I want to share a little piece of business advice for singers I learned later in my career that I WISH I’d learned from the very start.
It’s not the kind of business advice that has to do with managing your dollars and cents. Rather it’s a foundational concept to managing your mindset around the business of your career as a singer.
It is this:
I am not just a performing artist, I am a business.
Tattoo this on your forehead so that you see it every time you look into the mirror, it’s that important!
Say it out loud:
I AM A BUSINESS
I’ve noticed that the mindset most of us start out our singing career with is not a business mindset, it is a “starving artist” mindset.
It is a mindset of lack. It is a mindset that doesn’t generally take risks or invest in growth, and those are two of the most important predictors of success in any field.
My own experience as a young singer and my experience working with all of you has taught me this:
When we are in the “starving artist” mindset, we have a really hard time taking risks and investing in ourselves because we are driven by fear.
And I get it! It’s a real fear of not being able to make ends meet.
But when we are in the fear mindset, we hold ourselves back from taking the kind of risks and making the kinds of investments in ourselves that facilitate the type of change that will actually propel us into success.
Now, I was never that good at math. My hard business skills like accounting etc. get outsourced. But this kind of business advice for singers is much more about cultivating awareness within yourself.
Start to examine your thinking and begin to shift your mindset as to how you see yourself in relationship to your singing. Yes, you are a creative artist. Yes, you are a performer. Yes, you are a passionate observer and interpreter of the human condition.
But when you are starting out in your singing career, you are also starting a business.
The business is YOU! And starting any business involves taking risks and making investments.
If you wanted to open a bakery, you’d probably get a small business loan from the bank, spend thousands of dollars investing in a space, building it out, investing in the baking machinery, investing in marketing etc. knowing that it will take you time before you pay off your debt and make a profit, but also knowing that without the initial risk of time and investment, your bakery will remain a dream instead of becoming a reality.
We as singers are exactly the same. We need to come out of the gate willing to take risks and make investments in the same way if we were starting any other kind of business.
And in this case, YOU are the product. What better thing to take a risk on and invest in then yourself ?!?!?
Examine your mindset today. Do you think of yourself as a business? Or are you still operating from the “starving artist” mentality?
What can you do to invest in the future of YOU that will really move the needle and give you the best shot at success?
If you’re a seasoned artist who’s been at this career for a while, do you have business advice for singers? Please contribute any experience and/or tips you find valuable in the comments section below.