Alex Walsh Show Business Blog #1

9/5/14

Why is it wonderful? Because:

Yesterday I made my last payment to Sallie Mae. I kicked that gal to the curb! I graduated from college in the fall of 1996 (after years off because I couldn’t stand school). By 1997 I was getting bills. But I was broke. So broke I had to sell my electric guitar to pay the rent (A 1993 Gibson Les Paul Studio, black with gold trim). It was a drastic move. (Years later I bought the same model when I saw it on craigslist, but wine red. I’m holding it now as I type). But that’s business, right? Got to pay the bills.

So I’ve been on this get rid of debt campaign since about 2010. It started really slowly when I realized I was having a hard time breathing. I didn’t understand what it was. Then I started looking at my business situation. I had a lot of debt! So I started paying down my credit cards.

About 18 months ago, a wonderful singer / songwriter named Cara Wick turned me onto Dave Ramsey. I was telling her my troubles, how I’d be paying back debt forever and how could I do music if I’m paying off debt? She gave me his book, the Total Money Make Over. I immediately put it on the shelf.

A month later I was trying to record a new Album at home. I realized that it would suck if I did it all myself. I needed to work with other musicians in a real studio, all of which costs real money. Did I have a fan base that would buy this CD (to justify spending the money to make it)? Judging by my previous one, no.

So I was sitting there and I looked up and there was the Dave Ramsey book. I read about half of it and I was convinced. This was a financial plan. I knew in the back of my mind I needed a plan, but did not know how to get one. Now I had one.

I immediately listed a bunch of music equipment on craigslist and it started selling. I put it into the debt…I was on my way. Very cool!

I discovered that Dave Ramsey had a radio show and a podcast. I became obsessed, as is my nature. I started working his baby steps. I eventually told my wife that I was doing this. She didn’t think there was a problem. After much cajoling we got on the same page, and today we’re debt free (we still have a mortgage, but that will be finished up sooner than later…).

I’m sorry I didn’t document the past year. I only started blogging today because every blogger says it’s good for your career. It will take you places. I hope so! I recently discovered Penelope Trunk. I love her writing. I wish she had more youtube videos. And Ariel Hyatt. She’s a music pr person. I bought her book. She really spells it out. I need plans. People in show business need plans.

I also like Seth Godin. But I need people to tell me what to do. Like a to do list. I’m convinced I need to do it, just give me a to do list.

Show Business? What’s that? After 28 years in “Show Business” and/or the “Music Business”, I haven’t seen much business. Will I stop? No. Do I still believe? Absolutely. I’d be crazy not to…