044: Making Your Passion Your Full Time While At Your Job with Chip Thomas
Chip Thomas is a music executive and a performer. Chip has played the drums ever since he was in 5th grade. He knew he wanted to work in the music business, but he also had a passion for performing. After college, he took an internship at a company called Wind-Up Records. He gave himself a limit of 3 months to turn this low paying job into a full-time low paying job with benefits, which he aced in the first 6 weeks. From then, he’s worked for a lot of other record labels.
He’s now a music executive, as well as a performer with the incredibly successful group Postmodern Jukebox Band. Postmodern Jukebox Band is a band that takes modern songs and plays them with a 30s, 40s, or 50s kind of vibe. In his day job, he does business development, which involves sales and strategic partnerships.
As much as these tasks are challenging to balance, he’s refused to let go of either because he has passion for both. After giving himself the permission to do both jobs, he’s visibly breaking the norm. A lot of companies and bands rejected that working model, but he was, and still is, committed to this goal of pursuing both of his passions.
Having his passions as his motivation, Chip was able to convince his company to allow him to go on tour for two months. In return, he would hold business meetings in the cities he would travel to and make deals there. At the time, he wasn't quite sure of his ability to carry out this promise but with self-confidence and will, he was able to strike deals for the company while continuing to be a full-time musician.
While on tour, he hunts for spots with internet access and holds meetings, takes phone calls, etc. He would then put on his musician hat and head to sound check, have dinner, have a show, and call it a day.
At one moment during a meet and greet session, he was able to take a picture with a little girl who was so happy and elated that he gave her his drumstick. The dad put the photo on Instagram captioning it as, "My child was so excited that you met her and gave her a drumstick, and she told me afterwards, 'Now I'm going to be a drummer.'" Chip says that such stories motivate and encourage him, and it's what holds him together.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Chip says that if you can practice for a minimum of 10 minutes a day, you can improve as a musician. He takes 10-30 minutes to develop his skill a day. He’s currently learning how to play trumpet, and his skills are improving day by day.
After tour, he tries his best to take time for himself to unwind. He goes snowboarding or skiing in the mountains and hangs out with loved ones. This helps him to recharge from all the exhaustion brought about by the tour.
To develop himself, he has several mentors, but one of them has been with him since high school. This was his first music teacher, and he’s been mentoring him all along. He also has a business mentor who has given him a vast amount of advice which he always keeps in mind. Apart from that, some of his inspiration comes from Stevie Wonder, Barack and Michelle Obama, and his friends and family.
Stoked has helped him learn not to sweat the small stuff and also that giving back gives a rewarding feeling. Any form of charity really makes you feel happy and content. He’s developed strong relationships and learned from amazing mentors just from his involvement with the Stoked community.
In the past few years, Chip has developed a new liking for writing, recording, and producing, of which, he’s just scratching the surface. His future plan is to continue developing this passion.
Facebook: Chip Funky