I was sitting in a cafe last week when I noticed Every Breath You Take come on the background music. I’m not a big Sting fan, but it got me thinking. Sting wrote this song in 1982, and he’s still making money on it today! From Wikipedia:
The song is considered to be both the Police’s and Sting’s signature song, and in 2010 was estimated to generate between a quarter and a third of Sting’s music publishing income. In May 2019, “Every Breath You Take” was recognized by BMI as being the most played song in radio history with nearly 15 million radio plays.
All of a sudden, my mind is blown.
As an “expertise business,” I work hard every day to make my client’s businesses better. I write a lot, I podcast, I do live talks and webinars, and none of that work will be making me any money in 37 years. In fact, if I don’t get up tomorrow and show up for work and meet with clients, I’m not going to make any money next week.
Now I’m no Sting — that’s not what I’m saying here. He’s worked extremely hard and has tons of natural talent to build on. The music and entertainment business is different from the business that you and I are in.
If Sting could be making 25% – 30% of his income off of work he did 37 years ago why couldn’t I do some work that would still be making me money 37 days from now? Or 37 weeks from now?
Why couldn’t you?