Chris Boardman Music Blog: November 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016

If I build it... I sure hope they'll come!

So many of us buy into the myth: “if we build it…they will come.” That is a romantic notion that is rarely, if ever, fulfilled.

 As creators, (musicians, composers, filmmakers, artists, etc.) we spend our lives honing our craft, digging into every detail, leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to improve our creative abilities. 

Why don't we dedicate an equal or greater amount of time learning how to sell and promote ourselves?

It’s because we are uncomfortable. If you haven’t seen the success you desire in the music business would it be fair to say that you haven’t invested the time and effort in understanding what selling is let alone thinking of ourselves as a business?

If you were in the position of hiring you and you listened to your pitch would you hire you?

If you are stuck, where do you start?

Where do you focus our attention? What assets do you need to build before we begin?

Selling is not voodoo. It is a skill that can be learned. Why not invest the same amount of effort into selling as you do in your art?

It is common for creatives to say: “I’m an artist. I do my art. I don’t sell”.

That’s fine if your goal is to stay in your basement and never make a living from your creative work.

The professional will invest time and money into their art/business because they know that investing in assets (you) will give them an edge.

It’s not free. No one will do it for you!

“If you don’t value yourself…no one else will”.

Ask yourself: am I willing to work for it? Can I step outside my comfort zone and acquire the skills necessary to become a professional? If your answer is anything but yes then you have a problem. A solvable problem...but a problem nonetheless.

Artistry in music comes after years of study and practice. Why would you assume that selling your products or services requires less?

Make the commitment. Put your fears aside and get to work. Just like practicing- the more you do the better you'll get.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Amateur or Professional?

Webster defines “business” as a purposeful activity. If we are purposefully in the act of creating art, we are by definition in the business of making art. Where so many of us struggle is imagining ourselves as more than artists. We are, in fact, businesspeople but either we have been conditioned to believe it is somehow beneath the artist or, it is so far out of our comfort zone that is impossible to conceive that we could be more than the act that fuels our creativity.

Business can seem like a foreign language. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

It is only a mystery of we prefer to isolate ourselves in our ignorance.

Moving beyond being an amateur is to accept that business (which includes branding and marketing) is an integral part of our existence as a freelance or independent artist.

Becoming a professional artist requires making a commitment to being accountability for ALL aspects of our lives and our careers.

It requires making the active choice to understand the how’s, the why’s the where’s of making your product exceptional as well as the sales and marketing of our product.

It’s our responsibility.

If we delegate this responsibility, then we are at the mercy of others. And as we move towards a society run by robots and artificial intelligence being a spoke in someone else’s wheel is becoming less and less of a viable option.

Is it easy? No. Is it hard? Yes. The choice is yours.

Read "What's Your Story" to begin your branding process.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Entitlement vs. Gratitude

For most of us, our expectations about what life will bring us are formed in childhood. If you show up in youth sports, you get a trophy. If you pick the correct multiple-choice questions, you will get a good grade. If you behave in a particular way, you will get the desired result. Well-meaning adults unconsciously fill children with these thoughts throughout their lives. 

To paraphrase TV psychologist Dr. Phil: “how’s that working for you?”

The truth is no one is guaranteed anything in life. Just because you “desire something” doesn’t mean you are “entitled” to have it regardless of the how often this idea is reinforced.

Does this prepare you for the inevitable rejection you will encounter in life?

Holding on to conditioned responses will be like having an invisible anchor around your neck. Your view will be skewed unknowingly affecting your performance. 

We can only put forth the best work we can do at the time. We cannot control the outcome. So why do we let our expectations get in the way?

"Give without expectation - be grateful for the result"- Quincy Jones

You’ve done your best. The outcome is out of your hands.  You have little choice but to accept the result or become defensive, bitter or worse which will have negative consequences.

If you fail to receive the reward you feel “entitled” to it is time to go back to the mirror and ask yourself: "was there anything else I could have done?  How can I improve my  performance?

Focus on creating joy - not wealth.

Joy will come from the act of doing, the value you create- not in what you will receive in return.

Joy is contagious. Joy is attractive. It is easy to say yes to joy.