Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

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RonKujawa
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Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby RonKujawa » Mon May 29, 2017 5:41 pm

Michael,

After recently receiving my renewal notice, I thought it’d be a good time to let you know where I’m at and how I’ve progressed since joining TAXI in 2011. It’s hard to believe I’ve been working on this for 6 years! Although if I’m honest, the first couple years I barely made an effort. I was still learning how to be a single father, and made a major career change in 2010. I wanted to be more involved doing music professionally, but I didn’t have the capacity.

In 2014, after moving across the country, making another career change and having a relationship go sideways, I finally settled into a solid music work routine and I got smarter about my approach to this business. In 2014 I had zero placements. In 2015 I had my fist placement and ended the year earning $77 in royalties. When 2016 had finished, I had over 20 placements and total earnings of $1386. As of May 2017, I’ve earned around $2400. I’m still a ways off from doing this full-time, but it finally feels like that goal is within reach.

When I joined TAXI, I signed up for 2 years. I decided I was in this for the long haul. Every 2 years I don’t even question whether I’m renewing. I just do it. Like many other members, I wish I had started sooner.

I think the opportunities TAXI offers to connect with new music libraries, publishers and direct placements in TV and film is super valuable in my quest to expand my pipeline and find the best fit I can for me and my music. Before I joined TAXI, I think I was dubious as to how well those would play out. Most of my connections with libraries, and the vast majority of my placements can be traced directly to those opportunities. As valuable as those are, to me they aren’t even the best thing about TAXI. Prior to becoming a member, I figured the opportunities were what made TAXI valuable. I learned pretty quickly that there is way more to it.

The TAXI community is second to none and has been an incredible resource in learning the business, getting input on projects and staying encouraged. I never would have guessed that before joining. I’ve made a ton of really good friends through the forums, the Facebook groups and attending the Road Rally.

The Road Rally has been covered by many members, but I’ll add my two cents by saying the Road Rally weekend has become my favorite weekend of the year. I love the opportunity to learn more and to connect with like-minded people. That weekend is worth it’s weight in gold and in inspiration.

One area I don’t think gets talked about enough regarding TAXI’s value is in education. I have learned a lot about this business and I don’t think it would have happened, or at least not as quickly and efficiently, as it did without TAXI. Granted, much of what I’ve learned through TAXI was through unpaid services like the forums and TAXI TV. But I think there’s something about being bought in to the whole thing that has helped me connect, learn and stay motivated.

I’ll leave you with a success story, which includes a couple of TAXI alumni. Last year, I cowrote a blues rock vocal song with Dean Taylor and Marc Blackwell, called Desire. The song was signed to a popular music library who ended up getting the instrumental version used in Sacred Steel Bikes on Discovery and most recently, the vocal version was used in a promo for Sun Records on CMT! We are all super excited about it and we would have ever connected had it not been for TAXI.

Looking forward to November!! And in the meantime, writing and submitting as much music as I can! Thanks for all you do!!

Ron
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby cassmcentee » Mon May 29, 2017 8:13 pm

I second that motion Ron!
Your letter explains so well the same gratitude shared by many of us.
What's amazing also is how this journey has us creating more music than we had ever imagined!
Congrats/Cheers/Salud
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby teraannsitzmann » Tue May 30, 2017 2:12 pm

Ron,

thank you for sharing your journey. I am a new member (as of January 2017) and I have not even begun to use my hosting site. I have 20 songs that have already been recorded and, for the moment are considered done. I am proud of the arrangements, the music and the lyrics but I am certain they are not quite up to par for Taxi. For right now, I watch Taxi T.V. a lot, I practice my previous songs (no new writing as of now) , and I just invested in a Pro Tools Digital Audio Workstation. I also look at every email I get from Taxi; industry listings, newsletters, digital magazine, etc.)

I am not making excuses; I am a mom and wife and the kids are still at the age where they need structure, help with homework and somebody to greet them at the door when they come home from school. The biggest problem I have is that my music studio is in my house in our front room. I wish I had a music studio outside of the house, so I could ignore all of my house chores, but for right now, it is what it is. At the moment I do not work outside of the home and I am very appreciative of that.

Thank you again for sharing your story and making other people feel like going down this road might actually be rewarding. Good work and good luck to you in the future.

Tera Ann Sitzmann
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby LyricsMatter » Tue May 30, 2017 2:53 pm

Word.

Well said!

Trisha
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby RonKujawa » Tue May 30, 2017 6:58 pm

Tera,

I'm glad that post was helpful, and I hope this one will be as well.

I've been a full time single father since the end of 2009. I moved across the country, away from family and friends, and made a career change in 2014. I have demands on me from the time my kids get up until the end of the work day, when it's back to dad duty. By the time that is done, usually the last thing I want to do is work, even on something I love, like music.

That's why I get up at 5a before anyone else is up or work calls start. I get 2 solid hours of music work in. I don't worry about if it was productive. I just make sure the effort is solid for those 2 hours. Then I get my girls up and get ready for work.

The funny thing is, the more I've done this, the more I find myself with energy to work on music at the end of the day.

I don't think you need a space outside the house to work on music. Instead of trying to secure a sacred space, I strongly encourage you to create and guard a sacred schedule. I decided music is the most valuable work I want to do, so it gets done first.

I'd also encourage you to figure out exactly what you want to do in this industry. Songs for artists are different from songs for tv. Instrumental cues are a different game. It took me a while to realize I can do anything, but I can't do everything.

I hope this helps. You can do it!!

Ron


pinkmoon wrote:Ron,

thank you for sharing your journey. I am a new member (as of January 2017) and I have not even begun to use my hosting site. I have 20 songs that have already been recorded and, for the moment are considered done. I am proud of the arrangements, the music and the lyrics but I am certain they are not quite up to par for Taxi. For right now, I watch Taxi T.V. a lot, I practice my previous songs (no new writing as of now) , and I just invested in a Pro Tools Digital Audio Workstation. I also look at every email I get from Taxi; industry listings, newsletters, digital magazine, etc.)

I am not making excuses; I am a mom and wife and the kids are still at the age where they need structure, help with homework and somebody to greet them at the door when they come home from school. The biggest problem I have is that my music studio is in my house in our front room. I wish I had a music studio outside of the house, so I could ignore all of my house chores, but for right now, it is what it is. At the moment I do not work outside of the home and I am very appreciative of that.

Thank you again for sharing your story and making other people feel like going down this road might actually be rewarding. Good work and good luck to you in the future.

Tera Ann Sitzmann
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby edmondredd » Wed May 31, 2017 1:50 am

Thank you Ron for such an insightful story,
and for sharing it with us.. here's to more success with your music, and your life
edmond redd
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby ronnie35 » Wed May 31, 2017 9:15 am

Ron thanks so much for the wonderful letter.

Ron :)
Aesthetically Pleasing Compositions for Media. " I Learned to Fly But I Ain't Got Wings Coming Down is the hardest Thing" Tom Petty 1950 -2017 ;)
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby admin » Wed May 31, 2017 10:20 am

Ron,

Thank you for that letter! And thanks for posting it in public!!

So much of what's out there where all can see it is from the "TAXI didn't work for me" crowd. If only they had the courage, determination, and persistence you obviously have. Good things come to those who go after them, and you have clearly done that in the face of adversity. Dealing with the pain of losing your wife, being a single dad (a role we hear too little about), a cross country move, and a new gig is far more than most people would even THINK about, let alone accomplishing.

I have no doubt that you will join the ranks of TAXI members who earn six-figure incomes doing what they love in the not-too-distant future. I can't wait to congratulate when that day arrives. Thank you so much for posting your letter in public and inspiring me to work harder to make sure that people like you are getting more than you pay for.

Warmly,
Michael
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby Tunesmith » Wed May 31, 2017 10:52 am

Dear Ron,

Your message itself is educational. Giving us insight on the road to success..some call it the 5 year plan..thank you for sharing yours.

I joined last September after being absent for a long time..I joined in the 90's when TAXI was 1st happening. I had no success then, but since rejoining, I have had a song signed to a music library. And this NEVER would have happened without TAXI.

I find TAXI's listings give me direction..I'm not all over the place, scattered. I see a listing, I work for it. Rather than hitting up publishers and libraries with a wide category of material. I also feel safe signing with a TAXI respected library or publisher.

The community of TAXI is wonderful and I feel I am making new fiends. I mean friends! :D

The TAXI world is a breath of fresh air for me, my music and I plan to breathe a long time!

Best of success to all,
Linda C
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Re: Open Letter to Michael - Thank You!

Postby VanderBoegh » Wed May 31, 2017 2:53 pm

Ron, this is such an awesome post!! From one single father to another, I can't congratulate you enough for sticking with this through the low points (as I'm sure there were many, along with many moments of doubt and near surrender) and coming through the tunnel to emerge with four-figure royalty checks in hand. As long as you keep going, you'll get to five-figures before you know it. TRUST ME!

We gotta do this for our kids. This music business the best thing we could possibly do for them - and it's fun as hell to boot. But think of the college fund you can start, the vacations you can go on, the house you can buy, the first car you can get the kiddo... all of that stuff and those lifetime memories will be ripe for the taking if you just keep putting in the time and effort. These are the things that keep me going. Forget the Number 1 hit, or the platinum album... just give me the money to make beautiful memories and provide a wonderful life for my daughter.

Eventually this WILL become a full-time job for you. Might be another year or two, but you're almost there. Keep doing what you're doing, my man.

Thanks again for posting. Very inspirational, and great to learn a bit more about you.

~~Matt

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