This week we have been in Amarillo between the festival and some Panhandle gigs this weekend. I have parked at two Hastings for the last 3 days…I’ll go to one in the morning, take a break, and then go to another. The wifi is fast and the couches are cushy. Can’t complain at all.


I’d like to wax poetic about how lovely it is to work from anywhere (it is) although yesterday I had the hardest time starting anything and I felt like I was wasting space at Hastings. Today has been better. My work flow consists of

think……think……think…think..think..thinkthinkthinkDO! DO! Action! Burst of action! DODODO!………think.

That’s how I can describe it. The 80/20 principle (Pareto knew what’s what) is strong in my force.

This weekend we were in beautiful Red River, NM for the first annual Red River Songwriter Winterfest. First annual festivals, as Susan has told me, are always a crapshoot. They’re expensive to put on and if they haven’t happened before, there’s no telling how many people will come.

Luckily, this one turned out to be fantastic. It was a weekend of music from Suz, Drew Kennedy, Josh Grider, Kelley Mickwee, Mike Addington, Rick Fowler, and Brandy Zdan. Some of them I knew, some of them I didn’t, all were excellent.

Susan Gibson and Snow
Best photo evaaarrr!

Drew Kennedy and Susan Gibson

Kelley Mickwee and Brandy Zdan
Kelley and Brandy

Breakfast Burrito - Christmas
My chile fix was had.


The other night on Twitter I joked that I was just biding my time until I am old enough to write an advice blog. I feel like a twenty-something should probably not spout off too much in the advice field yet. My friend Josh got me started though with a question and he even invented the #askjana hash tag.

On to his question.

“Dear Jana, I want to be a billionaire so ****ing bad. Any advice?”

Good question, Josh. If I were thirty years older I might have some advice involving investments, hedge funds, and venture capitalists. However, the most I currently know about these things is how to spell them so I must go a little more “woowoo” on you.

The thing is, we have seen from about six million good examples lately that money is a fickle mistress (if you will allow me to go with a philanderous metaphor). She comes, she hangs out, she might stay, she might go. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you understand her terms.

I am not one of those folks who vilifies money or the desire to be rich. I would also like to be a billionaire, or at least get a cut of yours and access to your couch to sleep on at all times.

Can you tell I’m stalling because I don’t know how to make a billion dollars yet?

What I can tell you is that however you make your billion, make sure it aligns with who you are. I just had a good discussion with Susan the other day about this…so much of the the musician job is asking – and perhaps on some fronts – begging for things. “Come to my gig, write about my gig, buy my CD, tell your friends!!”. Some artists are good at this but we…don’t love it. An edge of desperation seeps in and when that happens, game is over.

Desperation = no fun.

To counteract this we decided to simply…do what we like to do. Not to sound either too simple or entitled about it but…when you’re doing what you like, you like it. A little light shines out. Light attracts light and soon you’re a giant fireball of joy because you love what you do.

People are attracted to that – fireballs of joy. More so than desperate pleas for koozie sales. Sales will come from living with joy and the meaning that infuses into your work, product, whatever…but joy does not come from sales numbers (not long term joy, anyway).

This is music business centered because that’s where I’m coming from, but it’s what I know to use as an example. It’s also not an answer to how to make a billion dollars, but it’s a good way to get there and a good way to be once you have your billion. Good luck.