Some may believe that being a rock star doesn’t involve much brains and intellect however if you really think about it, being able to make music is something that requires ample creativity, motivation and determination. These three ingredients are also key to becoming a successful businessman and entrepreneur.
Here are 10 musicians/bands who, in addition to faring well in the brave new world of the 21st century music industry, all have a gift for making good business decisions.
In 1977, lite cowboy and cocaine rockers the Eagles went to court to gain control of their music publishing from their former manager and Asylum Records label head David Geffen. From the very beginning of their career, Eagles founders drummer Don Henley and guitarist Glenn Frey never pretended to be anything but ambitious, and they backed up their ambitions with a string of hit singles and albums. By the mid-’70s, the Eagles were selling one million albums a month, and playing hardball with their label and live concert promoters, receiving whatever they demanded as a percentage of gate ticket sales.
The Eagles won their suit against Geffen and regained control of their publishing, worth tens of millions of dollars. But success has had its cost. The band’s cynicism about the music business, not to mention women and their own fans, comes through loud and clear in the lyrics to several of their hit songs. And while Eagles continue to tour, selling out stadiums is difficult to do thanks in part to our current economy.
A child of the Marcy Houses housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, Shawn Carter, better known as “Jay-Z,” went from releasing his first recordings on his own label, to becoming one of the most successful hip-hop artist entrepreneurs of all time. Jay-Z’s empire includes stakes in the 40/40 club chain, the New Jersey Nets basketball team, the clothing line Rocawear, and the Roc Nation label.
He recently launched a lifestyle website, Life + Times, to help perpetuate the notion of Jay-Z as a brand. “My brands are an extension of me,” Jay-Z has said. “They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.”
Nine Inch Nails, formerly on Interscope Records, are among a handful of top-selling artists, who have recently chosen to manage and release their music themselves instead of under the auspices of a major label. Nine Inch Nails front man and mastermind Trent Reznor is currently exploring a variety of ways to finance and perpetuate the Nine Inch Nails “brand,” including allowing fans to video tape concerts, and releasing recordings, sometimes for free or pay what you will, under a Creative Commons license, allowing for remixes of the material.
“There’s a lot of opportunities I think to make money,” says Reznor with regard to Nine Inch Nails and its website. “But it shouldn’t always be about just making money.”
Madonna’s net worth has been estimated to be between $525 million and $600 million. Early on in her career, she had a strong sense for business and, perhaps more importantly, took care of herself physically by exercising and avoiding drugs and alcohol. The scope of her talents, which include singing, songwriting, fashion designing, dancing, and acting, is mind blowing, linking her to other great multifaceted female entertainers, like Josephine Baker, Judy Holiday, and Marilyn Monroe.
However, in spite of her reputation and skill at artistic appropriation, Madonna’s accomplishments in the music industry as a woman, including creative and financial control of her brand, are unprecedented.
It’s safe to say that without Madonna, there would be no Katy Perry, although the two so far have yet to collaborate or, perhaps more surprisingly, share a smooch or two. Perry’s estimated net worth, $44 million, seems a paltry sum compared to the Material Girl’s moola.
However, according to Vanity Fair, Perry “reinvests money in her concert production, thinks before chartering a private plane, and isn’t frivolous about buying clothes…” As a singer, songwriter, entrepreneur (she has her own line of perfume), and once again (thankfully) single woman, Perry is only just getting started.
One recurring character in the lives of successful rock musicians is an aggressive, bullish manager, and for singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, Al Grossman was exactly that kind of a manager. Grossman began managing Dylan after he’d already achieved significant success in the folk music community. But Dylan had ambitions bigger than being the world’s best-loved folk singer.
In his book, The Mansion on the Hill, Fred Goodman writes, “Grossman’s greatest achievement … was creating a commercial environment in which his clients could make a lot of money but preserve their integrity.” Dylan has since continued to successfully navigate the world of business and art, recording and touring at a pace of a musician half his age.
The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead have always understood and cultivated the power of visual branding, although the band members would like you to believe otherwise. “You didn’t want to turn the Dead into a knickknack trinket business,” drummer Mickey Hart said when asked about past proposals for merchandising.
In the coming years, Grateful Dead logos will appear on several new merchandise items, including coffee mugs, luggage tags, lunch boxes, and skateboards. Their upcoming merchandising blitz, which includes an elaborate online video game, will give birth to a new generation of Deadheads.
OK, so Parton isn’t a rock musician, but country and early rock and roll are close like kissing cousins, so we think she belongs on this list. Parton’s business acumen is formidable, and probably underestimated, perhaps because of her blond, bubbly, and buxom public image. She has been called the wealthiest country music star, with an estimated net worth of $450 million dollars. Her songwriting has yielded huge hits, including “I Will Always Love You,” sung memorably by the late Whitney Houston.
Dolly Parton’s business ventures include a film and television production company and the Dollywood theme park, located in Tennessee, which hosts approximately three million visitors annually. Not bad for someone who grew up “dirt poor” in a one-room cabin.
When Arcade Fire took home the 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year, plenty of people watching the televised broadcast wondered aloud, “Who the hell is Arcade Fire?” This still relatively young band, lead by the husband and wife duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, remains signed to Merge Records, an independent label that supported them from the very beginning. “In the mainstream music business,” says music executive Danny Goldberg. “Merge is widely respected, not only because they signed Arcade Fire, but because they held on to them.”
Arcade Fire has achieved unprecedented success for a so-called “indie-rock band” by keeping their overhead manageable, retaining control of their music and masters, and using the Internet to promote their music and connect to their fanbase.
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer, actor, and producer (whew!) Jack White is another example of a young musician operating successfully outside the major record label model. At 15, White, who in addition to playing guitar had seriously considered entering a seminary, began an apprenticeship upholstering furniture.
Jack White’s eye for design and creative marketing would serve him as one half of the duo The White Stripes, known for their red, white, and black color schemes, as well as for their Detroit-inspired interpretations of rural and electric blues. White’s Nashville-located Third Man Records is home to a vinyl record store, a photo studio and dark room, and a live venue with an analog recording booth. Its website boasts that Third Man Records “strives to bring a spontaneous and tangible aesthetic back into the record business.” Amen, brother!
Article By: Roxanne McAnne
6 Important Things to Consider When Choosing an Investor
Angel investment is one of the preferred options for starting up your business. Angel investors are successful businessmen, investing their own funds into a potentially rewarding business opportunity. As an entrepreneur, it is crucial for you to choose an investor that can fulfil your specific business needs.
The right investors can add value to your startup, far beyond the capital they bring to your business. You need to be careful in selecting the investors because seed investing is an early stage investment requiring particular skills and experience.
Here are the six important things to consider when screening and choosing the right angel investor for your company:
You should choose investors who have the experience of building, running, or helping startups in the past. They should have a proven record of investing in startups that have been successful in their endeavors. More than their money, their experience is vital, which makes them an invaluable advisor.
Your angel investors should have experience in the same business domain and in-depth knowledge of your industry. If they have achieved success in other domains or industries, they may give opinions on how to grow your business that aren’t applicable in your field. With the requisite experience, they can guide your business through the difficult start-up phase.
Your angel investor should be trustworthy who can keep your company’s confidential information safe without creating problems for you by using that information against you. It is important to choose an investor who gives you not only monetary assistance but also the right guidance and knowledge. A good angel investor is the one who invests in your team along with your business.
3. Risk Taking
The success of your business venture cannot be guaranteed as there are many potential risks that can lead to its failure despite a brilliant idea. It is vital to find an angel investor who is willing to take calculated risks on a rational basis rather than emotional considerations. They shouldn’t be overconfident and they should think differently from the crowd and be willing to learn from mistakes to keep your company going in the right direction.
Angel investors who have been a successful entrepreneur can be very helpful to your business. They have it all to guide and support you to develop a successful business and overcome the challenges that your company can face in the initial stage.
Good business angels are very supportive, helping you in problematic situations. They act as a mentor for you to help you achieve your goals by constantly coaching you and supporting you at every step. They provide time and empathy during your tough times.
These investors have an idea about the highs and lows a new business has to go through before it succeeds. They can give you emotional motivation and help you with their expertise and involvement, ensuring success. They will encourage and challenge you at every step of the way and offer you advice when needed to make you grow as an entrepreneur.
Before you choose an angel investor for your business, you have to ensure that they have realistic expectations about the timeline of the growth of your company and when you achieve your goals. They should even have realistic expectations about how profitable your company will be in the long-term.
Too high expectations can put pressure on your business and make you take risks that can get you off track and not be good for building long-term value of your business. You should select investors who demonstrate flexibility and have reasonable expectations around reporting, communication, and goal-setting.
Angel investors should be patient enough to understand that it takes time to earn profit. They should have the quality of thinking long term and visualizing the bigger picture of your company’s future. Your business angels should be calm and relaxed, and not be the ones who panic and fear to take challenges. It is crucial for them to understand that startups go through highs and lows, and there’s high competition. A good angel investor will remain calm and accept the fact that all new businesses have to struggle in the initial years before they become stable.
When assessing angel investors, you will have to ask them questions about their prior investments, what their expectations are and how much involvement they will take in your business, among other things. You will have to find investors that have the same domain expertise and portfolio companies related to yours.
By considering the above-mentioned points, you will be able to evaluate whether you and the angel investors are aligned and if it is feasible to have a partnership with them in the long-term. Take the help of your network to find the right investors with requisite skills, experience, and funding capacity to get your business global. So, use your due diligence and get the best angel investors on-board!
3 Reasons Why Getting Clear Is Important for Your Business
Everyone goes through times in their lives where blue skies and sunshine are a rarity. Too many clouds and storms, whether they involve business or personal issues, become the everyday occurrence and keep people from achieving whatever they want to do.
There have been many times on this business journey of my own where fogginess and haze have sent me to the mat. Trying to kick out at a 2-count when being pinned with all of this stuff seems unbearable.
In taking a holistic view (meaning looking at the entire picture) of where I am, what has changed? Clarity. Getting very clear on what I want to do and where I want to focus my creative direction. Yes, I’m a writer, content writer, copywriter, ghostwriter and creative. That’s one element of my own life. Another one involves being a voice for the voiceless in the craniofacial community around the world.
But this is not to simply focus on what I am doing now. This is about clarity, about getting laser-focused on what you want to do. If you have a coach or mentor in your life, then I’ll bet you have heard them say on one or multiple occasions that you have to “get clear” on what you want to offer.
Here are three core reasons clarity is an important factor for your business:
1. You Stand Out From The Crowd
You cannot go anywhere on social media and not see people putting out content. Some may be good; others are meh. It does not matter, though, if it is good or not. What matters is about conversion. Does the content turn into sales? Does it attract and speak to people’s problems?
Not everyone can be a jack-of-all-trades. You become a master-of-none pretty quick. Theories abound about niching down and finding that sweet spot where you can deliver your mastery to those in need. Think of the millions of niches out there: cannabis, fitness, spirituality, relationships, finances, food, and on it goes.
Every one of these niches need people who can come in and put clarity around their products and services. If these businesses are not clear on what they do and solve to those seeking solutions, then they are not going to have clients and eventually will have to shut the doors.
Learning to stand out from the crowd is going to make you a powerful voice in whatever niche or field you are looking to dominate in all the time.
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” – Steve Maraboli
2. You Attract A Lot of Clients
If you wanted to apply one of those ancient universal laws to your business – for instance, like the very popular Law of Attraction – then you would understand what attracts people to you. Nikola Tesla, one of the world’s greatest inventors, once said that if people understood energy and vibration alone and how that works then they’d understand a lot of how things actually work in the world.
Clarity brings out a new energy from your words and actions. You come from a place of total and unbelievable awareness where you look around one day and go, “Dang, look at all of the people who want my services.”
Trust me. This is one of those lessons that I have to come back to over and over again. People might know who I am and what I do from this or that space. Yet is it really crystal clear enough to a targeted section of people? Um, it’s still a work in progress.
In order, though, to actually move forward in business and have the level of success that I desire, then clarity must come into play. Clarity attracts clients. They solidly know what you do and what you offer. There’s no wishy-washy stuff taking place. Understand this core reason to achieve clarity and watch what happens to your very own business and brand.
3. You Begin To Believe In Yourself
There’s this ongoing idea around “imposter syndrome” that folks on the interweb love to discuss. Showing up online like you are a real go-getter and hotshot, but offline that’s not the same person…that’s a problem.
“Imposter syndrome,” to me, starts happening when a person stretches out of his or her comfort zone and it feels miserable. Instead of getting up at 11 a.m. after working a night shift job, you get up at 8 a.m. to get a head-start on tasks and obligations around what you do. Thoughts like “this will never work out” or “I’m never going to succeed and get out of debt” start swirling around your mind like a bunch of chattering monkeys.
Clarity, though, allows you the benefit of starting to truly believe in yourself. In his famous book “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Norman Vincent Peale writes in the first chapter’s first line “Believe in yourself.” That’s it. Then the book goes on to describe different ways of building up your positive mindset through prayer, faith, action, and other real-life examples. Peale’s work may not appeal to you directly, but the mere thought of believing in yourself and your dreams is appealing.
“Clarity comes from action not thought.” – Marie Forleo
Find yourself getting clear on what you want and where you want to go and begin to truly believe in yourself and your abilities. There are lots of people who definitely need your services and work around the world. There might even be people right in your own town who do, too.
When tackling the issue of clarity for your business, take these three factors into account. Think about them seriously. Take stock around where this can be an effective place for you to succeed every single day.
Look for the sunshine and blue skies in your business. They are there. All you have to do is some sightseeing and all of it will pop out very clearly.
How YOU Can Create a Powerful 10 Year Life Vision
Where do you desire to be 10 years from now? Joel Brown, founder of the well-known website and podcast Addicted2Success, breaks down exactly how to gain clarity in your life and create a powerful 10-year life vision. The vision process that Joel teaches has transformed the lives of hundreds and thousands of people who use it.
You can listen to the full podcast interview here with Joel Brown or head over to my website AshleyHann.com for more inspirational podcast episodes.
Joel Brown is the real deal. He travels the world coaching thousands and thousands of people to stand in their vision so they can turn their dreams into a reality. He has been featured in the Think and Grow Rich movie, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, Success Magazine and more. He has sat down with well-known thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Jay Shetty, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, John Assaraf and the list goes on.
This is a MUST LISTEN episode all about gaining clarity, creating harmony in your life and creating a powerful 10-year vision so that you can live the life you’ve always wanted.
Joel breaks it down for you step by step. In this episode, we go over:
- The 3 key questions you must ask yourself in order to live a fulfilled life and master your 10-year vision
- How to define success for yourself and discover what you really want
- The 8 areas of life to include in your 10-year vision
- The top, prevalent patterns successful people share and why you should adopt them too
- The 3 main limiting beliefs and bullsh*t stories that hold people back from achieving their dreams and goals
- Why dropping perfectionism is so important and what to do instead
- …and so much more!
If you’re more of a visual person then you can watch my video interview with Joel Brown here:
This is an episode you won’t want to miss. Joel Brown is the 10-year vision expert and teaches his vision process all over the globe to thousands and thousands of people. You’ll want to make sure to grab a pen and paper so you can take notes and action on the strategies he shares with you.
OR you can watch it on my YouTube Channel:
His event: www.elevatetribe.net
The #1 motivation website he built from scratch: www.addicted2success.com
His Circle of Influence online mastermind: www.iamjoelbrown.com/applynow
5 Ways You Can Utilize Information Properly and Think More Efficiently
The mind is a complex system of facets, of which some have yet to be discovered. Still, in spite of all this, there has been enough information to help us gain a rudimentary understanding of it. Thinking is what we all do, although what differs is the efficiency and levels at which we do it.
A lot of things influence the way you think, and most of these factors vary from person to person. However, there are some foundations and basic laws that can help you move from just filtering information and utilizing it to think efficiently.
Below are a few ways you can utilize information properly and think more efficiently:
1. Be quiet and listen
We’re constantly bombarded with information, and the nature of this information determines how we respond. Are you the type of person who doesn’t handle bad or even good news well? If so, learn to take a step back, evaluate things, and look for the way forward. It’s something that stock market traders do all the time, and it works like a charm with practice.
2. Never neglect what your emotions tell you
While a lot of people might not know this, it is true that the conscious thoughts we have only represent a small fraction of the events going on in our heads. At any given point in time, you have the unconscious aspect taking in massive amounts of information, most of which we don’t even know are being processed.
Your brain makes conclusions, good or bad, and starts to generate feelings that rule our emotions in the long-run. So, whenever you have a subtle feeling that points you to a certain course of action or thought, don’t ignore it. At the end of the day, that feeling gets its way somehow, and it’s better you come face-to-face with it and understand its nudges better.
“When you react, you let others control you. When you respond, you are in control.” – Bohdi Sanders
3. Never think while under pressure
Pressure can be good, but a lot of the time, it tends to yield counter-productive results. Regardless of what you’re doing, there are times when you feel pressure. What this pressure does is force you to rely less on the part of your unconsciousness that functions like a trained autopilot system (from all of the training and experiences that you’ve had in the past). Essentially, it forces you to overthink things.
You begin to analyze every aspect of what you’re doing, and you end up using parts of your brain that have no business with the specific activity. So, whenever you take the time out to develop a certain skill, make sure you learn to have faith in your instincts as well.
4. Never focus on one viewpoint
Bluffing is something that professional poker players do almost every time. It’s become an art. However, instead of just bluffing on a whim (which also works at times, by the way), most of them employ a simple trick while playing; they think about how the opposing players would act if they weren’t actually bluffing.
In most cases, the brain tends to search the world for filters in order to confirm the beliefs that it holds. However, the problem with this is that it tends to limit you. At the end of the day, you could be dealing with facts that are just not wrong.
“What’s true of the poker game is true of life. Most people are suckers and don’t realise it.” – Michael Faust
According to studies, a lot of people tend to have moments of insight and solutions to problems when they’re not even aware of the fact that the problem is being analyzed by the brain. These are usually moments when you take a stroll, listen to your favorite track, brew your favorite coffee, take showers, and read blogs; when you feel relaxed and comfortable.
This is because insightful thoughts are usually generated by an influx of neural activities that occur in the right hemisphere of the brain. The best time to plug into the mind is when you’re stress-free, so make sure that you engage in activities that relax you more often.
How do you go about maneuvering around and making decisions in a world constantly bombarding you with information? Let us know your thoughts and advice below!
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