I did an interview this week with Sean Devers on the Kaieteur News radio station and someone asked about the keys to a career in music and my answer was “business.” They were surprised and that’s understandable. After all, I am known as this lanky guy with a guitar who has written some popular songs about Caribbean life. On the surface, that’s true, but if you dig deeper and go past the musical talent, there’s something else in play that is actually just as significant and, in fact, more so, which is that you need a sound business approach. That’s the something else that is part of any successful career in the entertainment business; you have to be an entertainer, obviously, but you also have to be a business man, or woman. So, yes, I am the lanky guy with the guitar and the ability to write songs, but I’m also a businessman. It may sound like a contradiction but it is not. Any time, you see a successful musical career anywhere in the world, business sense is involved, if not in the artist then it is in somebody managing or steering the artist. Of course, this is true not just in entertainment. You can have the greatest product in the world, or the most innovative service approach, but if you don’t have the business paraphernalia surrounding it you’re going to have a difficult time. So, while only a few of you, or perhaps even none of you, do what I do, the business approaches I took would actually be virtually identical to what you do in your businesses.
In any business, there are some fundamentals, almost sign posts, and one of them is you have to know the territory. That’s true whether it’s Dave Martins selling songs, or New Thriving selling Chinese cuisine, or Shanta selling puri. You have to learn about the market for the product or the service your business will be offering. ….