It may seem pretty obvious, but a musician entrepreneur is a unique combination of a musician and an entrepreneur.
This is a concept that I have talked about in the past, and will be talking more about on the blog in the future (I’m actually writing a guide on the topic of musicpreneurs right now), but I’d like to give you a little taste of what’s to come.
So let’s take a look at what it means to be a musician entrepreneur.
Why Do Musicians Need To Be Entrepreneurs?
Though music entrepreneurship courses have existed for some time at various colleges and universities, I would argue that the concept is still relatively fresh.
The need for music entrepreneurship stems from the changing music industry climate as well as the quickly evolving technological advancements of the modern era. We are witnesses to some of the most significant shifts in information and technology today.
Experts like Seth Godin have long been warning us of the death of the industrial age, and today’s events and circumstances are forcing us to take this reality more seriously.
In the early days, schooling systems were designed to develop factory workers who would show up on time, do what they were told to do, and not rock the boat. Businessmen like Henry Ford sought to create workers that would fit a certain mold and be loyal to their companies.
However, with the emergence of the information age, the status quo of getting a good education, finding a good job, and working really hard as a general model of success has crumbled. Job security is a joke. Pension plans are becoming a thing of the past. Today, not rocking the boat could mean becoming a victim of chance and circumstance.
Godin advocates the value-first money-later approach. From that perspective, money is a side benefit of adding value to the world and solving people’s problems. A lot of people seek to make money first, and their shortsightedness doesn’t allow for the development of genuine value, trust and relationship, which is really the cornerstone of business today.
Entrepreneurs are essentially self-starters. Instead of waiting for things to happen, they make things happen. They choose themselves.
Music entrepreneurship is the synthesis of creativity, artistic vision, people skills, leadership, value-based marketing, and business sense. It’s the process of turning passion into profession.
Musicians don’t need to be entrepreneurs, but it can be extremely helpful to develop an understanding of business, or create a team that can help with the business side of things.
What It Means To Be A Musician Entrepreneur
A musician entrepreneur is defined by:
- Their ability to find motivation internally. They are self-driven, make-it-happen people.
- Their mindset. They see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.
- Their business sense. They understand what it means to operate and own a business and how that fits into their artistic vision.
Skill-set and talent are still important aspects of being a music entrepreneur, but that’s where most musicians stop; their personal development begins and ends at music itself.
Musician entrepreneurs know that developing skills outside of music can aid them in their vision towards creating a more profitable and sustainable career for themselves.
The music industry already has a sizeable component of business attached to it, whether musicians are aware of it or not. To many musicians, creativity and business appear to be two completely different worlds, and they either don’t want to acknowledge the business side of music, or simply don’t want to deal with it.
The fusion of creativity and business actually provides a great deal of opportunity, and could prove invaluable to the careers of many. Creativity and problem-solving skills are both assets in many business situations.
Musician entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily a superior approach to creativity. Fundamentally, it is defined by its connection to business, which a musician entrepreneur readily acknowledges and understands.
The Goal Of Music Entrepreneurship
The primary objective of music entrepreneurship is to facilitate the growth and expansion of music careers in every capacity. Music entrepreneurship is the meeting place of art and business.
Musicians can broaden their horizons and opportunities by growing in their understanding of business. It’s a way of tapping into skills, talents, and potential they may not even be aware of.
Many musicians have glass ceilings over their potential. They don’t necessarily have an awareness around everything they are capable of, and they may even think that they are incapable of developing skills outside of music.
An individual’s potential can be better understood through the following illustration:
First, try reaching out as far as you can with your right arm. Go ahead; try it now.
Now reach an inch further.
More than likely, when you were told to reach an inch further, your arm actually went further than it did the first time around, despite the fact that you were told to reach as far as you could in the first place!
A lot of people’s potential is exactly like that. We think we can only reach so far, but in reality, we can go even further than that. We can continue to grow, expand, evolve and change.
Musician entrepreneurship doesn’t replace musical training or education. It’s important to develop your skill on your instrument, and if you want to become a virtuoso or a craftsperson, that’s still a worthy goal.
However, there is the opportunity to supplement what you already know with new personal growth habits, business sense, and leadership skills. This can open up new possibilities for your music career.
As previously noted, you can also develop a team that helps you with business matters as well as whatever you aren’t good at, or whatever you don’t enjoy.
Hopefully, you now understand what it means to be a musician entrepreneur, and why it’s important.
In these times of fast change, we have to embrace new developments and be willing to adapt. If you sit around and wait, viable methods will quickly become invalid, and old models will get replaced by new models.
Entrepreneurs train themselves to be sensitive to change, because change is often where new opportunities can be found.
What do you think? Do you consider yourself a music entrepreneur? Do you believe that musician entrepreneurship will become a necessity in times to come?
Let us know in the comments section below!
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.