One of my favorite things about running my business is learning how to grow my business into something that, at least so far, has grown each year since I started in 2008. When I was first starting out I was very focused on how much money I was making from my site. I used to track my sales daily so that I could monitor the growth of my sales.
Over the last couple years I’ve shifted the way I do business fairly dramatically. Although I still track my sales for tax purposes, I don’t really focus all that much on how much money I’m making on a day to day or even week to week basis. Instead, I focus on improving and growing my site. I focus on things like blogging more, doing more podcasts, interviewing more interesting guests, learning more about the licensing business and so on. In other words, I focus on the very tangible things that I can do to make my site and training better.
The results have been pretty amazing. My site and business has continued to grow despite my not focusing directly on sales and profit. There is a very noticeable connection between the effort I put into improving my site and my “bottom line”. As I improve things more and more sales naturally increase as a result.
What does this have to do with the music business? Well I’ve noticed a similar pattern in my music career as well. This year I’ve made a pretty conscious decision to relax about the business side of music and focus more instead on improving as a performer, songwriter, etc. As a result I’ve performed more shows this year than any previous year and many opportunities have come as a result of simply getting out there and playing music and focusing on being the best musician I can be. I’m currently in the Dominican Republic getting ready to play a pretty large four days blues and rock festival on the north side of the island, an opportunity that came to me through simply playing and meeting several connections that came as a result of playing so many live shows.
Sometimes it’s easy to become so results oriented that we lose sight of the many things we can actually control. Every day there is something you can do to improve as a musician and songwriter. What are you doing today to improve? I got up and practiced my vocals for an hour this morning before I started working on my business. In an hour or so, when I stop working for the day I’m going to practice my set for tonight. Then I’ll practice improvising for an hour or so. There’s always something to do!
When it comes to licensing, focus on the things you can control. Write great songs. Perform them well. Produce them well. Market them well. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. The better you do these things the better your results will be in the long run. If you focus and improve the things that you can directly control, your ends results will naturally improve. Focus on growth, not on results.
In : November 2013
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