Steve Rennie explains how to approach the music biz with the mindset of an entrepreneur and look at a career in music as a business.
- If you go to Google and type in "definition of hobby" here's what you're gonna find. A hobby is an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. Hobbies come in all flavors. For lots of folks, playing sports is their first hobby. Perhaps you played baseball or basketball or football back in high school or college. Maybe you're like me and you love golf, until you get together with some of your friends or your co-workers on the weekend, and you play. Maybe you're not a sports fan and you like working in the garden, growing roses.
Maybe your a creative type, and you love taking pictures or making videos and posting them to YouTube and Instagram for your friends and family to enjoy. Maybe you've got a special interest, politics or technology or music that you love to write about so you become a blogger. Whatever you're passion is, hobbies are what you do for fun. Hobbies are what make you feel good. For lot's of us, hobbies are a bit of an escape. They are a diversion from all the pressure that most of us feel living in today's world.
For lot's of folks though, our interest in music starts as something of a hobby or a special interest, typically when we're young. We hear a song on the radio and we want to sing it. We want to learn how to play it. We want to find out more about that artist and we develop a list of our favorite artists. And our musical taste becomes one of the ways we develop our own identity as a young person. But for some of us, it's different. We see a singer on TV, or we read a story about a music mogul and we want to actually be them.
We want to take our passion for our hobby for music, and make it our life's work. If you go to Google and you type in "definition of a career" here's what you'll see. A career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. It might be better known as your profession, your occupation, your job, your vocation your line of work your calling, whatever. Quite differently from a hobby, a career is your job. It's what you do to pay the bills.
It's what you do to pay for all those great fun hobbies. When somebody at a party asks you, what do you do for a living? You tell them I'm in this business. I'm a doctor, I'm a lawyer, I'm a musician, I'm an artist' manager. One of the most important and the first decisions you're gonna have to make is deciding whether your love of music is a hobby, something that makes you feel good, or something you want to make into your career. If you want to make a career in music, It's going to require a whole different level of commitment and sacrifice.
It's going to require an honest assessment of your skills, your resources and your determination. It's going to require an honest look at exactly what your getting into and what it takes to make it happen. This music business is tough, the chances of success are small, while more often than not, that hobby will be fun, and you might actually be really great at it, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to turn your love of music into a career. That said, if you can turn your passion for music into a career like I've done, there is no greater feeling in the world than to say I make a living doing what I love.
He talks about hobby versus career and the key elements of success in the business world, from distribution and marketing to management and finance. He gives you some thoughts about how you apply those things to your music career. Since successful businesses don't happen overnight—they develop over time in identifiable stages—Steve also covers the stages of development in the business life cycle and how that applies to your music career. Last but not least, he offers tips on drafting a band agreement that will keep the relationships professional and strong.