Music Management Skills: Getting Comfortable with Risk

Music Management Boot Camp has been doing wonders for my thought process about the future of the music business. Putting the wolf at the door forces you to overcome the blocks in your creative work. One of the biggest blocks I've ever encountered is that fear that my idea's going to fail, or that I'll get made fun of, or that I'll never "eat lunch in this town again."

That's why "getting comfortable with risk" landed high on my list of crucial music management skills when I was making a list for our first live class.

I've failed plenty of times -- more times than you'd imagine, and certainly more times than I'd even care to share on the blog. However, my presence here indicates that I survived every one of those failures, and the risks I took that actually paid off delivered results far beyond my expectations.

Aspiring music management professionals don't immediately have to turn themselves into stunt drivers or daredevils. In fact, a lot of the risks that novice managers take bear little chance of physical damage. They're risks like:

  • Getting the "organization" and "productivity" stuff out of the way, so you don't have a cluttered desk or a busy schedule to hide behind.

  • Overcoming the fear of getting on the phone and asking for partnership from a booking agent or a talent buyer.

  • Showing your client's work to a music business veteran to get some candid feedback, even if it isn't what you want to hear.

It's hard to get comfortable with risk, or even to get comfortable with the discomfort risk causes. But risk is inherent in any kind of art, and you'll only know you're taking the work to the next level when it makes you feel a little nervous. As you think about developing your artists' careers, g