Music Business

7 Ways to Avoid The Psychological Hazards Of Music Entrepreneurship

Call-your-therapist-shotbysusan-flickrBuilding a career in music is often much more about becoming an entrepreneur than getting a job. And like entrepreneurs in other fields musicians face many emotional ups and downs that can derail their progress. Psychiatrist Michael A. Freeman recently shared some tips for tech entrepreneurs on dealing with emotional roller coasters that many musicians should find relevant.

Silicon Valley has become more away of the psychological hazards of entrepreneurship in the wake of a number of tragic events involving tech entrepreneurs. The world of music has also seen far too many tragic outcomes even for musicians deemed successes.

In many ways, the high pressure world of tech startups places similar pressures on entrepreneurs to outperform and to forget about their own needs that musicians face when taking their careers seriously.

Former entrepreneur turned psychiatrist Michael A. Freeman has some tips for entrepreneurs of all types in an article about the "Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship" (via Wes Davenport).

7 Ways to Avoid the Psychological Hazards of Music Entrepreneurship

1) "Most important, make time for your loved ones" – Friends and family can be a powerful source of support.

2) "Don't be afraid to ask for help" – Mental health professionals come in all shapes and sizes.

3) Limit Your Financial Exposure – "Set a limit for how much of your own money you're prepared to invest."

4) Take Care of Your Health – "Cardiovascular exercise, a healthful diet, and adequate sleep all help."

5) Cultivate an "identity apart from your company" – Defining yourself by more than your music career is key to maintaining stability when things are going wrong.

6) Learn to "reframe failure and loss" – Understand that the failure of a music project such as an album release is one step along the way that doesn't define you as a failure.

7) "Be open about your feelings" – This advice may sound odd given the often vulnerable nature of both songwriting and performance but it's far too easy to react to that exposure by closing yourself off emotionally to those around you.

Excellent advice for those facing the uncertainties of entrepreneurship. But at least entrepreneurial musicians know they'll always have music whatever direction the business takes.

[Thumbnail image courtesy SHOTbySUSAN.]


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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  1. 6) Learn to “reframe failure and loss”
    Entrepreneurs that remain entrepreneurs learn quickly that failure is necessary in order to attain success (or for the glass half empty types: more failure). The guys that started Reddit originally wanted to build a mobile app that delivers sub sandwiches. Constantly release and seek validation.
    Keep tweaking until there seems to the beginning of something magical then push it forward a bit and see what happens!
    – Julian

  2. Thanks for this one Clyde. I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say these issues are why I got out of music. Great advice for future entrepreneurs though; we need more positive spins.

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