Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merrill chief Thain withdraws request for bonus

Merrill Lynch Chief Executive Officer, John Thain, poses before a news conference in Mumbai May 7, 2008. … WASHINGTON (AFP) – Troubled US bank Merrill Lynch said chairman and chief executive John Thain has withdrawn his request for a bonus this year amid rising public anger Wall Street's role in the country's financial crisis.

Thain, who took over Merrill Lynch a year ago, had reportedly suggested to company directors earlier that he be paid as much as 10 million dollars for his 2008 bonus even as the firm welcomed 10 billion dollars in federal assistance.

But at Monday's Merrill Lynch board meeting, Thain "requested that he receive no bonus for 2008" and four other executive officers made the same request saying it was the right step "given current economic and market conditions," the company said in a statement.

The company's compensation committee had been reluctant to grant Thain a major bonus, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley also has decided not to pay generous bonuses to its chief executive John Mack or some other top managers as the company struggles to recover amid layoffs and government aid, the Journal wrote on Tuesday. In addition, Morgan Stanley planned to slash compensation for the firm's top 35 executives by about 65 percent.

News report place Thain's annual salary at 750,000 dollars. He also reportedly received a 15 million dollar signing bonus when he was hired as Merrill Lynch's CEO last December, along with a pay package valued at between 50 million dollard and 120 million dollars over several years.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had condemned Thain's bonus request, saying the government's 700-billion-dollar bailout for Wall Street was designed to limit executive compensation and bonuses.

"While American families struggle to keep their jobs and their homes, I question the chutzpah of asking for a 10-million-dollar taxpayer-subsidized bonus," Reid said.

Merrill Lynch was forced to sell itself after making huge losses following the meltdown in the subprime, or higher risk, US mortgage market.

The acquisition of Merrill by Bank of America for 50 billion dollars averted a possible collapse of the 94-year-old company, saving shareholders billions of dollars and saving many jobs.

Other Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs, were also eliminating bonuses as the country faces the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Can Social Security Survive?

Ladies and Gents,

This is why the Money & Music Movement was created. The politicians, Big Corporate Bailouts, lack of education amongst the public, are all to blame. The time is now to begin the education process, to work with an expert and educate ourselves for our future. Cars are not an investment, Clothes are not an investment, Bar Tabs surely are not investment, unless we as a whole begin to educate ourselves and start doing the right things for our future, many of us may end up with those same clothes, living out of that same car, wishing those dollars so freely spent at the club were available for a cup of coffee, 2041.

Enjoy the reading!!

Can Social Security Survive? Retiring Minds Want To Know. Here Are Some Educated Guesses

Copyright 2008 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.All Rights Reserved
Consumer Reports Money Adviser

December 2008

SECTION: Pg. 15 Vol. 5 No. 12

LENGTH: 802 words

HEADLINE: RETIREMENT GUY. CAN SOCIAL SECURITY SURVIVE? Retiring minds want to know. Here are some educated guesses.

Two Social Security-related questions seem to be on many minds these days: Will the program still be around when I retire? And will I get everything I have coming from it?

Nobody knows for sure, of course, but allow me to venture a couple of educated guesses, based on talking with experts and plowing through a pile of recent academic papers. To the first question: Probably. To the second one: Maybe, but I wouldn't bet my retirement on it.

There's no denying that the Social Security system has some problems, chief among them its ability to take in enough money to meet its future obligations. By the year 2041 payroll taxes will be sufficient to cover only 78 percent of promised benefits, according to the most recent report from the program's trustees.

Nonetheless, I've not heard a single credible expert propose that the U.S. do away with the system. Even privatizing it, the next worst thing in the opinion of many of us, seems far off the table these days. So I think we can reasonably assume that Social Security will still exist in some form, at least for those of us old enough now to be concerned about it.

But for the system to survive, it will either have to bring in more income or slow its spending. That could be done by raising taxes, reducing benefits, delaying the age at which we become eligible for benefits, or some combination of these.

My money is on delaying eligibility, which seems the most politically palatable option. And if we can get past the fact that it would mean reneging on a promise made to many of us from the day we first started paying into the system, it even has some logic to it.

A working paper published this summer by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) frames the argument this way: When the Social Security system started in 1935, the average 65-year-old retiree had a life expectancy of 12 more years; by 2004, that was up to 19 years. In other words, a system designed to support someone for a dozen years of retirement is now expected to do it for nearly 20.

The NBER calls this "age inflation" and goes on to calculate how eligibility ages might have been adjusted over time had that been taken into account. It concludes that the earliest age at which retirees can collect benefits, now 62, would have risen to between 65.6 and 67 by 2004. Normal, or "full," retirement age, now 66 to 67, would have risen to between 73 and 81.8.

This kind of thinking is likely to give Congress the cover it needs to consider fiddling with the eligibility ages. The politicians even have some precedent on their side. In 1983, the eligibility age for full benefits, long set at 65, was raised for those of us born after 1937, to its current range of 65 and two months to 67. WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU

If you're already retired or within a few years of it, I would guess that changing the eligibility ages won't affect you much. It's hard to imagine that Congress would act that quickly or cause such havoc in the lives of a cohort known to vote in substantial numbers. But if your retirement is decades off, be forewarned.

Some other ideas for pre-retirees:

* Know your best-case scenario. Because Social Security is unlikely to become more generous in the years ahead, consider the eligibility ages and benefit amounts it currently projects for you as the best you'll see and adjust your expectations down from there. You'll find your projected benefits in the statement Social Security sends out each year about 90 days before your birthday. Or you can use the recently unveiled online calculator at

* Re-slice your pie chart. Most readers of this newsletter probably aren't looking to Social Security as their sole source of retirement income. It may be just one slice of your retirement pie, which could also include a traditional pension, a 401(k) plan, IRAs, non-retirement investments, and so forth. But consider what would happen if the Social Security slice were to get even smaller. You'd need to adjust your budget and plan to live on less, or start saving more aggressively.

* Think about your timing. Surveys have shown that many of us intend to postpone retirement and work longer. That's a good thing, because we may have no choice in the matter. If your dream is to retire at, let's say, age 62, you'd better plan on making that happen without early Social Security benefits, which may not be available to you until several years later.

Another reason to continue working, if you can, is to stay on an employer's health plan. Though you're currently eligible for Medicare at age 65 regardless of your "full" retirement age, that could be up for debate too. In fact, the NBER paper also adjusted Medicare for age inflation, calculating that as of 2004, people would have become eligible at ages 70 to 72. So try to stay healthy, and stay tuned.

LOAD-DATE: November 26, 2008

Copyright © 2008 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Friday, November 21, 2008



Mission Statement - Money and Music, Inc. was created to enlighten & educate musicians, artists, athletes and entertainers about the various business and financial solutions available in today's ever-changing marketplace.

Who are we? Money & Music, Inc. looks to bring to the entertainment and sports industry an independent advisory relationship that can allow today's success to equal tomorrow's prosperity. We will bring the highest level of industry insight along with combined over twenty five years of experience in the financial and entertaiment world.

Money & Music, Inc. was developed by the dynamic duo of "Money" Mike, of Mintco Financial, Inc. and "Cool V" of KR Marketing & Notary.

Money Mike - *Financial Analysis BS Degree University at Buffalo (Ranked Top 50 Business Program by the Wall Street Journal)
*Started with John Hancock Financial Network in 1997 (Rookie of the Year)
*Established client base of over 300 people
*Sales Manager with John Hancock Financial Network, Empire Financial Partners
*Registered Investment Advisor (Series 6, 63, 65, 7) offered through Signator Investors Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC
*Qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table (Top 1% of Financial Advisors in the world,
*President and Owner of Mintco Financial Inc.
*1998, 1999, 2003 John Hancock President's Conference Qualifier
*Born and raised in Washington, D.C. for 18 years
*Presently resides in Williamsville, NY
*Played tennis for NCAA Division II, National Champion University (Lander Univ)
*#1 Singles/Doubles and Captain for University at Buffalo, Division I

Cool V - DJ, Producer & Marketing Guru

*Graduated Columbia School of Broadcasting 1993
Honor Student and Received Outstanding StudentAward
for Radio Broadcast Ptogram
*Buffalo State/Medaille Colledge -
Marketing/Communication President of Entertaiment
Club, Business Club, Public Speaking Club
Recieved Best Radio Show Awards 3x's in a row from
1995-1998 on WBNY also Dee Jayed on WBLS, CFNY, CKLN,
*Featured on Rap City and Rap Sheet Magazine as one of
the top urban music college radio shows in the country
*Worked as Account Executive selling Radio & Television
For Viacom/Infinity Broadcast
*Help create DJ Pulse worlds 1st music serach engine,
The worlds 1st nationally syndicated remix video show
"Video JAMS"
*Interned for Bad Boy, Luke Records, Giffen, Tommyboy
*Promoted Concerts arcoss the US and Canada
*Worked as Club Promoter for Jazmines Nightclub, The
Icon, The Shelter, Paladium, The Underground, The
Squeeze, Lil Harlem, The Pleasure Dome, Mirrors, The
Adventure Club, Etc
*Featured DJ for the Grand Opening of the following
clubs The Soul Kitchen in Toronto (Canada), The
Underground Club(NYC) The Shelter (Newark)
*Helped brand various publications,labels, artists,
businesses threw creating innovative marketing
campaigns for clients such as including Def Jam,
Subway, Maaco, Universal Recordings, XPOZ Magazine, VP
Records, Sony Recordings,Rockafella Records, Underwire
Magazine, The Source, Barak Records, Bad Boy
Recordings ETC...\
*Help break artists such as Rich Boy, MIMS, 112, Mike
Jones, Sean Kingston, Plies, Ma Barker,Slum Village,
Supa Nova Slom, BR Gunna, Emilee, Amy Whine House,
Jimmy Reign, Untitiled, Richie Sosa etc..

What's Our Purpose - To Inform Industry Professionals about common misconceptions and bad choices in the Financial and Entertainment Industries, striving to plant the T.R.E.E - To Relate, Educate & Entertain!

When - Effective Immediately

Why - Because we recognize with good and bad times, most poor decisions are made because of misinformation, lack of knowledge, or wrong associations. Since we both have proven track records, clear understanding of our industries, and geniune care for our clients, our alliance and belief in our abilities to reach the masses became a vision. A vision that will begin a movement that will target one of the most unrecognized markets in need of proper guidance, expertise, and most of all trust.

"As our Industries evolve so too will our clients Knowledge, Sounds, and MONEY$$$"

Join us and help to continue to make a difference.

Cool V

Monday, November 3, 2008


Hit up for finding your polling location, all the candidates and ballot measure initiatives ANYWHERE in the United States, etc.

For ANY Election Day Problems/Fraud/Issues in getting your right to vote exercised, please call the following phone numbers for assistance:

1-866-MYVOTE1 (1-866-698-6831)
1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
1-877-GO-CNN-08 (1-877-462-6608)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en EspaƱol)


Monday, October 20, 2008


October 2008 Financial Crisis: What do I do now?

Six Principles For Successful Investing

To some people, investing is a mystery. An unpredictable world of formulas and strange terminology. Others will tell you that it’s simply a matter of luck that depends on a hot tip or picking the right investment at the right time. These perceptions are common, but they are generally wrong. In fact, the principles of long-term investment success are available to anyone.
1. Plan to succeed- If you are going to be a successful investor, you need a plan that takes into consideration your financial goals, your time horizon for achieving each of them and your tolerance for risk. Most investors have more than one goal—and more than one time horizon—which makes it even more important to have a plan.

2. Manage risk through asset allocation- Asset allocation is an effective way to spread risk without giving up the opportunity for a solid return. When your portfolio is divided among different asset classes, market sectors, investment styles and geographical regions, it can reap the rewards when one or more market segments rise. And when a market segment declines, other investments can help cushion the blow. Asset allocation does not guarantee investment success, but it can play a significant role in helping you manage risk.

3. Invest regularly, start now-Discipline yourself to invest regularly by making investing a priority—part of the monthly budget. The earlier you get started, the faster you can build your savings because time—and compounding—are on your side. Consider the example in the chart below. If you invested $200 each month beginning at age 25, and your investment earned 8% annually, you could accumulate $100,000 by age 44. You would have to invest nearly three times as much to achieve the same goal, if you started investing ten years later at age 35.

4. Think long term- Once you have an investment plan, an asset allocation plan and a schedule for regular investing, it’s essential to keep a long-term perspective. Here’s what that means: Give your strategy plenty of time to work. Measure your investment progress over a period of five to seven years. Be prepared for lean years in the markets as well as good years. And when the markets do hit a rough patch, talk to your financial professional before you make any change to your portfolio.

5. Pay attention to taxes- When you profit from your investments, chances are you’ll turn a portion of your dividends and capital gains over to the IRS. But you may be surprised at the impact taxes can have on your investments. They lower your current return, and they also reduce future returns, because the money paid out in taxes never has a chance to compound. You can save on taxes four ways.
• Lower your current tax bill by choosing tax-deductible retirement accounts, such as IRAs. 401 (k)s, and 403 (b)s.
• Get more from your retirement investments through tax-deferred compounding.
• Eliminate income tax on future retirement withdrawals by choosing a Roth IRA.1
• Reduce taxes on current investment income by choosing tax-exempt municipal bond funds.
Your financial advisor can help you find the right combination of funds to maximize your personal financial situation.

6. Work with a financial professional- After your family and your health, few things are more important than your financial well being. That’s why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable financial professional. You can expect a financial professional to help you formulate an investment plan, choose investments and strategies that are appropriate to your personal financial situation and keep your financial goals on track by fine-tuning your asset allocation. A financial professional is someone you can turn to when market trends change, someone you can consult when you need expert advice.

1. In order to contribute to a Roth IRA, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. Tax free withdrawals are available after age 59 1/2 and five years after opening a Roth IRA.


Saturday, October 18, 2008









101 Music Contracts - Fame, Money & Music Industry Success

9/11 WTC-7 And Financial Collapse Ties ('HE TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT MY MOUTH') WOW!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weighed down by too much Cash? Don't worry I'm here to help 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Updated: July 22, 12:11 PM ET

By Rick Reilly

By Rick Reilly

Congrats, newly minted NBA rookie!

Now you've been drafted. Next comes the delicious multimillion-dollar contract. And that's when you must do what most NBA players do: start going through cash like Jack Black through the Keebler factory.

Filing for bankruptcy is a long-standing tradition for NBA players, 60% of whom, according to the Toronto Star, are broke five years after they retire. The other 40% deliver the Toronto Star.

It's not just NBA players who have the fiscal sense of the Taco Bell Chihuahua. All kinds of athletes wind up with nothing but lint in their pockets. And if everyone from Johnny Unitas to Sheryl Swoopes to Lawrence Taylor can do it, so can you! With my How to Go Bankrupt* DVD series, it's a layup to go belly-up!

Ten essentials, just to get you started:

1. Screw up, deny it, then fight by using every lawyer and dime you have. Roger Clemens just sold his Bentley, reportedly to pay legal bills. Marion Jones lawyered herself broke before she finally copped and went to prison. Paging Mr. Bonds, Mr. Barry Bonds.
2. Buy a house the size of Delaware. Evander Holyfield was in danger of losing his 54,000-square-foot pad outside Atlanta, and it's a shame. He had almost visited all 109 rooms!
3. Buy many, many cars. Baseball slugger Jack Clark had 18 cars and owed money on 17 when he went broke. And don't get just boring Porsches and Mercedes. Go for Maybachs. They sell for as much as $375,000—even though they look like Chrysler 300s—and nobody will ever know how to pronounce them, much less fix them.
4. Buy a jet. They burn money like the Pentagon. Do you realize it costs $50,000 just to fix the windshield on one? Scottie Pippen borrowed $4.375 million to buy some wings and spent God knows how much more for insurance, pilots and fuel. Finally, his wallet cried uncle. The courts say he still owes $5 million, including interest. See you in coach, Scottie! (For that matter, why not a yacht? Latrell Sprewell kept his 70-foot Italian-made yacht tied up in storage until the bank repossessed it, in August 2007. He probably sat at home and cried about that—until the bank foreclosed on his house, this past May.)
5. Spend stupid money on other really stupid stuff. In going from $300 million up to $27 million down, Mike Tyson once spent $9,180 in two months to care for his white tiger. That's why Iron Mike's picture is on our logo!
6. Hire an agent who sniffs a lot and/or is constantly checking the scores on his BlackBerry. Those are the kinds of guys who will suck up your dough like a street-sweeper. Ex-Knick Mark Jackson once had a business manager he thought he could trust. Turned out the guy was forging Jackson's signature on checks—an estimated $2.6 million worth—to feed a gambling jones. "And it wasn't like I was a rookie—I was a veteran," Jackson says. The only reason he says he's getting some money back is because he didn't …
7. Sign over power of attorney. What's it mean? Who cares? Just sign! The guy you're signing it over to knows. And while you play Xbox, he'll be buying large portions of Switzerland for himself. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar let an agent named Tom Collins have power of attorney once, and it cost Kareem $9 million before he figured it out.
8. Spend like the checks will never stop. Also known as the Darren McCarty method. Despite earning $2.1 million a year, Red Wing McCarty, who started a rock band called Grinder, went splat by investing in everything but fur socks ($490,000 in unlikely-to-be-repaid loans) and gambling large ($185,000 in casino markers). In other words, a Tuesday for John Daly.
9. Just ball. Don't write your own checks. Don't drive your own car. Don't raise your own kids. Just be a tall slab of skilled meat for others to feast on. Not to worry. It'll be over before you know it.
10. Most of all, set up a huge support system around you. It'll be years before you'll realize they call it a support system because you're the only one supporting it. They're all on full-ride scholarships at the University of You. "Guys go broke because they surround themselves with people who help them go broke," says ex-NBA center Danny Schayes, who now runs No Limits Investing in Phoenix. "I know all-time NBA, top-50 guys who sold their trophies to recover."

See, kid? You can be a top-50 guy!

So order my How to Go Bankrupt series now, and get this empty refrigerator box to sleep in, absolutely free!
*(Only $1,449 plus shipping, handling, service fee, dealer prep and undercoating. Per month.)

Monday, August 4, 2008






The RIAA says that music is the world's universal form of communication. It touches every person of every culture on the globe to the tune of $40 billion annually, and the U.S. recording industry accounts for fully one-third of that world market. It employs thousands of people, including singers, musicians, producers, sound engineers, record promoters and retail sales persons, to name only a few. But the music industry as we know it is in trouble.A typical music fan who buys a CD might use that CD at home, take that CD in the car, make a tape of that CD, load the CD on their computer or download it to be played in portable devices such as Ipods or MP3 players.At the same time, when asked directly whether CDs cost too much, most consumers will say yes! Why the contradiction? Because some consumers don't understand why the sales tag on a CD is so much higher than the cost of producing the actual physical disc.


SOUNDLOAD has taken those same principles and created value in purchasing MUSIC, and not the product that provides you the music. SOUNDLOAD is the next step in the evolution of how we purchase our music.Ask any music industry expert and they will tell you that there is NO WORKING BUSINESS MODEL for how we will purchase music in the very near future. You see, it is an extremely expensive process to produce, manufacture, and market music today.Once an artist or group has songs composed, they must then go into the studio and begin recording. The costs of recording this work, including recording studio fees, studio musicians, sound engineers, producers and others, all must be recovered by the cost of the CD.Then come marketing and promotion costs -- perhaps the most expensive part of the music business today. They include increasingly expensive video clips, public relations, tour support, marketing campaigns, and promotion to get the songs played on the radio.

For example, when you hear a song played on the radio -- that didn't just happen! Labels make investments in artists by paying for both the production and the promotion of the album, and promotion is very expensive.

SOUNDLOAD helps to defer those costs by providing an alternative means of producing the final product, cheaper, more efficient and a better value then a Compact Disk (CD).SOUNDLOAD offers a new way for artists to reach music fans, whether it is a traditional label or the artist themselves. SOUNDLOAD can market and promote that artist so that fans are aware of new releases and the band themselves. SOUNDLOAD is a simple idea that will revolutionize the music industry.

SOUNDLOAD on the ROADFor many artists, a costly concert tour is essential to promote their recordings. At those concerts, fans, even though they may be impressed by an artist, see very little value in buying a copy of the CD at the show. They have to carry the CD around after the show, and store it in already overcrowded CD library, or even choose to burn a copy from a friend. Between finding a copy of the material legally or illegally on the Internet, the band looses potential sales. SOUNDLOAD provides an alternative for selling CD's at live shows.

The SOUNDLOAD card provides the value that CD's have lost. Available as low as 1/4 the price of traditional CD's, SOUNDLOAD cards are a more cost effective, as well as much easier for fans to store and get home with at the end of the night. They simply log on to the artists website, and click on the SOUNDLOAD logo. There they can simply scratch off the secret PIN number on the back of the card, enter it into the designated area and download the same material available on the CD, including the artists artwork, bio, etc., to their computer and transfer it to their MP3 players, their cell phone, or whatever format they choose.SOUNDLOAD is approved by the RIAA as "a great idea that the RIAA will support 100%,"SOUNDLOAD can be SOUND SCANNED and counted as a sale of 1 record when a consumer logs on and downloads the product. This enables everyone to see who is buying what in the industry. Sound Scans determine who will be on the sales charts every week.SOUNDLOAD cards have your UPC code on the card, the same as on the CD, so that you can track your sales the same way you can with a tangible disk.


The vast majority of CD's produced are never profitable. After production, recording, promotion and distribution costs, most never sell enough to recover these costs, let alone make a profit. In the end, less than 10% are profitable, and in effect, it's these recordings that finance all the rest.SOUNDLOAD cards are produced so much cheaper then CD's that your chances of recouping your cost are far greater! Plus, with SOUNDLOAD you are directing traffic to your website. This creates an association with you, the artist, and the consumer.Redeemable gift cards sales are hit! A record $24.8 billion in 2006, up 34% from 2005, says the National Retail Federation and BIG research.SOUNDLOAD takes the same ideas, and creates a brand in your artist. The same artwork you use for your album can be custom fit on your SOUNDLOAD card to sit side by side with your compact disc. SOUNDLOAD can hold special features that an artist can hold as a special bonus by purchasing the SOUNDLOAD card.




Thursday, June 19, 2008



Is to enlighten music industry professional and taste makers about opportunities that exists in the financial market while educating them on making smart financial decisions.


Money & Music came into existence when marketing guru "Cool V" of KR Marketing and "Mike Minco" of Mintco financial realized that a lot of entertainment and small business owners lacked information that could help propel their business tremendously. So it was only natural that Cool V who had the Clients, Friends and Associates merge with Money Mike who had the Financial Experience and backing to bring much needed insight to a market in need of our services.


We understand that the 1# form of communication is threw music and that music influences everything we do from our fashion styles to the latest fads even what kind of car we buy! With various recording artists selling millions upon millions of records its only natural these artist shop, eat and bank. You see it everyday how most of these artists throw money down the drain. Since most artists have a very high life style then it is only right that their bank account reflect their lifestyle. Now on the other hand the majority of label owners, artists, A&R's, publicists, producers,sound men etc are really living check to check? This blog is for them as well as small enterprising businesses who are on the quest for sound financial advice and industry insight because its all about the marketing and financial decision one chooses that either makes or breaks his/her business!

With a combined 35 yr proven track record "Failure is NOT an option" for the the two of us. So with that said "Let's Make Money!!

Cool V & Money Mike


by Bob Baker

Why is it that some people in the music business make tens of thousands of dollars a year, while others wallow in poverty most of their lives? Is it because the rich ones are just plain lucky? Or because they were born into a musical family with clout? While these easy-road explanations might be true for a few people, most of the real music business success stories involve everyday people who discovered what it takes to make money and get ahead by doing something they love.

It's unfortunate that so many people who pursue artistic endeavors never make much money at it. A lot of people I know are content simply to toy with their musical whims, never reaping a real financial gain while doing it. Actually, I'm convinced that many of these people would feel guilty if they made much money from music. I'm serious. Think about it .

Tradition tells them that the only way to realistically make good money is through the tried-and-true, nine-to-five grind—doing something they're not particularly thrilled with. Well, here's some personal advice for you:


It doesn't have to be that way for you. Why not make good money at something that excites you, at something that holds your interest? If your desire is strong enough, if you educate yourself and come up with a game plan—and implement that plan!—you can do anything you want.

Whether your passion is being an onstage performer, an offstage support player or both, you will find literally dozens and dozens of honest, down-to-earth, cash-producing possibilities by putting to use your most valuable instrument—the one that lies between your ears: your own brain.

Remember, playing paid gigs and getting a hefty record contract advance are only two ways to make money in this business (although they certainly are great ways to make it). But most musical success wannabes make the mistake of ending their search there. And that's exactly why they'll lose and you'll gain, because there are so many more ways to tap the lucrative music business money machine. The smart music business entrepreneurs are already profiting from this fact. Now it's your job to find out where you fit into the picture... and then go get your share.

The '90s is a decade of specialization. Progress and advancing technology may make things more complicated, but they also open a lot of doors for enterprising people like you to find a niche and fill it—and take home a few bucks in exchange for your expertise.

But I can hear the pessimist in you saying, "But aren't there countless numbers of people every year who strive to make a living with music and say they want to make good money at it—but they never seem to get above the poverty level?"

Well, as a matter of fact, there are. But I'm here to tell you: Don't let that sad fact get you down, because there are also tens of thousands of people who make excellent money working in their chosen area of the music business. And the majority of these successful people weren't born into it. They didn't make it because of luck or fate or mystical circumstances. They became financially independent and successful because they made a conscious decision to do so and then took the action necessary to make it happen. That's what sets the winners apart: acting on good ideas!

Some people never take action because they think "it takes money to make money"—how many times have you heard that myth?—or because they "don't have connections." Here's another good excuse: "It's not what you know, it's who you know that counts." Don't be so quick to make these limiting beliefs part of your philosophy.

Whenever someone confronts me with one of these shallow scapegoats for not making money, I think back to January of 1987. That was the month I came up with the idea to publish a music newspaper in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. At the time there was no all-music-and-entertainment publication in the city, and I was very excited by the prospect of filling that void and creating a nice little business for myself.

The only problem was I had no idea how to run a newspaper. I'd never worked on my high school or college papers. I'd never even taken a journalism class. And I certainly didn't have a reserve of cash to help finance my new business, nor did I have any connections with banks or investors. So what did I do?

I used my own drive and determination and made use of what I did have, which was a command of the English language and a typewriter—that's it! So when I had typed up the four pages of the first issue, I went to a local print shop owner and offered to run an ad for his business in the issue in exchange for a discount on printing. He agreed. That first issue of my magazine cost me about $25 to put out. I had it distributed to about 20 locations in St. Louis about three weeks after I came up with the concept.

Was it a primitive start? Yes. Did I make mistakes in the first few months or couple of years? Yes, and I still do. You may also wonder if many people expressed their lack of faith in the magazine succeeding? Most definitely. And, you may ask, has it become a success over the years? Without a doubt.

Today, the paper, called Spotlight, runs about 36 pages a month with four-color covers, with 25,000 copies being distributed to hundreds of locations all over town. It's recognized as the voice of the St. Louis music scene. And it didn't get that way because of money or connections or lucky breaks. It got that way because I took the raw resources I had and acted on my intense desire to make this exciting idea a reality. Over the years that same desire led to the newspaper growing and evolving into the success it is today.

Can you do the same thing with one of your own music business ideas?

Along with learning a lot about life and money from running my own business, I've also had the good fortune to meet and interview dozens and dozens of music business success stories—from artists and managers to record company executives and business owners. Whenever I meet these people I can't help but ask them how they got started, what steps they took to get where they are now, and what qualities they believe it takes to make money and be successful in this complicated business of music.

Through this research I've come to realize there are three key qualities—or rules—to creating musical wealth. These three keys could mean the difference between your success and failure when pursuing your career.

First off, money-making success has as much to do with your frame of mind as it does your luck or family tree. Remember this first important rule of prosperity:

Musical Wealth Rule #1:

You Are What You Think.

How many times have you heard the phrase "starving musician"? Or how often have you heard friends say, "I'm never going to make any money with music. Why bother?" It should be no surprise that the people who say (and therefore think) these things the most are among the poorest individuals you know. Remember, if you tell yourself something often enough, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The key, then, is to program yourself for success. Stop thinking and uttering thoughts of limitation and deficiency. Start getting your mind attuned to thoughts of boundless possibilities and abundance — and watch what sort of rewards come your way!

Many of us are so used to thinking in these negative terms, it's difficult to shift into positive gear and stay there. A great mental technique to reprogram your thoughts is the use of daily affirmations, which remind you of your goals and keep you focused on achieving them. Affirmations are basically specific statements that spell out what you want to obtain and when you want to obtain it. They should also be read aloud every day and worded in the present tense.

Therefore, "I will be a successful music publicity specialist someday" is not an effective affirmation. It's too bland and vague. On the other hand, "I make $25,000 a year by December of this year doing music publicity for touring bands and independent record labels" is a much more solid, results-oriented affirmation.

Musical Wealth Rule #2:

You Get What You Want When You Help Other People Get What They Want.

(This phrase also makes a great affirmation, just replace the You's with I's and you're set.)

I truly believe that a lot of people don't become successful or make much money because they consider themselves to be in the taking business. Their only concern is what they have to do to take someone's money away from them. The thing that drives these poor creatures is the prospect of jumping on what's going to make the fastest buck, regardless of what it is. But I pity them, and so should you, because they'll never know the joys of being in the full-time giving business.

Being a success in the field of musical giving means that the product or service you specialize in adds real value to the lives of the people who become your customers. Of course, the thing that makes you happiest is being directly involved in an area of the music business for which you have a burning desire and passion. But the aspect that will make you rich (and even happier) is making sure your customers feel that what they get from you is worth more than the money they have to give up.

For instance, a successful club band gives its fans a good time and the bar owner a packed house. A photographer gives his client a hot, new image. A music teacher gives her students the ability to make music and impress friends. Are you getting the picture?

In other words, make sure you have a firm grasp on what it is that the people who pay you get out of dealing with you. Once you know what that is, you'll know how to promote your special area of the music business and how to make sure your customers keep coming back for more—while referring you to others.

The bottom line is this: Concentrate on what you're giving to the people who send money your way. If you continue to give what they want and need, you won't have to worry about taking anyone's money. It will take care of itself.

Let's move now to another rule I'd like to encourage you to adapt for yourself. It's a philosophy I've always lived by when pursuing my music ventures—whether it was publishing my own music magazine or writing this book.

Musical Wealth Rule #3:

Develop an Attitude That Allows You to Make Money and Have Fun While Doing It.

It's an outlook on life that's always worked for me. Can it work for you, too? What would happen if your goal was to make money and have fun while doing it? Wouldn't that put the whole subject of money in a more positive light? Of course.

The problem is that many of us are so used to dealing with money in stressful situations. The rent is due, it's time for the equipment payment, how are you ever going to scrape together the cash to get the van fixed?! For many of us, making money is associated more with scrambling under painful circumstances—not fun! No wonder people become so cynical about it. I can hear you now: "What are you talking about, Baker? Making money isn't supposed to be fun, it's something you do because you have to!"

Well, I say that's nonsense! Making money should be fun, creating music should be fun, just as life itself should be fun. And don't let anyone—including yourself—tell you different.

Right now is the best time to get started on your money-making career in music! Keep your mind open and your aim high. There's no reason why you can't turn that million dollar musical idea into reality... starting today!