The pre-conference seminar track “Students & Young Professionals” finished with this session:
The Entrepreneurial Musician: YOU, Inc., by Angela Beeching. W @ 8:00pm.
Angela Beeching is the author of a book called Beyond Talent. She provides counseling to musicians to help them succeed in their careers. She gave us a wonderful session about being an entrepreneurial musician.
Angela proferred that we as musicians often tend to keep the art and business aspects of what we do separate. She suggested, however, that it really should all be together.
Then she asked, what’s the purpose of any business? It is not just to make money. It is to make a profit.
In order to run a business that will make a profit, we need centered thinking. This involves considering our interests, abilities, and the market in order to find what it is that we want to make a living doing. Angela drew a venn diagram for us, showing each of those three areas, and colored in the small area where all three areas intersect. We may have things within our interest but not really in our ability yet. Or we might have things that are wanted in the market and we have the ability to do, but we don’t have much interest in. The key is to find what you want to make a living doing and what is a viable option for a business, so you can successfully make a profit.
Angela advised finding a mentor that you can talk with and help you stay accountable to your goals.
Angela also discussed how often we get into what she called a frozen place — when we are at a point of making big decisions and we can’t seem to move forward. We can ask advice of other people and do lots of research, but we still are stumped and afraid to make a decision because we worry about making the wrong decision! She suggested that we all have a built-in GPS. Even if we end up taking the “wrong”route, we can always turn around and go another direction. The important thing is to be able to move forward from that frozen place.
Angela next discuessed practical ways to write a business plan. She referred to Jim Horan’s book about creating The One Page Business Plan and Jennifer Lee’s book called The Right Brain Business Plan. Angela also recommended visiting a local Small Business Association (SBA) if there is one in your area — they frequently offer free business counseling.
There’s something important and valuable about putting your dreams/goals on paper! Angela helped us each create a vision statement on an index card: “Within one year, I will grow _[business]_ into a _[advective]_, _[location]_-based _[type of business]_ providing _[products/services]_ to _[specific clients]_ earning _[sales net/gross]_.” The hardest blank to fill, of course, is the money one!
To close, Angela recommended that we envision ourselves living the life we want. This is what will ultimately motivate us as we work towards our career goals.