Being an artist or an entrepreneur is never an “easy” career or life path. However, learning from any successful person in the field, there always seem to be some common denominators.
1. They live differently
Routine? They will either run away from this word or ask you what it means. Neither musicians, nor entrepreneurs will be fans of 9-5 schedules or doing the same thing over again, every day – unless it’s instrument practice or work on their own business. When you meet them they will actually have a genuine answer to “what have you been up to?” rather than the usual “not much”, and will be more than eager to share – so make sure you have your patience there when asking.
“Different” has, however, many meanings – from lifestyle to tastes in music, furniture, food, sleeping schedule or holiday choices, prepare to be surprised when entering any subject. You might not always agree, but you will find it fascinating how someone would rather give you 5 reasons of sleeping in a forest on the other side of the world rather than a 5* hotel on a beach.
2. They own full responsibility for the quality of their own life
As a musician, if you don’t perform, you don’t get gigs. Or record. Or earn your place in a band and recognition from the public. As an entrepreneur, if you don’t do good business, manage people and relationships well and deliver great service to your customers, your numbers will fall. Both have to be smart and fully responsible for their performance – which directly impacts their quality of life. While this may be viewed by many people as a “risky” situation, it is by far the best place to be in when you know the quality of your work outperforms the average expectations. While a regular job can give you the comfort of an average life with a bonus of a few vacations, hours spent with friends and (if lucky) a few good relationships with people, being in either of these categories of people gives you the chance to be way above average on all terms. You also have to be willing to risk losing all you have if your performance drops. Watch out, it’s a big commitment – but once taken, it turns you into a completely different person.
3. They place their relationships over their material assets
An entrepreneur will always tell you how important it is to create and maintain great relationships – with clients, customers or business partners. A musician will also bring up the importance of making music with the right people and label, while having the right managers to look after them and maintaining a strong relationship with their fans. Why? Because ultimately these are the core things that bring them up – from appreciation to contracts and professional or artistic fulfilment, this is the starting point of everything. But you have to know one secret. They are always the ones to first give value -beforehand. They understand that it is important to become a “person of value”, whether in business or music, and deliver in order to partner with and receive appreciation from valuable people.
Successful musicians and entrepreneurs never put material things over relationships, because they know their relationships are directly influenced by the person they are and are a representation of themselves. This acts as a guarantee for them – if they become valuable to the environment they activate in, they will create good relationships with people in the environment. If they do, and they deliver, the material aspect will always come only as a side result. They never chase things from others, instead they give out as much as they can, and focus on how they can deliver to valuable products to the relevant people.
4. They tend to smile a lot.
It might be because they are actually happy or because they know people generally mirror the body language of the person they interact with – and they want to influence people around them positively as much as possible. It might even be the singer or actress smiling because she knows somewhere out there, there might be a paparazzi waiting just for the “wrong” pose. We can’t really tell. One thing is for sure – we always want to talk to them, and find out why they seem so happy!
5. They make us feel something
Look in their eyes, there’s a light there! Even if it’s a Monday morning, if there is a label meeting the musicians need to attend, 2 coffees already down, they always have that spark in their eyes saying “I am here for a reason, and I’m glad to be here, living the life I chose and being the person I have become”. Not only this, but looking at their life and talking to them, you will feel power and emotion. You don’t need to do anything, just listen to the passion in their voice when talking about how they will change the world, or how they managed to write that very last song on the album they’ve been struggling for ages, feel the pain and joy in their voice and be fascinated about the beauty of the effort put into it. They are not just sitting next to you. They inspire you, they make you feel – through words and through their creations.
6. They won’t listen to you
Not in a bad way – but we shouldn’t even try anymore. They know what they want, and there’s no way to get them thinking differently. Rebellious? Bold? For sure! You can tell them they’re crazy, or their idea or music or style is not worth the effort, if they believe in it, they will do it. And is rarely a bad thing – see Pink Floyd, Apple, Facebook, Foo Fighters. They all have some things in common,
…And the list can continue! There is, however. one more interesting aspect to musicians, especially: In their own way, they are also entrepreneurs – whether they realise it or not – their product being themselves and their craft. From the way they brand themselves, to how they go about reaching their audience and selling their art or managing their team, successful musicians know there’s more than just the music that has to be taken into account and managed. They are always happy to be part of the whole process, while being the most creative version of themselves.
Andrei Tiu is an Online Marketing and PR specialist, musician and international award-winning student entrepreneur. His passion for music performance, having 8 years of experience on and off stage, is blended with his applied expertise in marketing and PR in three European countries in order to help musicians and SME’s bring up their online branding in today’s digital era.
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