It’s simple: make money. 

“Happiness don’t buy money.” Ari Gold.

I have presented many times to entrepreneur groups looking to glean some magic trick to successfully starting a business. Whereas I do believe and have experienced that success in business is a formula (for another post), there is one undeniable, inescapable, truth to a successful business: make money.

And a band IS a business. If you don’t agree with that statement then what you have is a hobby. Any a band that is serious about ‘making it’ IS a business. Period.

Let’s now pause to give you my version of the “common” man’s definition of “making money” and success. My last name isn’t Gates, Jobs, Bezos, Musk, or several other “once and a billion dollar people” who through a lot of work and extraordinary circumstances go from 0 to 1 billion, making money, changing the world, etc…these folks are not like you and me.

In the music world, it would be analogous to last names like McCartney, Jackson, Bono, Madonna, Swift, Gaga…these are titans. You aren’t going to be a titan…I am not going to be a titan…and what I can be is successful, profitable, and MOST importantly love what I do and enjoy my life. (I am really channeling Ari’s voice here – maybe not so much of his “spirit”…)

What you and I can hope to be are successful fish in our own pond – and guess what, success is defined differently by both you and me. What I think is success isn’t what you may think is success. And that’s OK. The point is success is happiness defined by you AAAANND in order to achieve that happiness you have to pay for it…

As an entrepreneur, I know I am successful – why? Because I am still doing it…I am NOT thinking about, hoping for it, dreaming of it…I am DOING IT.  My company, Insignia has generated well over $28 million in revenue over the last 15 years. We employ today 40 people and we are expanding our business and operation every year…I am damn proud of that. No, I am not a billionaire and I AM HAPPY – having the time of my life.

So at that moment in my presentations when I build up my audience for the delivery of my Moses-like-epiphany – “the most important thing is…is…you…HAVE TO MAKE MONEY! PERIOD” – there is always this visible let down.

“What? That’s it?”

Right there half my audience tunes out. Good. They came to hear me speak hoping for the get rich, shoot to the top, Fantasy Island junk. There is no short cut. There is no escaping making money.

So back to your band: unless you have that amazing “rich uncle” that is an endless supply of cash and if you want to make a living doing what you love – then you MUST MAKE MONEY at it. There is no guitar tree. There is no amplifier shrub. Pretty sure that van of yours doesn’t run on combustible air.

If you are ready to turn your hobby into a real business then you need to start to understand fundamentals like income statements, contracts, negotiations, marketing, etc.

Many artist glaze over, tune out and generally would rather bury themselves in a hole than think about the business basics that will enable you to build you craft. That’s where we can help.

Our mission at 768 Productions is to provide you – the artist – with the support to build a business out of your craft. Yes, that means you need to be invested in the business aspects and we can teach you, and support you through our experience in business. No, running a software company isn’t the same as a band AND there are basics fundamentals shared by both: contracts, marketing, product pricing, merchandising, strategy. The product is your music…everything else is how to sell and monetize that art. AND guess what…making money on your art isn’t evil or selling out or any of those other stupid concepts. Making money enables your art. It sustains your ability to continue to MAKE art.

In this context, money CAN make you happy because it can sustain and enable your passion. If you get this…then we’d love to work with you.

Published by DCStringer

Hubby, Dad, Entrepreneur, business owner, vehicle personalization expert.

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