Do You Need A Record Deal To Make A Career As A Musician?

For a lot of aspiring young artists, there’s one thing that they see as the light at the end of the tunnel, the gold at the end of the rainbow, the ultimate goal: the record deal. For a lot of artists, the aim is to keep building up your following until you can get the attention of a major label and get signed. The idea is that you will then have the kind of power behind you that can propel you from an up-and-coming artist to a household name. For a long time, this is exactly how things worked. You worked at the low level until you got picked up by a label and you were then skyrocketed to fame thanks to the kind of money and experience that they brought to the table. But is that they way things are now? There’s a very good argument to be made that it’s not. There are a lot of different factors that go into it, but labels may not have nearly as much power as they used to. Here are just a few reasons why you might actually be better of without a record deal.

 

You don’t have to deal with contracts

 

Just about everyone feels nervous about signing contracts, no one moreso than an artist. When you sign a record contract, you’re giving away a lot of power to the label in terms of the music that you make and the way that you present yourself. In an ideal world, a record label would simply put up the money and support that you need while leaving you in total creative control. However, that’s not always the case. Instead, many record labels use complex contracts to back artists into a corner and manipulate them into doing what they want. By staying unsigned, you retain total freedom over the music that you want to make.

 

You can still make your mark without one

 

Needing a record label to get your music out there used to make a lot of sense, after all the only way to get your music heard was for it to be on the radio or on TV and most of the time radio DJs weren’t going to play music by anyone other than major label artists. These days unsigned artists have dozens of different avenues through which they can expose people to their music. Sites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp allow you to put your music online for anyone to see. Plus you can often find some of the top open mic nights to actually get your music out to people as directly as possible. Being able to build a following from the ground up is something that many artists weren’t able to do before but now, thanks to the internet, it’s surprisingly easy to build up a dedicated audience.

 

It isn’t the best way to make money

 

When you’re signed to a major label, that may mean that more people are buying your music, but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to end up seeing very much of that money. By the time everyone from record executives to marketing departments have taken their cut, artists are actually left with a very small percentage of their sales. By choosing to do things on your own, you get to keep a much larger cut of the money that you earn. Sure you’ll probably have to invest a lot of it back into the music itself for things like posters and studio time, but at least you get to choose where the money you make actually goes.

 

The reality is that the modern world has created an environment in which there really is no right way to “succeed” when it comes to making your own music. You just have to find the path that’s right for you and be willing to put the work in every time.

 

Beware These Common Causes Of Business Burnout

Chances are, you might be feeling the signs of burnout already. Many business owners do according to the survey discussed in this article

 

Because of the time and energy that is needed to encourage business growth, many entrepreneurs push themselves to the point of exhaustion to make a profit and to avoid business failure, but that can be to their detriment. When their health starts failing, the health of their businesses do, and sadly, this can then lead to what they hoped to avoid in the first place – business closure. 

 

If you’re regularly feeling tired and if you have passed your threshold for stress, then you might be on the road to burnout. Our advice? Take a break, for the sake of both yourself and your business.

 

If you aren’t suffering from burnout yet, then it’s important to know the dangers. Below are two of the common causes for entrepreneurial burnout, and if you can take steps to avoid them, then you won’t have to suffer the consequences later. 



The common causes of business burnout



#1: Taking on too many responsibilities

 

Overtime is common in business. With ever-increasing to-do lists, many business owners are forced to go beyond their expected work hours in a bid to get everything done. The upshot of this? Feelings of tiredness, a poor work-life balance, and a fast-track on the road to burnout.

 

To avoid late nights in the office, you should delegate some of your tasks to your employees. You might also outsource some of those responsibilities that you shouldn’t be dealing with anyway, such as those jobs that are better suited to HR, including those tasks relating to payroll and employee benefits. By cutting down your to-do list, you will have more time to complete those tasks that should be of greater priority for you, and consequently, you will then have less need to spend longer than you should in the office.



#2: Skipping a healthy lifestyle

 

In order to start work early, you might skip breakfast and avoid exercise. If you have a lot to do during the day, you might also take fewer breaks than you should and skip lunch. When your energy levels then start to drop, you might take the wrong approach to keep yourself awake, perhaps by overloading yourself with caffeine and eating sugary snacks. While this is okay in the short-term, your body will eventually crash, and you will start to feel sluggish. The upshot of all this? Your productivity levels will drop because of the tiredness you will start to feel, and you will then be forced to work overtime. Your health will also start to diminish because of your unhealthy lifestyle, and this will make you more prone to stress, anxiety, and the other signs of burnout.

 

So, to avoid this issue, take steps to manage your health needs during the day. Get up a little earlier and take part in some sort of exercise. Make time for a healthy breakfast. Take breaks during the day, and eat something for nutritious for lunch. By doing so, you will notice your productivity levels start to rise, as both your mind and body will be refreshed and energized by your healthier lifestyle. The upshot of this? Less need to spend time working overtime, and a healthier you!




Despite your busy lifestyle, burnout doesn’t have to affect you. Take note of our suggestions, as by doing so, you will improve the health of both yourself and your business.

 

Take care, and thanks for reading!

Are These The Reasons Why You’re Struggling To Get Promoted?

Are you currently stagnating on the career ladder?

 

Do you dream of bigger and better things? 

 

Are you ready to move up within your company?

 

If so, then promotion might be at the forefront of your mind. But if you’re not getting promoted? Then you need to consider the reasons why, because you won’t move far if you don’t get to the root cause of the problem. 

 

Here are a few of the reasons why you might not have landed that promotion you have been so desperate for. 



#1: There are hidden issues within the company you are working for

 

After being turned down for a promotion, you might take it personally. You might assume that your boss doesn’t like you, or you might think that you just don’t have what it takes. Both things might be true, but there might be issues within the company you are working for that you haven’t been made privy to. Especially if your boss is struggling to achieve business growth, he might not have the financial means to give you a higher-paid position. He might also see little point in promoting you if he knows the company is one step away from business failure. 

 

So, look out for those signs that indicate there are hidden issues within the company, including financial cutbacks, temperamental moods within your boss, and reductions in staffing. It might be that you consider employment elsewhere if you do spot signs of trouble, as your next step on the career ladder could be within another company.

 

#2: You can’t climb any further

 

It might be that you have already climbed as far as you can go within your company. Career advancement isn’t always possible in one place, especially within smaller businesses, so you might want to look elsewhere for better career opportunities. 

 

And if working for a larger company, you might struggle if you have already risen the ranks towards leadership. If management positions have already been filled, then you aren’t going to move forward anytime soon. While you could hang around hoping that a position will one day become vacant, you might want to consider looking for senior executive jobs elsewhere. Especially if you already have what it takes to move into any higher position, other companies might snap you up if you can showcase your credentials to them.

 

#3: You don’t deserve a promotion

 

Sure, you could complain about your boss, telling all and sundry that he is blocking your chances of promotion. But what if you are to blame? To get a promotion you need to earn the position, and if you have done little to work for it, then it’s understandable that your boss would overlook you. 

 

Think about yourself then. 

 

Do you have the training required for a higher position? If not, ask your boss for training opportunities or take the initiative to find them on your own. 

 

Is your work reflective of a better-paid position? If you regularly cut corners at work, and if you make mistakes in what you are doing, then your boss is hardly likely to promote you into a position with greater responsibilities.

 

Do you behave well at work? Or do you turn up late, gossip with your colleagues, and take longer breaks than you should? If you are guilty of any of these things, then it’s no surprise that you haven’t been gifted with a promotion.

 

To earn a promotion, you need to take the necessary steps to earn it. If you don’t, you will be forever hanging around on the bottom rungs of the career ladder.

 

#4: Your boss doesn’t know you want to get promoted

 

You can’t get mad at your boss if he has little idea about your desire for a new position. It might be that he has been too busy to notice the good work you have put in, or he might have assumed you were happy in your current position. Sometimes, you need to toot your own horn and put yourself on your bosses radar.

 

So, do one of two things. Firstly, wait until your annual review, and then speak to your boss about your goals. Or if your annual review is months away, and you know promotion opportunities are available, arrange a meeting with your boss and let him know about your ambitions. 

 

If, after asking your boss for a promotion, he tells you no, remember our suggestion earlier, and try not to take it personally. There might be reasons behind his decision that have nothing to do with you. Still, it is worth asking him why he said no, as he might be able to give you a few pointers on what you need to do to earn the promotion you have asked for. 

 

#5: You have a bad boss

 

Sorry to say it, but if you aren’t getting a promotion, then it might be to do with the attitude of your boss.

 

It might be that he is afraid of his own position, so especially where leadership positions are concerned, he might be unwilling to let anybody else rise the ranks. 

 

It might also be that your boss doesn’t want to pay you a higher salary. While this makes sense if the company can’t afford it, it might simply be the case that your boss doesn’t value his employees enough to pay them what they deserve. 

 

Your boss might also have problems with you, and while you might be at fault in some way, it could be that he has a judgemental attitude because of your gender, race, age, or some other discriminatory factor. If this appears true, then you have the right to seek legal help. Your boss is breaking the law, and you might be owed compensation for the actions he has taken to block your progression. 

 

Ultimately, it might be in your best interest to look for work elsewhere. A bad boss is intolerable at the best of times, but especially if you’re struggling to get promoted because of his attitudes, it probably isn’t worth your time remaining under their employ for much longer. 




Thanks for reading!



Don’t Let Stress Crush Your Interview Chances

Under pressure, the brain is forced to prioritize. As a result, working under pressure can help you to perform, as it focuses your attention on the elements that matter the most. However, when the pressure is too much, it turns into stress. Stress is an unhealthy kind of pressure. Instead of helping you to move forward efficiently, it sabotages you. Stress can be handicapping, even to the most experienced professionals. While there are plenty of handy tips to relax, you need to be in a situation where you can take the time to collect your nerves. A job interview, for instance, is none one of those. How do you manage stress during the interview process to brand yourself as the most suitable candidate?

 

Make sure someone has got your back

You might be a newcomer in the company, but it doesn’t mean you can have allies. Indeed, you can build a network of trusted professionals and partners throughout your field, who can support your expertise. Indeed, recruiters and interviewers are more likely to have a positive impression of you if they’ve heard your name mentioned before. You can leverage your professional LinkedIn connections to boost your visibility for new job openings. Additionally, your contacts can provide insightful information when you’re in the process of applying to a new company. 



Get help to nail your interview

Interviewing is not just a painful process that acts as an excuse to showcase your skills. It is a sophisticated art you can master with adequate interview coaching. Indeed, maintaining a professional and confident attitude when you’re trying to manage your stress is difficult. However, with the appropriate training, you can learn to create a positive interview persona that can not only provide the most relevant responses but also use smart communication tips. There’s nothing worse than stumbling upon your words in the middle of a sentence! But knowing how to behave during the interview process can provide you with an inside track to the interviewer. 



Get familiar with the company

Can you genuinely give a brilliant interview if you don’t know the business? The answer is no. Researching employers is a simple tip, but candidates too easily forget it. Think of it as a preparation before you take the stage during the interview. Research helps you to understand your audience and tailor your responses and application to suit the skills and experience they need. Reading about the key players in the organization can also help you to relax as you get to meet them. Their social media presence and biography can be a valuable source of information. 



Embrace positive and reassuring gestures

Lastly, your mind and your body work together to manage stress. If you can’t reason with your mind, you can proactively adjust positive gestures that will send a soothing message to the brain. Smiling, for instance, can help to release serotonin and decrease stress level. Adopting a friendly posture such as offering your hand first to welcome your interviewer, can also encourage you to feel more self-confident.

 

Stress plays on your self-esteem and your ability to impress. But only if you let it. As a professional, you can create a positive personal brand for yourself through coaching, research, network, and soothing gestures.

How You Can Build Great Relationships With Your Customers

The best way to make good and reliable money in business is to have excellent relationships with your customers. Repeat customers are what will stop many companies from going out of business – so here are some tips on how you can build great relationships with your clients and customers.

 

Focus On Retaining Customers

Firstly, you need to focus on keeping your customers. Getting new business is always great and should, of course, be an aim of yours at all times, but retaining your customers is an extremely easy and time-efficient way of making money. First of all, make sure that you pay attention to your customers. Use a CRM to figure out what they like, what emails they click on, what they enjoy, and what ways are best to reach them. When you make a marketing plan, ensure that repeat customers are a high priority on there – if you provided them with a great service before, they have a good chance of returning to you, so consider that the start of your relationship with them rather than a one-time transaction.

 

Improve Your Security Measures

One of the most important things for customers nowadays is that they feel secure with you. If a lot of your business is done online, chances are, your customers have to input a lot of personal data, including financial details such as their card number. That means that you need to be extraordinarily careful when you are building your site: your customers’ privacy and safety should be absolutely key. Companies like CyberSecurity service will help you protect your customers from hackers and malware.

 

Learn To Communicate With Them

Learning to communicate with your customers is a delicate art. Too much, and they will grow tired of you and hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button on your emails. Too little, and you may not be at the top of their minds when they come to make a new purchase. Make sure that you analyse the data from each email that you send out so that you can make the most of each of those messages. And in those messages, make sure that you create a powerful company voice that fits the product or service that you are providing. Communications should be clear but friendly.

 

Make Sure You Exceed Expectations

You should make sure that you are constantly working on exceeding your customers’ expectations and over-delivering on the promises that you are making to them. If you impress and surprise them, they will keep coming back to you in the hopes that you will continue to be a company that brings them joy and excitement. This doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – companies like Glossier build a brand identity that customers love by sending out their products with stickers and pink bubble wrap bags, for example.

 

Ask For Feedback

Inviting feedback is the best way to know you can improve. After all, you won’t know what issues your customers have with you until they tell you. Use that feedback, even though it may be unpleasant, to improve your business for future customers, and demonstrate to older customers that you have developed and improved.

 

Making your customers feel safe and happy and that their opinions are important is the best way to keep them coming back for more.

Don’t Fall For These Myths When Starting A Business At Home

Are you considering starting a home-based business? 

 

We wish you success if so, whether you are beginning something as a side-hustle to boost your income, or be it a full-time endeavor that might one day grow into something that grants you a small fortune. 

 

However, to ensure your chances of success with your home business, there are a few myths that we need to bring to your attention. Take a look below, and guard yourself against them on your entrepreneurial endeavors.



Myth #1: You will have more free time

 

Not having to work the 9-5 hours of a regular job, and with no commute to consider, you might well fall for this myth. However, the truth is a little different. While you can set your own schedule, you might still find yourself with less time than you thought. You see, not only will you have the core tasks of your business to manage, but your to-do list will also consist of marketing, accounting, and a range of other responsibilities that come with running a business.

 

Now, you can free up some of your time. As we discussed here, https://thecareerintrovert.com/, there are some tasks that you can and perhaps should outsource. You might also consider taking on an employee part-time. However, you might still have to suffer the occasional long nights and early mornings if you want to grow your business, so never assume that running your own business is one way to reclaim more free time in your life.



Myth #2: You have nobody to answer to but yourself

 

Okay, so when running your own business, you don’t have an employer. However, don’t assume you aren’t answerable to anybody. In many ways, you have more people to answer to than as a regular employee, and these include your customers, clients, and your investors. If you don’t put the work in, perhaps on days when you just can’t be bothered to lift yourself off the sofa, you might incur the frustration of those people we mentioned.

 

You should take time off when you need to, of course. You don’t want to burn yourself out. But don’t underestimate the people who depend on your business. With deadlines to meet and queries to reply too, you need to treat these people with the respect they deserve, as they might eventually lose trust in you if you don’t.



Myth #3: Hackers don’t care about home-based businesses

 

Okay, so hackers do attack big businesses on a regular basis. Sony, Yahoo, and Target are just a few of the larger businesses that have been targetted in recent years. And after hearing about such hacking attempts, you might assume that your business is safe. After all, what would anybody have to gain by attacking little old you? 

 

Here’s the thing about hackers; everybody is their target. While they have more to gain financially when attacking larger companies, it is important to know that small businesses do  get hacked too. As discussed at https://www.businessnewsdaily.com, hackers will attack smaller businesses because they have less security than larger enterprises. Not only will they attempt to steal your financial information, but they will steal that of your customers too. Hackers might also attempt to blackmail you once they have gained access to your computer systems. 

 

To protect yourself, you should work with an established IT consulting firm. With the services offered by https://www.lylab.net/services-solutions/, as an example, you will be able to safeguard your computer systems. You should also use your common sense, so be sure to password everything with hard-to-decipher codes, and update your antivirus packages on a regular basis. These preemptive measures will make life much harder for any prospective hackers. 




So, don’t fall for these common myths. By understanding them now, you will safeguard your business, and be prepared for the steps you need to take to ensure success.

 

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your business!

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Lifestyle Creep

Getting that promotion or raise that you’ve been actively working for is nothing short of rewarding. For many, the extra income can be the most exciting part, especially if you can finally afford to buy a new car, take a well-earned vacation, or even simply order takeout a little (or a lot) more often. 

 

Although additional earnings could hardly seem like a bad thing at first glance, there’s danger in increasing your spending with your boost in income. Called lifestyle creep, the phenomenon of spending more as you earn more often happens with greater frequency until expenses that were once considered to be luxuries begin to feel absolutely necessary. Between retail therapy and trying to impress peers, that extra income can quickly disappear, leaving you back where you started or even worse off. To avoid the dangers of lifestyle creep, setting monthly financial goals, automatically transferring your raise to a savings account, and learning to treat yourself carefully can keep things from getting out of control.


To determine whether you’re in danger of lifestyle creep and for more tips on how to combat its negative effects, see the infographic from Intuit Turbo below.

 

Attribution to https://turbo.intuit.com

Are You In Danger of Lifestyle Creep?

Career Talk: Purchasing For The Military

There are so many different careers out there today. You can find something that is perfectly suited to you and your personality. If you have always wanted to be part of the military, yet the physical side really is not for you, have you thought about getting involved in the purchasing side of things? Acquiring the right military equipment is of huge importance, so you would still have a very critical role to play. With that being said, read on to discover more about buying specialist equipment and how to choose the best tactical equipment so you can determine whether or not this is the right solution for you.

A huge assortment of military and defense equipment available today; you could specialize in a certain purchasing area 

 

The vast array of specialist equipment available in the military at the moment is quite simply mind-blowing. Norwich University offers history courses into this, which can be extremely insightful. Military and defence personnel need to make sure that they are better equipped, more aware and tactically astute than they ever have been. One area of equipment which is extremely important is that relating to optical sights. After all, when in battle vision can be impaired at the best of times due to the tricky environments and surroundings. Therefore specialist equipment is needed in order to give individuals as much awareness as possible. 

 

When buying optical sights equipment and devices for your career, you will be met with a vast array of different choices. This is good because it means you can find something specific to your needs. Nevertheless, with such importance riding on the decision you make, it can often be hard to make a choice regarding what type of equipment to go for. Thus, utilize the thinking points below to help you make up your mind…

 

Why do you need the equipment?

Ok, it’s obvious that you need the equipment so that you and your team can see better, but what is its primary purpose? For instance, you may require optical equipment to help you see in the dark; moreover, you may need it for more precision when it comes to shooting. Nowadays you can get a lot of devices which incorporate a vast array of different sight possibilities and thus these multi-feature devices are usually recommended. Nevertheless, it is worth talking to the supplier in order to get a thorough opinion regarding the optical sights solutions needed.

 

Is the product supplier a reputable one?

The supply of military equipment is something which is highly specialized and thus should only be handled by the very best. You need to ensure the company you opt for boasts a good reputation and that they have many years of experience in the industry. After all, you do not want to go for a company which has just started out, because you have no guarantees that the supplies they provide are of a high quality. And, when it comes to military goods there really is no room to take any risks.

 

Is the equipment easy and compact?

This is something which is highly important but can often be overlooked. When in action, military personnel do not have the time to waste on complex equipment; therefore ease of use is pivotal and can actually have a direct influence on safety levels. In addition to this, bulky equipment is highly inadvisable because it will only make the individuals’ task at hand a lot more difficult. Think of everything that they have to carry already; adding more weight and bulkiness will be a massive disadvantage. 

 

Does the equipment work in all conditions?

You need optical sights devices which will work no matter what conditions are taking place; from terrible weather to low lighting. After all, these natural factors cannot be controlled, and individuals would find themselves in a lot of trouble if they were under attack only to find that their equipment had been damaged or become inoperable because of the conditions.

 

All in all, if you consider the four points mentioned in this article then you should be able to find the best optical sights solution for your military needs. This is just one area of purchasing for those who want to get involved in military purchasing. 

 

5 Business Tasks You Should Outsource

Outsourcing involves paying another company to handle a business task for you. This could help to save you time by not having to do the task yourself and it could be a lot cheaper than hiring in-house staff to take over the task. Pretty much any task can be outsourced nowadays from answering phone calls to organising business trips. Here are some of the most beneficial tasks to outsource.

 

Bookkeeping

 

It’s important that taxes are calculated properly and paid on time. Many people find this task time-consuming and complicated. Outsourcing an accountant such as Warren Averett to handle this task can prevent you having to do this task yourself and can ensure that your records are accurate. You can also hire people to help with other aspects of your finances such as doing your payroll or handling suppliers.

 

IT support

 

Most modern businesses are reliant on IT. When tech problems occur, having an IT consultancy firm on call such as Genesys IT solutions can be worthwhile, saving you the cost and time of having to call out a technician. IT consultants can also be useful for recommending the most suitable software as well as helping to keep your business digitally secure. It can work out a lot cheaper than hiring full-time in-house IT staff.

 

Legal support

 

Businesses must adhere to a range of laws. Outsourcing a business law firm such as Peters & Peters for support can save you the headache of having to do your own legal research. Business solicitors can also help support you when making claims, as well as helping to defend you against claims made by others. Some legal firms may even be able to able with tasks like writing contracts, changing to a limited company and setting up trademarks.

 

Web design

 

It’s possible to design your own website online for free with no coding knowledge. However, such websites tend to be basic and may have a negative impact in your professionalism. You’re much better off outsourcing a professional web design company such as Moodey IT to build a website for you. On top of being able to build a website exactly to your specifications, you’ll save time by not doing the design yourself.

 

Marketing

 

There are many marketing tasks that you can do yourself from printing off your own flyers to handling your own social media marketing, however outsourcing a marketing company could save you time and ensure that your marketing is being done effectively. Certain marketing tasks like SEO and events planning can be particularly complex and can benefit a lot from outsourcing outside help. There are companies out there such as Cariad Marketing that can handle a variety of tasks and there are more specialist companies that may focus on more niche areas or specific tasks.

 

Lessons from street photographers

There’s no question that possessing the technical, on-paper skills and training necessary to do your job is vital, and usually what lands you an interview in the first place. A dentist must know how to fill a cavity, the same way a designer should know how to use illustrator and Photoshop. However, employers and consumers equally seek out those who carry a strong set of soft skills as well. Soft skills are skills such as creative thinking, work ethic, communication, and emotional intelligence, and they play an equally indelible role in how we succeed in both our personal and professional careers. 

Because there is a lack of training for soft skills, it’s important to sharpen yours wherever possible, especially for the more introverted workers. One way to do so is to look to those in more creative fields. Invaluable created a neat visual that explains all the non-technical skills we can adopt from street photographers. Things like relying on intuition and connecting with their subjects are characteristics that not only make them good photographers, but stellar storytellers and communicators. Check out the visual below, and see how you can work on your soft skills throughout your career.