When someone gave me a copy of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I expected a book version of a cheesy TV late-night infomercial. I was very wrong, and the book ended up changing the way I think about several things.

The most important lesson I took from the book is the idea of the Abundance Mindset. Very roughly, it is the idea that there is plenty (jobs, food, etc.) for everyone. In fact, we should be thankful for the abundance we already have.

I like to relate this mindset to finding musical gigs. Truth is, there are plenty of gigs to go around for every musician– at least the ones who are serious about finding them.

Let’s take my jazz organ trio for example. Let’s assume that I am willing to drive anywhere in NC to play a gig. Also, let’s assume that for every wealthy person in the top 1% income bracket, there will be at least one occasion a year where they want to throw a formal party and hire a decent jazz group (which would pay, let’s say, $1200 for a trio).

Now, let’s postulate that there are 500 different jazz groups who look and sound professional across the state who want to share these gigs. Let’s do the math:

The population of NC (9.752million) * the top 1% (.01) / the number of professional jazz groups pursuing gigs (500) = 195 GIGS A YEAR for each of these jazz groups.

Multiply by $1200, and divide by the number of musicians in my group (3), and each musician would earn $78,000 a year playing jazz.

Are these calculations realistic? I have no idea. It could be that there are only 25 jazz groups willing to do the work to find these gigs. It could be that many of the potential gigs would fall on the same day, so we couldn’t do them all at once. But I like how the math helps me think in terms of abundance rather than scarcity.