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Music Business

Investing in your Music Business Management

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will neither have good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither it’s pipes nor it’s theories will hold water” -John Gardiner

Let’s face it… it’s not the 90’s for the music business… For that matter, it’s not any of the previous decades in the music industry.. This is the most exciting time in the music industry… Why?

Your Music Business is all about you. However, that is the good news and the bad news..

Yes, the good news is that anyone writing music has access to distribution that will reach the entire world through iTunes, Napster, BeatPort and many other forms of digital distribution outlets.

The bad news is that no one is going to create the system and give you the talents and direction of how to do this according to your goals and what you personally want to do in the music business. The days of finding a manager, agent, label or company to invest in you are over…. that is, if you have not invested in yourself. What does that look like? Either you have the money to pay people to do it for you, you do it on your own, or you keep creating music as a hobby and never reach it as a lucrative music business. Keep in mind in today’s music business, lucrative starts as part-time and makes its way to full time.

Most artists who are creating music as a hobby for 5-10 years never visualize the process through. Where do you want to end up? “I want to be the best music producer in the world, I want to run a record label, I want to make beats for major labels”. I hear this all the time and try to help people really ‘see’ what that looks like.

Now that you have the end in mind, you must back track to where you are now with your current budget, resources and connections. How do you make it work? If you cannot see it then your end goal is a fantasy. There must be a realistic route to your goal. If there isn’t one, you must keep going back to the drawing board until it all matches up.

Investing in your own music business management is humbling, you have to prioritize, cut out unneeded people and tasks that distract you from your ultimate goals. Let’s face it, it’s hard to put all these things aside and go for your dreams. You’ll start to find that there really are a lot of Posers in the Music Industry once you knuckle down and get to work. People will shrug you off – ‘man you’re too serious, why don’t you loosen up?, why you changing all the time – let’s just go have some fun’.

Personally investing in your music business is challenging at first but once you dig in, start connecting the dots of how to get from point A to point B, you’ll soon find out that its much easier than you thought… AND you’ll find you are talented in more than musical gifts but also staying focused and getting things done.

Get Rid of Music Business Failure Once and for All

“Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.” -Bruce Mau.

These are words of wisdom from the celebrated graphic designer, Bruce Mau. He knows the secret to keeping things creative and innovative while pushing the boundaries of change in his industry.

How do you view your creative and music business failures? Do you think of them as your own ‘ugly children’ and love them anyway or do you allow them to sabotage your creative flow? We all know this all too well but few acknowledge the fact that most insight and revelations come from failure not success. So count all the things you’ve been learning about music through your experiments of music production, recording, creating, mixing, mastering and let yourself have some fun!

Your music business can be as creative as your music. Keep that ‘F’ word in check and remember, we are to play music, not ‘work’ music – especially in music business. I know when you get serious about your message and art form, you tend to forget that. If your latest “hit” actually turned into a “flop” then you’ve discovered what you shouldn’t be doing and trust me, you’re that much closer to the pursuit of what you should be doing.

If there is anything I can help you with, just reply me at the link below.

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Creative and Music Business Planning Tips for the New Year

First I would like to say – Happy New Year.
I hope all of your dreams and goals come to pass this year and that your finances, business contacts and creativity is blessed in 2k10.

While preparing for the new year this year I have been doing a lot of planning and preparation and thought I would pass on a few tips that have helped me get focused.

Planning and preparation is different for everyone and it is up to you on what works best. Is it a journal, a notepad, digital recorder, smartphone or a computer that is always sitting by you? Do you always go back to the computer, journal or phone? If not, start this in the new year.

Your best ideas, business possibilities and creativity comes when you’re not ready or least expect it so here’s what to do:

Tips for New Year Creativity and Business Planning:

1. Always have something available to write with. How many songs or business ideas have you lost already? This year, create a system of capturing your creativity anywhere at any time. Choose a journal, notepad, computer, voice recorder, smartphone, etc. Pick it and stick with it.

2. Prioritize your ideas by long term, short term and today. If you want to do a collaboration with a friend that may be a long term project. If you have to create your publishing company, that could be a today or short term project. There are many ‘little today tasks’ that if left to themselves can suck up all your time without you knowing it. The important tasks are the ones that are going to give you results. Then there are the small/today tasks that MUST get done. Think about what your working on, step back, get perspective and continue to prioritize. As a music professional this is an ongoing planning principle – the sooner you get good at it the better you’ll be.

3. Educate yourself always. If you are setting goals but have no knowledge, experience or direction, it’s possible you could be setting yourself up for failure before you even start. Here’s an example. I did custom training with a client recently and his goal was to finish three songs, print up a thousand cds and take them to radio stations, clubs and network. Ultimately his true goal is to write great music, create a fanbase and create a successful part-time or full-time music business. While his plan sounded great, it would have wasted time and money. How will he get his fans, his website complete, what does the artwork look like, is he targeting the right radio audience? Through our conversation we found many holes in his plan and I was able to educate him in the final development of his business before the expense of creating the product and marketing so he could have permanent fans that don’t miss the great music he was putting out.

What am I saying here? Get 2-3 professional opinions before spending time and money. You’ll never regret it.

4. Prioritize by importance. So now you’ll have organized a long term, short term and list for today and you’ll have sought professional counsel to help with the process. Now you can prioritize by what tasks in each category will get you the best results toward your overall goals. Remember, taking guesses gets you know where. Taking educated steps gets results.

5. Take Action. Plans don’t mean anything unless you take daily action. If you want a career in music, you must be working your plan daily. No one cares about your music business more than you. No one is going to motivate you, hound you or inspire you but yourself. If you are not a self motivator, you might be in the wrong business or you just need more education on how you can be self motivated :).

This year, plan your goals with the end result in mind and work yourself backwards. Focus on the bigger picture, consolidate your tasks to projects that are going to bring you where you want to go this year. Ignore the rest. You can’t do everything so stop trying! With this planning process eventually you’ll be able to do everything but you cant do everything in one go – make sense?

The only way to fail is to give up. There is no reward for discouragement or frustration. Only when you push through and never give up can you succeed.

With these simple steps, it’s not a matter of if your dreams and goals will come to pass, it’s only a matter of when…
If you need help planning for the new year, please take a moment and signup for a free consultation. Let me know how we can help you.

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Making the Most of your Time

Let’s face it; none of us knows how much time we have here on earth. None of us knows the time or date of our death and none of us knows if we’ll make it to old age. Being young we always assume that we will live long and it’s easy to take on an immortal attitude. But at any moment things could change. Each of us is given just 24 hours a day. Each day we have 1,440 minutes to invest or 1,440 minutes to waste. Martin Luther King had the same amount of time each day. So did Jesus, Albert Einstein, and Ludwig Van Beethoven. Bill Gates has the same amount of time. So does Michael Jordan and President Obama. What do all these people have in common? They all have managed their time well.

I heard a story of a man who was getting up in his years. He calculated that if he lived to be 75 years old that he would only have 1,000 Saturdays left in his lifetime. So, he went to the toy store and bought 1,000 marbles and put them in a huge glass jar. Diligently, every Saturday he took one of those marbles out of his jar. Slowly over time he watched the marble depth get smaller and smaller. This was a daily reminder to him that his time was limited. Finally, on his 75th birthday he appeared on a radio show and declared, “Today, I took the last marble out of my jar, every Saturday from now on is an extra gift to me, I am now on borrowed time.” With his little experiment, he gained a fresh perspective on the value of time.

Let’s say you are given 5 million dollars in your bank account today. The only stipulations are that you have to spend every cent by the end of one full week. Anything you did not spend would just be taken back and given to someone else. Now, if that happened to any one of us we would be sure to spend each dollar wisely. Think about how we would calculate a couple thousand here, a couple thousand there. We would make lists of who we’d give some too, lists of places to book travel, and things to buy. Why would we do that? Because money is valuable!

But there is one thing that is more valuable than money, and that is time.
Once you spend your time you can never get it back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Are you investing your time wisely? Are you making the most of every moment and spending your time on the things that really matter? I come across a lot of people who are ‘waiting’. They’re waiting to release music, waiting to get their big break, waiting for love, or waiting for the perfect time to act on a dream. The truth is there is no perfect timing. There is no reason to wait. There is no invisible alarm clock that’s going to go off when the time is just right. You just have to do things with excellence and hope for the best. Make a decision, stick to it, and go for it! Waiting will only get you farther from your goals because the longer you wait the harder it is to keep yourself motivated to  follow through. Leaders and innovators understands the power of time; understand that we are each given the same amount each day. And that time is a precious commodity. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t assume you have all the time in the world. You have a destiny to fulfill and a dream to conquer.
So what are you waiting for?

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

Tutorial: Making the Most of your Time
1) Do you know what the top 10 most important things in your life are? If not, time can definitely get away from you. Write down 10 things that are the most important to you. Things that if you were on your death bed and didn’t do, you would regret..
2) Now write a list of 10 things that interfere with doing your most important things.
3) Now give yourself some time and think of solutions to get rid of the things in your life that are keeping you from making the best of your time.

If you want additional info on the subject, contact us for a training consultation.

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10 Steps to Guarantee your Music Success

How can I make such a bold statement as this? How can anyone’s success be guaranteed?  Well, there are always going to be changes that catch you off guard and keep you on your toes but for the most part, your future can be guaranteed if you can master personal growth.

As an educator, I don’t want to just teach you amazing things about production. I want to give you a hunger for learning and a thirst for personal growth. When you realize that learning and growing go hand and hand then the whole world is open to you.

You can do anything that your heart desires and accomplish anything that you can dream up. When you step into being a person who is committed to personal growth you step onto a path that will only lead you to amazing and uncharted territories.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going,
Only steps, no escalators, and no elevators.

1)    Deny Immediate Pleasure for Personal  Growth
Learn how to say ‘No’ to yourself, and your friends and family. If you have a dream inside of you that needs to be realized you have to deny some of the little pleasures of life in order to grow. Everyone that is successful has made sacrifices to get where they are. Your time is valuable, protect it.

2)    Growth is the Only Guarantee of a Future
This seems like common sense doesn’t it? Well, ask yourself. “Am I growing right now?” If you’re not, you need to make some changes in your life. Throw out the distractions: TV, magazines, family drama, internet browsing, partying or laziness. You know what they are. If you quit growing you start dying. If you said, “Yes!” to the question than, awesome…you are on your way to a brighter future!

3)    Take Responsibility for Your Growth
No one is going to check on you and what you’re doing with your life except maybe your momma, if you’re lucky. But in the real world, you are in charge of yourself. Only you know if you are challenging yourself enough. Only you know if you are slacking off! Only you know how much more you are capable of. Please be honest with yourself. If you can’t be real with yourself and look into a mirror to evaluate how you’re doing in your life…you are doing yourself a great disservice. Get in the habit of asking yourself, “OK, how did I do this week? Did I get everything on my list done? How’d I do on my homework…Are my beats getting better?”

4)    Grow to Become Not to Acquire
Growth brings good things, but good things don’t bring growth. Even if you make a mistake, as long as you grow from it and learn some lessons…dust your feet off and try again! Do you know how many times Edison failed at inventing the light bulb? Nobody knows, because the last time he tried, he succeeded. That’s all that matters. Keep your eyes on how much your changing and growing. Are you becoming a better person? Are you less frustrated when you sit down to create? The results will naturally follow your personal growth.

5)    Stay Out of Your Comfort Zone
I can’t stress this one enough. Learn to love being uncomfortable! There should be a little alarm that goes off in your brain, “OMG, this sucks!! I am so uncomfortable!!” When you hear yourself thinking that, stop and smile…because you are growing!!! Learn to identify when you are out of your comfort zone and relish it! Master it! Then you will be able to go with it without so much resistance.

6)    Include the Love in your Life
If you’re single you can ignore this step. But if you are married like me or in a relationship, please pay attention. You and your spouse must grow together, not apart. If you are the only one growing there is a problem. There are many times when one spouse is inspired and motivated and the other one isn’t… this is an opportunity to use your influence for good. Do whatever you have to do, but make sure your spouse is encouraged and motivated as well.

7)    Hang Around with Growing People
I’ve touched on this before, but we all need to remember it. Big dreamers need to hang around big dreamers. No one with a small mindset is going to understand big dreams. It’s a simple as that.

8)    Daily Growth via a Personal Growth Plan
The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine; you will never change your life until you change something you do daily. You must have goals written down for yourself. I find it very helpful to give myself deadlines for things I want to accomplish. Because I own my own business I have to motivate myself, I am my own boss…and so are you. Make for yourself both short term and long term goals. Go from what you want to accomplish daily, to weekly, to yearly.

9)    Spend Time and Money in Order to Grow
Why spend time and money in order to grow? Because it’s going to take time and money in order to grow! Discipline yourself to spend the needed time to get better in the areas you are weak. If you want to learn how to type faster, learn accounting, understand design sense, etc get the education you need to get the results you want.

10)    Appreciate the Value of Personal Growth
Celebrate the little victories. No one sees these; they only see the huge accomplishments. But races are won one lap at a time. Enjoy the journey, and encourage yourself with each positive stride made.

Adapted and inspired by an article by John Maxwell

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