Category Archives: Entrepreneurs

BE The Producer!

prod2

Throughout this month, I’m sharing A Few of The Ways I’ve Honed My EntreMusicianal Skills by “Being” All The Things I’ve Needed to “Be” to Advance My Artistry & Career, while making a few bucks along the way. Last Week, I detailed the opportunities awaiting EMs who donned the Booking Agent Hat to represent other Singers/Bands/Artists in their areas. Today, we look into Being The Producer.

In a Tiny Region like Youngstown Ohio, there are very few outlets for Jazz Musicians. Many of Us Frequently Perform in Akron, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and further away, as my band SounDoctrine began to do early on to make a name for ourselves.

Around 2005 the City hired an Event Coordinator, Claire Maluso, to open up the Downtown Entertainment Corridor to other Genres which were traditionally dominated by Rock and College Bar Bands. Claire, an avid jazz lover, reached out to me as SounDoctrine was starting to build momentum due to our music airing on the Weather Channel during their famous jazz filled breaks.

We began to put together weekends in various downtown restaurants which quickly spilled into the annual Youngstown Jazz Fest. When Claire left her position, I began to work with the new hire and representatives from YSU and the Visitors Bureau to broaden the show’s scope. I was Blessed to Oversee Production from 2010-13. This provided two wonderful advantages for which I remain grateful.

1)  Through Corporate and Community Sponsorship, we were able to secure a better rate for All of the Performers. Previously, the “Baby Bands” received $0.00 “for exposure,” which I always thought was a crock after doing my fair share of them. The more notable bands were paid between $250-$400 for a 45 minute set. But with 5 to 6 members…?

What I was blessed to do was raise that rate to $850 per band and then create a “Pre Fest Night” at a Downtown Venue the night before where the “Baby Bands” were paid for their exposure and one of the notables headlined the evening! This created Synergy and Excitement for the Entire Weekend. It also created greater degrees of acknowledgement from the local artists, who all recognized that our team was committed to paying them more respectfully.

2)  As Producer, I Was Able to Strategically place SounDoctrine Immediately Before the Headliner. This meant:

a) More Time on Stage

b) Our Set Would Be Seen by those who may have arrived late

c) The Prime Opportunity to be Associated With (and often acknowledged by) The Headliner who usually arrived during the first portion of our set

Our resume now includes us opening for jazz legends, Spyro Gyra, Pieces Of A Dream and Grammy Winner Kirk Whalum among others, many of which we are blessed to remain in close contact with.

To ensure our momentum, we also created a monthly “Second Sundays” event to keep the jazz vibe alive Downtown, which ran until 2015, which featured regional artists and also gave our band another outlet for presenting new material. We were blessed to partner with our local Chick fil-A franchise to make this a spectacular event.

This past March, I was blessed to produce the very successful “Meet Me At The Cross” Good Friday Event at the Covelli Center in Downtown Youngstown, which by God’s grace was my largest feat to date. We are currently making plans for 2018.

Through this process, I have learned all of the consociate aspects of “Putting On a Show” faster than if I had just remained in the Drum Chair, showing up for Sound Check. Needing to simultaneously wear the multifaceted hats of Technician, Promoter, Marketer, Fund Raiser, Corporate Solicitor, Stage Direction and grasping what it means to dialogue about City Ordinances, Liability Insurance, Unions and how to navigate the various insecure/angry/weird personalities you often encounter in a 20 hour day without losing your cool – while retaining the stamina to play your set, has wholly strengthened me and has helped me to make better decisions in my career.

Production is extremely hard work. “Game Day” will Make You or Crush You!! There are No Gray Areas. One Day I will tell you about the time I almost went to jail hours before I was to go on stage…

I’m forever grateful for an amazing team I can call at a moment’s notice when it’s time to do it again! Michaela Write, Orlando & Dana Watson, Lori B, Phil The Beat & Rosalyn Moore, Felicia (FiFi) Fuller, Jerry & Bea Thjompson, Demetrius Allen, Isaiah Rowe, Dan Glass, Shaun Shaulis and the silent Nia Brown. Y’all Know None of this could’ve been done without you!

BE The Producer!

 

I was listening to Herbie Hancock‘s “Mr. Hands” on Vinyl while composing this.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!

family

There Are Millions of Ways to Think Beyond the Box and Create a Culture of Fans who take ownership of Your Vision and become True Family! Your Imagination is the Limit!

Here Are A Few Successful Methods I have Utilized Multiple Times with My Band SounDoctrine, Within My Own Career, or when Consulting Other Artists. Twist These Up! Have Fun with Them and Contact Me with Further Questions or to Share Your Results!

Tonight (Thursday 8/31 @ 6PM EST) I will be on Hybrid Jazz from Trish Hennessey. We will be unpacking several of these strategies and talking with Many Varied EntreMusicians who will share their Own Tips & Tactics that Keep Their Artistry Intact. Feel Free to Listen & Call In  – Your Voice is IMPORTANT! The Number to Call In is 323.843.6172.  Check Out Trish’s Facebook!

50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!
1. Write a Song With Your Fan.
SounDoctrine Once Held a Lyric Contest on Facebook. JeAnnette Singleton’s Words Worked Well & Won and We Signed a Co-writing deal, recorded and released “(That’s Why) It’s Called Love” on our ‘Inspire’ CD.
2. Feature Fans Frequently on Your Website
3. Feature Fan’s Favorite Quotes in Your Newsletter
4. Honor a Charity Your Fans Support at Your Next Show
5. Feature a Few Fans In Your Next Video.
SounDoctrine asked fans to send in their wedding pics to be featured in our video for the song “Marriage.” The Response was Overwhelming and made for a Great Way to Celebrate the Sacredness of Marriage.
6. Invite Two Fans to A Rehearsal. Have them Stream it on their Pages.
7. Invite Three Fans to A Recording Session. Upload it to Your Website.
8. Have a Fan Host an Old Fashioned House Party. Sell Tickets for $4.99. Stream It!
9. Use Your Song As a Bundle with a Book Release.
SounDoctrine partnered with author Gregory S. Trent who wrote the book “Selah,” which was the exact title of our single “Selah” from the ‘Source’ CD. For 30 Days after the initial release, anyone who bought his book got the single as a ‘Freemium’ (our $$ agreement was with him).
10. Do A Music Marketing Workshop in Your City teaching what You’ve Learned and invite Another Band to Perform. This move builds Solid Relationships with other musicians and also shows Your Fans whom You Are Fans of.
11. Hold a Can Food Drive for the Less Fortunate at your next show.
Early on SounDoctrine experienced the Value of Partnering with Our Fans to Help Out the Community, providing them a Discount on Admission Fee, Helping Out The Local Rescue Mission and Garnering Some Great Press in the Process. We began doing that in other cities as well.
12. Adopt a Color, Create a Symbol, Logo, Style or Phrase and Never, Ever Leave It!
Enhance It, But Never Abandon It! (Think P-Funk!!) SounDoctrine frequently refers to our music as “Originalternativefunkjazzfusion!
13. Create a Blog Specific to Your Fans Demographics & Interests

(This is Different from Your Newsletter which informs them about YOU – The Blog is about THEM)
14. Write & Market a Song Tied to a Personal Event.

(Think Tony, Toni, Tone’s “Anniversary.”)
SounDoctrine’sMeant 2B” doubled as a means to link to marriage & wedding blogs and sites. We also created an extended instrumental remix for bridal parties to use in the actual wedding.
15. Lead and/or Rally A Cause! Show Support for an Issue Bigger than Your Artistry. Draw Attention to It, Speak at a Rally and Let Your Voice be Heard!
16. Endorse a Candidate.
Yeah, I Know, but sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand. This move turns Fans into Family – or Enemies! It doesn’t have to be a Presidential Race, but Someone Your Band Strongly Believes will Make a Difference in Your Community or Country.
17. Throw a Private Party Twice a Year with Invitations Only for the First 25 or 50 Fans who Must Show Up by a Certain Time!

Hold it in a Very Public Place, Ensuring Liability Insurance, Security, etc and Make It Very Special!
18. Produce a Live Event that promotes Other Named Acts and make it a Regular Event!
We were blessed to produce the Youngstown Jazz Fest for three consecutive years, which we spun off into a monthly “Second Sundays” Event which garnered corporate sponsorship and featured artists of much higher caliber than SounDoctrine, which kept our name associated with Quality.
19. Interview Famous Artists. Post The Interviews.
20. Get Interviewed. Ditto
21. Interview the Interviewer. Ditto, Ditto
22. Answer Every Single Social Media Correspondence Sent to You ASAP or Create a Clone to Do It For You.
23. Get Barbershops, Beauty Salons & Boutiques to Play Your Music in their shops.
You Do Have Your Event Posters & Placards in There Too, Right?
24. Perform Live on Local Community TV and Yes, I Mean Schedule Them in Whatever’s City You Perform in Next!
25. Help A Community Center/Adopt A Block or Become A Big Brother/Sister
26. Proudly Promote Your Faith / Lifestyle / Values & Principles
27. Heavily Endorse an Equipment and/or Software Manufacturer.

Keep Track of Your Events & Projects that Utilize their Stuff and Contact them Repeatedly about being featured on their site(s).
28. Bring 15 Unsuspecting Fans In to Your Sound Check.

Ask them how well they are able to hear from various seating/spaces in the venue and thank them. Once back outside in line, they’ll call everyone they know, recount the experience and invite them to come down immediately.
29. Create a Cover Contest for One of Your Songs. Have Fans Upload to Your FB Page.

30. Share the Back Story Of Every Song

(what you were feeling/thinking when you wrote it – what was going on in your life. Share the recording process and how you came up with “that” sound.
31. Become an Actor in an Indie Film.
32. Stay to Meet Your Fans As Soon As the Gig Ends! Talk!
Take Pictures! Sign The CD! Laugh!!!…As Often as Appropriate!
33. Thank Your Fans Publicly as Often As You Can!
Especially Online Right After The Gig!
34. Host An Online“Ask Us Anything Event”
35. Chat Often. Skype a Favorite Fan. Make Them All Feel Like They’re Your Favorite. Dude, it’s possible, I have three daughters.
36. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask…
37. Share Your Mistakes
38. Be Genuine or Quit
39. Be Generous or…
40. Practice Excellence Daily
41. Compliment a Woman Personally (that’s a great color on you / Your Home/Office is Beautiful) Compliment a Man on His Items or Achievements (Dude! How Much Did that Set You Back / Hey, Great Job on That!)before you call me sexist, try it!
42. Call Out Your Fans Name from the Stage, During the Show!
43. Mentor Talent whenever You Find It.
I’ve Never Missed an Opportunity to Give a Person a Chance. Sometimes it’s set me back, Sometimes I’ve been bitten, but Often I’ve gained so much more in wonderful collaborations.
44. Remain Humble. Be Polite. Don’t be a Jerk.
45. Give Music Lessons
46. Visit Elementary Schools in Every City You Tour.
Perform an Assembly with an Educational / Anti-Drug Theme.
And Don’t be a Hypocrite. (Ask Me About This One).
47. Keep Your Email List Current
48. Purge Your FB Friends/Followers as often as Necessary.
49. Populate Your Linked In/Instagram Posts Meticulously.
50. Tweet Thrice A Day

TheEntreMusician.com

Engage, Encourage, Empower!
© 2017 Gerald H. Beulah, Jr. / © 2017 Tejai, LLC

 

I was Listening to War’s “The World is a Ghetto” on Vinyl while Composing this Blog

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

3 Key Moves to Advance Your Life

chess-pieces
Incremental Growth should be the Motivation of Every EntreMusician. At the Forefront of Advancing Our Careers, Creativity, Musicianship & Art must be the Persistent Improvement of Our Lives. Continual Habits like Prayer, Mantras, Devotions and/or Meditation are Vital to Cleansing the Spiritual Self to Prepare Us for Our Day, Week or Projects, but it’s Equally Important to Remember that What We Do for Others contain holistic benefits that create remarkable synergy in our larger context.
Overtime, I Have Learned Three Principal Moves I Now Employ Daily to Advance My Life.
1) Engage.
We Live in World Where Engagement is defined as trading Brownie Recipes with a Facebook Friend from Sweden while ignoring the person sitting next to us on our Bus, Uber or other Mass Transit Commute. We Almost Never Speak to Others on Elevators, Preferring to Stare at the Floor below or Numbers above. TV Shows & Magazines we’d never view at home suddenly become more interesting than talking to the Totally Tattooed Girl in the Dentist’s Waiting Room. Unfortunately, Families the World Over Prefer their Phones to Genuine, Transparent Face Time with Each Other.
Be The One who Breaks the Mold. Create and a Entirely New Social Media. TALK To Someone. Extend Your Hand. Smile! Make Eye Contact. Seek Out Someone who doesn’t Look, Smell, Act or Think Like You! Agree to Disagree if it should come to that, but at least Try to See Life from Someone’s Else’s Perspective even if You Choose Not to Adopt It!
2) Encourage.
We All Know Someone who Needs Encouragement. An easy way to prove this is to Check & See if that Person is Breathing! If they are, Affirm Them! Give a Compliment. Notice Something About Someone and Verbally Admire that Characteristic or Trait. Go to Someone who has expressed Self Esteem Deficiencies in their Non Verbal Communication and Weigh Them Down with Confidence and Inspiration. Befriend the Friendless and Help Bear the Load of the Distressed. In Time, the Entire Organization, Situation & Atmosphere is Strong & Electric with Motivation.
To Quote the late Maya Angelou, ” People Will Forget What You Said, People will Forget what you did but People will Never Forget how You Made Them Feel.”
3) Empower.
To Equip & Commission Another is a Selfless Power that Ignites a Life & Changes Destinies. Sincerely Entrusting Another with Important, Sensitive Work Creates Character & Conviction. Empowerment is More Potent than Delegation. It’s Properly Training Someone to Fish, to Become Self Sufficient and Liberates Him/Her to Build Themselves. Empowerment is identical to Giving Your 15 Year Old Daughter the keys to the Car and Climbing into the Passenger Seat (something I’ve done three times now!) Being Nervous Without Showing it, Pressing Hard on the Imaginary Brake, while Impacting an Assertive Growth within them Transforms You Both! Empower Someone! Change a Life!
To Engage, Encourage & Empower is My Life’s Mission and Daily Intention.
It’s also the predominant goal of TheEntreMusician.com.
Come Join Us!
I was Remembering the Fabulous Music of George Howard and Revisiting His Marvelous Debut, “Asphalt Gardens” on Vinyl while posting this blog. 
Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Mystery of Generosity

One of the Wisdom Proverbs says:

“The Generous Person Prospers, The One Who Waters Will also be Watered.”

It’s An Incredible Statement for Every EntreMusician to Abide By as Most of Us Spend Many of Our Waking Moments Looking for Opportunities that Will Benefit US and Precious Few Searching Out Occasions to Benefit OTHERS.

If We Happen Upon the Good Fortune of a Great Promoter, Venue, Festival or Other Profitable Enterprises which Provide Advantage, Progress or Achievement in Our Own Careers, We Would Do Well in Seeking Such Favor on Artists, Musicians and Entertainers who would Never have the chance to Showcase Their Talents, Unless We Hold the Door Open for Them – Especially those Further Down the Totem Pole of Experience (Your Obviously Trusting that They Possess the Professionalism and Discipline to Handle the Gig!)

The Gift of What Comes To and Happens In You Is Immeasurable, the Wider You Open Your Heart. It Seems as If Platforms You Were Previously Denied Access To Suddenly Avail and Fees You’d Never Imagine Commanding Become Yours, with Less Effort on Your Part, Because You’ve Ignited the Miracle Circle of Blessings.

Of Course this Process Works Personally. I Must Confess that there was a Season in My Life Where I Held Tight to a Scarcity Mentality. When I Would Give, It Naturally Meant I Had LESS. So I Hoarded! When I Encountered a Disheveled Person at an Intersection, Holding Up a Cardboard Sign, I Rationalized 10 Million Hypotheticals as to How & Why They Ended Up in That Position OR That They Were Only Conning Me Out of My Few Wrinkled Dollars Tucked Away in My Ashtray. This Helped Me Justify Looking Away – and – Driving Away…

Thank God I Have Come to Learn an Abundance Mentality which Assures Me that Giving Really Means Planting! There’s Always ‘More‘ and at Some Point, in Some Scenario, My Seed Will Harvest and I Will Receive Exactly What I Need.

Try It!

Open A Door. Create An Opportunity. Give and Notice All that Happens.

You Become the Beneficiary of Bountiful Blessings, the Recipient of Joyous Transformation You Would’ve Never Imagine or Appreciated if You’d Remained All To Yourself.

 

Interestingly, I Was Not Listening to Any Music as I Wrote This Post…

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

When It’s Finally Time to Give Up On Your Dream…

Americans this week Celebrated the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr as a National Holiday. What is most intriguing about His Story is the Sacrifice He was Willing to Pay for the Manifestation of his Ideals, which ultimately and tragically outlives him.

Our Country, the luminous recipients of this Young Man’s Exalted Dream, in spite of the Current Political Turmoil and Present Challenges Cannot Deny an Improved America and the Monumental Gains we have made since the late 1950’s. Because of Dr. King’s Willingness to become the Spokesperson for Righteousness, Equality & Justice amid Bigotry, Racism & Violence, You and I Enjoy Opportunities our Grandparents Never Imagined, irregardless of Race, Color & Creed.

As EntreMusicians who Continually Vacillate between Quitting Our Craft and Staying the Course, we can absorb volumes from this Impartial Pioneer, who Did Not Refuse Jail, Beatings, Water Hoses, Police Dogs, Betrayal, FBI Surveillance and Increasingly Unabashed Hatred with Every Victory He Managed to Secure!

Step by Step, Song by Song, Project to Project we Advance Onward toward Our Personal & Professional Initiatives. Failure is Certain. Setbacks are Assured. Lack Of Resources, Lack of Respect, Closed Doors, Missed Opportunities, Miscalculations and Outright Bone Headed Mistakes Line the Pavement of Our  Desolate Journey. Instances of Having to Begin Again and Again Evolve into recurring Nightmares that take us to the Very Edge of Who We Are.

But We Can Not Quit. We Must Not Give Up. There’s No Towel to Throw. There’s No Plan B.

It’s Not Time Yet!

They Will Say You’re Too Old, Too Poor, Too Slow, Too Fast, Over Qualified, Under Qualified, Too Fat, Too Thin, Too Dark, Too Pale, Unreasonable, Illogical, Crazy, Stupid and Toss More than Cursed Words and Tomatoes at You!

Keep Playing, Keep Planning, Keep Dreaming, Keep Climbing, Keep Pursuing, Keep Writing, Keep Singing, Keep Hoping, Keep Believing.

You Might Be Able to Quit When You’re Dead! When Your Heart Stops Beating, Your Brainwaves Cease and Your Lungs fail to Breathe. Then Maybe, Just Maybe, right after You’re Buried and Your Family is Scrambling Toward the Mashed Potatoes should you think about Laying Your Precious Dream Aside…

Because maybe, perhaps, by chance, possibly somewhere along the way you’ve Inspired Someone to Pick Up The Torch and Fan the Flame of Creativity that Ignites the Next Generation to Pursue the Promise of Music, of Joy, of Celebration of True Spirit, Of Heart, Of Peace and, Of Love…which Never Dies

Never.

 

While Composing this blog entry, I was listening to Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” which help galvanize the country to compel President Ronald Reagan to sign the bill that made MLK Day a National Holiday in November, 1983.

What Do You Want Your Song To Do???

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Tools You Absolutely Need to Prepare for A Wildly Successful Year

  1. A Reasonably Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit
  2. A Brain adept at Creative & Critical Thinking
  3. One Brilliant Idea
  4. The Ability to Prioritize, Plan & Organize
  5. A Mailing Address
  6. A Table
  7. A Chair
  8. A Smartphone
  9. Access to WiFi
  10. An Encouraging Friend for the Tough Times
  11. Humility
  12. Hardcore Perseverance

Now Let’s Go Get It!!!!

…I was listening to The Crusaders‘ “Chain Reaction” (again) on vinyl while composing this

Happy Birthday, Tejai!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

7 Fresh Approaches to 2017

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…

Tagged , , , , ,

Three Tiny Steps on The Tightrope of Time & Money

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!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Four Ways I Fall Into Autumn

“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!

3) READ:

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

I was listening to John Klemmer‘s “Finesse” on Vinyl while composing this. A Great Way to Melt into Autumn!

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ask Yourself The Hard Question!

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.

Would You:

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)

Or…

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:

STREAMING NOW MAKES SONY $25 MILLION A WEEK

SIRIUS OWNER SAVAGES SPOTIFY BUSINESS MODEL

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,