As a Musician You Are Also a Entrepreneur – 9 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs

As a musician you are a EntrepreneurI read the article 9 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs on and was just going to tweet a link to the story, but then stopped and thought… this actually really applies to musicians because every musician is also a entrepreneur. Every band is really at its core a start-up.

Take a few minutes to read this list of qualities and the comments I have added to each on how they apply to musicians. My comments are in bold and quoted after each item.

Here are nine qualities of remarkable entrepreneurs as originally posted by

1. They find happiness in the success of others.

Great business teams win because their most talented members are willing to sacrifice to make others happy. Great teams are made up of employees who help each other, know their roles, set aside personal goals, and value team success over everything else.

Where does that attitude come from?


Every great entrepreneur answers the question, “Can you make the choice that your happiness will come from the success of others?” with a resounding “Yes!”

Musicians – This means you are a band and not the lead singer. What you do to help others in your band will help you. This can also be applied to your fans. Are you happy if you fans are happy?

2. They relentlessly seek new experiences.

Novelty seeking—getting bored easily and throwing yourself into new pursuits or activities – is often linked to gambling, drug abuse, attention deficit disorder, and leaping out of perfectly good airplanes without a parachute.

But, according to Dr. Robert Cloninger, “Novelty seeking is one of the traits that keeps you healthy and happy and fosters personality growth as you age… if you combine adventurousness and curiosity with persistence and a sense that it’s not all about you, then you get the creativity that benefits society as a whole.”

As Cloninger says, “To succeed, you want to be able to regulate your impulses while also having the imagination to see what the future would be like if you tried something new.”

Sounds like every successful entrepreneur I know.

So go ahead – embrace your inner novelty seeker. You’ll be healthier, you’ll have more friends, and you’ll be generally more satisfied with life.

Musicians – Don’t be afraid to experiment, to try new things; with you music, with your website, with your marketing and promotional efforts. Don’t just follow the pack of what all other bands are doing.

3. They don’t think work/life balance; they just think life.

Symbolic work-life boundaries are almost impossible to maintain. Why? You are your business. Your business is your life, just like your life is your business – which is also true for family, friends, and interests—so there is no separation, because all those things make you who you are.

Remarkable entrepreneurs find ways to include family instead of ways to exclude work. They find ways to include interests, hobbies, passions, and personal values in their daily business lives.

If you can’t, you’re not living—you’re just working.

Musicians – Hopefully music is your hobby, your passion, your love. Being in a band should not be seen as a job.

4. They’re incredibly empathetic.

Unless you create something entirely new—which is very hard to do—your business is based on fulfilling an existing need or solving a problem.

It’s impossible to identify a need or a problem without the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes; that’s the mark of a successful entrepreneur.

But remarkable entrepreneurs go a step farther, regularly putting themselves in the shoes of their employees.

Success isn’t a line trending upwards. Success is a circle. No matter how high your business—and your ego—soars, success still comes back to your employees.

Musicians – Everyday you need to put yourself in the shoes of your fans. Your success comes on the backs of your fans.

5. They have something to prove – to themselves.

Many people have a burning desire to prove other people wrong. That’s a great motivator.

Remarkable entrepreneurs are driven by something deeper and more personal. True drive, commitment, and dedication springs from a desire to prove something to the most important person of all.


Musicians – Prove to yourself you are the best musician out there.

6. They ignore the 40-hour workweek hype.

Studies show that working more than 40 hours a week decreases productivity.


Successful business owners work smarter, sure, but they also outwork their competition. (Every successful business owner I know who reads those stories probably thinks, “Cool. Hopefully my competitors will believe that crap.”)

The author Richard North Patterson tells a great story about Robert Kennedy. Kennedy was seeking to indict Teamsters head Jimmy Hoffa (who some believe is chilling in Argentina with Elvis and Jim Morrison). One night Kennedy worked on the Hoffa case until about 2 a.m. One his way home he passed the Teamsters building and saw the lights were still on in Hoffa’s office, so he turned around and went back to work.

There will always be people who are smarter and more talented than you. Remarkable entrepreneurs want it more. They’re ruthless—especially with themselves.

Remarkable entrepreneurs simply work harder. That’s the real secret of their success.

Musicians – You are more than just a musician. You have to work harder than every other musician to be successful. You have to write more, play more, promote harder and longer.

7. They see money as a responsibility, not a reward.

Many entrepreneurial cautionary tales involve buying 17 cars, loading up on pricey antiques, importing Christmas trees, and spending $40,000 a year for a personal masseuse.

Wait—maybe that’s just ex-Adelphia founder John Rigas.

Remarkable entrepreneurs don’t see money solely as a personal reward; they see money as a way to grow the business, reward and develop employees, give back to the community… in short, not just to make their own lives better but to improve the lives of other people too.

And most importantly they do so without fanfare, because the true reward is always in the act, not the recognition.

Musicians – If you want to be a rock star you have the wrong attitude. If you want to be rich and famous, you have the wrong attitude. Don’t do it for the recognition. Do it for everyone who loves your music. Give back to your band, reinvest in your band.

8. They don’t think they’re remarkable.

In a world of social media everyone can be their own PR agent. It’s incredibly easy for anyone to blow their own horn and bask in the glow of their insight and accomplishments.

Remarkable entrepreneurs don’t. They accept their success is based on ambition, persistence, and execution… but they also recognize that key mentors, remarkable employees, and a huge dose of luck also played a part.

Remarkable entrepreneurs reap the rewards of humility, asking questions, seeking advice, recognizing and praising others…

Musicians – Leave the ego at the door and remember you are no better or different than your fans. You are skilled at music, but your fans are skilled at something you can’t do. Don’t be afraid to give credit where credit is due. It is not only about your name in print or in lights.

9. They know that success is fleeting, but dignity and respect last forever.

Providing employees with higher pay, better benefits, and greater opportunities is certainly important. But no level of pay and benefits can overcome damage to self-esteem and self-worth.

The most important thing remarkable entrepreneurs provide employees, customers, vendors – everyone they meet – is dignity.

And so should you, because when you do, everything else follows.

Musicians – Simple, treat everyone with respect. Don’t burn bridges. You meet the same people on the way up as you do on the way down.

via 9 Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs |

Download a FREE Copy of My Book KISS School of Marketing: 11 Lessons I Learned While Working With KISS

KISS School of Marketing: 11 Lessons I Learned While Working With KISS

I am excited to announce the release of my first ebook, “KISS School of Marketing: 11 Lessons I Learned While Working With KISS.” The book is available in both English and Japanese. This book expands on the 2011 article I wrote that outlined 10 lessons I learned from working with KISS. The original article was even re-posted by Gene Simmons on his official website. This expanded book includes one additional lesson and a special encore chapter contributed by Steve Jones, author of the book rand Like A Rock Star: Lessons from Rock ‘n Roll to Make Your Business Rich and Famous. In addition I have added some of my favorite photos that I have taken of KISS over the years and some interview quotes by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley provided by the original interviewer.

“It’s a valuable primer for artists who are looking to break into the music business and crack the code as to how to make it work for them. You offer a lively mix of truisms and business wisdom, succinctly presented and artfully packaged.” - Chris Lendt, Vice President Glickman/Marks KISS’ former business manager had this to say about KISS School of Marketing

“Michael Brandvold takes you behind the make-up to reveal the brilliant marketing and business strategies that made KISS the most well-branded band in history. You’ll love this ebook.” — Steve Jones, Brand Like A Rock Star: Lessons from Rock ‘n Roll to Make Your Business Rich and Famous

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KISS School of Marketing: 11 Lessons I Learned While Working With KISS

  • Lesson 1: All Press Is Good Press
  • Lesson 2: Love Me or Hate Me, Just Spell My Name Right
  • Lesson 3: Wait For The Right Time
  • Lesson 4: It’s All Branding
  • Lesson 5: Not Everything You Do Will Succeed
  • Lesson 6: Treat The Media With Respect
  • Lesson 7: Listen To Your Fans, You Work For Them
  • Lesson 8: “The Secret To Success Is To Offend The Greatest Number of People”
  • Lesson 9: If You Don’t Ask For It, You Won’t Get It
  • Lesson 10: Separate Business And Pleasure
  • Lesson 11: They Aren’t Afraid To Change Their Minds
  • The Encore: Create And Name Your Tribe

Thank you to Kenji Maeda for the translation.