music career trend self-management

Music Career Trend: Managing Yourself

music career self-management creative warrior academyGILLI MOON
Artist, CEO Warrior Girl Music
The Creative Warrior Academy

A creative disruptor and multi-media entrepreneur, Gilli Moon has been a champion for thousands of independent artists with her companies, Warrior Girl Music, Songsalive! and, most recently, The Creative Warrior Academy. She is an award-winning recording artist in her own right, and an author of two books.

You’ve had a long career as a self-managed artist. Did you ever have a manager?
Yes, I’ve had three managers in the past. I don’t want to discredit their abilities, but it didn’t work out because they didn’t get who I was as an artist. I didn’t want to limit myself, so I had to do it on my own.

You are a real entrepreneur with several companies. What drives you?
It’s in my DNA. I wanted to achieve my dreams and have control over my career. But, when I started my own record label (almost 20 years ago), I was criticized and told it was unprofessional. Now, many artists have their own label.

How do you balance art and commerce?
Time management is the key––you need to set aside time for business and time for your art. You should realize that you don’t need to know everything. You can learn as you go. You should also seek out the right people, because no one can do it by themselves––you need a team to help you. You have to “do it together” (DIT). Fans are good in that regard. They’ll do amazing things for you.

What’s the best approach to self-management?
You need to decide what you want and what you want out of it. I like to write it down and visualize it. Ask yourself where you want to be in a year, two years, three years and so on––up to 10 years. Then plan it out, month by month. But, don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture and think ahead too far or too fast. You can take baby steps and still succeed.

What’s the biggest challenge to managing yourself?
Knowing when you need help and asking for it. You get so used to doing everything that you forget that some things can be delegated. Having an assistant or intern can be helpful. And associating with professionals in marketing or PR will let you focus on other things.

Your book I Am a Professional Artist has a formula for success. Can you describe it?
It’s the three “Os”… Optimism (a positive attitude) and Organization (a plan) equals Opportunity. By approaching your career that way you can create your own opportunities. You just have to understand that real results take time and hard work.

Would you consider hiring a manager or signing with a label?
I would not reject a record deal or a manager if they were right for me. There are good people out there––even at labels––and they’re doing good work. But our visons would have to be complementary, because I need some control over my life and career. No one is going to care as much about your career as you do. •

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