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How Learning Music Makes You A Successful Entrepreneur

How Learning Music Makes You A Successful Entrepreneur

Perhaps surprisingly, a successful entrepreneur will often share attributes with musicians and music lovers. For example, a lot of famous and successful people are musically gifted. There’s Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft. Roger McNamee, founder of Silver Lake Partners and Elevation Partners. Even Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple, is a performing musician. Music has some pretty clear ties to success, and by learning what those ties are you can turn your love of the art form into a way to benefit you as a businessman or businesswoman. Here are 6 specific ways loving music or being a musician can help make you a successful entrepreneur.

1. You become a better listener.

A musician or a true fan of music has to be an attentive listener to earn one of those titles. By listening for specific beats and riffs on a track, you can piece together why a song is of a high or low quality. Likewise, a successful entrepreneur knows how to separate the good from the bad. By listening closely to others’ ideas, they can dissect what parts work and what parts don’t. That ability to compartmentalize is a key attribute of musicians, fans of music and successful entrepreneurs alike.

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2. You become more disciplined.

Musicians absolutely dedicate themselves to their craft in order to reap big rewards. Far before they’re partying like rock stars they’re earning their way to that rock star status through hard work and impressive displays of discipline. In the same way an emerging talent transforms into a best selling artist, take the time to build new skills and hone the skills you already have so that you can become a successful entrepreneur.

3. You experiment.

A good musician, or even someone fond of making quality mixtapes, understands the importance of experimentation. They have to be willing to get their hands dirty in order to discover sounds that nobody else has imagined or to come up with a compilation of tracks that produce unique experiences. A successful entrepreneur has to similarly find new ways to mesh things together and come up with fresh perspectives. A great business solves a problem, so a successful entrepreneur has to be someone who is willing to experiment until they figure out the problem they can profit from solving.

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4. You become more collaborative.

Music makers and music lovers alike need to collaborate with others to reach their peak potential. Even the best singer benefits greatly from a back-up band, and making mixes is all about sharing your love of music with others. A successful entrepreneur equally benefits from smart people by their side. You can get pretty far on your own as a businessman or businesswoman, but you really need the advice and wisdom of others to maximize your opportunities for success.

5. You get used to life “on the road.”

Musicians spend most of their time touring, and the most passionate music fans will often follow them on the road. Through their travels they learn to brave new environments and find ways to live on less. A successful entrepreneur also has to be prepared for sometimes uncomfortable experiences as well as the lean times inevitable for even the most impressive businesses.

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6. You learn that success takes time.

As a musician you’re probably not going to start your career closing out a concert at Madison Square Garden. More likely, you’re going to be opening for a small local band at a small, sparsely-attended club. And that’s okay. You have to work your way up the ladder in order to be either a best-selling musician or a leader in business. Knowing the long shots of becoming a successful recording artist helps you appreciate the somewhat better odds of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Featured photo credit: margaretes via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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