USE YOUR MISSING KNOWLEDGE AS AN OPPORTUNITY
When I first founded 321 Artists and had the ambition of wanting to educate and support emerging artists, someone asked me “What skills and experience do you have to justify being able to do that?” and it’s something I’ve often come back to.
Initially it hurt, and I sat and questioned everything I wanted to - did I know enough to do a good job? Would I be able to confidently answer questions about specific topics?
Looking back, I am so incredibly grateful for the person who asked me that question. They didn’t mean it in a malicious way, they wanted me to question what I knew, and what I didn’t know, and use it at my advantage. They knew it would rattle me, and encourage me to better myself.
As someone starting out in the music industry, whether as an artist or a manager, you’re expected to instantly know a lot. This industry is so fast paced and if you’re not moving at the same speed, you’re going to be left behind, and it’s frustration I see around me every day.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I give emerging artists is to constantly ask questions. If you don’t know something, ask. Chances are, if you’re having to ask, there are going to be people who have no idea either, and you could end up helping other people by openly asking these questions. There are so many resources and opportunities available to people starting out in the music industry which are often freely available. Spending that 15 minutes reading through an article or watching a tutorial is going to save you more time in the future once you’ve acquired that knowledge.
There is still so much as an artist manager that I don’t know. That doesn’t mean I’m not capable of doing my job, it means that there is opportunity for me to engage with and learn from new people, to expand on what I already know, and use it to benefit other people. The idea of learning more, and doing research excites me, and it’s something I try to do regularly. I’m really lucky to have a lot of people in my network from different sectors of the music industry that I could learn from, and who would be more than willing to educate me.
There have been some points where the artists I look after have asked me questions and I’ve replied with “I don’t know, but let me do some research, then I’ll let you know” and they’ve always respected and appreciated this. I’d rather admit that I’m unsure than ramble and hope the right words come out that make some kind of sense.
You’re never going to know everything, and if you feel as if you don’t know enough, that’s not a barrier, it’s an opportunity. You have the ability to learn and educate yourself, and other people around you. The people on your timeline who seem like they know exactly what they’re doing are blagging it like the rest of us. There will be things they’re really good at, and some things they have no clue about. That’s how it works.
You’re doing great.
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