Just got off the phone with a friend of mine. He's been self-employed for a number of years. He's also a guitar player.
He said something I thought was interesting...
"There is a big difference between playing guitar and playing Guitar Hero."
You know that, because you're a musician, but I've seen a few kids get the two mixed up. But, believe it or not, I've seen even more musicians and "business owners" get their situations mixed up... I'm talking about adults who should know better!
To build on a quote from my friend... "There is a big difference between being in the music business and pretending to be in the music business."
Those who are really in the music business treat things a different way than those who just pretend to be in it. They show up for gigs on time, because they know it's important and has a big impact on whether or not they'll get paid. They promote their gigs, are nice to club owners, sell from the stage, and take advantage of merchandising for the same reason.
This isn't about record deals, fancy clothes, a new van to tour in, brand new equipment, or similar things, which so many musicians get lost in...unless you're actually making money with those things. Being in the music business is about looking at how you're handling your career, treating your music like the job it is, and asking yourself, "Am I building something by doing this or just doing what I think 'being in the music business' means?"
Just some random, late-night thoughts on differences in the people I come in contact with via email, phone, or in person... I hope that, if there are some things which need to be tweaked to help you with your long-term music business goals, you'll take an opportunity to do that.
What can you do to bring in more people to shows?
What can you do to maximize music and merch sales?
What can you do to bring in more traffic to your web site?
What can you do to make sure more people hear your music?
These are a few questions you should ask yourself. Have others? Post them below.
Want to talk more? I do a live podcast every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern. (347) 637-2654 is the number to call me. Or, if you can't wait, follow me on Twitter and ask your questions there.