123 – Reset When You Need to

It’s important to be aware of the rhythms of life and go with the flow. Sometimes, you need to take time in your schedule to think and reflect. Don’t ignore those moments.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share why you need to take time to reset.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:18 – Early reflection
  • 00:34 – The holiday season
  • 01:21 – Challenging business decisions
  • 02:04 – important realizations about myself
  • 02:43 – Do less
  • 03:44 – Evaluating the work you’re engaged in
  • 04:06 – Reset
  • 04:55 – Don’t throw pearls to swine
  • 05:48 – The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship Pro Packs

Transcription:

As I record this, we’re headed into the last month of the year.

And, I figured it’s never too soon for a little early reflection. Typically, I would leave that to the beginning of the year, because if you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know I put a lot of effort into the early year content as it were.

This is the time of year when retailers go crazy trying to capture as many sales as they possibly can. The Christmas and holiday music start to spin on high rotation. Christmas lights begin to go up, warming the cold air and lifting our spirits. Well, that’s what it’s like where I live anyway.

I know that if I spent a lot of time scanning Black Friday sales that I could easily be tempted into buying a lot of things, so I try to avoid the hustle and bustle and instead concentrate on my projects.

But this time of year, I also like to spend time relaxing, watching movies, playing video games and so on. The cold winter tends to force me inside, and though I’m a huge fan of summer, this time of year isn’t so bad if you’re intentional about making it fun.

And, as I’ve already hinted at, it tends to be a great time for reflection too.

Recently, I’ve had to make some challenging business decisions.

And, these decisions were in-line with one of my theme words for the year – war.

The idea, from the very beginning, was to wage war on the mediocre and the things that aren’t serving me. But it took a while for the lessons to sink in. I’ve finally come to the point where I’m no longer willing to accept anything less than excellence, especially in the area of fulfillment and payment.

There were several things I said “no” to earlier in the year, and this is something I talk about in more detail in The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship Pro Packs, specifically the ones containing the video titled The Top 10 Lessons I’ve Learned in Music Entrepreneurship.

Little did I know that the hardest “no” of the year wouldn’t come until much later.

But having gone through the personal development work I’ve done this year, I’m beginning to see, with increased clarity, my way of being to this point. I can see that I didn’t have access to a different way of being until I discovered some things about myself.

In the past, I spent a lot of time engaging in pro bono or discounted work. I gave my best in situations where the people or organization didn’t deserve it. I took on projects at the risk of my own health, wellbeing and financial wholeness.

That simply can’t happen anymore. The steaks are much too high now, and the projects I’m working on are more important than anything I’ve every worked on before. I’ve come to the realization that I must protect that with everything I’ve got.

My business coach, James Schramko often tells business owners to “do less”. I now understand this better than I ever did. Doing too much doesn’t allow you to focus on the big domino.

What’s the big domino? The task, project or activity that could potentially make all your other activities unimportant or irrelevant. So, knocking down the big domino could mean knocking down a lot of the little dominos that are taking up space in your mind.

When coaching others, depending on what stage of business they’re in, I will advise them to go after that big domino.

First, it causes you to think about what’s most important in your business right now. Then, it leads you to prioritize it over other plans, ideas and squirrels that come to distract you.

So, clearing space in your life allows you to focus on that big domino. For me, that’s either marketing my current offer or creating my next one.

If I could spend all my time doing those two things, I could get so much more done. That’s not realistic right now because I have other projects, I’m engaged in. Those projects help me make a living, fulfil me in some capacity, or both.

But I am taking a more serious look at projects these days, and I’m letting go of what isn’t the highest and best use of my time.

My naturopath recently shared with me that he asked one of his clients why he was so successful. Apparently, he responded by saying that his secret to success was that he let go of five clients every single year.

Wow. So, doing less is doing more.

Doing less is doing more. Share on X

And, that’s why I’m taking a bit of time to reset and consider my priorities. As with any other year, there are things that have gone well and others that haven’t. I’ve learned and grown a lot, and that has helped me better understand my own value.

That’s probably the biggest realization of all. Like anyone else, I have bills to pay. Those bills don’t get paid when I take on projects that don’t respect me or my time.

I know that some people don’t have this problem. But it’s not uncommon in the music industry for people to charge less than they’re worth. Many musicians take free or pay to play gigs because they simply see no other way.

Business owners serving musicians often mark down their products, so they are well within reach for most musicians. Now, there is a strategic component to that, and I can appreciate that. But you can’t serve others out of scarcity. You can only serve them out of your overflow.

There’s something a speaker once shared with me that continues to ring in my ears. He said:

Don’t throw pearls to swine.

For those who are familiar with the Bible, you will know that this is an excerpt from Matthew 7:6, which reads:

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

You may have heard the expression, “give an inch and take a mile” before. It’s the same idea.

When people don’t appreciate you or respect you, it’s not worth working with them. They will take more than they give, ultimately leaving you in a worse position than you were when you started.

Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid and Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek both suggest that you should fire your worst clients. What you gain back in terms of peace of mind is well worth the loss in revenue, which will likely amount to nothing.

So, if you need to reset now, don’t wait until later. Do it now.

Did you get something out of this?

If so, I want to invite you to explore new possibilities for you and your career with The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship, specifically the Pro Packs, which are only available for a limited time.

Go to davidandrewwiebe.com/essential to learn more.

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.

Carolina Castilla of Massive Act Shares How to Streamline Tour Logistics & Artist Management

Many artists who are just getting their start dream of one day touring, whether it’s locally, nationally or globally.

But opportunities can be limited, promotion can be hard work and logistics can get increasingly complicated with every show you book.

And, let’s be honest. It’s not just the artists who are affected by all the complexity and challenges involved. Venues, agents and sound engineers also play a part in making a tour a success.

So, whether it’s connecting with venues and event organizers, gaining publicity opportunities or building your EPK and tech rider, Massive Act is a tool you can leverage to grow your career.

Here’s Carolina Castilla to share more about it.

1. Tell us about who you are and what you do.

I’m a Colombian entrepreneur who has worked in the industry wearing many hats: manager, festival producer, PR, and hospitality manager. Over the years, I had the good fortune of seeing amazing talent in Latin America and I created this with the idea of opening the doors for those who can’t find resources or the network.

Our platform connects and brings the real-world, live-music professional ecosystem to the music industry. We give artists all the technical support they need to tour professionally and perform for massive crowds. We offer a workflow solution between the parts involved but also a marketplace.

2. What is Massive Act? How does it benefit artists, venues and sound engineers?

We streamline the process of performing. Festivals and venues can curate artists, then they communicate logistics like sound checks, lineup order, transportation, and hospitality. Artists can work with sound engineers to create technical riders (how they stand on the stage, how they are connected to the mixer), and the backstage team of the festival can see and work with the artist and their needs.

3. How can current tech address tour logistics?

Actually, artists and tour managers use different software technologies and tons of emails. Our product is designed to support the artist before and after they get booked. Our networking feature called “perform” allows them to connect with venues, festivals and gannets by location and genre, so not only can the artist apply to opportunities, they can request connections with talent buyers all over the world. If an artist is booked in Brazil, we provide the information of similar festivals or venues in Chile or Argentina to help the artist book more gigs and make the tour worth it.

4. How can artist management be hacked?

Our system is useful not only for artists and tour crews; the managers can benefit too. First we offer the profile, which is like the business brochure of the artist. Then we give them the opportunity to communicate their technical needs to talent buyers inside and outside of the platform. Then we give them the database of venues, festivals and talent buyers launching opportunities, so when the talent buyers look at the artist profile, their information is enough to book them.

5. Please speak to the joys and struggles of being a female entrepreneur. How does emotional intelligence help?

It’s been pretty amazing seeing the system working. There are too many ideas and startups that don’t pass the concept line. The team we have has pretty strong diversity; it makes me happy to work with people from all over the world. It feels good, too, when you receive positive feedback from users; our priority is built based on their needs.

At the beginning of this journey, when I was learning what was working with very smart people, I had to prove who I was and why this idea I had would work. The best way I use my emotional intelligence is to understand what the team likes to do or hates doing; that way I can manage a very collaborative environment.

I use my emotional intelligence is to understand what the team likes to do or hates doing; that way I can manage a very collaborative environment. Share on X

6. Is there anything else I should have asked?

Will brands and media be part of Massive Act’s ecosystem, taking into account that live music is the biggest revenue generator in the music business?

Yes, in the future we will add them to the ecosystem and streamline the processes for sponsorships, endorsements, and publications.

Final Thoughts

Who doesn’t want to perform for massive crowds? I know I’d love to.

If you enjoyed this interview, be sure to thank Carolina on Twitter: @BogotaMusicLink

And, if you’re got any thoughts or questions, please leave them in the comments below. I look forward to sharing our next The Music Entrepreneur HQ exclusive.

Jessica Sobhraj of Cosynd Shares How You Can Easily Protect All Your Creative Works

Ready for another The Music Entrepreneur HQ exclusive? I know we are.

Copyright is complicated. Most artists don’t like to think about it. And, there’s quite a bit of misinformation out there. If you’re not careful, you could end up giving up more of your creative works than you ever intended to.

That’s where Cosynd comes in. I’ll let Jessica Sobhraj, CEO of Cosynd explain.

1. Tell us about who you are and what you do.

I’m a 10+ year veteran of the music industry and advocate for gender equality that currently serves as CEO of Cosynd, an essential toolkit for creators that allows them to register their content with the U.S. Copyright Office and to easily create copyright ownership agreements with their collaborators.

With Cosynd, collaborators can reach a consensus about who owns their content, how it can be used, and more through a simple, guided automated process.

I also serve as President of Women in Music – the longest running and largest non-profit for women in the music industry that provides resources to thousands of professionals.

Prior to that, I led strategic traditional licensing opportunities for music micro-licensing pioneers Rumblefish, where I structured distribution networks in Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.

Prior that, I served as the Manager of Digital Content Licensing for the performing rights organization SESAC. I also sit on the advisory board of other non-profits and startups in the music/entertainment industry. In short, I’ve spent my entire career advocating for creators and creating revenue opportunities for them.

2. What is Cosynd? How does it benefit artists?

Most of the issues that creators face stem from failing to document their ownership of their content, because it was too expensive to do so or they didn’t know how to. We created Cosynd with one simple goal in mind – to make it easier and more affordable for creators to protect their content with quality tools that aren’t overwhelming to use.

Cosynd is an essential toolkit that lets creators register copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office and easily form split sheets, work for hire, and copyright ownership agreements with their collaborators.

Cosynd is an essential toolkit that lets creators register copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office and easily form split sheets, work for hire, and copyright ownership agreements with their collaborators. Share on X

These agreements cover ownership of music, videos, photography, illustrations, designs, screenplays, scripts, books, and more. Cosynd gets everyone on the same page about who owns their content, how it can be used, and what rights they all will have if things go wrong.

Taking care of this now will save creators the time, money, and frustration of having to fight about it in the future when things are less friendly. Creators can negotiate the terms of these agreements within a simple click-through process, invite attorneys to review (if they want to), and e-sign quickly and easily, so that they can get back to doing what they do best – creating!

There are three types of copyright ownership agreements that creators and their collaborators can make using Cosynd:

  1. Split Sheets – a short document that lists the percentage each collaborator owns in your work.
  2. Premium Ownership Agreements – a lengthier document that establishes copyright ownership AND extremely important details about your content such as which collaborators are permitted to license your content on your behalf, who may use your name and likeness, how disputes are handled, indemnification, and more.
  3. Work for Hire Agreements – outlines the scope and terms of work to be completed by someone you have paid to help create your content such as a contractor, freelancer, etc. This agreement is typically used when the person you have paid will not be a co-owner of your content.

3. What issues are there surrounding content ownership? Why should artists be thinking about protecting their content?

Copyright can be a complicated topic to address because of all of the nuances that exist particularly when creators collaborate. Who owns the content? What percentage does each person own? What rights does each person have and what can they do with the content?

Not addressing these issues at the time of creation leads to issues like underpayment (or no payment) when your content is licensed/sold, false claims of ownership by other collaborators, content being withheld from you by collaborators, and the removal of your content from streaming platforms. Things can get really awkward and expensive when you have to resolve these issues instead of avoiding it entirely by documenting ownership beforehand.

What most creatives aren’t aware of is that under U.S. copyright law, their collaborators have an equal claim of ownership of their content by default, unless there is an agreement in place stating otherwise. In other words, if a collaborator contributed something small to your content, they could claim the same percentage of ownership that you do and the same rights that you have!

What most creatives aren’t aware of is that under U.S. copyright law, their collaborators have an equal claim of ownership of their content by default. Share on X

4. How will Cosynd make it easier for artists to register their works?

In addition to giving creators the tools to create simple copyright ownership agreements, creators can also register copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office. Creators that are using Cosynd to create agreements can simply import information from those agreements about their copyrights directly to their registration application in minutes, which makes Cosynd one of the fastest and most affordable ways to register copyrights.

Creators can also start an application for an entirely new copyright. Their information populates every relevant field of their application, which saves creators the time of having to re-enter the same data repeatedly. An application can be created for a collection of copyrights, such as an album of music or a video series, or for a single copyright.

Copyright owners that register their copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office are granted a number of benefits:

  • A certificate as physical proof of your registration.
  • There is a public record of ownership.
  • Registration gives owners the option to file an infringement suit, if necessary.
  • Owners may be eligible to collect statutory damages and attorney’s fees from litigation.
  • Registration is considered factual evidence in a court of law if filed within five years of publication.
  • Owners can record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies of the work(s).
  • Registering works entitles owners to collect damages at the basic statutory level (between $750 and $30,000 per work) at the court’s discretion. Damages may increase to $150,000 per work if the infringement was determined to be deliberate. Additionally, you may also be awarded attorney’s fees as well.

5. Is there anything else I should have asked?

If possible, we would really love to shine a light on our advisory board and team. They are all stellar and well-respected members of the creative industry that helping in meaningful ways to develop Cosynd. Their information can be found on our website and also in the press release. Thanks!

Final Thoughts

Streamlining the copyright process? How cool is that!?

If you enjoyed this interview, please take a moment to thank Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaSobhraj

And, if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to leave them below.

122 – Cultivating a Success Mindset – with Richard “Younglord” Frierson

How do you build a strong mindset? How do you brainwash yourself into believing in your personal success?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I chat with Richard “Younglord” Frierson, who describes his approach, as well as numerous revenue streams musicians can tap into.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:18 – New podcast theme
  • 01:03 – Monetizing the entire process of being an artist
  • 02:43 – Going for broke and being a full-time artist
  • 04:47 – Getting buy-in from your parents
  • 06:19 – Problem-solving skills
  • 06:54 – Marketing campaigns, outreach and going through the numbers
  • 11:44 – Being prepared for the big breaks
  • 12:46 – People in the music industry don’t have time to blacklist you
  • 13:39 – Cultivating a strong mindset
  • 15:19 – What types of revenue streams are artists missing out on?
  • 21:42 – Licensing your music
  • 27:42 – The value of building relationships in the music industry
  • 30:38 – Other methods of monetizing your career
  • 32:29 – Having a hand in everything
  • 32:50 – What’s the biggest challenge or obstacle you’ve overcome?
  • 35:18 – What has been your biggest victory?
  • 38:06 – Are there any books or resources you would attribute to your success?
  • 39:59 – Rich’s final thoughts
  • 40:55 – Concluding thoughts

Transcription:

Whoa, what was that?

Well, a few months back, someone by the name of Brian Young approached me with the idea of writing some music to the podcast.

He politely pointed out that for a podcast that has to do with the music industry, I had very little music on the show. I thought that was a fair point.

I’d thought about updating the music and adding a few things myself, but I have so little time for that.

Brian offered to put together some new music for me to use in the show, and I decided to take him up on it.

So, what you just heard is one of Brian’s tracks, and towards the end of the episode, you will also be hearing a couple more themes he put together for me.

Be sure to let us know what you think of the new tunes in the show notes.

With that, let’s jump into today’s interview.

Richard “Younglord” Frierson

[Interview with Richard “Younglord” Frierson – transcription coming soon]

Conclusion

And I’m back to wrap up the episode.

I hope you enjoyed the interview. I know I got lots out of it.

You might not know this, but one of the main ways I generate revenue for The Music Entrepreneur HQ is with my books and courses.

So, as always, I’m going to offer a gentle nudge to check out my current offer, The Essential Guide to Music Entrepreneurship.

I’ve received a lot of great feedback on this handbook. Christopher Sutton from Musical U said:

For any musician wondering what it’s going to take to make a living with their music in the modern world, this book is a tremendous all-in-one resource to answer that question for you.

Interested in finding out more? Simply go to davidandrewwiebe.com/essential.

And, don’t forget to check out our limited time offer while you’re there.

Upgrade to Members Only Audios for more exciting, exclusive training.