10,000 Hours of Artist Management in Less Than 3 Minutes

Author: Andre Mullen - 2.5min Read

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“10,000-hour rule”: Author Malcolm Gladwell’s assertion that the key to achieving true expertise in any skill is simply a matter of practicing, albeit accurately, for at least 10,000 hours.

In most industries, that amount of time requires training of some sort, followed by the awarding of certification.

However, I know that in my work as an artist manager, I invested and devoted more than 10,000 hours to helping my clients.

While most of my time was rewarding, there were times when I felt that my back was against the wall, obstacles felt huge, and time seemed to extremely be limited.

It was in those moments I learned about two of the most important aspects of my business – relationships and personal management.

Here are two important things that I learned in more than 10,000 hours:

1. Look at relationships as a long-term investment instead of a short-term opportunity

I see a lot of artist managers who connect with people in the music industry as their connection in moving their clients forward.

“Connections” do not become “relationships” until trust and credibility are established.

Trust takes years to build while credibility takes moments to establish.

Instead, build a rapport with the connection – get to know who they are. Have a conversation that is more of understanding them as a person vs. what they can do. This builds trust.

As your relationship grows, find out what they need while expecting nothing other than to help genuinely. Questions like, “How can I help?” and “What do you need?” go a long way.

It is these relationships that often open doors that are unexpected and life-changing.

I know, for me, one of the worse feelings in the world is losing something and looking for it in clutter.

As a manager, you are managing the career of an artist. You are responsible for moving his/her career from Point A to B and onward.

You need to have your system for managing your client. You should be familiar with basics such as:

  1. Excel (spreadsheets)
  2. Google Drive, Dropbox (file management)
  3. DocuSign (digitally signing documents)
“Connect to build and organize to manage and grow”

With that said, here’s a simple outlook that I adopted to grow as a manager:

1. Connect authentically

Connecting authentically breeds trust.

Authenticity in any relationship is the lifeblood of the relationship.

We all subconsciously connect with people who bring value to us as a person. Make it your business to bring value to people with whom you connect.

2. Connect intentionally

Connecting intentionally breeds credibility.

You’ve heard the saying that “your netWORK becomes your netWORTH”?

When you connect, connect with cultivation in mind. Connections should be cultivated into relationships.

I have plenty of people that I have connected with that have developed great friendships without conducting a single piece of business for years.

These same people have directed me to someone else who I in turn did large transactions with.

3. Manage intentionally

Do everything on purpose with purpose.

As an artist manager, serve your client with the best intention and motive.

You are a resource for your client. Be the resource that your client needs for you both to win. Whatever you don’t know, get to know.

NOT knowing is NOT acceptable.

4. Manage effectively

Work smart, not hard.

Hard work happens in spurts while smart work is organized and managed. This is effective work for your client.

It took me more than 10,000 hours to learn this. I hope I could collapse time frames for you into less than 3 minutes and change your thinking.

See you again next week.

Whenever you’re ready, here are two ways I can help you:

  1. Let’s set up a Strategy Call, talk about your business, and see how I can help you.
  2. Work with me 1:1 to grow your brand or business.

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