You’ve decided to pursue your ambitions in music, congratulations, it’s now time to hustle like an entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, you have two options in creating a strategy: 1) penetrate a market with existing competitors, or 2) pursue a “blue ocean” strategy, which is creating your own, uncontested, market. However, unless the masses tell you that they have never heard a sound like yours, ever, than you have not created a “blue ocean.”
So that leaves you almost always with the prior option. And let me tell you, you’re about to face a lot of competition. You’ll be bootstrapping your music career, burning through cash, and selling your product to anyone willing to buy . The market is so competitive that musicians have succumbed to the idea that “exposure” is a form of compensation! Fortunately, it is definitely possible to be successful in a crowded market, regardless of the industry. Wise entrepreneurs do it all of the time, typically through differentiation and market disruption.
I don’t want to get too deep in this blog, just yet, so I’ll keep it simple.
What leads to a successful startup in a crowded market? It’s simple, don’t shoot from the hip. I spoke with an entrepreneur venturing out on a new start up earlier this week –risky, but an ambitious move. I asked him one question: what is the market opportunity ? I was looking for a simple answer, yet he continued to go on a rant about his research on the market . While sounding well prepared, I had to interrupt him and ask: what is the market opportunity –give me a dollar amount! He couldn’t answer the question. He had already failed.
This individual has a great vision , as most musicians do. They feel as if they have something new to offer to people, so they drop everything and become full time musicians. I applaud those that have the courage to do this, because most people are too rational to make such an impulsive move. And let me tell you, I’ve never met a rational, unimpulsive entrepreneur.
The energy from such individuals is powerful and can lead to successful endeavors, even in the music industry. Yet this energy needs to be channeled not only into the creative process of creating music, but also into four aspects of launching a new endeavor.
– Planning & Research
– Tactics & Execution
– Staying the course
The great thing is that there are people who can help creative, energetic individuals channel their energy in order to become successful. This could be someone else in your band, who has a degree of business acumen, a manager, or (highly unlikely these days) a label. Even better, you can do this all on your own with a little bit of direction and coaching.
And here you have us, YCMsquared , and we are helping musicians get their shit together. I’m leaving you with a cliff hanger here, but I promise to give more insight and thoughts on the business of music next week –we’ll dig a bit more into Planning and Research.
Oh, and we’ve on-boarded our first client. We’re working with her as we speak. It was supposed to be a secret, sorry guys.
Questions? Thoughts? @YuriyM on Twitter or email@example.com.