Soon I will celebrate 19 years in LA (Feb. 10th to be exact). I came with total naiveté, passion and …. with ZERO business acumen. I had no business plan, really, I didn’t. Not even a To-Do list! Just like a dreamer…. (Not recommended at all!!) I went to Duke grad school, an academic school, not Berklee or USC where learning how to be an entrepreneur is part of the curriculum. It took me a long time to cultivate a career.
This picture below is a genuine document from February 1999. Although I had no business plan, I did have intuition and understood that my priorities needed to be:
1. CREATIVITY. Write your music.
2. PROMOTION. Promote your music by calling people, attending events, sending your music out, etc. (you can see the line items.)
3. MONEY. I came to LA with a few hundred dollars of savings (for realz), and needed to earn money to pay the bills and survive. My first years in LA were years of incredible struggle.
4. GROWTH / STUDY. Analyzing music …. I analyzed even Top 40 songs to expand my skills and learn new tricks.
5. RESEARCH. Listening and learning new music. This is part of #4. (not sure why I separated it)
6. CONTACTS. Cultivating relationships.
Over the course of my 1st year in LA I became more disciplined about filling up as many line items as I could …. This is Page 1 of my career in Los Angeles – February 1999.