When you were a kid did your parents make you play an instrument? What did you choose? The guitar was probably a popular selection. Maybe the drums, or the piano, perhaps even the saxophone. What about the accordion? I bet it never even crossed your mind. As far as musical instruments go the accordion is pretty much at the bottom of the list. The only famous person I can think of who plays the accordion is “Weird Al”. He’s pretty funny, but he’s never been mistaken for cool.
Being made to take accordion lessons would feel like a punishment for most children, but what if I told you that you would become relatively wealthy playing one as an adult. Would that change your mind?
When the Bride and I were on our honeymoon is Venice we went to a local outdoor cafe for dinner. The sun was setting, the air was still warm, and our food was delicious. We couldn’t have been happier until this chubby, smiling, man strolled over. He greets each of the patrons and in his hands is an accordion. He gets a nod from the head waiter and begins to play.
He started with the Dean Martin hit, “Volare” . He sang and played his accordion beautifully. I was impressed, my Bride was as well and most of the patrons and passersby really seemed to enjoy it. He stayed for a few songs, passed around his hat and walked away with about 10-12 Euros. He made some money, the cafe gets free entertainment, and the customers are happy. Everybody wins.
A few days later I started to crunch the earning numbers for this accordion player. If he earns 12 euros a restaurant and plays at 16 a night over the course of 4 hours he makes around 200 euros. That’s about $250 dollars a night for half a days worth of work. If he works 6 days a week he’ll earn about $1500 dollars. He could take two months off for vacation and still earn $60,000 dollars a year. I hope he calls his parents to thank them for those accordion lessons because they are certainly serving him well as an adult.
The take away from this is simple, many things that most would consider “lame” or “uncool” can be exceptionally lucrative. Do you play the cello? Did you know that cello and violin players can make $100-$300 playing at weddings. You would just need to learn a few songs and the “Hear come the Bride” melody and you would be ready to go. Buy a tux or a gown and play your way to an extra $200-$600 a weekend. You could even do four weddings a weekend during the busy summer time season.
Do you know calligraphy? Some people will pay $3 an envelope to have their invitations had written in that beautiful style. It’s a unique way to add class and sophistication to an event and people notice. If you spend a few hours a day writing out 300 envelopes you would make $900 dollars. That sounds like a pretty lucrative side job to me.
My point is that you can use your skills and talents to earn additional income. Embrace your childhood uncoolness and seize the opportunities that are all around you.