Category :


If I Never Made a Dime

If I Never Made a Dime
By Robin Yukiko - Feb 20, 2013

I understand how frustrating the music industry can seem at times. Sometimes it's like you are shouting into a void and you hear no reply except your own echo. But you have to ask yourself something and then decide:

If I never made a dime from my music, would I still do it?

I asked myself rather recently and decided yes. Nothing will make me stop (permanently), even if I never become rich, famous, etc. A lot of people get into music because of how others make them feel when they play. I know I had a moment like that when I was 17. I was onstage, in a band, and fans (okay, my classmates) were screaming my name. That's when I knew for sure that that's what I wanted to do.

But as I continued on the path, I found so many other rewarding things that kept me in music. It’s different for everyone. For me, the challenge of writing a song that is different from all the others, and then delivering that song to unsuspecting ears (regardless of their reaction) is worth it.

When you know that you would choose it no matter the outcome, then you have taken a step toward success. That’s when you stop chasing your tail--and other people’s ideas of perfection--and do what you love. People love seeing that genuine passion and are drawn to it.

And if the answer is no, that’s okay too.

But here is what you have to accept:

It’s a two-way street. No one is making you choose music. Likewise, you can’t make them choose YOUR music.

You are not entitled to fans, fame, riches, etc. No one is obligated to like your music, come to your shows, or buy your CD.

The flipside is that it is in your power to make a plan that is within your abilities and is sustainable so that you can continue to do what you love. Everyone’s skill set, attention span, natural aptitude, attitude, education, and determination is different, and therefore so is every path. Luckily, most of these things are completely within your control.

The question becomes... Are you doing it for you?

Robin Yukiko is a Berklee College of Music grad, singer-songwriter, pianist, and music educator in San Francisco. She performs regularly and hosts the SF Singer-Songwriters’ Workshop at the Musicians Union Local 6. Robin is currently producing her second album and enjoying nerdly pursuits. Learn more at

2 Biggest Promotion Budget Mistakes

Consumers Are Starving For Your Music

Getting a record deal

How To Send The Perfect Demo

6 Music Industry Myths

Creating the Perfect Set List

Loving what I used to hate

Cliches You Need to Stop Using Now

Why You Might Need a Producer

10 Worst Song Demo Mistakes

Why Vocal Training is Important in Becoming a True Artist

The A&R Guy


It's Not The Tools That Don't Work, it's The Band

Artists Should Build Lifelong Relationships with their Fans

7 Tips to Increase Your Exposure and Potential

8 Steps to Your First Song: From Idea to Professional Production

Letting Go of Perfection

Unbundling the Album: A Business Case for Releasing Single Songs

From Riches to Rags

What Are The Best Books on Music Promotion and The Music Business?

So…the CD is dead? The trick is to Diversify.

What Are Your Fans Saying About You?

How To Change Key Successfully In Your Music

What Are The Essential Features Of a Hit Record?

The Importance of Being a Frontman

How to Do a Great Cover Song

What's The Real Cost of Signing A Major Record Deal?

Want a record deal? Here is what you need to do.

Inside the Mind of an A&R

What Record Labels Are Looking For When Scouting Artists

Finding The Best Record Label For Your Style Of Music & Goals

Defining Your Style

The Truth About Mainstream Success

How Releasing Holiday Covers Can Skyrocket Your Promotion

Why Streaming Your Music Is A Good Thing

Being a Well Rounded Musician VS Mastering One Instrument

3 Tips For Landing A Record Deal

How Youtube Can Get You Seen, Heard, and Trended

Why You Should Care About Your Image

3 Simple Tips for Getting Noticed In Today's Music Industry

Signup Free