Entertainment is a lot like entrepreneurship. Making a career in either field means a life fraught with risk and competition, and very few will make much money doing it. But the secret to succeeding as an entertainer or entrepreneur is also similar: passion, dedication, and a willingness to keep going despite the odds.
“There’s lots of talented people out there, and they’re doing the same things that I am,” admits Kate Todd. “Being an entrepreneur in anything that you’re doing, you just have to eat, sleep and breath whatever it is that you are involved in.”
You may remember Todd from her roles on the children’s TV shows Radio Free Rosco, Life with Derek, and My Babysitter’s a Vampire. The life of a singer-songwriter, actress and spokesperson is full of trial and rejection, just like that of an entrepreneur. But Todd says she’s learned to keep going. “I have been very fortunate in my career, and I guess that is a motivating factor,” she admits. “But there have been times where my family has been really there for me, and really encouraged me to stay in the arts and continue on this journey.”
MORE ARTS: What Music Fans Buy »
Todd’s latest venture is one that many startup founders will easily identify with: she’s crowdfunding for an album produced by Peter Linseman of Music Mentor Productions (who also edits this podcast). And like many brands looking to collect funds from the public at large, Todd and Linseman need to make sure their campaign for Anywhere With You stands out.
The focus is on delivering “experiences,” not just tokens and notes of appreciation. “For example, we have a really cool experience where Gibson has endorsed me and given us some electric and acoustic guitars and opened up their showroom for a lesson, and somebody can bid on that—they can buy that experience,” Todd explains.
MORE INCENTIVES: 4 Ways to Make the Most of Crowdfunding »
Crowdfunding is just one of the technologies changing the way the music industry works, says Linseman. Others include social media and online distribution models. The proliferation of platforms has allowed many musicians to abandon traditional industry structures, but also added to the variety of roles that an entertainer takes on—another similarity with entrepreneurs. “How many hats you have to wear at all times is just staggering—I’m fascinated by it,” says Linseman.
Linseman says the key to success in any business—creative or otherwise—is the same. “Don’t invest more than you’re prepared to lose,” he advises.”It’s a volatile industry. You just need to be wise about where you spend your money, time, and your own resources.”
To hear more of Todd and Linseman’s advice about making it in the music business, listen to this week’s BusinessCast by clicking the button above or download by clicking on the iTunes logo below:
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