When you think about it, there are multiple ways that the music industry reflects what you're trying to accomplish as an entrepreneur. Music rewards innovation and originality--finding "the next big thing" is a mantra you both share--and you both aim to immerse customers in rich and compelling experiences, right?
So don't be afraid to unleash your inner music mogul once in a while; it could actually do amazing things for your company. Here are five mogul moves you could consider making:
- Trust your gut. If everyone in the music and tech industries followed the traditional path to success, we wouldn't have game-changers like The Beatles, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson. Trusting your instincts--even if it means veering from the safe path--can lead to your most creative, innovative, and ultimately successful decisions. Only you know where your passions lie and how to tap into them, so trust your gut, and don't listen to the naysayers.
- Take big risks. Music moguls are always willing to try something new--whether it's a creative approach to a tour, an unlikely collaboration, or a new distribution method. Taking risks is what separates the innovators from the followers. Whether it's reaching out to that intimidating potential collaborator or launching an experimental project, the only way you'll see amazing outcomes is by taking risks in the first place. You have everything to gain.
- Connect to larger causes. Music moguls are masters at leveraging their brand power to have a positive social impact and expanding their influence at the same time. They're willing to lend their voices and faces to causes they believe in, take bold action, and make their fans and followers proud advocates. Entrepreneurs need to embrace the power they have to connect to the wider world and start creating the kind of positive legacy they dream of.
- Create an A-list posse. Entrepreneurship is often seen as a one-man show, but it's important to realize that you typically can't succeed on your own. Just as music moguls surround themselves with a strong team of artists, managers, lawyers, agents, and publicists, entrepreneurs should bring trustworthy, inspiring people into their projects. With a supportive network behind you, your ideas, customer base, and passion for your work will flourish. And be sure to have a trusted advisor by your side to help you develop your posse and collaborative partners. Choosing the right team is the most vital step in any successful venture. As music innovator Pharrell Williams said, "You are only as good as your team."
- Find the next big thing. You can be as tech-savvy and business-minded as you like, but if you can't create buzz around your next new product or idea, nobody will know or care. The music moguls are experts at creating buzz. Take Spotify, for example. It crafted a powerful launch model by using invite-only access to drum up anticipation and demand for its new product, which subsequently became an industry game-changer.
My own career has been a journey from music publications to a major record label to a tech giant to the crazy, disruptive startup environment of Silicon Valley. It's definitely grown from there, but what I've experienced time and again is that no matter where I am, when powerful tech innovation and the bold music industry engage, it creates an intensely creative atmosphere.
Music moguls and entrepreneurs have a lot to teach each other. But don't worry; you don't have to sing like Beyonc or turn tables like Skrillex to bring the music to your business. All you need are these simple tips, a trusted advisor to help you chart your course and create the powerful collaborations you need, and your own entrepreneurial instincts and intuition, and you'll be on your way to finding your inner music mogul to the delight of all of those you'll serve.