They Say: “You’ll Never Make It in this Business”
They Say: “You Need to Go to This School and have That Degree”
They Say: “Only 2% Succeed in Your Industry, So Don’t Bother”
They Say: “You Need The Right Connections”
They Say: “You Have to Dress Like This and Play Your Trumpet Like That or Forget It!”
They Say: “No One Is Going to Appreciate Your Style of Music!”
They Say: “You Have No Right to Take That Position”
They Say: “You Don’t Deserve to Receive Those Accolades!”
They Say: “It Will Never Work!”
They Say: “Don’t Expect Much, So You Won’t Be Disappointed!”
Yes, They Say a lot of Discouraging, Mean & Nasty Things, often without trying to be Mean, Nasty or Discouraging.
Somehow They forget that the Celebrated Icons They Themselves Honor, Revere & Adore were Told the Very Same Things, Did Not Have the Right Connections, Money, Resources or Attend an Institution of Select Pedigree.
Icons are Pioneers whom Forge their Own Identities, Sounds, Art & Creativity onto the Global Landscape without Asking Permission or Seeking Solace in the Status Quo.
These Ambassadors of Innovation Shift the Platform of Public Paradigms into New Realities of Consciousness that Shape the Future and Transcend Life As We Currently Understand It.
With Constant Obstacle, Hurdles, Detours and Encumbrances at Every Level, Vanguards Chase Away the Proverbial They as These Climb Higher Toward Their Own Thrones, Created Just for Them.
Go and Do Likewise…
EntreMusicians are Excellent Planners & Keen Executioners. We are Faithful at Follow Up and Process our Visions to the Nth Degree. We Face Forward and Effortlessly Advance to our Next Scheduled Items without Losing the Groove.
All Good, but…
EntreMusicians are also challenged with an Acute Inability to Pause and Review our Work. We fail to Properly Index our Calendars to Scrutinize our Previous Performances & Projects and Ascertain their Effectiveness.
While most of us maintain the habit of waiting until the Final Week of December to sit with our Old & Shiny New Planners, the Wiser Move is to Consistently Schedule Weekly, Monthly & Quarterly Reviews (the More Obsessive EMs Implement Dailies) to Appropriate Our Goals, Sharpening Our Saws as We Meticulously Slice Away.
As We Approach this Fifth Month of the Year (already!) let’s take a day or two to Glance Back at the Rear View to Make Sure We’re Not Adrift of the Course we launched in January.
I was listening to Herbie Hancock’s “Mr. Hands” on Vinyl while composing this blog.
The Copyright in Sound Recording (SR) serves as a Blanket of Sorts for Your Created Work. And by ‘Work’ I mean Your Song, Poem, Speech, Rap, Spoken Word or Audio Book.
If Your Song is Original and You Created The Music, Lyrics, Melody, Arrangement AND Also Recorded these Elements, You are Eligible to File an SR which covers Your Song in Its Entirety, as opposed to having to separately file a Performance Arts (PA) to Cover the Music & Lyrics.
If You have Covered Someone Else’s song and Plan to Release It to the Public in some format, you’d do well to file for an SR copyright of Your Version beforehand. Just make sure you have appropriately secured licensing from the original copyright owner, either through Harry Fox or EZ Song Licensing.
The SR secures ownership of the fixed instrumentation and sounds irregardless of the Original Author’s contribution to Music and/or Lyrics. I Just completed an SR for My Production of Eric Tyus‘ version of the Sounds of Blackness‘ classic”Everything Is Gonna Be Alright.”
These days it’s important for the EntreMusician to know the subtle nuances of the SR Copyright on their Original Work. This obviously includes Poets, Motivational Speakers, Preachers, Teachers, Rappers, etc., where so much of our public work is subject to being recorded, sampled, set to music, imported into video, remixed and released to Sound Cloud and Other Apps often without our knowledge.
If You were to Give a Speech or Recite Your Poetry on a College Campus or in front of an Audience and the University or Someone were to Record It on their System, Mobile or other device, that person (or the University) would be Entitled to Ownership through the Library of Congress by filing an SR unless Forbidden to do so by Prior Written Agreement. Undoubtedly, the same holds true for EntreMusicians at their Gigs and Concerts – which is why most people utter firm expletives when “NO RECORDING” signs are posted at Shows, but proceed to record anyway…
Both the Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews Band encouraged Mass Audience Recording & Reproduction of their Concerts and found them to be Excellent Promotional Tools which help Spread their Music like dandelions across a deserted field and many other artists followed suit, some opting to release their own “Official Bootlegs” to boost their fan base.
Plenty still choose to Protect the Dignity of their Live Presentations by Forbidding any Unauthorized Recording, Duplication and Sales of their Appearances in any form. But Everyone knows that Technology Stampedes Sacred Rights and bolsters the Mantra of Free Music for All! This has lead to Intense Conversation which suggests that the Ultimate Role of Copyright is Null & Void, since Everything Everywhere is Available to Everyone within a few clicks.
I Would Love to Know Your Opinion, Especially if You are a Content Creator of any Creative Classification. Are You of the Mindset that Your Conceptions should enjoy the Protection Copyright Provides or that from now on All things Should Be Out on Open Source?
Please Leave a Comment, I’d Love to Explore this Conversation Deeper. If You Have Not Already Done So, Download My Free E-Book, “50 Ways to Transform Your Fans into Family.”
I Was Not Listening to Any Music while Composing & Posting This Piece, but all kinds of Random Songs are running through my head..
One of the Earliest and Most Critical Mistakes Any New EntreMusician tends to Make in this Business is Relying Upon Verbal Agreements.
It’s Easy to Do Because at This Stage You’re Extremely Excited that the Phone Even Rang!
And Before You Know It, Your Enthusiasm Gaining the Advantage, You’ve Locked in The Band, The Date and Invested Precious Time & Resources solely based upon what some Stranger (or Friend) Said she was going to pay you.
There’s already a degree of embarrassment because you nervously negotiated a price and most likely settled for less than Your Original Fee. So with the possibility of losing the entire gig dangling in your imagination, you choose to forego any further timidity and agree to most everything else.
You arrive on time, perform magnificently (of course), only to have the venue owner congratulate you on a wonderful show but with apologies that he didn’t sell enough tickets, drinks or secure the amount of sponsorship he was hoping to receive (which has absolutely nothing to do with you – unless you were not listening) so now he claims he can only pay you…
The very best way to avoid this type of robbery is to Always Place Your Agreement in Writing and Make Certain You place this important piece of conversation atop your discussion.
The All Important Question “And What is Your Budget for this Event?” will provide you all of the necessary information you’ll need before continuing “Please Email Your Agreement to…”
At this Point Either Two Significant Events Will Happen:
1. The Reputable Promoter will make sure they’ve spelled your email address properly and send you the requested document or perhaps ask you to send yours (more on that in a bit)
2. She will begin making several excuses about why she doesn’t use/have one or a Written Agreement, or begin to use those infamous words ‘trust me…’
It’s Vital that You begin to utilize a Written Agreement the moment you’ve formed your act. Even if only charge $50 for the night, get into the habit of using a contract!
If the club owner doesn’t have one, present one. If you don’t have one, create one or download one from http://www.theentremusician.com, and don’t forget the include asking for a 50% deposit!
Serious Venue Owners take you far more seriously when You Talk Terms of Agreement and are prepared to document them even if they are not prepared to present one. The offer itself adds major validation to your professionalism.
And Remember, That’s Exactly Who You Are!
Next Time, We Talk About Getting Paid BEFORE Your Performance!
Although I wasn’t listening to any music while composing this post, I going to be listening to Stevie All Month!
The First Week of January is akin to the Dawn of Spring. Creative Endorphins Dance and Sing. New Energy is Released. Fresh Vitality, Intentions, Goals and dare I say, Resolutions are made to Immediately Implement!
It’s a Brand New Year! The Reset Button was engaged at the drop of the ball and by golly, Absolutely Everything I Didn’t Complete Last Year, Multiplied by ALL I Endeavor to Achieve This Year WILL Get Done, or ELSE!
Too many years have passed with crushed pieces of my soul left in the dust, because of my Obsessive Compulsion to Overachieve. While I pretended to become smarter by trying to rearrange my madness as the decades swam by, I Managed to Employ Seven Approaches which have Helped Me to Complete My Goals with Greater Effectiveness.
1 ) Count Your Blessings
Begin with a Grateful Heart and Make a List of All You have Accomplished and the Wonderful Things that happened in the Previous Year. Believe Me, It make the Trials You May have Endured Seem Smaller and Provides Momentum to Finish What Didn’t Get Done.
2 ) Relax & Breathe
Resist The Urge to Plow Right In! Take A Moment to Pray/Meditate/Visualize the Process and Moment of Completion and Your Best Starting Options. Then Put On Your My Favorite Music (Or Begin Creating It) and Go To Town!
3 ) Always Honor Your Why
Expanding Simon Sinek’s Great Work “Start with Why” with Continual Intermissions of Remembering and Honoring Your Purpose & Reasons for Doing The Work. Utilize Daily Affirmations and Other Reminders to Keep You Focused and Pushing Ahead to Get the Job Done!
4 ) Limit & Prioritize
One of the Major Reasons Goals are Not Achieved is Because We Chew More than We Can Swallow and End Up Spitting Out The Entire Mouthful. Michael Hyatt Recommends No More than 7 to 10 Goals a Year, But Don’t Be Afraid of One, Two Or Three. If You Chose “Paying Off All Debt” as Your Only Goal, You’re Going to Leave Room for Several Wonderful Options!
Once Your Goals Have Been Identified, List Them in Order of Importance! I’m a Huge Fan of Dave Ramsey’s Advice to Begin With the Easiest Goal FIRST, Just to Kick Off Your Momentum and Build Confidence – Then Tackle the Next Easist and Onward!
5 ) Don’t Go It Alone
This was a HUGE Mistake of Mine for Years. I Had the Lone Ranger Syndrome, when I should have had a Team! Now I Know (And Do) Better! MAke Very Sure You have At Least One Person Holding You Accountable to Your Goals, Priorities & Deadlines! BUT…MAke Sure It’s Someone Who Absolutely Understands What Needs To Be Done, How You Plan to Do It and Your WHY!
6 ) Sharpen Your Saw
Dr. Stephen Covey‘s prompting to Keep Your Saw Sharp by Constantly Improving Your Education & Insight on the Work You’re Doing is a MUST!!! There’s Bound to Be a Book, Article, Video and/or Online Course You Can Utilize to Gain More Effective Efficiency! Use The Tools!!
7 ) Laugh Along the Way
You Are Going To Make Mistakes. You Are Going To Fall Behind. You Are Going to Become Frustrated, Confused, Overwhelmed, Angry, Afraid and Want to Give Up Every 147 Hours! Laugh About It! Lighten Up! Go Easy on Yourself and Simply Begin Again!
Happy New Year To You!
My Intention is To Be Here Weekly and Not Drop The Ball Once! Hold My Feet To The Fire!
I Wasn’t Listening to Any Music As I Composed This…
Everyone is Well Aware of the Two Most Important Commodities on Planet Earth.
Time & Money.
Both Can Be Wasted, Saved, Spent or Invested. Used Wisely, Each Possesses the Power to Obtain Greater Assets & Privileges and/or Provide Basic or More Luxurious Needs to the Few or Many. Frequently, Both Are Traded for the Other and Wisdom is Tested in How Well One Uses or Abuses Them.
EntreMusicians at Every Level Seem to be in Short Supply of Either. Walking The Narrow Tightrope of How to Utilize the Best of Both Pay Huge Dividends and Multiplies Our Successes Exponentially.
Although I Have Not Included any Hard Core Solutions to Our Conundrum, I have listed Three Tiny Scenarios that I have personally walked through in the hopes that they Motivate You to Think Through the Issues Before You Spend (Or Waste) Either Valuable Resource.
1) Music Lessons. Admittedly, I am the Worse Drummer I Know. Many Also Know This and Would Agree! I Hated Taking Drum Lessons in my youth and Now I’m Paying for My Embarrassment, When I Should’ve Paid for The Lessons…
I am a Far Better Songwriter & Producer, for which I also Didn’t Take Lessons, but Spent a Million Hours Developing My Craft, Buying & Blowing Up Gear and Listening, Listening, Listening to My Favorite Artists to Learn (read steal) Ideas from…Although there are Countless Conferences, Workshops & Seminars I could have shelled out for, which Others Attend & Swear by, I Believe My Time in the Basement was the Better Investment.
2) Buying Studio Time or Building Your Own Space. Purchasing Studio Time at a Reputable Place with a Knowledgeable Engineer is a Dream – When You Know Exactly What You Want, Have Thoroughly Prepared Your Music & Practiced Like Crazy! If None of Those Things Are in Place, You Might As Well Set Fire to Your Hard Earned Cash Right Doggone Now!
There are a few Compassionate Engineers and they usually have Small Digital Clocks next to their boards. If You See a Huge Round Audible Ticking Monster Hanging on the Wall Behind Their Chair and Two More in the Booth with a Blinking Count Down Mechanism, You had Better Gone to the ATM! If they happen to Hate Your Music, Well The Clock Theory Goes Out The Window with You & the Rest of Your Gear!
I’ve been Beyond Fortunate to Own several Tascam 4 & 8 Track Cassette Recorders in the Medieval Days of Home Recording, as well as Collaborating with Like Minded Musicians & Studio Owner/Engineers who were on their own quests to Learn & Grow. This saved Valuable Time and The Only Money Spent was on Better Gear (more on that soon).
3) Do I Really Need A Manager? No. Yes & No.
If You are Just Beginning, Embrace EntreMusicianship for All It’s Worth and Invest Your Time Learning Every Single Aspect of Managing You, Your Schedule, Your Band, Their Schedules. Make Every Phone Call. Send (and respond to) Every Text & Email. Learn Your Market and Learn How to Say “No Thank You!” when that Promised Exposure Only Benefits the Promoter/Club Owner. Become an Expert Negotiator!
As Your Band & Brand Grows, Spend the 5 to 8% on Loyal, albeit Inexperienced Managers willing to devote themselves exclusively to You and will work with you to decrease Your Blind Spots and Actually Help You Build Your Artistic Acumen. Professional Managers will definitely be worth the 10 to 15% but You Must Also Be Worth It To Them and the Way You Know That is NOT In The Way They Woo YOU, but what they have Proven to Have Done for Others! Still, You Should be Concerned about their Exclusivity to You and Not just another of the 16 acts on their agency roster.
The Most Efficient Way to Invest Time & Money at the Outset of Your Career is to Build A Team. This Includes An Attorney, An Accountant, A Social Media Director/Publicist and Your Own Hand Picked Manager/Booking Agent. Interview Each Carefully, Have A Ton Of Meetings, Individually & Collectively (Yes You May Have to Pay for Their Time). Make Sure They Understand Your Vision, Principles & Goals (Make Sure You Understand Them Too!), Iron Out Percentages on the Front End, with an Optional Earnings Elevator (i.e., The More You Earn Over Time as a Result of Everyone’s Efforts, Their Percentages Also Increase).
I Confess with Joy that this has been the Single Most Efficient Decision, which has helped me to endure even during the dark times or when SounDoctrine is Not on Stage or in the Studio. A Team helps Weather the Storms, Keeps The Vision Alive & Encourages You To Advance Ahead.
We’ll Discuss Three More Next Steps Next Week. Thanks for Taking the Time to Read This Blog! I Was Listening to The Crusaders’ “Images” on Vinyl while Writing & Posting here!
“Bah Dee Yah, Say Do You Remember? Bah Dee Yah Dee Yah Dee Yah!”
September!!…(for those not familiar with the classic Earth Wind & Fire anthem)
Parents are Delighted, Students Dreadfully Curious and Employees Everywhere Assemble to Swap Vacation Stories and their Sandals for Sweaters. As Autumn Dawns, Everyone Seems to Settle into a Greater Degree of Normalcy which soon Make Us Long for Careless Summers Once More.
EntreMusicians prepare to hunker down in various Studio Configurations. Some to Create & Collaborate. Others to Re-Design or Re-Define their Marketing Strategies. Several Summer Tour Ensembles will Break Apart in A Blaze of Entropy – Mostly caused by Laundry Issues or An Undisciplined Drummer Keeping Better Time with the Keyboardist’s Girlfriend than he did on Stage!
Either way, there’s a Rhythm to September that EntreMusicians can sequence into a funky pattern of productivity. If you’re anything like me, I’ve adopted these Intentional Habits (read obsessions) that help me settle into a Quiet, Music Filled Winter.
1) RESET My Ideal Week. Two years Ago, I adopted My Virtual Mentor, Michael Hyatt‘s suggestion to give Every Day A Name and a Theme for Efficiency & Effectiveness – For Example: Thursdays are Music Day (and Date Night with Lori), Fridays are for Meetings, Wednesday is reserved for Deeper Personal Bible Study and So On.
Generally, Summer takes on certain nuances that make for a looser grid and although I maintain my themes, not everything is so locked in. When September comes, I fine tune and tweak so my Habit Monster is Happy with me Again!
2) REVIEW & REMOVE: Certain Social Friends. I began this habit about Three Years Ago. It’s Time Consuming to Try to Appear Omnipresent, so I whittled down my Social Existence to Only Three Platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter. I then began looking at who I actually wished to engage with, who posted more interesting topics I would benefit from and those whom I could literally recommend to another EntreMusician or Creativewho might need their expertise. Again, during the summer, I tend to invite – or get invited to spaces without actually during the research to see if I (or they) need to be a connection. I never take it personal either way, I just Review, Decide & Remove if Applicable.
This Summer, I Did Something So Stupid, It Truly Fits in Items #1 & #2! I made a Promise to Periscope Daily at 8:30PM and found myself either in places not suitable for video or lacking any valuable content important enough to share! Well I’m Done with that nonsense and since Facebook Live is Already My Platform, There is No further Reason to Scope!
I Primarily Digest Business/Leadership Books, but in Autumn, I Get My Creativity back in Check by Reading Autobiographies. Here Are A Few I’m Taking Off the Shelf this Fall:
No, The Last Dude is Not A Musician, but My Eldest Daughter Tejai bought if for my 50th Birthday, So I Need to Check It Out!
4) REFRESH My Unfinished Compositions. I Listen to Absolutely Everything I have Not Released and Many I Have, just to see if there’s another angle or if it’s truly Crapazoid! (Especially the Unfinished/Unreleased Stuff). In fact, there are about 15 songs I have been breathing new life into which are about 30+ years old! They are getting off the hard drive and out of the Studio with Different Musicians, Vocalists and Arrangements! It does my heart good that they’ll soon hit the street. But then there are the others…
So This is The Way I Fall Back Into Autumn. I would Love to Hear How You Handle the Change of Pace…Post Them on My Facebook Page
Let’s Pretend for A Moment…
Say You’ve Invented a Brand New Universal Tool. Its Purpose is to Be An Important, Indispensable Standard that People of All Races, Ethnicity and Cultures will Appreciate & Enjoy!
This Tool Can Be Used In Your Home, Business, Car, Place of Worship or On Your Mobile Device while You’re On The Go. You Know that People Are Going To Love & Appreciate It, Once they are Aware of its Availability and Affordable Price.
You Own the Patent to this Tool and have Trademarked the Brand Name. Although You Do Not Own the Various Patents to the Equipment & Software You’ve used to Develop This Fantastic Gadget, You Have Patented & Control the Unique Processes by which Your Tool is Designed & Manufactured. You Are Aware that a Few “knock-offs” may be developed overtime, but Your Methodology Ensures that You Will Become & Probably Remain a Market Leader.
The Next Step is to Partner with a Distributor who can Help Market, Promote and Get Your Tool into as Many Hands as Possible. You Make What You Feel is A Great Deal with a Company with a Global Reach and Does Not Impede on Your Exclusive Rights & Control over the Manufacture of Your Magnificent Tool.
Overtime, You Notice that This Distributor’s Profits have begun to Eclipse Your Own. For Every $1000 You See, They have made $10,000 and in some cases and in a few regions much, much more, due to their ‘bundling’ of Your Tool with Lesser Quality Devices. Heck, They’ve even Developed a Subscription Model whereby the Customer is able to Use Your Tool As Many Times as They Wish, Without Even Purchasing It.
To Some Extent, You May Not Mind the Creativity of The Distributor’s Concept. After All, Your Tool is Available Everywhere & Absolutely Everyone is Using it and Appreciating its Functionality. Your Tool is a Bonafide Hit!
The Problem is You’re Not Getting Paid What You Know Your Tool is Worth – and – If It Were Not for Your Tool, The Distributor would Never, Ever See the profits they currently enjoy.
So, You Try to Re-Negotiate, Only to Discover that this Very Rich, Very Smart, Well Connected Distributor has successfully lobbied certain Members of Congress, The DOJ, Other Well Established Government Officials and even Similar Minded Partner Distributors to Enforce Laws & Practices that Keep the Big Bucks Rolling In for Them while You’re Left Counting Pennies.
However, Remember that because You Own the Patents, Trademark and the Manufactured Tool itself, which The Distributor Needs to Sustain their Business, You Have A Crucial Decision to Make.
A) Keep Things the Way They Are, Grateful That Your Tool Is A Worldwide Sensation, Even Though You’re Being Robbed Out of Fair Compensation?? (In Fact, You Are Planning to Make More, Perhaps Better Tools to Send Them to Rob You With)
B) Remove Yourself & Your Tool from The Agreement and Begin the Painstaking Process of Becoming a Niche Distributor where Less People May Be Aware of Your Tool, But You Earn Higher Profits with Each Sale? (the additional profit affords you greater opportunity to improve your marketing)
Obviously You Understand that I am Talking About Songwriters and Their Songs.
I Sincerely Desire for Every EntreMusician to Answer This Question Truthfully.
Before You Do, However: Check Out These Two Articles:
I Have Had Hundreds of Conversations with Artist/Musicians at All Levels and Each Answer Varies to the Point where I Needed to Simplify My Approach by Presenting a Different Business where the Creator & Manufacture Must Look At The Bottom Line to Determine Whether of Not He/She Could Remain In Business or Close Their Doors.
Music is Such An Emotional Tool that Fame Often Overshadows Fortune. An EntreMusician Can End Up Eating Bread Sandwiches while Everyone is Singing Their Songs…
I wasn’t listening to any music while composing this blog post.