Excerpt #11 from “Winning The Music Game” by Brian Allen
Artists and business people think differently, but they commonly express frustration that the other doesn’t think and act like them. All too often, this frustration and refusal to accept the differences morphs into full-blown arguments. Consider this metaphor: “Artists think in blobs and squiggles and business people think in lines and squares.”
To be effective creatively, many artists must allow their minds to wander to find and develop unique ideas. Their thinking follows a more abstract path. Rules and boundaries are structures that can cripple the creative process before it gets enough spiritual momentum to be called “inspired”.
That’s not to say that creative types aren’t or can’t be structural business thinkers as well. Go to the compilation section of any (if you can find one) CD retailer or online retailer and browse. Artists who have top-selling “greatest hits” compilations are the ones who have careers as opposed to transient success. Conversely, we have all heard the calculated results generated by creative people who are driven by the need for business success as opposed to being driven by true inspiration. These examples have perennially permeated hit radio formats and often disappear as fast as they appeared. Often, they don’t generate enough repeated success to justify a “greatest hits” collection. Yet, it always seems that there is a place for them in the world.
Business people, for the most part, must organize their thoughts and habits to be effective. They are results-driven as well, but their measure for success is money. Business is more scientific; specific, and often repeated processes and resources are used to achieve objectives. Therefore, many successful business people can be classified as structural thinkers.
So, is it realistic that a paradigm change will occur within either the artist or the business person for the sake of the other’s comfort zone? Consider that, in the business of marketing art to make a living, each type needs each other to fill in for their deficiencies and achieve their individual and collective goals. Most business people can’t write a song and many artists don’t care much about being diligent at business. As long as they respect each other’s area of expertise, agree on rules, consistently prove themselves trustworthy and are in alignment with regard to the targeted outcome of their mutual efforts, they have the components of a functional relationship.
Alone, hydrogen and oxygen are fairly boring elements with some valuable, but limited roles for usage. Together, they make water – incredibly versatile and powerful. Why fight it? Don’t be like the countless thousands of creative people who waste time and energy wondering why business people can’t think like you do. Expect it, accept it, feed it and use it, and all parties will be happier and more productive.