The 7 Qualities of a Music-preneur

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Do you have what it takes to be  a music-preneur?Money tips

Okay, so I think I made up that word. It’s a combination of musician and entrepreneur. And here’s my “official’ definition:

music-preneur: n. any musician who is making music their business, whether by playing, teaching, composing  or working in a music-related field.

We musicians take our art seriously. We spend hours practicing, chasing perfection, trying to perfect a phrase, an intonation, to create a flawless musical moment.

And we tend to take ourselves pretty seriously too. We are committed, hard-working and passionate and we know we need to be in order to perform at our best.

So when we decide to make music our business, not just our life, we need to make an attitude adjustment. The down-to-earth details of business seem remote and completely incompatible with our pursuit. And we sometimes find ourselves accidentally perpetuating the stereotype of the artist who is “just no good at business.”

In truth, there is no reason that musicians shouldn’t be good business people. In fact, the very qualities that we have cultivated in our music serve us well in the “real” world, if we  let them.

Here’s my look at 7 qualities you have already honed to perfection as a musician, and how they can help you find success as a music-preneur.

1. Creativity: the reason you find joy in music
A music-preneur needs a lot of creativity to find the right niche, the way that fits you to serve others AND make money.

2. Self-discipline: all those hours of practice pay a personal dividend
Self-discipline serves you in any facet of your life, of course, and it is critical if you want your business to be a success. Put in the work, and the rewards will come.

3. Imagination: you see and hear the possibilities as you prepare your music
What kind of music-preneur will you be? How will you serve others with your business? What unique qualities will your business have?

4. Timing: you do have a sense of rhythm, right?
Timing is everything. There’s no magic to this; you just have to be sure that you deliver what you have promised on time, whether it’s an email, a phone call, or a 40 piece orchestra.

5. Note-taking: look how many markings you make in your music!
Keep written records of everything! You will need to refer to details, directions and tax records more often than you think. You have a system for marking your music; create one for keeping track of all the details of your business.

6. Communicator: what you tell others through your music
Phone calls, email, directions, instructions, contracts are some of the ways in which you will communicate with clients and employers. Your communications need to be timely, clear, and effective.

7. Passion: you love what you do and you care how you do it
The passion that drives you to make your music the best it can be, is the same passion that will lead you to excellence as a music-preneur. Strive for excellence in your music business and take pride in your accomplishment.

How can you show your passion in your business as well as in your music?

MemorizeDon’t forget to register for my FREE webinar on memorization: “You CAN Memorize – even if you CAN’T find your car keys!” 
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  • Robert Stone

    To someone, namely me, who has made his sole living or who at times has augmented his living by playing music, your advice is very relevant, especially for those considering embarking on a career in music, but also to those, who even in midlife, in retirement or those who want to learn an instrument, at any age or circumstance!

    I was with one of my ex clarinet students who decide to learn to play the piano in 12th grade. He is enjoying it very much and he plans on going to college for engineering, not music. He said it’s coming very easy for him. I was glad to hear this since many people don’t have other outlets like sports or are not big on socializing. Music can be a great stress reliever!

    People learn new things all the time, not necessarily to make a living, but to enjoy themselves. It’s also a great way to make new friends,(for instance join the American Harp society and local Philadelphia chapter, hear concert performances, attend lectures, etc.)

    But you’re right, all the things we learn to accomplish anything in life apply to music making too. If we can consistently apply all you mention in your article, we can almost guarantee success. You might not perform at Carnegie Hall, but you have to remember all the worthy, heart warming experiences, working to get to that level!


  • MerriamMusicInc

    I guess you could argue that all everything it takes to make a successful musician, also is needed to make a successful Doctor, or Carpenter, or Pilot. Loving what you do, putting your head down and working hard when the going gets tough. Music is a lovely way to learn these habits and life skills from a very young age to prepare you for success regardless of which career path you take!


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