If you had to write a job description for an “Aspiring Rock-n-roll Band Member,” could you? For most of us mere mortals, it’s kind of easy to fall under the spell of magical thinking that the lifestyle of being a fulltime rocker would be the ultimate dream job. The trouble with that mindset is, at the end of the day, being a band member takes more than just skills, it involves collaborative work, too. And, yes, while the spotlight and “money for nothing” seems awfully cool, there are real highs and lows to navigate, from being discovered to “hitting the jackpot,” whether you’re a one-hit-wonder or ultimately do become famous.
The reality: (spoiler alert) becoming a “big time star” can be just as awkward, stressful, boisterous, boring-ahem, tedious-as any other effort you put into pursuing other professional or personal pursuits. Regardless of whether your ultimate requirement is to deliver an epic encore performance worthy of applause or start a business from the ground up, there’s going to be similarities.
All contributors, lead singers, drummers, guitar players and bass players need time to practice, to develop, and hone their craft. Then, of course, there is the bigger elephant in the room (unless you are a soloist): to be an iconic band, the members need to practice the art of real collaboration. Great bands are an expression of teams of people who have learned how to collaborate and navigate conflict with each other … usually with lots of ego work to get there.
Let’s pause, peel back all the hype, and ponder the magic of being an iconic rock band. What are some important elements needed to be in place to become legendary? Getting curious gives us room to reflect about why some bands transform into great bands? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Collaboration is essential.
Who helps put the band’s vision into motion? Who are the members of the creative team? Who understands and supports the business goals for the members? Who are the roadies and tour operations crew-the people who help set up and breakdown the show?
- Listening to feedback.
Have the band’s latest releases fallen flat or has an unexpected song hit the charts? Do band members only believe the echoes of their greatest fans? It’s important to find a way to balance their musical passion with their fans’ image of them. Listening and taking feedback in a productive way from both their fans and their bandmates may just be the answer, but they have to be open to what they find.
Let’s revisit that ego thing. To paraphrase a legendary band, is “the love you get … equal to the love you give?” Inside the recording studio, on the tour bus-and all the points, places and paths in between-as the band pursues its mission, where is the passion? Is it expanding or contracting? How does the band deal with obstacles? Has the band built in room on the tour schedule for “time off the road” to reconnect with its base-their family and friends? And, don’t forget about the part self-care plays.
The reality is, artists come and go. Some bands achieve fame and fortune, but never really become legendary. And, from time to time, even rock icons struggle to live up to the idealized image of what it takes or get comfortable with the daily pressures that the lifestyle acquires.
What do you think? Do you see any similarities between being a big-time star and headlining your own business? Is your business ready for the “big time”? Call us. Let’s talk.