How to Completely Fail at Making Any Money in your Entire Life


October 24, 2014 by Jason Phillips


“JASON I NEED 980 POUNDS TODAY” my landlord screamed down the phone in his broad Scottish accent.
“Um, I dont have it at the moment, sorry” i said.
“There is an eviction notice in the post, i need the money this week, or this is going to court,”
I owe my girlfriend money. I have several debt collectors chasing me. And i had a letter last week notifying me of legal proceedings for recovery of a 7 grand loan i took out for a ‘friend’ a few years back. OOOOOOOF! Welcome to my world!

I have earned no money in 12 years. Much to the disappointment of my family, and my girlfriend and myself. I am a big fat failure.

When i was young i was always called the genius in the family. With my chemistry set, or my drawing skills, my introverted weird ways. My easy school grades in science, and art and maths. i was seen as a little professor, the brains of the family. Sure to be a success!
So what the fuck happened?

Other than going off the rails in my teens and becoming an adventurous freak that refused to listen, let’s have a look.

I shrunk all possible outgoings to a bare minimum for years. The plan was to keep my time free so I can master my craft. Music Production. I lived on nothing. Rented out my spare rooms. Even got my food from supermarket trash cans for entire winters. The idea was the more i curb my desires the more free time i had to do what i truly loved.

In the mean time my brothers all got themselves university degrees. They all moved into jobs that pay them around 50k a year. And they all bought beautiful houses. all the while i was sat in my housing association flat making stupid fucking techno loops.

Now, I have nothing! Well, that may be an exaggeration. I have less than nothing. In total I am worth about -£10k. I have a negative value.

When i was 16 i left school. My dad took me for an exam in Llanwern Steelworks. It was easy, i passed. Then he took me for a tour. It was the most horrific place i have ever seen. A massive sprawling metal universe that spewed smog, flames and shit into the sky. People in radiation suits. Huge loud ugly machines roared at me. Dirt. Grime. A smell of pure destruction and chemicals infiltrated my brain. Wrinkly, lonely, grey people walking about who had spent their lives in this nightmare world. And no women! It petrified me. I was offered a job, and turned it down. My Mam cried.

So I tried doing things different. But the DO WHAT YOU LOVE philosophy of life has FAILED me. I am totally broke, and have many people chasing me for money i do not have. This stress is the worst kind. It renders being creative very difficult. Reality is constantly biting you in the arse. I have no way of paying these people right now. I live in a bubble of my own making, constantly staving off stress and debt collectors, to try and create new things for people to enjoy.

“Why do you give all your music away?” friends have always asked me. I think the idea of giving away so much was to build a following, remove the blocks to people discovering my music. Build a tribe!


i could remove the need for money by living in the woods. With nothing. Eating bugs. But let’s assume i need a little money. What value do i bring to people’s lives (to exchange for money)? a crappy free mp3? on facebook? what does this do for others? I need to up the value. It’s no good posing about failure, this is just a form of Ego. What really matters is helping people.

I need to work out how i can cover my basics, because it’s pretty shit at the moment. I have many mental blocks regarding money. I need to remove these. And I’m not quite sure how.

Maybe i should just get a fucking job!


10 thoughts on “How to Completely Fail at Making Any Money in your Entire Life

  1. the sounds you make, the theatre of the old sicknote its not just music you have created in your life but art. Art is fundable wether you do it for a good cause or just for art think about making the biggest fuk off crazy art performance and get it funded give it a weird title tell them its to engage people marginalised that wouldnt normally engage in art doa big fat gig in the middle of the worst housing estate invite the estate to help perform in the gig there is a way with a little help to turn what you do into something revolutionary drop me a line ive kinda been in a similar boat i now have some projects getting funding diferent subject but under neath same roots happy to give some advice maybe i can get a bit a funding do a fuk of gig in blackpool all about positive mental health

    the wibbly wobbly world of umbrella


  2. teaching sounds like a pretty good option…. In the mean time go see a debt advisor – you can get loads of debts written off or agreements to pay them back at a pound a month (I did this – it worked) there is some help line you can find online or go to the dreaded CAB. Don’t worry about it all too much – concentrate on what you can change and accept the stuff you can’t. It’s just money – you will get some at some point – there are more important things in life and plenty of us have sofas you can live on if the shit really hits the fan with yr house. Oh yeah you can try selling some of your music for film and tv and ads – there are loads of agencies but best to go direct to the tv channel. good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ele Bell says:

    It must feel pretty overwhelming right now but you can dig yourself out of it. Phone the company trying to start legal proceedings against you and explain you have nothing and arrange for the debt to be wiped/ massively reduced with a payment plan for any remaining amount. Offer music production lessons/ set up a course – maybe see if you can go into business with others? Get some part-time work as a support worker/ care worker/ charity worker to get a little steady income? Don’t stop doing what you love. You can do this

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wez G says:

    The music industry is like a gambling machine where you are chuffed to get on the feature but are forced to play the feature without any option to collect. you either hit the absolute jackpot on the gambler or it’s game over… But you can keep playing and playing and going around the board until one or the other happen… Just make sure that you do hit the collect button if you are lucky enough to hit the jackpot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wez G says:

    Get hold of Arts Council Wales and teach your skills to a new generation. It’s a cash cow that you need and will allow you more artistic freedom. Less gripe, more action! Plus we gonna launch the next big thing very soon…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. well my manager is the 21st century Peter Grant! Of course I am!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wez G says:

    Popstars are rich, everyone knows that and you are a popstar, Flappy! You got loadsamoney!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Anonymous says:

    There is middle ground x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. John says:

    I will give you a fiver, aslong as you keep making wicked tunes. Sorry i don’t have more than that.

    Liked by 1 person

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