When I was growing up in the eighties one of my favorite shows on TV was The A-Team. I can still picture the awesome black and red van, hear the theme music playing, and I chuckle when I think of all the over the top explosions where no one was ever seriously injured. The A-Team was always up against some impossible mission. Hannibal, the leader of the A-Team, would help devise up a step-by-step plan (usually with junk yard car parts, a machine gun and one of the guys dressing like a woman) that would accomplish their goals to perfection. It always ended happy and the good guys always won!
Don’t you wish it was just that easy in real life!
So what is a good music biz plan? Is there a mystical A+B=record deal formula? Where in the world do I start? Through the years I’ve learned that when you’re dealing with the music business you constantly find yourself living in a “big picture” world. Goals like getting signed, building a fan base or the big one of “making it” can seem out of reach and completely overwhelming. I have lost many years and many dollars spinning my wheels because I was unknowingly playing the part of “Future man”. When your “Future man” your focus is constantly on the big picture which causes you to lose focus on what needs to be done today. Seeing the big picture is a very good thing, but seeing it all the time is crippling to your career.
Take for instance that the task on hand is building a band website. (Big picture) Sounds simple enough, but if you start with the website your “getting the cart before the horse” (You can thank my mother for that one). Before you hire a web designer there are a few things that you may have already missed. Do you have your web URL purchased? Do you have new photo images to provide the designer to design around? Do you have new music finished? Has your merch been photographed for your website store? Ok, stop! This blog isn’t about building a website (although that may be a future blog), its about being able to work backwards from our big picture goals to a tangible first step.
Example: Lets say your big picture goal is to “get signed”. If we follow our train of thought all the way back to the beginning we find ourselves facing the simple questions of do you have a band? Do you have original music? Then we take another thought forward to what do you have on your merch table to sell? Are you playing shows? Do you have a professional recording? Do you have professional images? See how this moves forward? At each stop, say the Do-you-have-a-professional-recording step, we can seek in depth help from the many credible articles and blogs out there to help us in that specific step. Google search it!
Yes, I realize this is all seems obvious, but ninety percent of the time you and I miss this stuff and guess what happens when we miss it? We have to back track and that costs us opportunities, money and the big career killer……. time!
Proverbs says, “Wise men learn by others mistakes, fools by their own”.
Mr. T was right I really do pity the fool!
Written by: Blake Easter