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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:18 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
You guys are great, thanks for sharing. (art) I think you are right about part time and about relaxing, and that is also connected to what dsu says about accepting yourself (and loved reading your insights, dsu). 3dot, corporation and Tarekith, great points too, thanks. I think this thread is really excellent. I kind of hoped you guys would be as open and thoughtful in your responses as you have been, and I am glad I wasn't disappointed. I bet lots of other people will enjoy reading it too. It's a nice community :)


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:54 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:34 am
Posts: 468
Some great responses on here....feel the love! :lol:

Art makes some very solid points about the part-time thing. Good Sir James - I don't suppose you are familiar with the concept of 'Downshifting'?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downshifting

As a happy medium - perhaps this approach will offer you the fulfilment you seek - while not sacrificing your family's needs? There is a LOT of information out there on the subject (including a couple of Australian and British studies which feature interviews with people that have made similar transitions to what has been discussed here)

I suggest you do a little research on the subject - it may offer some new insights on your own predicament.

Forgetting about outcomes for just a moment, perhaps you need to do a little inventory of your VALUES. Not just your values, but your wife (and children's, too).

If you can be clear about what you value as an individual, and as a couple (and if there are any important discrepancies there!), then you can proceed to measure your considered alternatives against these values - in all areas of your life. You might be surprised where musical fulfilment sits relative to other values when you consider your broader life!

Likewise, any considered outcomes that are seriously incongruent with your values are likely to ultimately bring unhappiness.

Good luck - and thanks for sharing so openly. Don't forget to keep us posted.


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:06 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:34 am
Posts: 468
Also, I will disclose that the reason I've been reading about Downshifting is that I've been contemplating some similar thoughts as your of recent times.

While my situation is different (32, long-term GF, no kids, only 'OK' financial situation), I've certainly been considering how my life would be like if I could dedicate more time towards my various creative pursuits.

Maybe not the 'whole-hog' - but I could probably get by on less money, if it would mean spending more time on music. (not with any 'career' ambition, purely for my own enjoyment)

The thing is - I already work in a career that might traditionally be considered 'creatively fulfilling' - graphic design. Whilst the dynamic of a career as a musician and that of a graphic designer are different, I can share one thing:

Money, routine and time pressures will change your enjoyment of your art.

Subsequently, in the 10 years that I have been working professionally as a graphic designer, I have spent less and less time working on visual projects of my own outside of that commercial context. In a way, working on visual stuff in that environment day-in, day-out, has killed a lot of my enthusiasm for making visual art.

Perhaps not coincidentally, my interest and involvement in music has only grown in that same duration, from being an avid collector/nerd, to buying records, djing, to finally learning several pieces of software and making my first pieces of music that I'm happy to share with others.

Perhaps my anecdote will not be directly relatable to your predicament, but just be aware that there is a world of difference between doing a creative pursuit as a hobby, and directly tying your flow of income to your passion.

8O


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:29 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
Really intelligent and interesting posts citizen, thanks. Yes I think my wife and I are moving towards the notion that less money and more free time would be a good thing. The free time to be spent on creativity and kids - not wasted or lazy time, just reallocated time. We are not really super rich as I've only been well paid for a few years and our kids are young with all their expensive years to come. So there will be some pain and guilt involved, jumping off now just when I've got near the top. But we think it'll probably be worth it and, as some people have said, we'll be giving our kids something important with the example we'll show them. Thanks for your thoughts, much appreciated :)


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:27 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:34 am
Posts: 1870
Location: Austin, Texas
if you can't run away then charge!

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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:10 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:05 am
Posts: 187
I think, With the current economic climate we're in, it to be wise to keep hold on all that saving in case things get worse.
Especially since you have a Family to take care off and like you said you currently have a very well paid job.
That is very precious these days! Do not think too lightly to just give that up!

I am a father myself and I am approaching the midlife barrier soon (turning 38 this year). But I have seen friends go through a midlife crisis, one of them ruining a relationship, give up a job, buying an expensive motorcycle and running off With a New girlfriend. (No joke!).
I knew this couple for years and litterly saw him change to someone I no longer knew. It was very painful to see and experience a good friend going through that. :cry:

So again, take a deep breath and think very thoroughly if you are not going through the first stages of midlife crisis. Nothing to be ashamed off, as it can happen to everyone!

Just my 2 cents to the topic.


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:00 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Zagreb,Croatia
considering art as a daily job sucks big time.
Morton Feldman, one of the greatest american composers had a steady job at his father's store for years just to be able to be TRUE to his art.
otherwise, compromises all the way.
so, if you have doubts, don't do it.
if you have an URGE, you don't really have a choice then, do you?


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:03 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:43 am
Posts: 306
Location: Latitude: 52° 4' 60 N, Longitude: 4° 17' 60 E
Hey thegoodsirjames,

You've read it here before, and I think it is true: You will only love it so much, as long as you don't have to become totally depended of it. Especially if your kids are depending on making you generate income to provide them with a good life.

Since I have a kid, everything else doesn't matter to me anymore! In the evening hours I sometimes sit behind my pc making music and I really enjoy it. But I enjoy it even more to spend time with my daughter when she is awake. And I can only do so, because I have a day job (as a graphic designer), of which I can provide a decent living for my family and even gives me enough time to spend on my hobbies.

I know it sounds nice to be self providing, doing only the things you love, but this is only realistic for the few who pursue with full commitment. It doesn't sound like you're really committed to it (yet)!

Why I think you should not do it:
  • You post this question on a forum. You are not sure yourself... Doesn't that tell you enough?!
  • It's a very vague thing you want to do: "Something with ableton"!
  • You've chosen other things than a music career in life already. Why didn't you chose it then? You are now 42 years old, and your story sounds like a typical mid-life crisis situation.
  • ... and you have kids! (other people are depending on you now... It's not really the right time to start being "selfish")

If you still really think about pursuing your dream, and your loved ones support you all the way, then I think there are two ways to go about this.

1. Step by step
Keep your dayjob for now! There are a lot of things you can do to prepare yourself and your environment beforehand.

Have a solid plan. Not "doing something with Ableton". Come on! You can do better than that! You're 42 years old... You know how it works in the real world.
Think of it as setting up a business. After all, you want to generate income to provide yourself and your family from. Make a business plan! How are you going to earn money with Ableton?
After you've done that, you should do all the preparations for that and read up on it. Whatever you choose. Production. Do a course or get an education in Audio Engineering. Do some kind of internship in a studio. Set up a network. DJ-ing or performing artist. Get the stuff you need for that and learn from the best (Read books, Go to clubs, join a band, whatever)...

After all that, I think you can best take a sabbatical year (if this is possible in your company) since you already have saved some cash, and give it a go. I think a whole year should give you enough time to just be busy with what you would like to do and give you a good idea if it is worth continuing. If you see it is going in the right direction, you can always quit your dayjob.
... Otherwise you can at least say to yourself you gave it your best shot.

2. Head first
If you feel irresponsable :P enough, just quit your dayjob and go for it.
However, this doesn't sound like you, because you haven't done it yet!

Whatever you decide... Good luck and just make sure you keep it real(-istic)!

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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:34 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
:) Thanks guys, all good stuff!
No doubt at all that this is a mid life crisis of sorts. But there's a funny thing about MLC (in my case at least). It's not a question of certain things occurring to you in your 40's all of a sudden. I knew them all in my 20's. I knew I wanted to be 'creative' back then and not in the sort of job I'm in now. But I thought if I was a starving artist I wouldn't be able to buy a house or support a family, and I thought the romance of being poor and depending on government grants would wear off pretty quick. So I figured I'd better earn some money first - didn't fancy my chances of making enough through the creativity, for reasons others have rightly pointed out!
So now I have enough to buy a small house outright and live for a few years without working. I could keep with the corporate job ten more years and never have to work again, or go for it now and go running back to the corporate job in 5 years if it doesn't work out. Probably, as people have suggested, I'll work part time, live modestly, keep my capital for emergencies, and try to generate some sort of income using solely my wit, charm and ingenuity :D I will still feel guilty that I could have been better off financially if I'd stayed in my current job, had a bigger house, bought more things for my kids, etc but as long as we can still eat then I guess it will be worth it :D


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:23 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:29 am
Posts: 50
thegoodsirjames wrote:
Hi guys. I'm going to open my heart to you now, and I would really like to hear your advice - especially where it is based on personal experience.

So, I have a very well-paid job. I have a wife and two young kids. I want to do my best for them. I am 42. I have a very fortunate life compared to many people. But I am at a crossroads with a voice getting louder in my head saying I have not been on the right path, and the stress sometimes feels like a hand closing in around my throat.

The thing is, I always wanted to be a musician, but never got lessons. At school I joined the choir and was the only one who couldn't read music or sight read. But I was allowed in (it was a fairly elite touring choir) because the choirmaster said I had a special talent. In my 20's I got into Djing and within a year I was a regular at well known club in Barcelona, also playing festivals around the area. I wasn't as cool as the guys doing it full time but when they heard my mixes they said I had something special and welcomed me into their circle and onto their decks, and I got quite a few fans. But I eventually followed my day job because it was the kind of thing I thought my parents and future family would be proud of and I thought I'd have a better chance of supporting them with it.

So now here I am. I am an office monkey just like I always said I would never be. I am working with people who are nice but don’t seem like my kind of people. I have to act like someone else to work with them and get their respect and cooperation, which I need in order to get things done. I feel as though I live a lie all day. My main job satisfaction is knowing what I am providing for my family.

Like many people of around my age, I wonder how I suddenly got to here from 25, and I really properly understand now that my time on the planet is limited. I am starting to value every second more than I did before. And I really feel, in every waking moment that I am an artist (in the general sense of the word). This is not so much down to anything I’ve created, but more to how I see the universe and what is meaningful to me. And I feel an overwhelming need to create before I get older and die. But here’s the problem: I cannot do this in the tiny opportunities I get between work and being with my family. I love creating with Ableton and feel alive and in tune with myself when doing so, but I don't get enough time - and time is slipping away.

So I’m getting to my question. With my savings I could support my family for up to 5 years, and focus on becoming a master with Ableton and finding a path to making a living which involves music. My wife thinks I should do it. (Wow, what a woman, this is why I married her, after all.)

So one voice in my brain is saying this: Everything you have put your mind to, you have been successful at (to an acceptable degree for me, that is). If you had five years to focus on Ableton alone, with your passion, desire and ability to work very hard, and your business experience, you would find a way to make a living doing what you love. In addition, and this is silly but unfortunately might be relevant, you look about 10 years younger than you are (according to everyone) so if you went into something like Djing this might help.
But the other voice in my mind is saying: hey, are you nuts? it's the music and entertainment industry. You are too old. And if you screw it up, you will be 47, broke, and you will have seriously affected your family's future. All so you could do what you like instead of sacrificing yourself for them. Just making great music is not enough, even if you get that far. There are many talented artists who don't make it. You will have to brown nose people, and compete aggressively with others (including many who are younger and don’t have families to support), neither of which you have to do anymore in your current job. You will have to do so many unpleasant things to be hot in the 'industry' that you will lose the joy of making music. And even if you make it by 47, how long will you then be able to work for, before you are/feel too old and irrelevant?

So has anyone else found themselves with a similar dilemma and especially, has anyone else taken the plunge and succeeded? I don't need to be a multi-millionaire but I would like to be able to support my family. This might mean anything from 30k (pounds/dollars/euros) to 50k per year. Yes, I have read on this forum that you should dip your toe in whilst keeping you day job and then go for it if you get good feedback, but I don't think I can work like that. I have to put all my energy and focus into one thing if I’m going to make a success of it. In the past, when I’ve done this, I’ve been OK. But is Ableton the wrong thing to choose, and is it too late for me with my age and commitments?
I know there will be many opinions on this and ultimately only I can decide. But if anyone has any anecdotes of what happened to people in similar situations, this would really help me. I feel like I have to make a decision very soon!
Thanks for reading guys!


Hey dude, hang in there you're not alone with this. I'm exactly where you are, albeit a number of years younger.

I cant say whats right for you but I will say this. Follow your passion but dont be wreckless with your past accomplishments. Work part time or take a long leave of absence but you'll thank yourself later if you dont burn bridges now.

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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:48 am
Posts: 569
Location: UK, London
Quote:
...or go for it now and go running back to the corporate job in 5 years if it doesn't work out.


Are you sure? After 5 years out the corporate world might not be so keen on you (this is not a personal comment, just an observation of the way people who do the hiring think)

dsu> some sound advice IMO


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
^^^Yeah it's a fair comment and it probably wouldn't be back to the same level - but back to an OK level, maybe - better chance of that at 47 than later, I am guessing. I suppose it also depends how you present what you were doing for 5 years. 'I was getting high and twiddling the same two knobs on an 8 bar loop' might not grab them :D


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:48 am
Posts: 569
Location: UK, London
IMO the best plan would be to milk your current job and aim for early retirement :)


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
Yeah that is definitely one option. But ten more years of working 60 hour weeks with no time for music seems like a long time at the moment!


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:05 am
Posts: 187
thegoodsirjames wrote:
Yeah that is definitely one option. But ten more years of working 60 hour weeks with no time for music seems like a long time at the moment!


There are many in the world (me included) who would love the idea of being able to retire at age of 52. :wink:


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