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<title>Talent increases. Resourcefulness decreases. Are you sustainable? </title>
<p>
A woman came up to me at a music biz conference, handed me her CD, and very proudly said, “This album cost $80,000 and two years to record. Everything is top-notch - we used one of the finest studios in the world.”
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She wanted me to be impressed, but once she said “$80,000” I lost hope in her ability to make a living making music.
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The music may be brilliant, but <strong>for a career to be sustainable, it has to be profitable.</strong>
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I'd be much more impressed with someone who could make an album for $8000, because that would show <strong>sustainability</strong>. They could record 10 albums for the price of hers!
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I'd be most impressed with someone who could say, “This album cost nothing, and took two months to record, because I used my own home studio, and know how to make it sound great. My next 10 albums will also cost nothing.”
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A big hit at the Cannes Film Festival last week was the movie “Colin”, <strong>made for only $70</strong>. Director Marc Price used volunteer actors, used leftover makeup, and borrowed friends' equipment. American and Japanese distributors are interested. (<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/21/Colin/index.html">Read more about it, here</a>.)
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There's a similar story behind <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Mariachi">El Mariachi</a>, made for only $7000, by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001675/">Robert Rodriguez</a>, who went on to do <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0227538/">Spy Kids</a>, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401792/">Sin City</a>, and I'm sure has decades of innovative filmmaking left in him.
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Both are admittedly low-budget, but prove the resourcefulness of the director, and their ability to make a great film despite any restraints.
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If I was an investor, I'd invest in that kind of person.
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<strong>Talent usually increases over time, but the ability to be resourceful usually decreases over time</strong>.
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It's best for a career to start from a place of absolute resourcefulness.
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<img src="http://sivers.org/images/profitable.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51802526@N00/253848816/" />
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