Put Yourself In Position of Ownership

A few weeks ago I saw a short video clip of Jay-Z and he shared some gold, which has made him a multi-millionaire. He talked about his concern with ownership. Owning his publishing and all the rights to his music. Chance the Rapper shared some of that same advice on social media a little while back. Ruslan talked about it in his song ‘Indie Jones’. He talked about how labels wanted major shares of ownership an he decided to stay own his own so he could own his music outright. This isn’t just an issue in music, but in other areas of business as well. I want to share a couple of ideas when it comes to ownership.

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One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure | Bible and Business

We often receive hand me downs when trying to start from scratch. Many people will buy second hand from a yard sale or thrift store in order to start a small side hustle/business. This story is a great example of starting with less and creating a massive organization. Many of the best business start-ups begin in this type of situation. Start with a little and make it work. There are a few characteristics that help someone grow like this.

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Why Management Might Be A Better Path

There have been many athletes, artists, actors, and other professionals who have made their marks in history. We often see their talents and abilities but we miss the forces behind the scenes that made it possible. Behind every great artist there is great management. Sometimes it is a management team or sometimes it is a single individual. I have had the honor of interviewing many managers on my Business with Bordeaux Podcast in the last 2 years and plan on interviewing more. In this post I will be using the term “artist” as a way of referring to anyone who might work under a manager, not just a musical artist. My goal is to point out some positives of a management career which may be a better fit for you rather than building up your own career as an artist. Here are a few reasons why I think being a manager might be a better career choice.

1) Managers are able to stretch themselves easier than artists. An artist has to be concerned with their individual career and creative process. When you are a manager you can have many clients who you are able to work with. If you build the correct structure in your management business, you will be able to maintain many clients careers effectively.

2) If an artist takes a career dive, it doesn’t necessarily end the managers career. An artist can make a fatal career mistake and never be heard of again. There have been many times where an artist has a terrible accident and can no longer perform as they use to so they have to retire. Essentially their talent gets taken from them. It takes a lot more to completely take away the ability for a manager to lose their ability to perform their duties.

3) For many artists/performers, age can remove them from the market. Whether a musician, athlete, even a lot of actors get a certain amount of time before they age out of their field or before they loose the attention of their audience. People don’t get tired of managers because they are never seen. They can continue working with older and younger clients as well as training up and comers.

4) One of the most dynamic parts of management for me is the idea that a manager’s job is to elevate someone other than themselves. The whole job is to help market and grow another person’s career. Though some can abuse this relationship, all of the people I have interviewed has a heart of helping. I do notice that some of the individuals I have interviewed who are artists don’t like promoting because it is drawing attention to themselves and their music. They have great hearts but a dilemma since they are the ones in the spotlight.

If you have any interests in finding out more information on artist management, check out the Business with Bordeaux podcast and see if it is something you might want to start building toward.

Building An Effective Team | Bible and Business

When you look at multiple areas in the Bible you can see crowds of people with different talents and abilities. We can look to Jesus and see how he built an effective team. Jesus surrounded himself with fisherman, money handlers, a zealot, and others who did not specified occupations. Jesus was a teacher/rabbi and didn't have others who were said to also have his type of calling as a teacher. 

Jesus taught. The fishermen fished. The money handlers took care of the finances. The others helped in various ways. I just recently heard from a pastor that it is wise to find those who don't have identical strengths as ourselves or there can be conflict on who does what job. If there is a group of ministers trying to start a church, they may all want to preach all the time. You need to have someone who has organizational skills, those who handle finances, those who serves hands on with people. Imagine if Jesus just picked a bunch of teachers to build his ministry. That would not have been a well balanced group of people to have a traveling ministry. Even though I believe Jesus could have had a successful ministry with anyone, I think he handpicked this type of group to be an example for us. He also brought along a thief. I think Judas and Peter are two examples to show that powerful organizations and ministries can be built with all kinds of imperfect people as well. 

I am not sure if Jesus had any friends before his ministry. The Bible does not specify this. I do think it can be a mistake if you build an organization around your best friends. Often friends have similar interests and strengths. When you have all the same strengths and all the same weaknesses you are more than likely to hit several roadblocks that can bring on many problems within your business. If you have a leadership team who all specialize in finances and you don't have a visionary, a person to build strategic plans, people to execute the plans, you do not have a well balanced machine. It is also important to remember that every part of a well ran machine needs all the different parts for it to run effectively. Do not look at any one part as more important than the others. Even Jesus washed his disciples feet and took the hits from those who critiqued their ministry. He continually held his people up and protected them as a servant leader. 

If you try to start a music label filled with all artists it will likely not go far because everyone is trying to be creative and build an audience. You need to have a website team, a sales team, marketing team, etc. When I hear of a few aspiring artists trying to build a label I can already see their lack of diversity in talents and abilities becoming a problem from the start. So for anyone who wants to create anything important be sure to have a strong team around you of diverse talents and abilities. 

 

Maximizing Your Talents | Bible and Business |

Even though we might be all loved equally by God, he doesn't give us the same amount of gifts or talents. This is shown in scriptures a few times. One area where we can pull from that might help us in the business mindset is Matthew 25: 14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money." 

In this parable we see these servants receive talents, or money, according to their 'ability.' We might be the person who is only ready for the two talents or even the one talent. We can often become discontent because we weren't the person getting five talents. No matter the number of talents, resources, or skills you have, you need to be giving it your best. Do not let jealousy take over when you see someone get started with more than what you did. This can also be true in any workplace. When a manager gives you any kind of task make sure you are doing your best to fulfill that task with excellence. Do not match your work ethic to the level you view the job. If you feel the job is simple, give it your absolute best. This is how you progress to higher levels of responsibilities or promotion.

We all live in different economic conditions and grow up in different kinds of families. This can lead into the comparison trap. We might be tempted to look at others and compare ourselves to them. God doesn't want us to compare ourselves or our success to others. We don't always know the full circumstances of others so our metric for comparison more than likely will not line up. Without comparing, you can watch those who are further along than you and learn from them. We should always have a mentor who is where we want to be. This takes a level of humility that we are not used to in American culture today. If you look back in scriptures, the disciples studied under Jesus, Timothy studied under Paul,  Elisha studied under Elijah, etc. We have to make sure we are not just criticizing those who are at a higher level than us, but try to learn from them. That can help give you direction on how to take your talents and gifts to the next level.

At the end of the day, find out what your talent is, work it to the best of your ability, and learn from others who can help guide you into success. 

Make Due With What You Have

As a Christian, I am a huge fan of applying biblical principles to business. There is a very great principle that many have heard and it is being a good steward of what you are given. Making due with what you have. This applies to our personal lives and our side hustle/business. No matter what we have, we are to manage it the best way we can. I wrote an article a while back that focused on being grateful for what we have. There are times when we see what others have and think about what we would do if we had it. The main focus is to take what we have and make the best out of it.

When we read the parable of talents there is usually a focus on talents being money. Talents are also a representative of actual talents, skills, resources, and anything else we are in charge of. I think one of the most important things to remember is that God has given us talents to manage. When we are wishing that we had other people's "talents", we are not being thankful for what we have. There is also the mindset of proving we are ready to manage more by managing what we already have responsibly. A lot of times people have to be amazed with what you can do with something small in order to trust you with more. If you do what everybody else can do then there is no reason for you to manage more "talents." 

Another thing to keep in mind is mastering the management of something at a small level before you get into a higher level of responsibility. When you think of managing investments, it is better for someone to handle a smaller account so the risk of failure isn't as big as a multi-milion dollar account. There is going to be failure in everyone's venture at some point or another. It is better for this to occur at an early point in your journey rather than at a major point in your future career. So make sure while you are at the level you are currently in, you make due with what you have.

A Ten Dollar Roadblock

This past week on the Business with Bordeaux Podcast I had special guest Kelly Cole on to share a ton of wisdom including a lesson he taught his son about a ten dollar roadblock. Kelly Cole has invested a lot of time and money into his son's music career. They have worked hard in making music, performing, and getting music out there. One day Aaron told his father that rapper, Da T.R.U.T.H was holding a contest and he wanted to enter and his father told him to go ahead and do it. A few days later Kelly asked Aaron how it went and Aaron responded by saying he didn't submit anything because he didn't have ten dollars to pre-order the album which was one of the prerequisites for entering the contest. Kelly then had a discussion about not letting something as small as a ten dollar obstacle stop him from achieving his goal. 

I feel like many times we have a small ten dollar obstacle that we let stop us from progressing to the next step. It can be triggered by fear. There is fear of the next step, fear of the unknown, and for some there can be a fear of winning. We should always be ready to face the ten dollar obstacle. Don't push so hard for a little stumbling block to hold you back. It is perfectly fine to ask for a little help every now and then. Many would be happy to help you with a stumbling block. Some people have pushed through so many roadblocks that when they encounter a small one they finally just quit. You have to remember this, if it were easy, everyone would do it. 

The Power of Customer Service

Every business, no matter what sector it is in, has one area of importance in common. That area is customer service. Anytime I go to a store, restaurant, or use a service I always want to have a great customer service experience. That will usually dictate whether or not I come back to that business in the future. There are a couple of reasons why customer service needs to be a main focus in your business.

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Don't Wait, Live Out Your Calling Now

I believe that everyone here on earth has a calling of some sort. I also believe that some people find it early in life while others spend their whole life searching for it. This week I would like to address those of you who know what you are called to do. I specifically want to address those who are waiting for the perfect opportunity to live out their calling.

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The Important Launch

As many of you may know, I have started an Anchor channel this week. This is another platform for doing audio content like podcasts, interviews, etc. When I started playing around with this app, I let a friend know about it who I thought would get some great use out of it. This individual has a community of supporters who were able to help him launch his station. Having that community allowed for him to chart high on his launch. There are two important factors when preparing for a launch.

  1. The first step is making sure you have a launch team ready. This consist of people who will give you accurate and honest feedback on your content leading up to the launch. They can make suggestions on particular things that would improve the overall content. The most important thing is having a lot of people promoting the content once it is released. This will help download numbers and exposure to a new audience/consumer base.
  2. The second important thing is making sure the content is top notch. You want to make sure you are putting out the best representation of yourself and your content. To do this, you want to carefully prepare your content for a first time listener. They say first impressions lasts a lifetime. This is also true for your business or creative content.

With saying that, I do want to make another important point. You don't have to perfect your content because you may never feel like it is ready to be introduced into the world. If you are waiting for your content to be perfected, you may never release it. Make sure you don't do that. Set a launch date and make sure you are working as hard as you can before that launch date. Your launch team will be able to help you with that journey.

What Is Your Passion Worth?

Follow your passions. Follow your dreams. Do what makes you happy. These are all common phrases we hear when we talk with others about our future plans and careers. I have heard discussions from several viewpoints regarding these kinds of statements. There are a few things that you can not forget though. Doing something that you are passionate about does not mean that anyone will pay you for it. There has to be a demand for what it is you are wanting to do. Especially if you plan on making a living doing it. When I say demand, I mean people who support financially, not just vocally.

One of my biggest podcasts includes podcasting. I have two that I am a host of. I love doing them and will continue to do them whether or not I get paid full-time or not. Many people pray for me that I will be able to sustain a living doing what I do now, but I know there has to be people who value it enough to exchange monetary value for intellectual/entertainment value. I started both podcasts understanding that. Even though those are my passions, I do not look for them to pay my bills. I will continue to find ways to monetize those ventures of mine as long as I do them. That would be a dream to be able to do those for a living. I do understand that dreams alone do not pay bills.

I will probably get a lot of pushback on this topic I know. I don't say this as a lack of faith or anything. It is just a fact of understanding the market. If you have a dream of something you would like to do full-time, you need to understand how to monetize that passion. I will not put my passion over my family. My family is my first passion. I have a responsibility to make sure their needs are met with God's grace and help. Please be sure you are taking care of your responsibilities before chasing your dreams.

The Blessing Of A Part Time Business

I've been seeing a lot of people talking about running their businesses full-time and making a living off of it. I think both angles have their merits. I wanted to talk about both of them briefly in this weeks blog. When people get started in a business, it usually starts as a side hustle. This is something they do in their spare time because they enjoy doing it. For some people it involves making music/art. For others it is mowing lawns, fixing cars, or working on other things that they enjoy. After an individual find a way to get paid for what they enjoy, they might think about how they can do this to pay their bills. In all honesty, this is where I see people go from doing something they enjoy to it becoming a stress.

When you are dependent on making a living from being self-employed, you add a layer of duty and responsibility to the thing you used to do just for fun. At that point you may stop having as much fun as you used to. You then have to focus on how to market it, sell it, decreasing the cost in order to make better profit, etc. When you do something for fun there isn't as much stress on the cost because you are not 'required' to do it. When it is paying your bills you have to focus on so much more than just having fun. This can be a downer for some folks. When I interviewed Aaron Simpkins on the Business with Bordeaux podcast, he told me that his goal was to be able to run True Strength Apparel part time and have another part time job to help pay bills. I didn't fully understand that then, but I do see now why he feels that way. He wants to enjoy having more freedom in running True Strength Apparel than just finding the best way to profit in order to feed his family. Ryan Moore from Trackstarz also shared his story of running Trackstarz full-time. There was so much stress involved with trying to worry about personal finances and also worrying about the finances of the company. Sometimes it can be just too overwhelming.

There are some great advantages to running your own company full-time and paying bills from it. I have interviewed many entrepreneurs who have made it work. At the same time, I don't think it is for everyone. It is perfectly fine to have a small business that you run part-time. It is less stressful and allows for more freedom in many cases. The big question is, what is best for you?

Focusing On Your Goals

This week on the Business with Bordeaux Podcast, I talked with Maya Dawson from Trackstarz Music. Maya is a project manager and in charge of A&R. During our conversation she mentions a recurring theme around the different ideas that came up during the creation and release of the "Wonder Years" project by Sean David Grant. One of the first things that Maya talked about during the interview was the overall goals for the album. Once that was determined, everything that followed needed to align with those goals. This keeps a project or task pointed in the right direction.

The biggest reason this can be a problem is that we often have so many great ideas. I learned early in my time in leadership that not every great idea is meant for now. Another thing that I would find myself doing is trying to make my idea look like it was helping achieve the overall goal that had been set. This is something I have been guilty of so many times and it hindered the achievement of reaching the goal in the allotted time frame. It is a hard thing for some people to pay attention to. This begs the question, "Why is this such an important idea in business?"

Many businesses have some basic business goals that they are trying to meet. These are common goals such as completing the mission, turning a profit, customer satisfaction, etc. Once these goals are met, usually growth and expansion is the next approach. This is where some companies begin to stray away from their main goals. This happens because there are smaller goals that are set to try and expand and those smaller goals could accidentally override the bigger goals. When goals start to go off course just a little, down the road it can cause a huge change of direction. This is why it is important to always make sure any action taken place is in alignment with the overall goal of the business. Having a team is a great way to help with this. When you have a team of individuals who understand the company's goals, they can help keep everything on track. Having a project manager also increases the likelihood of staying on track with everything as well. Whatever you do, make sure you are in line with your goals and mission in all the decisions that you make. Even if that means holding off on your great ideas for a later time.

Thanks for reading this weeks Business with Bordeaux blog. For all of my blog posting, podcasts, and small business news, you can visit businesswithbordeaux.com.

Thanks and God Bless