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Musicians: Think Like a Business Owner

If you were starting a small retail business or an internet business, you would focus all of your attention on growing that business to the point you could sell it or to the point that it became a lifestyle business for you - affording you the income that you need to live the life you desire.

Launching a music business is no different in theory.  What is different is that most artists assume there are gatekeepers who deem you worthy to progress to a higher elevation in your career.  As with all businesses, yes it is true that there are strategic partnerships that can help grow your business, but there are no gatekeepers other than those within your own mind.

At The Artist Farm we have a running theory that the most successful artists are the ones who fully recognize their role as business owners.  They run the show, literally - from artistic to business partnership decisions.  As these strong personalities grow, so do their businesses.  And as a business grows it begins to attract attention.  Suddenly those “gatekeepers” that you imagined are all clamoring to be involved with this successful business.

The control and growth of your business rests in your hands.  It’s ok to be in a position of growth or to feel the struggle - that is all part of growing a business.  If you are committed to establishing a successful business then don’t look for the knight on a white horse to save you (i.e build the business for you).  The knight is inside you ready to charge if once you find the right path.  Read business books that have nothing to do with music to get some ideas.  Here’s a start:  

Thanks for reading.

Ben Coe, The Artist Farm

Join our new Advisor group for hands-on mentorship in growing your business: 

Reader Comments (3)

Nice & to the point post. Running my label I have to say one of the most impressive demo packages I've ever received was written by a guy who approves business loans at a bank & basically wrote a business plan as the press release to go to a label. Key selling points & fiscal goals & everything. While it was maybe too much on the business end I was fascinated & eventually started working with them.

Ben, you lead by example: at $200 a month.

I can guarantee, thinking like a business owner will eventually eat into being a musician until you become a business owner and not a musician. Check Mick Jagger.

But I can go along with your advice to read books about business (IE: presumably, not about music) and would also recommend books about philosophy, the thoughts of Chairman Mao and Jack Kerouac.

July 8 | Registered CommenterTim London

I guess a good balance is key, but I do not regret spending so much time writing music and such little time trying to sell it for all these years

July 12 | Unregistered CommenterBob Loblaw

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