I don’t just enjoy music. It’s how I get through tough emotions, how I best communicate and what makes me the happiest. The best version of me emerges when I work on music, every aspect of it.
Since having a gun to my head in 2011 (listen to Not Every Dream is Jaded for the full story), and the possibility of my songs following me to the grave, I realized, then, that I HAD to share them with the world. I could not bare the weight and regret of writing songs that only existed in Dropbox. They had to be fully actualized so that my soul could rest a little easier and so that others can heal, dream, enjoy and resonate.
With that, I must, by default, work while pursuing my music. However, music is very expensive, especially if you want to do it right; equipment, production, legal, administrative, marketing, accounting and travel expenses all add up. You could say that this side hustle requires another side hustle just to help finance it (hence why I am also part of a tribute band). But this is not a “do it for the fame” pursuit. Once you realize how steep your pockets have to be, only passion and prayer will help you pay for it all.
Now that you know the “why” behind having to work and having to pursue music, I’ll touch on a few aspects about pursuing both all while being a mom and a wife.
HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?
I get this question a lot, so I’ll take a pass at answering it. For music, I plan A LOT using Miro (a Godsend). I organize A LOT (using Google Drive). I visualize, communicate and rely A LOT on my team to help me work through all the details. This all wouldn’t be possible without my husband who is my roadie, promoter, and photographer/videographer. My mom lives with us, encourages my music, and watches over our beautiful children often. My producer, mixing/mastering engineer and my marketing team of three (social media, graphics/video editor, and marketing administrator) make it all possible. It would be remiss of me to not shine a light on my support system in order to answer this question.
With work, I plan my days and realize from experience that I’d be better off keeping the two separate as much as possible; however, it can be very difficult. If asked what I did for the weekend, how’s life, or what do I enjoy outside of work, the answer is almost always music related. The truth is I’m very involved in music, but I’d be better off using blanket statements about music and focusing on the other normal aspects of my life such as family, outings and vacations so that it doesn’t evolve into a conflict of interest. I love music, but I also have to work to feed my family and keep a roof over our heads. There are days, too, when I wish I could work on music full-time. I've cried many times about it, BUT as long as my work feeds my family and pays for all our bills, I have to keep that perspective and keep pushing.
It's also important that I can see a correlation from the skills I am developing from my 9-5 to who I am becoming for music; the flame burned out for proposal management, I saw less and less of the correlation, and now it's time for me to move onto event planning.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I get this question a lot, too. Previously, I worked as a Marketing Specialist for Turner Construction, one of the largest General Contractors in the world. I chased multi-million dollar construction projects for clients in every market segment. I made good money and great friendships, but my stress level was always high, my schedule was not predictable because of the relentless deadlines and I was constantly chasing pursuit after pursuit, sometimes multiple at a time. I did not have the freedom or mental capacity to do the things that brought me true joy and I could not see myself doing that for much longer.
As of today, I am an Event and Program Specialist for UCSF. Yay! I will be going into this position with a better understanding of how to frame my mind and structure my life. I’ll be able to work from home and stay focused. I am excited for this role because it will more directly fit into my life-vision. Wish me luck, patience, resources and the ability to effectively do my job and WOW my team and event stakeholders!
WHEN DO YOU HAVE TIME?
This is a question that I have an important answer for. It can apply to anyone trying to balance work, family and a side hustle.
During the week, I work from 8-5. I give my babies 30 second hugs when I come home or when I am done with work to let them know mommy is done. 5-7 is family time. 7-9 is music time. I must always stop at 9 for hubby time. At 10, I read and pray with my babies. 11-whenever I work on music. Sometimes I stop at 2AM or wake at 4AM to work on music. I am still figuring out how/when to workout.
On Friday nights from 6-9, JonJon and I have date night. We take turns planning what to do. So if I want to get pedicures and watch a chick flick… that’s what we’re doing, and vice versa. After, I get to work on music.
On Sundays after church from 12-4, it’s mommy daughter day. We craft, cook, play games, go on field trips, shop, etc. After, I get to work on music.
Thanks to my life coach, Melissa, I’ve structured my life like this so that I can make/have time for my work and music while prioritizing what is most important: my family.
I believe in chasing dreams and GOING FOR IT. If God puts a vision on your soul, He has every intention of filling it. I see Him performing miracles in my life and aligning people and things in a perfectly intended order. I follow my intuition and take inspired action. Having a full life is not easy, but it is worth it when you accomplish things that once seemed impossible, when the dots connect in some miraculous way and when you continue to improve towards the best version of you.
Ps. I’m not gonna lie. There are levels to this… and these levels are sometimes deep and soul wrenching, but you got this with purpose, power and prayer. Don’t underestimate the signs, and asking God for help. You won’t believe what He makes come true.