I hear this question all the time from my fellow musicians, and today, I wanted to share with you why I think its absolutely necessary for you to think of yourself as a business as you create your music career.
Have you ever seen someone who is doing the exact thing that you want to be doing and wonder how they've managed to set themselves up for their success? I know that when I started looking to build my career I always looked at what others were doing, and couldn't understand why it was working for them and not for me.
I was just as highly trained, I had lots of great connections, but I just couldn't seem to make it work like the people around me. Maybe I was just unlucky?
It wasn't until I started learning about business that I realized the biggest difference between what i was doing and what they were doing, was that I was waiting for things to happen to me.
Does that sound familiar to you at all?
Do you put in all the work you think you need to, but see no results, and still expect success to come to you?
Well my musician friend, its possible that you've set yourself up for failure without even realizing it! You forgot the most important thing about business.
If you're a business owner, you have to think like a business owner.
You might be a musician, but are you trying to earn money?
If the answer is yes, CONGRATULATIONS! You're a business!
Musicians are natural entrepreneurs. Think back to how the earliest musicians made their money. Was Beethoven sitting on his hands waiting for money to come to him? How about Mozart? Bach? Sure, they were obviously talented, but I bet there were many hundreds of musicians who were equally talented who never rose to fame. Why? Because they were working as businessmen who provided a service for people, they weren't just hoping something would work for them.
While i'm thinking about it, I just want to say for quick moment that if any royal families would like me to provide them a musical service, I would be more than happy to oblige. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
On a serious note, we live in a society that is built on entrepreneurialism. If you're reading this, you're likely a millennial who has grown up on the internet and who regularly buys things online, communicates online and learns things from online sources. Think of how important the internet is to your every day life. Now think of how much harder it was before the internet to be entrepreneurial. We have zero excuses these days for a lack of success BECAUSE of this easy access to things.
This easy access to the internet also tends to make us complacent, and dare I say a little lazy as we see people having massive success for what seems to be very little effort.
As a musician looking to create any kind of success in music or related fields, you will need to look beyond the shallow pool that is facebook and understand that success comes to those who work their tails off to position themselves to be the person that is ready for that massive success when it comes along.
You need to start to think like a business owner, and to approach your career as something that is worth supporting - as something that deserves success and as something that has the capacity to inspire others. Waiting for success to come to you is not the way to achieve it - and its not the way you learned how to be a musician.
You practiced, achieved set goals, paid for lessons and training, networked, single-mindedly created opportunities for yourself.
Its time you started to do the same in your career.