I want to talk about your future as an artist.
Letâ€™s discuss the delays and the reason behind the delays.
When I refer to â€œdelaysâ€ Iâ€™m not referring to â€œwhy youâ€™re not a star yetâ€. No, if you have a solid strategy and youâ€™re executing it, then you should be farther along this year than you were last year. Period.
Many of you, too many of you, in fact, are naively approaching this whole artist thing looking for a free ride of some sort. As if the industry beams you up to the mothership and takes care of everything for you.
You know the routine, â€œI just need to meet that one record executive, that one manager, that one star whoâ€™ll take me on tour and then Iâ€™ll be on my way.â€
It just doesnâ€™t work that way. Itâ€™s not about one home run. Itâ€™s about thousands of base hits. If youâ€™re going to be successful (meaning making a comfortable living doing what you were born to do) then you must accept responsibility for everything.
Yes, there are Cinderella stories of the artist who meets the big wig and that chance meeting changes everyoneâ€™s lives but they are few and far between. 99.9999% of all artists who come into your awareness have been grinding for a long time.
You are the CEO of a small company. All CEOâ€™s have to make big decisions, spend money, take risks, understand the market, endure multiple failures, and see the big picture to grow their companies.
CEOâ€™s donâ€™t sit around on the couch pulling on the bong wondering why nobody likes their amazing product or service and bad mouthing the industry for not â€œgetting itâ€.
CEOâ€™s donâ€™t covet the success of more prominent CEOâ€™s. Their curious about the stories and the work behind all successes and want to learn from them.
As a CEO you need to understand all aspects of the business from creation of the intellectual propertyÂ to the manufacturing of the product to the marketing of that product.
CEOâ€™s donâ€™t sit around saying, â€œIâ€™m no good at marketingâ€.
CEOâ€™s donâ€™t sit around saying, â€œI donâ€™t have time for marketingâ€.
The owners of small companies do it all. They master every facet of the business so they can teach the new hires to do it their way as the company grows.
There are BOATLOADS of failed record deal stories. A YouTube star gets a record deal but decides to let the record company take over on their marketing. Then the label they chose doesnâ€™t understand how the artist grew their audience on YouTube and fumbles the football. Now the artist loses their record deal AND their YouTube audience because they werenâ€™t at the helm.
Do you know why Tim McGraw has over 33 #1 hits? It seems easy from the cheap seats, doesnâ€™t it? You think, oh he has the best songwriters beating down his door to give him their best songs. If I had that, Iâ€™d have a truckload of #1 singles too.
Well, did you ever wonder why other huge stars who have been around just as long donâ€™t have that many #1 singles? I mean, surely those stars get the same kind of respect and response from the hit songwriters and publishing companies, right?
Tim picks the songs, plain and simple.
Heâ€™s mastered the art of picking not only hit songs but hit songs that fit his brand.Â Tim understands marketing as well.
I promise you Tim looks at whatever record label heâ€™s with as a valued partner that helps him achieve his vision. Tim doesnâ€™t look at them as some mysterious entity that magically makes it all happen for him.
Itâ€™s work people. Hard work!
The biggest stars, your heroes, are DRIVING.
The hardest work youâ€™ll ever do is starting your own company. You have to create, you have to manufacture, you have to do the marketing, you have to do the accounting, the taxes, the hiring and firing, the selection, and you have to create the budget to make that business grow.
Yes, you own a small business and most of you suck at it because you donâ€™t realize that you own a small business.
Too many of you think the music business makes stars out of up and coming talent. I can see why it looks that way, but thatâ€™s not the case. The music business facilitates the aspirations of up and coming artists who understand how to work.
Some of them hardly have any musical talent, their talent is out-hustling everybody else.
If you suck at business, and you know you suck at business, youâ€™d better find someone who can complement your weaknesses.
But you still have to sign your own checks. Just ask Oprah or Billy Joel. Now how do you think they learned that lesson?
I have news for you. You will NOT learn how to market through osmosis. You will NOT learn how to make records in your dreams.
The only way out is THROUGH. You have to roll up your sleeves, make some time to learn about what you donâ€™t know and begin putting a solid, executable strategy together that will get you into growth.
Otherwise, youâ€™re going to end up bitter and bewildered.
CEOâ€™s of small music business companies know that theyâ€™re not going to become a star overnight.
CEOâ€™s of small music business companies know that theyâ€™re not going to be profitable after the first single or the first record.
CEOâ€™s understand that radio isnâ€™t going to get them into growth like it used to, so they must adapt.
Smart CEOâ€™s know that there has never been a better time to start a small music business than right now! All your customers are out there, just one click away from knowing about you.
Smart CEOâ€™s also know that the lifetime value of a fan/customer is worth far more than the .99 cents or $10.99 that the old music business would have them collect right now.
Smart CEOâ€™s are leery about getting a record deal too soon. â€œToo soonâ€ meaning they donâ€™t have a big enough audience and therefore they donâ€™t have enough power to influence the relationship.
Â Smart CEOâ€™s want to stack the deck as much as possible in their favor so they can control their own future.
Smart CEOâ€™s know that nobody is going to care about their small business more than them.
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