Music Business

What Can A Musician Learn From Chipotle?

Chipotle-logoChipotle may seem like a bit of a stretch as a source of music industry knowledge but Joy Ike, a musician and creator of the excellent Grassrootsy music marketing blog, makes the connections in "4 Things Every Artist Can Learn from Chipotle." Ike combined her own love of Chipotle with insights from the founder to get down to some basics for musicians as well as entrepreneurs.

Joy Ike used a feature on Chipotle founder Steve Ellis to inspire her post "4 Things Every Artist Can Learn from Chipotle":

1. "Hard Work Always Pays Off"

Apparently founder Steve Ellis had to work a lot harder than he expected to make Chipotle a success but it paid off in the end.

While hard work may not inevitably lead to the success Ellis experienced, it's an obvious prerequisite for having a shot at stardom or even simply making a living as a musician.

2. "Your Game Will Change Over Time"

Ellis started out with a single taqueria and began to build a chain. He later partnered with McDonald's to grow rapidly but eventually had to part ways to follow his own values.

Some artists leave major labels with a brand that allows them to keep building in their own way. Others stay indie but connect with major label distribution. The right deal is only right in the context of your own development.

3. "Good is not Great"

Ellis separated from McDonald's in part because he didn't want to rely on adequate workers. He wanted everyone to outperform.

This perspective should guide any musician from choosing who to play with to building one's team. Sometimes you have to make do but always go for the best.

4. "Integrity Matters"

Ellis chose his values over those of McDonald's and gave up some cash in the process. But he found a way to grow Chipotle on his own terms and he's doing just fine without McDonald's.

Though you may not associate the word "integrity" with the word "business," you don't have to give up your values to be a success in the music industry. You might not be able to make a major label happy but that might not be a bad thing when all is said and done.

Sound pretty basic? You don't have to be a big Chipotle fan like Joy Ike to recognize that, despite the complexity of the music industry, some things remain simple.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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