Our world today is seeing an influx of entrepreneurs taking their passion and turning it into a business. With the over use of outsourcing, layoffs, and decrease in acceptable wage earning jobs, some have been released to their destiny to start the business they always wanted to start. After all, I know first hand how hard it is to step away from a steady paycheck in order to gamble on a dream. And entrepreneurship is no different than going up to the casino craps table, putting down everything you own, and saying let it ride. Which makes strategic planning that much more important, but that’s a topic I’ll touch on at another time. Technology however, has allowed the small entrepreneur to start the business they always wanted, the author to self-publish, and the music artist to exist globally without being signed to a label.
This month we witnessed the 56th Grammy Awards were music artists, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, won Best New Artist for 2014. They also took home awards for best rap album, best rap performance and best rap song; in total they were nominated for seven honors including album of the year. Now, let me repeat this in case you didn’t get the full scope of what they have just achieved. – They created a music product, distributed it out to the world without the backing of a music label with all of its connections and PR power and instead became a brand in the music industry independently, again without being signed to a label. They also broke stereotypic walls in that the rap duo are… well, as comedian Joan Rivers put it, “Melissa, can you make me an eye doctors appointment, because I think these guys are white!” There was a time when you had to get signed to a label to be taken serious as a music artist and a time when you had to get an advance from a publishing house in order to be called an author.
Not today! Self-publishing has opened many doors for authors as well. Now the good thing about this is that anyone can become a published author but the bad thing about this is that . . . anyone can become a published author. No longer is the editor of a publishing house the only authority, the author and the public now have a stronger hand when it comes to producing more of what they want to read and/or write. But at the same time, that also puts a responsibility on us all to evaluate the work we’re being given especially on the World Wide Web. Just because something is in “print” , doesn’t make it true. That is of course except for my article you’re reading right now… lol.
Just think about how liberating it is to have more independence in our careers and in our life in general. But this independence does come with a price. You can’t just show up on the job, give it a half-assed effort just to get through the day and/or week and expect your paycheck to be there dangling and waiting for you. And in our culture, our college graduates expect a high paying job instead of working their way up the ranks. With independence, no work equals no paycheck. This revolution of independence could be what brings back the feeling of pride in what we do to our culture. Some today, don’t seem to have much pride in what they do; it’s just a job with a paycheck; which is why incompetence has run rampant. I can’t imagine working a lifetime in a job that I have no passion and or pride in doing. Independence comes with lots of hard work but if you’ve chosen your passion as a career, you’ll enjoy the journey.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis give hope to other independent artists out there that it is possible to work as an artist in the music industry without having a big label backing you. And in turn, it further gives all entrepreneurs the same hope; as we are all in the business of promoting our brands and whether a music artist or small business professional, as a whole we are all independent entrepreneurs. And with strategic planning and execution, Success will Blossom!