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Identifying Your Target

Lesson 3 from: Dream it, Do it: Breaking Into The Music Industry

Steve Rennie

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Lesson Info

3. Identifying Your Target

Next Lesson: The Gate Keepers

Lesson Info

Identifying Your Target

There are all kinds of things out there that notion about the target is figure out what you really want to do and lock in on don't say well I just want to be in the music business ran because I could say well, there was a truck driver that's you know, carrying our gear around you asking what he does because I'm in the music business okay there's some guy sweeping that freakin state I'm in show business right? You know the old joke about the guy works at the circus you know, he's cleaning up in the parade's going down the street the elephants crapping everywhere and the guys out there sweeping they go hey why do you do in that crabs and crap? Hell yeah I'm in show business man okay, so you got to have a target is what I'm getting that okay um you also have to have skills okay as we talked about desire alone is not enough it takes time and effort to develop those skills. If you're a musician or if you're doing producing, you have to work your craft their same is true is if you're a manag...

er or a professional and it takes time to develop those skills you know the curse of youth is everybody wants it right now they want to have all the benefits experience but they missed the most salient point, which is that experience takes time to get okay, I thought I knew everything in twenty my twenty year olds, absolute convinced he knows everything and twenty. But as I watch him grow up, I'm starting to see the first signs of god. He started realizing, you don't know anything, man. Ok, because you're constantly starting, you guys were smiling, right? So you need to be honest about those skills. If you're goingto the go beyond dreaming toe actually doing, you'll need to put in the time to polish those skills. So I talk about age and so forth in the business and where you start because of one important thing, you need a huge commitment of time and energy to succeed in the music biz, and I'll just make a bold statement, and michael probably agree when you're young, that ignorance that that that that that naivete works for you, okay, because you have time on your side, ok? And the people that put that time on their side to add to their experience, it wither away the naivete of the ones that succeed here, right? One of my good friends is a general by the name of bruce floor, one of the smart people that we talked to you and I encourage you to go on our web site, check it out, he had an observation that was spot on you guys, you know, lots of people want to be the artist, they want to play the arts, but they don't want to live the life of the artist because the truth of the matter is, it generally takes eight to ten years from the time you start making music or start to be in the music business before it actually resembles a career, right? I always made the joke that if you're not in the business for ten years, I think you're just, you know, passing through, I'm not sure you even there, so I had this thirty theory that I developed over the years, which is until you're thirty years old, I'm not sure you're really in it, you know, by the time you get to be thirty now, you've gone beyond this guy who thinks he knows everything galley thinks, you know, and now you started to take stock of where you are in your life and you're much more accepting at that point that the world is bigger than you. Okay and that you're gonna have to play within the context of that right? So that time and energy is a huge issue there I think for people that are thinking about dreaming and doing at some point you have to decide is this a career or is it a hobby, right? I went through that in my golf career I wanted to be a pro I wanted to make it a career but making two hundred dollars a week working in the golf shop wasn't really the gulf pro I had tiger woods or jack nicklaus back down on my mind, right? So that was it was it was a different animal your career is what you do to pay the bills ahh hobby gives you intrinsic rewards it's fun so for me I gave up my dream of being a golf pro but I never gave up my passion for golf I still go out and competing golf terms I still give a shit a lot about it, okay? But it's an expensive hobby now I go through the very same drill in my head is this mentoring thing a career not just create a need to create it could sustain itself I'm on the same page I don't need to make money I've been very fortunate with the infamous but I'm not sure that I can keep writing checks for out of the goodness of my heart indefinitely so this notion of career versus hobby comes to mind any questions in that chat room wherever they all just gone we had a couple questions about is like getting on a show a legitimate means of getting your career going so like the voice for example yes eyes that a good a good thing to invest time and energy into or do you gotta doesn't have to be more grassroots? The answer is yes, it is not something that I love that idea truth be told because I came from a very old school place that you build careers, they don't happen in twelve weeks, ok? And the one of my buddies back there it had a great saying early on he goes ready acts go away as fast as they come, so if your career was built on twelve weeks on tv and you can't sustain that level of intensity, probably not okay, you're going to go ask ruben stoddard ask you know that other kid right? But carrie underwood made it undeniable talent and she kept bringing the hits and she got outside that thing right? So it's a great place if you can get it but understand you've seen it, they have an arena full of people in twenty five cities across america looking for one seat at that table okay, so it's competitive but it gets you there because you have massive exposure tv is the biggest way to spread the news right this way watch super bowl put a commercial on a hundred million people are going to make judgment are they going to buy into it and maybe not but getting above the radar and we'll talk about that a bit later is is such a big issue that getting up there it means something, right? So yes, if you can get that but over time the more tried and true build your career develop your talent to develop your show you know the lightning goes away very fast ok? A warm fire can last longer than a bolt of lightning ok, I want to talk about this notion of time limit with the dream I think in the context of you I talked about that heavy metal dude on sunset boulevard that's still living the dream god bless him one of the guys I I that my golf club is a caddy great great guys in a band he's a drummer he's forty seven years old and he still wants me to come out tio you see him and so forth and I should make it out there one day reason I'm saying that is because when I was back it you know, in my golf professional but I think I had some sense right then of the things I'm talking about right now, which is um the time to take that shot for create thing is when you're young because you can pivot to something else in the words of that old guy ivy edelman he talked me out of being a golf pro pro turned out to be prophetic he said stevie you're gonna wind up teaching a bunch of old jewish ladies how to play golf and I know that's not what you want and it was true he said you you have talent you're a good guy people like you get on well with people make golf a tool for you and go out and make some money while I hated every freaking second of it when he said it it turned out to be prophetic because that that golf has been an unbelievable networking tool for me but the point I'm making is that there was this ticking clock in my head that said you know what? I don't want to go to another cocktail party with my buddy has now graduated from law school until I'm I'm a golf pro that just wasn't what I had in mind so for you folks that are out there thinking about do I say get after it early I don't get it out of your system I say give it your best shot because even if you quote unquote fail the lessons you've learned in trying to do something great might serve you in a place and you never dreamed up right? I didn't set out to be a manager, but I'm telling you you'll hear it all the same the gulf the lessons I learned from golf, our lessons I put to use in business and thankfully thinking these guys don't have to anymore my golf stories but it's true so that time limit is ok let's talk about it so there's we got one question from alfie so you you mentioned like it's best to get a start young but this guy's thirty three years old said I'm just starting up I feel like I'm competing with much younger people and he tips on that most true yeah I didn't know true so here's my point what's his question what you what would you recommend you and eat anything? I just here's what I'm going to say I can't recommend what somebody should do with their life I can give them my observations on the playing field I can tell you what I just did ok, but remember the checklist what I did won't work for you, you know yesterday's breeze won't put the wind in your sails to take you across the ocean today okay that's up to him to decide so when I said I'm probably going to talk some people that is maybe he doesn't join us for a session to um but what I will say is that if you go for it I understand exactly what you're getting into don't go in there all dreamy I'm gonna take the dreamy right at you were talking about doing now in the doing stuff so you make that assessment but we just talked about you got to be honest with yourself do you have the skills and if you don't have the skills in thirty three and it takes seven years to get him do the arithmetic that now you're forty and go turn on the radio turn on the tv if you're not a country aiken old blues actor a jazz guy than age is an issue I didn't write that rule I'm fifty nine it's not an issue for a fifty nine year old guy because people look at me go he's got a lot of experience he's a grisly old veteran actually adds to my stop grizzly old pop rock star had mating that's not as good a cocktail conversation sandra I mean it's obviously going to be different for every person but do you have any suggestions on what the timeline should be? I I would be b s and you know I that's a personal thing right? Everybody everybody has to judge that on your own but for me it's about judging okay here's where I am here's what I want to go and trying to develop some scorecard in my mind of how I'm doing is what I love about golf again bore you with the golf story playing the golf turning right they have a big board up there it's the scoreboard right and they list the name of the player they list your score there is no room in there for editorial comment right? So you either made the score that got you in or you didn't ok now let's talk about the music biz your record is there a score? Well there's a scoreboard for sales but that doesn't mean they won't be talking about a twenty five so it's much more complicated right? So if you got to develop some kind of score card for you if you unless you just want to do it no matter what then then skipped the score card but if you were like me that had some sense of god I want this to happen I don't want to be that guy that that's like talking about a dream that's never gonna happen I feel like I could do something great in my life if it's not quite we're gonna figure out what else that you can do that's great this notion about finding your true north right you're all going to cry over somebody said it's me early on about year round you got to set your compass and you know I forgot who it was anyway that notion of true north stuck within what it really is is about this it's figuring up who you really are ok and where you fit in the world if you're an artist okay, it's about are you a country artists? Are you a jazz artists? Are you a reggae artist? Are you trying to be the artist? That's? I just want to be any kind of artist that I just want to be famous that's the dangerous one because they'll be on full field, right? When hard to say we'll see if I'm not sure what kind of music I should be making time that don't talk to me, I can't tell you that, ok, you have to know who you are. So if you want to do jazz fusion funk reggae hybrid and you accept the fact that there may not be any commercial potential for that and that's who you are, then you freak and do it, ok, is a manager, right? I figured out very early on that I have an ability to motivate I was a great caddy, okay, I I I don't know why, but I have this ability to get people fired up, so that was good. Uh I'm not a great long term planner that's why I was grinding at four o'clock in the morning trying to do this thing trying to make it perfect that's I don't do perfect I do here we are here we are years where we need to get to I want to get everybody fired up but I still haven't figured out I write that down on a piece of paper, right? But that mentality would have made me a horrible head of a technology company where detail and order and process is important, right? It's why? I had a hell of a time getting that curriculum down because I concede here and talk about all day long you asked me to write it down and all said and I get stuck okay? So understanding who you really are okay is the most important thing forget the music business in life for fulfillment right? Because you've got to figure it out or you're gonna have a tough night. So for the artist, you need to figure out your artistic vision, don't be wind checking don't take tolls, ok? Bob dylan didn't take a poll, ok? Miles davis didn't take a poll ok, I can think about because miles davis was a miserable right sorry, you know, but his music was undeniable because he didn't care what anybody the only cared about the music so your artistic vision if you're an artist is important I'll tell you this about your true north it's not always obvious it first for me I thought it was a pro turned out that I made a great manager. Okay, there was a guy one of our talented guess guy by the name of tom kelly was a terrific songwriter hall of fame songwriter road hit me with your best shot like a virgin true colors I mean career making songs right? He started off wanting to be in a band and he grew up in this gang of people in illinois with her being azoff in the eagles and barrios speedwagon and all these bands that he grew up with it all went on to have success in time then he got married had a kid and inside I need to do something. Tom said that his curse is a songwriter for a band members and his music was all over the place. His blessing as a songwriter is that he wasn't tied anything but a great melody in a great surprise in the song is alley but it go check the interview out folks, right? So my point is is that your true north moves around a little bit? Okay, if I look at my true north right now putting it tryingto I spent the whole of my life working in the music business on behalf of artists mohr less booking I'm working at a record company and then in the most personally being a personal manager being that fifth beatle the guy with the briefcase the guy that sat on that river bank they're getting inspiration I'm thinking calculation I think we need to target man well how we gonna get there I'll come up with that you guys just got a promise me you're coming across that bridge with me what that was that that was the transaction right? So now I've been doing that for years and so in january we parted ways after all these years right? We ran out of gas right? And we've had a unbelievable ride and at first I kind of think these things don't happen that you kind of feel it running out of gas and they're trying to figure out what they want to do. It was just time to part company here I am six months later trying to figure out what is when you win now when somebody asked me what do you do if you retired ideo I just get go god now I'm not retired I'm trying to find my new true north right and as I sit here today not making a dime out is stressing out no sleep last night I the whisper is turning into a little bit of a scream again that you know that this might be your chapter steve is to do in the music mentoring space, working with artists. But I will be honest with you, I don't want to live with you anymore. I don't wanna have tio worry about your girlfriends and I I that, you know, we did that and it was great, but it sucked the life. I'm like jon mad now we won the super bowl and they kept I don't care about people it off from judging. I don't want a job, I just want to watch from the booth. I got my score, but I still loves going a locker room and slap in asking, I back backfire. I love great fire he's, right that's me. All right, so this is an idea of true north is important for you to figure out who you are, what it is that you're coming in. It will change a little bit, but when you find your true north it's much easier to do all the other things we talked about.

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Hands down the best music course I've ever seen. I couldn't have asked for a better "realistic" explanation of how the music industry really works. The analogies and stories were awesome! Thank you to Steve Rennie and the CreativeLive team for an awesome production, straight teamwork! -SkyPoint

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Awesome, hope to see more in the future.

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