The Important Truth About Succeeding In the Music Business
”I don’t want to mix music and business”.
Have you ever found yourself or someone else saying this? It can be one of the biggest and most problematic emotional hurdles for a musician to get over before being successful.
Trust me, I know the feeling. We’d like to think that music is pure, and mixing it with business is a fast way to kill creativity, do things for the wrong reasons and become an evil entity.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a truth that you must realize about being a successful musician, and once you embrace this you will find yourself done battling with this crippling emotional hurdle.
The truth: Music is a Business!
Yes, that’s right. If you want to make a living out of music, then you will have to organize your project in a way that makes money.
But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Before you quit and get all emotional about it, think about what this really means.
Business is just a word
It’s easy to think of a business as an enormous corporation that spews toxins into the air and only functions to make executives rich. But many businesses are nothing like this!
You pay money for food, right? You pay for a place to live and call home. If so, then you will need to make money to cover these expenses. A business is just an organized way of getting money for your goods and services. And what business is more rewarding or beneficial than taking the creative gifts you have and spreading them to help others?
Creativity and business go hand-in-hand
Remember, your band (business) is just a reflection of you. You’re in control of how much things cost, how well your workers and customers are treated and what the goals of the company are. If you’re not in it for the greed, then the business isn’t in it for the greed.
If you are worried that having to make money will compromise your creativity or pureness, then make sure that you don’t do it for these reasons. Always act with the intention of helping others, and have the confidence that getting them your music will greatly help them out.
Furthermore, being creative is a trait that many successful business owners have. Use the same creativity you have for songwriting in the business. Set your business up to help communities or charities.
Start a band that does good for the music business. Look at how much Radiohead changed the music world when they offered their album for whatever the customers wanted to pay. If you don’t think it should be about profits, then make your company a non-profit. I actually know a band who successfully established themselves as a non-profit business entity, and things are working out great for them.
The bottom line
I have found my preconceived notions about the evils of the music business were just little voices in my head holding me back. There’s nothing about it that has to be evil. If you do things for the right reasons, and set your business up in a way that is ethical and beneficial to yourself and others, then you can change the world.
If you feel that music should be nothing more than a creative outlet for the soul, and should never be mixed with business then that’s fine. But just think of all the people you can potentially reach and help by spreading your message; maybe it’s selfish not to share your art with others.
The bottom line is that business is just a word. You can sit back and not make a move because you associate the word with bad things, or you can change things for the better.
I hope that this post has helped you gain some insight into the often false notion that music and business shouldn’t be mixed. How do you feel about mixing the two?