I’ve always needed a side creative project to keep me sane. Some made money, some didn’t, none lasted forever but every one of them taught me something new and gave me a sense of accomplishment that, oddly, my day job didn’t (even though I’m in a creative field).
I love music and used to play in bands, and sometimes those bands made recordings which got passed around to friends and family and then got put into a drawer. So 15 years ago, right around the time that DIY digital music was becoming viable, I started a record label, Lost Cat Records.
Eventually I ended up representing more than 50 bands from around the world, started a weekly music podcast as a way to share the music I was getting exposed to and promoting (I did over 100 podcasts), and actually managed to make a little money for myself and my bands.
After 10 years I shut it down because I’d gotten everything out of it that I’d wanted to and more, but to this day I retain the sense of satisfaction I got from taking an idea and turning it into a reality.
As they say, the longest journey starts with the first step, but had I known the amount of time and energy it would take to run a small record label for a decade I doubt I would’ve taken that first step. But I’m glad I did, because the journey and people I worked with along the way made it one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.
Follow your passion. Take that first step. Maybe it’ll lead somewhere, maybe not, but there’s only one way to find out: just do it!