A Real Job

The performing bug stretched its little wings early for me. My parents were horrified that I would never get a REAL job. They did not value the creative expression of a musician as a career option and saw no possible reward in financial fair exchange. Stubborn Capricorn ignored their wishes as usual and now this genealogy is well reflected in the voices of millions of musicians and performers around the globe.

How many people in this industry have felt creatively stifled in their quest for legitimization of their choice to conduct an enterprise in this fashion?

Writing and performing music is a creative outlet and a channel for personal development. If you want to be paid for it, then it becomes a business. I love taking photographs and spend hours on the weekends locating the perfect shot and then fidgeting with Photoshop. It’s a hobby — a creative outlet and a channel for personal development. If I want to be paid for it, then I need to do a whole lot of other activities to transform my hobby into a business.

We surveyed 250 musicians around the globe — all ages, styles and demographics. The question was: WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE A MUSICIAN? The response was varied and interesting — “A strong need for self-expression, Need for privacy (own time, space, pace and inner world), Being part of a creative collective, Using My Music to Make a Contribution to humanity, Freedom to dive deeply into the sounds of someone else and regurgitate it through your own, The intoxicating tribal power in mesmerizing an audience with sounds and rhythms, Expanding closer to the boundaries of the universe via musical expression and experiencing the addictive high — The change in your physical vibrations when you feel like you are a part of something bigger. Oh and just one thing — it looks cool.

No one said sex, drugs, rock and roll, fame or money!!!

60% of 16–40s surveyed responded with IT LOOKS COOL! A perception of Cool is not only important to our aspiring young musicians but also our worldwide audience and this is reflected in CD sales, emerging brands of experience Festivals and our obsession with Celebrity.

So what IS cool anyway? How do you define an aesthetic of manner, conduct, vibe, look, form or style? Such a subjective little word with an enormous power in perception! There is actually no true meaning other than the association which is deemed by some external authority. Traditional associations with cooldom may be freedom, creativity, not conforming and thumbing one’s nose at so called authority.
So being the creative little geniuses that musicians are, cool is whatever they choose it to be!

So how can you leverage the perception of who you are up on that stage or streaming out from that stereo? Artists and Musicians and Entertainers seek audiences and markets who desire to purchase their products. They seek audiences for their creative expression.

In this current ecosystem, we choose how we wish to run our business in the Music Industry. Challenges are only symptoms of the expansion of the business and the opportunity to create whatever you choose. Creativity promotes innovation.

We used to work in an industry where supply of product (CDs, Merchandise etc) were limited due to shelf space, shipping, storage etc. Now our market has an unlimited choice of what to buy and where to buy from. Product, thanks to living on line, can have a global impact instead of a local one. Anyone can set up a website, register a domain name, register any free social networking or blogging site, create an on line shop, set up a shopping cart and Paypal platform and create an On Line presence.

We live in a digital world. More devices, ever faster broadband, more channels, more platforms, faster processors, endless storage, better search engines. We live in our URLs, we Facebook, Tweet, Snap Chat, haggle on E BAY, purchase our movie tickets, flights, concert tickets and sporting events on line, download our Music and Movies, order Office Supplies, Groceries, Gifts on line — let’s face it — we LIVE here! And more importantly our CUSTOMERS live here!

And just by running your music business on line, you create stockpiles of user data, product feedback, and marketing information, and this in turn generates new advertising opportunities for you. We have effectively created a new ecosystem for ourselves.

“It is not the strongest or most intelligent that survives, but the ones most adaptive to change.” Darwin

Look at how our global humanity network is developing.

On line communities such as Facebook and Twitter are replacing traditional social networks and establishing greater communication and interaction opportunities like never before. The rapid expansion of the internet caught traditional music business companies with their collective pants down and they are still fighting to catch up with licensing downloads and working out Digital Rights Management issues.

Is this a problem or an opportunity?

Problem solving is the opposite of creativity. When you are problem solving you are seeking to delete something you wish to avoid — a challenge or a conflict. In the creative process, you consciously take action to birth something new. Traditionally Business identifies a need, a void, a gap and fills it with a product or a service. A problem is found and a solution is offered for sale.

What about the entertainment industry (movies, music, theatre, opera, dance)? What solutions does this industry offer?

On the surface, none, however indirectly it functions to keep people entertained and distracted FROM their problems — therefore forming the basis of a temporary remedy — a panacea. Our values (which are the beliefs that we align ourselves with) are driven by our voids — that which we think is missing in our lives. An outward expression of art is one form of seeking love, recognition and acceptance. What greater way to feel loved, recognized or appreciated than selling CDs Concert Tickets and Merchandise?

Creating product and gigging live only happens in a business with an effective resource management system in place. Customers everywhere demand faster service. The beauty is that we live in an age where we can EASILY serve customers and run business in a more cost effective manner.

You have everything you need right here right now. You are only limited by your imagination.

Imagination is what inspired you to become a musician in the first place.

Nichola Burton is the CEO for The Pushworth Group. www.pushworth.com

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