The Balancing Act: Artist And Entrepreneur

photo by MoNae Mayweather

photo by MoNae Mayweather

Working on your craft as a creative is extremely time consuming. We dedicate hours, days, weeks, months, years even, learning and developing ourselves. Figuring out our strengths and weaknesses. Finding our limitations and pushing pass them. We constantly strive to be better at what we love to do. Some say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. This is truly a grueling, beautiful process.

None of us want to become that cliche starving artist. Struggling to make ends meet while giving the world amazing art. We'd love to turn our passion into a viable career. Record companies dissolving artist development departments left many of us to figure out how to amass a sizable fanbase, garner attention from music publications, market our music, pay attention to analytics and so on. I don't know about you but this is alot to handle. To be thrust out of the care free artist stable that we were so comfortable in to full on entrepreneur is perplexing. Many of us never reach our potential and fall into obscurity while others are able to get a handle on the situation.

Learning to be an entrepreneur is just as time consuming as being an artist. The sheer volume of attention required to run a business and have it be prosperous is abundant. Let alone focusing on writing, recording, performances, etc. I've seen people abandon one for the other. It isn't easy to balance the two.

I think I'm finally at the point where I comprehend why some artists' art may suffer. Why their work might not be as good as it was before. I'm not excusing it but I understand it. To focus on running your business(es) and creating art is difficult. I've learned this firsthand while working with Respect The Cool. Putting shows together, keeping track of finances, researching different methods of promotion and looking at analytics is some of the things I handle. There are times where I don't write anything for months because of all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

My advice is to pace yourself. Allow yourself time to take all the necessary steps in understanding how to run your business. Separate the creative work from the business aspect and fully submerge yourself into one or the other. It's completely okay if you fall to pieces juggling both. Give the transition time. The business is what draws people to the music but the music is what makes them stay. You want to give 100% to both.