Posted tagged ‘Entrepreneur’

Quotable Quotes

November 18, 2010

Here are a few quotes that have made me re-evalute what it personally means to make art and be determined and successful in what I do. If you’re following us on twitter, you’ve seen a few of these before.

@RevRunWisdom “The problem with not havin a goal is, u keep runnin up & down life’s field & never score”
@relevantmag “If something comes easily and without sacrifice, it’s rarely sigificant.”
@bigsplashweb “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
anonymous: “Whatever you decide to do, do it well, finish it properly, and then you can feel free to move on.”
@magicalrealist “People just doing their Thing–whatever it is–& succeeding are 1000x more inspirational than anyone selling their guru-dom.”
@grassrootsy “Don’t talk about it, be about it.”
@grassrootsy “Dont be in such a hurry to do something poorly”
@grahamshackle “Whoever can be trusted w/ very little can also be trusted w/ much, & whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
@musicarmichael “unfortunately there’s no shortcuts to building true fans”
@robskane “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”
@gapingvoid “Most super-talented original thinkers I know are pretty modest. The wannabes, generally less so.”

@joyike “There’s a huge rat race to “make it” as a musician. Instead of competing with others, start competing with yourself.  Do better than you did last year and you’ll be on the right track.”


The Economy of Snow

February 11, 2010

“When life hands you Snow, make Sno-Cones.”

If you’re on the East Coast, you know much of Pennsylvania and surrounding has been hit with a pretty terrible snow storm. Pittsburgh is actually pretty barren. People are staying indoors and spending an incredible amount of time on facebook. hehe

Anyhow, I finally had a chance to dig my car out, and roam around a few neighborhoods while running errands this afternoon. Here’s what i learned from a few local businesses. And here’s how it relates to your career as a musician.

Be at the Epicenter of the Action
There’s are approximately 8 coffeeshops in my neighborhood and only 1 is packed. It’s a coffeeshop called Crazy Mocha. The place was actually standing room only when i drove by this afternoon. It took me a while to realize why.  Everyone is eager to get out of their apartments and socialize; but the roads aren’t safe to drive on.  While most coffeehouses are in the business district , Crazy Mocha is closest to apartment complexes – hence the incredible foot traffic.

Where are you? Are you doing the same thing other musicians are doing (hanging around the business district)? Or are you out with the people – your consumers?

Be Willing to Do What No One Else Will Do
The Pizza Guy is really popular! And so is the couple who own the Chinese restaurant down the street.  These folks are willing to deliver and people are willing to pay just to avoid the snow.  The 15-year-old entrepreneurs who offered to finish digging out my car are also a hot commodity in my neighborhood right now.

As a musician, think about going that extra step. What can you do that wouldn’t normally be expected of you. Stand out and you will win your audience. Some for the moment. Some indefinitely.

If You’re Closed, You Don’t Make any Money
A local news station did a story on the several businesses who, unlike the pizza delivery guy, are sorely losing out on money this week. The local manicure shop, the local boutiques, and car dealerships, for example,  are all losing out on business because no one is shopping. And then there are other businesses who haven’t even tried to open their doors.

Are you open are you closed? Do people know you’re available? Do you allow outside circumstances to get in the way of achieving your music goals? Or do you take things into your own hands, climb a hill, and start a small business by offering to shovel you neighbor’s snow. Basically, do you create opportunities out of obstacles? Check out this blog for tips on Reminding People You Still Exist

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The Problem with Wolves & Sheep

January 6, 2010


Grassrootsy was one of 17 blogs picked by Derek Sivers (founder of CDBaby) to check out a new book by Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity.  I should first mention that this is not a book review and I was not asked to “sell” the book. I should also mention that there is alot of great stuff in this book for any aspiring entrepreneur. Clarification: if you are trying to make a living off of your music (or any type of art), you are in fact an entrepreneur.  I’m sure I will be referencing the book for months to come.

The price of being a sheep is BOREDOM. The price of being a wolf is LONELINESS. Choose one or the other with great care.

Are You a Wolf?
Reading this book brought back many memories from 2 years ago.  I was months away from quitting my job. I knew it.  But at the same time I was making more than any young professional should probably
make at a 9-5 and actually felt pretty stupid for thinking about leaving my job…b/c it went against all common sense.  But I also remember being extremely bored and realizing that pursing my dreams would be more fulfilling.

One month into my freedom, after quitting my job, I suddenly realized that, not only did i not have a boss, but I also had NO ONE to help me get started. Go figure. I’d been playing out for 3 1/2 years but the pressure of  really making this full-time venture successful was all on me. It also took a full 18 months for my parents to honestly acknowledge that my “career move” was actually a career and not a hobby.

Or Are You a Sheep?
Sheep are bored. They follow. They don’t lead.
Sheep copy ideas and follow in the shadow of others.  MacLeod talks, in his book, about the problem with followers.  They might not like your idea, but if you’re successful, they’ll “like it” because they want to be on the winning team. It’s the human condition of wanting to be part of the something big…even if it doesn’t make sense.  I’d personally like to think that this is also the definition of pop culture.

Choose One or the Other
First of all, There is NO condemnation here.  This blog may come off as a bit biased, but one is not better than the other…unless you strongly feel you are on the wrong side.  Maybe “bored” is a strong word to use, but its assumed that, if you’re reading this blog, you’re trying to make moves with your music. You can’t be a sheep and make moves with your music. You can’t sit back and be timid.

At the same time, you won’t always be liked as a wolf. Wolves are kind of mean. They eat the people in their way and they don’t wait for someone else to do what they can do on their own. And this, my friends, is why wolves are lonely.  They make moves even when no one support them.  This is the primary reason no one likes Hugh Laurie of the Fox TV series, House. But he gets the job done! And he’s good.

…all this from a man who became famous by doodling comics on the back of business cards.  I think he’s worth listening to.

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