Dear Artist, Die a Better Death. You read that right.
You don’t have to be broke, starve or leave debts on your way out. Live Like You Mean It. But for now, take this Time To …
Discover The Entrepreneurship World.
For a long time, you have had a long string of ill-treatment in the market. Think about it, do you remember that time you performed and were told that there was no budget for your art?
Oh, that’s not all, even those who made it before you choose not to factor your time when you feature in their products. They too claim to have no budget for you.
You drew a great portrait but everyone who came to your stand bargained. Worse still, if you are in Kenya, you participated in a political rally and some guy disappeared with your cash.
That hurts like ****, right?
I was just re-reading Jeff Goins’ article about you and I thought I should write you a letter. Take it seriously. It is true, real artists don’t have to starve.
You don’t have to be broke, starve and leave debts on your way out of this world. Live like you mean it!
Hello, THERE IS A WORD called INNOVATE. It is found in the ENTREPRENEURSHIP world. Just Google it up!
Evaluating Opportunities For Artist’s Better Life
You may have had opportunities to become a brand ambassador for someone else’s product. They probably paid you (peanuts) and dumped you as soon as they got their name looking good.
Or maybe (not wanting to be the devil’s advocate on this one) you received a hefty five or six-figure income, which you ‘invested’ well in your art (wink). But that’s not the end.
Now that you are serious about building your brand, would you consider becoming a market influencer for your own products? Something with your name on it. It wouldn’t hurt venturing in the entrepreneurship world, would it?
Think about these 5 artists and how they have made sure that they live like they mean it. They don’t have an extra set of eyes, a third leg or even a spare kidney. They are people just like you. But what do they have that is different from what you have? If you ask me, they run their art like true entrepreneurs. Something you ought to think about.
Yes, you are crazy about your art to the level of obsession. But for now, lift your eyes up from your game and realize that there will come a day when you won’t shine in the limelight. What will you eat then?
Dr. Dre – Beats By Dre
You’ve met Andre Romelle Young aka Dr. Dre somewhere in your art life, I believe. He is an American rapper, record producer and yes, an entrepreneur. He loves his beat so much so, it hurts him when the music listened to isn’t as good as it was originally produced.
He once got so mad about the quality of music his audience was listening to through the $1 earbuds on Apple’s iPods earphones that he decided to build his own product. Don’t mess with a man and his beats!
‘Man, its one thing that people steal my music. It’s another thing to destroy the feeling of what I’ve worked on.’ Dr. Dre responding to Lovine regarding the effect of music piracy and low quality Apple earphones.
So he went on and engineered the famous Beats by Dre headphones. Have you seen the headphones somewhere in a local phone shop? In May 2014, Dr. Dre & Lovine sold Beats Music and Beats Electronics to Apple Inc. for $3 billion. Can’t beat that!
2. Beyoncé Knowles – Beyoncé Parfums
“Who run the world?” Beyoncé? The entrepreneurship world understands that better.
A ferocious hard worker, she is involved in the building of her brand and isn’t about to give it a break despite the moolahs. Among the well-known products that the musician has to her name, a perfume collection. The perfumes are available in both online and offline shops.
Beyoncé has also invested in entertainment, tech startups as well as in fashion. With her, it’s not just about music!
3. David Beckham – David Beckham Fragrance line
Besides dozens of fashion deals with great brands; Adidas, Coty, Breitling, Sainsbury, H&M, Armani, Tudor and Haig whiskey, Beckham owns his own fragrance line. Surprised? Don’t be.
He’s a man who believes in hard work and determination. Call him a football artist, though he retired in 2013. But this should be yet another source of inspiration to you as an artist.
By the way, the fragrance line isn’t the only business he holds. There is a whole lot in Beckham Brand Holdings
4. Erika Leonard (E.L. James) – Fifty Shades of Grey Merchandise
In 2013, E. L. James, the author of 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy was reported to be the highest-earning author. She made $95 million from the famous trilogy, that included the film rights to her novels.
If you are a blogger today, have you considered your worth 5 years from now?
Past writing the books, there is a whole pack of provocative romance merchandise that you can buy from her online shop. Yes. I mean exactly that. Why tell the story when you can’t sell the goodies? Good thinking!
5. Kate Hudson – Fabletics
Do you remember Andie Anderson in How to lose a guy in 10 days? Kate Hudson that is.
Together with two others, Kate Hudson founded Fabletics; online subscription retailer that sells women’s activewear, fitness and workout clothes. They have gone ahead to open over 20 physical stores to enable their clients to buy better. The brand covers even the plus-size ladies.
You are assured of breathability, comfort and fashion in every piece you buy from her website or store. How about that?
These are just 5 of the artists I believe you know very well. You probably just didn’t know that they have another life beyond their artist brands.
There are many other artists who have the entrepreneurial knack in their systems. The likes of LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Sandra Bullock dominate the entrepreneurship world.
This is a challenge to you as an artist, regardless of the category, to think beyond the glory of your art. You must think of the days to come when you won’t have the capacity to dash wherever you are needed to make an extra buck.
So, go beyond the printed caps, t-shirts and mobile phone covers. Think big; solve real problems.
… Between Now and The Business
So, where will you begin?
- Connect with people genuinely
Now that you have your art to mind, let people know that you are genuine. Your fans aren’t interested in your adverts. They want you. Respond to their queries on social media and even when you meet physically. It is a sure way of getting to know them better.
- Build your brand continually
Don’t leave the business of building your brand to your manager and your branded t-shirts. That’s rather too crappy for someone who wants to build a business around their name. Whatever you do, give it your best shot. Do you think Apple would have bought Beats Electronics if Dr. Dre had settled for anything less than the best? Before you build a product, think hard.
- Get mad about a certain problem in your industry and solve it passionately
You are a creative. Living in the Innovation Age calls for you to develop a knack for spotting problems from a mile away. If you find that too difficult, how about writing down 10 crazy ideas that pop up in your head every day? Ten weird ones. They don’t have to make sense to your whole family, just you. Then try to join them up together to create a product that will solve people’s problems.
- Test your product with people who have the taste adequately
Dr. Dre & Lovine had the likes of Will.IAM, Gwen Stefani & LeBron James, American professional basketballer test the $200 Beats headphones!
Did you know that in 2008 U.S. Olympic basketball team showed up in Shanghai, China with the Beats headphones on? LeBron asked his business partner Maverick Carter to order 15 pieces from Lovine after test-driving them.
Who is testing your product? Anybody? Hope not.
- Focus on your product, not your yesterday religiously
So what you produced a below-the-standard product yesterday? If you sit in the mud and mourn about it for ages, all that you are going to have is a dirty dress or pants for that matter. How about you arm yourself with that lesson and build a better product? Besides, nobody builds a good one on their first trial.
Artists around the world have proved that they understand the limelight as a well as the boardroom games. The world of entrepreneurship isn’t foreign to them. They understand that their physical bodies may limit them but it is up to them to plan ahead for the rainy day. You don’t have to starve after your stage life. You can go further if you plan for it now. If you run your art like an entrepreneur. Will you build your product now?
I’d love to read your thoughts on the kind of product you want to build. As a business mentor, I promise to share what I know with you to help you build a worthy product. Drop a comment below.