Investing in my career paid unexpected dividendsMay 1, 2012
In late 2007, I made a big investment in my career. I acted on a gut instinct that said “you gotta do this. You gotta spend that money to do this. It’s just money”. So in November 2007, I made a decision to sell some shares of mutual funds so that I could make the best music recording I could possibly make. I had no idea that I actually came out the winner when many others were the losers.
When my mom died in 1999, my three siblings and I inherited a nice chunk o’change from her estate. I’m not talking millions or even hundreds of thousands here, but for me, it was significant enough where I could pay cash for a new car, make my first solo CD “The Long Grey Line” taking on a minimum of debt, and put the rest of the money in mutual funds which continued to grow at a nice steady pace for the next 8 years.
In 2006, I decided it was time to start thinking about the next studio recording. I knew that I wanted this one to be special and I also knew that I wanted a producer to do all the heavy lifting. I was aware that Dave Mattacks, a very well-known and much in demand drummer had left his native England and had moved to the Greater Boston area. I had also heard that he had been dabbling a bit on the production side of recording and I thought “Hmmm….I wonder if I should ask Mr. Mattacks if he would produce my next record?”
So I cold-called him, and he responded.
After a chat and a trial of three songs to make sure we wouldn’t kill each other in the process, Dave and I had a long telephone conversation about making a full-length recording. After about an hour he said, “Now here’s the painful part: I’ll need $2000 a song to do this project”. I wasn’t stunned actually, I figured that was about right to get quality engineers and quality musicians to play on the recording, not to mention Dave’s skills at arranging and producing. When they say you get what you pay for, they ain’t kidding. With all the other expenses to make a recording, I was looking at a total of about $35,000
I let him know that I wanted to think about it and think about it I did. This was early November 2007.
After about three weeks, I came to a decision and I called up the guy who runs the mutual fund train and asked him how I go about setting free the money. He said that we’ll take out about $20,000 before the end of the year and we’ll take out the rest in early 2008.
So that’s what I did.
And in March 2008, we all know what happened. The bottom fell out of the market and what I would have lost in my mutual funds went into the CD that became “Fond Desire Farewell“. There is no way in the world I could have predicted what was going to happen. All I knew was that I had to take the plunge, spend a lot of money to make a quality recording that I could be proud of. No regrets at all.
Sometimes, you have to just go for it and let the chips fall where they may. In my case, what could have been a huge disappointment turned out to be one of my best achievements.