I’m Not A Business Person (But I Need To Be)

For some reason, I decided that I want to make music for games. After all, I love music and I love games, so this notion makes sense.

A few years ago, when I was younger and much dumber than I am now (I’m still kind of dumb), I thought that if I just WROTE MUSIC, I would somehow be DISCOVERED and then everyone would know how good my music was and how they had to have me score their game.

But this kind of thinking is destructive. Because it leads to frustration. “Why isn’t anyone listening to my music??” “Why am I not getting work??”

Now in 2017, I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I’ve learned a lot more over these past few years.

I learned that you need to work on games to get work in games.

I learned that you need to meet people and develop relationships.

So far, I’ve had quite a bit of success, if my credits list is any indication.

But most of all, I learned that you need to treat your work like a business. And this is where I am currently struggling. I’m not a business person. I’m still uncomfortable talking about money after 3 years doing this. I’ve lost work from overcharging, but that’s lead to me barely having enough money to pay my rent. I’ve succumbed and taken on way too much work for way too little pay in my desperation, and ended up making myself miserable.

I really don’t have all the answers. But nobody does.

But, you can learn more and develop yourself where you’re lacking. As such, I’m currently shifting into a new mentality. Sure, I have three years experience making audio for games. I’ve shipped a lot of games in this short time frame. I’ve spoken at numerous conferences. I’m a college professor for sound design.

But I still can learn more. So much more.

As such, I’m seeking out ways to learn from those who’ve been there, who are in the place where I want to go. I want to have a successful career making music for games. So I need to learn from those who are there already.

I’m grateful to be part of the Business Skills for Composers group on Facebook, for example. It’s full of wonderful people who are way better at being a business-savvy composer than I am.

Furthermore, my career has taken me to so many places, and I’ve gotten to meet so many awesome composers. I’m currently planning on attending my very first Game Sound Con so that I can continue being a part of this amazing game audio community as well.

So even though I don’t know everything, I’m confident I had the right idea in the first place… getting out of my house and meeting people. Making connections. Becoming a part of the game audio community. I might not know everything I need to know right now. I’ll never know everything about being a successful composer for games. But I’m excited to keep learning from others!

Hopefully this post inspires you to learn from others in your craft as well. Feel free to continue the discussion with me on Twitter.

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