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Tags: business

Being a Successful Entrepreneur – Don’t Be Embarrassed about Making Money

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My previous blog referenced Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider. In talking with her further, she had an interesting take on the stereotypical starving artist.  She theorizes that part of the reason record companies are able to make huge profits while the artists often make so little is because many musicians have the idea that being a [...]

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Being a Successful Entrepreneur— Don’t Be Embarrassed about Making Money

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My previous blog referenced Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider. In talking with her further, she had an interesting take on the stereotypical starving artist.  She theorizes that part of the reason record companies are able to make huge profits while the artists often make so little is because many musicians have the idea that being a [...]

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Invisible Musicians

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At the end of this blog is a letter to the editor that was published in the December 13 Louisville 
Courier-Journal. In it the writer laments the absence of an orchestra at this year’s Nutcracker performance. The tone of her letter is typical of what I had read in the past when ballets have opted [...]

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What Is a Brand and Is Yours a Good One – A "Jack of Nothing," How Diversified Should You Be?

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This is always a difficult question to answer and it varies from person to person.  It stands to reason that if you do one thing and take it to the max, your chances of being superior to the person who does two or more things is enhanced. With a few exceptions most musicians who are at [...]

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What Is a Brand and Is Yours a Good One—Key Measures of Success

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The ultimate measures of success are trial and repeat, and the buyer is the final judge. If a manufacturer of just about anything, from dishwashing detergent to automobiles, gets you to try their product, and you are satisfied and return to purchase again, that is success.  Using a music example, let’s say you get a [...]

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What Is a Brand and Is Yours a Good One – Brand Image Associations

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It’s important to understand image.  Your brand exudes a certain image and is made up of the following: Tangibles & Intangibles[i] Tangible—Can you play accurately?  Do you show up on time?  Are you a good sight-reader? Intangible—Do you have a beautiful sound?  Are you musical?  Do you make the notes come alive?  Do you add [...]

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What Is a Brand and Is Yours a Good One – It's All about Connection

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Here is the third installment in this series of blogs that discuss the musician as a brand.  If you are new you can catch up quickly by reading the two previous posts. You’ve probably heard the cliché, “To get ahead it’s not how you play, but who you know.”  Certainly having connections or a network [...]

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What Is a Brand and Is Yours a Good One – What Is Your Brand?

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What Is a Brand and Is Yours a Good One—What Is Your Brand? The last blog gave a few definitions to work with. Now think about your brand. And it isn’t just about your playing, but we can start with that. What do people think of when they think of you? Make a list and [...]

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What Is a Brand and Is Yours a Good One-Some Definitions

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The next several “lessons” will center around the professional musician as a business—a store—where clients can get musical expertise. If you buy into the idea that musicians are small businesses, you can take it a step further. Companies spend a good deal of time and money thinking about, developing and protecting their brands, and there [...]

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Tax Time-1099s and W2s

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Let’s assume that anyone reading this knows that the sum total of all the money an individual earns is called the gross. It is reported by your employer to the Federal Government in the form of a wage and tax statement called a W-2, and a copy is sent to you each January for the [...]

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Tax Time–Musical Instruments and Depreciation

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Musical Instruments When a musician buys an instrument or equipment that has a useful life of longer than one year, he or she can depreciate it over the tax life of the item—usually seven years. This has the effect of spreading out the deduction over time. An alternate course would be to expense the purchase [...]

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Tax Time – Musician's Office in Home

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Office in Home In our homes or apartments, musicians all have a room in which they practice or teach, but for that room to be considered a home office and deducted on our taxes, it must meet certain requirements established by the IRS. For example, that part of your home must be used regularly and [...]

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Make Friends – Your Peers Are Your Best Resource

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Think about it. It’s only human nature to recommend a friend for a job. Putting aside the fact that if you recommend him or her, he or she may reciprocate one day, it just feels good to help out a friend, provided they are a good fit for the job. Even though music is a [...]

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Let The Other Guy Talk First

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Writing projects (read: compositions and arrangements) are always up for negotiation. What I always try to do is let the person hiring me talk first. After we have discussed what is involved, I quickly calculate how much time it will take to complete it. I get a price in my head that I think is [...]

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Make the Client Feel Good

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This short phrase, “Make the client feel good,” is one of the most important things to remember in business. Often when doing recording sessions for television and radio commercials (read: jingles) the “com- poser” may be a person of little of no musical knowledge. He may not even read music or be able to put [...]

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Act Like a Business

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You, Inc. is a business, so you need to act like one. You should look as professional as possible. This includes everything from business cards to websites. I was just out of college and someone recommended me to do a little arrangement of a pop song. Not only did I have to arrange it for [...]

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Lead Like the Great Conductors

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Israeli conductor Itay Talgam uses leadership on the podium as a metaphor for leadership in business. Some good stuff here, worth watching, especially the last clip of Bernstein.

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