. Turns out, it was a very expensive venture to build and create a record label with all the things needed to be successful. So I decided to get through High School and I'd figure it out later.
The PA ended up sitting in an old schoolhouse for a long time. We'd break it out for family events and other things, but again, this wasn't a nice to have for me. It was my future and every time we'd break it out, I was thinking of what I could build with this cheap PA.
I think I had a belief that if I could get it going, it would become easy money. I wouldn't have to work as hard as I did in the kitchens I was putting so much time in for such little money. I wanted an easy path. Once again, I would eventually learn, it doesn't work that way.
In 2006, I graduated High Shool and became a father. This changed everything. Work became a way of life, but we never seemed to be able to come up with enough to get by, so of course it made sense to go to my brilliant plan of making easy money playing music. I sat down at my grandmothers computer and literally spent our entire tax return and then some on karaoke music. I transferred everything I had into investing in this easy money plan.
We depended on family for just about everything to get by. I felt like a fool. I didn't know what I was doing and everything was falling apart. I remember my ex wife coming up to me at one point and asking me, "Why are you pursuing something that is never going to go anywhere?"
I couldn't stop. It was part of who I was. Even after the fairy tale died, I still wanted it. I took the logical decision to make it a side gig till I could gain the momentum needed to do it full time. flipping burgers and working at a pet store made ends meet as I made my real plans.
I expanded the karaoke side of things and created a DJ reputation playing weddings and other private events and even played around with the idea of putting together a band. I never really made my true ambitions known. I was still not happy about not getting a single response about getting a record deal. It felt unreachable and I wanted to put together a machine to do whatever they did and make it reachable for most.
I remarried in 2011 and had 2 more children. My goals were the same, but my motives changed drastically. I began to worry about the world my kids were growing up in and how life seemed to push people to doing things that didn't make them happy in order to get by. I didn't want them to believe the only way to survive is to do something you don't love. So I began to double down.
I began doing what I did in 2004 and 2006. I began investing in the business again. I bought a couple more PA's and invested in building as competitive of a home studio as I could on the budget I had. Next was learning how to use it all. I feel like this will never end, and I love that. I don't want there to be an end to this journey.
I know I could invest in better equipment in all angles, but I understand now that the problem isn't about equipment. The problem is time. Time is the #1 thing that is holding me back. I'm at a point in my life where I can definitely do well at my Day Job and climb their ladder, or I can risk it all to pursue what I truly love and want to do. Doing both isn't working anymore. When I'm putting 50 hours a week in at my day job and trying to put the time I need into my business isn't working anymore.
Yes I quit my job, but it wasn't for easy money. It was for the struggle of working more than I've ever worked in my lifetime with no guarantee of anything more than possibly being happier with my work life.