While there are many ways to get your music business education, some methods are more valuable than others. Here are four ways to learn what you need to learn about the business of music.
The School of Hard Knocks
Experience is the greatest teacher … or is it?
The school of hard knocks is not only the hardest way to learn what you need to know, it's also the slowest and most tedious. There are many smarter and faster ways to get the skills, knowledge, and experience you need, but there is no denying that life's challenges teach us what works and what does not.
College or University
School is much too costly to be worthwhile, and it molds you into a factory worker – forever shackling you to old philosophies and ideas that are becoming less relevant by the second – especially here in the digital age.
School has some advantages, such as the connections you make and the resources you're given access to. But unless you're learning under someone with real results, you're just kidding yourself.
Self-education is one of the best ways to get the information you need. The only downside is that you have to make sense of it, organize it, test it, and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Books, courses, seminars, conferences, podcasts, blogs, magazines, TED Talks … There's an endless supply of information to dig into, and much of it is free.
Mentorship is also an incredible way to learn, and by far one of the best. There's one major disadvantage – it can be hard to find a mentor .
If they have a successful business of their own, they're probably busy running it. And if they're not looking to encourage more competition in their niche, they may not be interested in helping you.
For these and other reasons, good mentorship can be hard to find. But it's still worthwhile.
Our opinion is that a combination of self-education and mentorship is the best way to get the music business education you need.
A mentor can help you separate good resources from bad resources, and identify where you might be lacking knowledge and experience. They can tell you when you need to hire, how to reinvest your revenue, what marketing strategies have worked for them, and much more.
One thing a mentor can not do is act on your behalf. It's up to you to take the information you receive and put it to good use.