TPS #031: “Love Is What Managers Need”

Author: Andre Mullen - 2 min Read

Read Time: 2 minutes

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💡 Big Ideas:

1. Artist managers need love – self-care should be a priority for artist managers to prevent burnout.

2. The 3 ways artist managers can prevent burnout is by taking a break, defining success for themselves, and learning how to ask for help.

3. Artist managers have mental health that needs to be taken care of.

4. Artist managers should surround themselves with trusted peers who can help them navigate their mental health to avoid burnout.

Managers, time to love on yourselves…

In today’s newsletter, I wanted to talk about how managers need love too by sharing 3 ways you can prevent your own burnout as an artist manager.

Working in the music industry can be very rewarding and offer many opportunities. However, it also comes with a set of unique pressures, including long hours, high stress, a higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, isolation, and insecure work.

Your role as an artist manager has evolved in recent years and is now more varied than ever before. You have to be the first to adapt to an ever-changing music industry.

You have to tackle any issues that arise and support every aspect of your client’s life, including their mental health and well-being.

Many managers do this without dealing with their own mental health, causing burnout.

One of my favorite artists, Mary J. Blige said it best:

“Love is all we need.”

That includes managers too.

Let’s address burnout so we can prevent it.

"We all have mental health. Just like our physical health, we need to take care of it.”

The term “mental health” has become a buzzword in its own right, and like most buzzwords, most people don’t really know the definition.

Good mental health means being able to think, feel, and react in ways that help you live the life you want.

Good mental health is a direct reflection of how you take care of yourself and a clear indicator of how you will deal with not only your clients but also others within the industry.

Here are 3 ways you can avoid burnout as an artist manager:

1. Don’t be afraid to take a break.
2. Define success for yourself.
3. Learn to ask for help.

In my years as an artist manager, I never considered the above 3 ways. As a result, I spent many years working with clients always on the brink of burnout.

In 2021, I decided enough was enough and walked away from artist management to regroup and refocus.

I set these boundaries and parameters in place because I cared about myself, and I’m sharing them with you because I care about you.

Let’s look at each of these, one by one:

#1: Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break

The “hustle and grind culture” of the music industry has many people in a chokehold.

Work is a straight-up obsession, and it shouldn’t be.

For most, the music industry has perpetuated a serious FOMO (“fear of missing out”) – one that artist managers cannot shake.

Not working 24/7 doesn’t make you lazy or less worthy.

I always believed that “hard work pays off” and was necessary to achieve my client’s goals in music.

From long nights in the studio and working on marketing plans to being at EVERY function with my client, I found myself consumed with this “responsibility” that in order for things to go smoothly, I had to be everywhere to ensure things were perfect.

However, “smoothly” and “perfect” are not the same thing.

Striving for perfection is great; however, for me, it quickly led to micromanagement and “all-or-nothing” tendencies.

If you find yourself doing this, it will increase the risk and lead to burnout.

Taking a break allows you to reset mentally and emotionally. Here are five ways I used to take a break:

#2: Define Success for Yourself

Success is an accomplishment of a desired aim or purpose.

As artist managers with an entrepreneurial view, we have high initiation – that is we take ideas and run with them. Rather than miss opportunities, or wait around for others to start, we start putting the wheels in motion.

However, you can’t do this without knowing what will make the idea successful. Here are some measurable aspects of success:

As I have shared in a previous newsletter, I realized how important defining success really is. I had compared myself and my work to my peer’s experience – only to feel a level of failure because I was not achieving the same success as they had.

I’ve had moments of success as an artist manager, but not sustained success.

You need to ask yourself the question:

“What does success look like for me?”

#3: Learn to ask for help

Whether you’re a first-time manager or have some years under your belt, there’s is always one thing you must remember:

You don’t have to know it all.

Many would quickly agree with the above statement.

However, many can’t bring themselves to tell their client they don’t know something.

Fear has them – maybe even you – believing they have to know it all.

Learning is a consistent part of the ongoing process of being an artist manager.

I knew that I didn’t know it all. I made being a student of the music business a consistent and constant practice. I didn’t do so to “know it all”. I did it so I could ask for help when I didn’t know.

There is a difference between being able to do it alone vs. having to do it alone.

It’s in those moments where asking for help is most important. I can recall many of times throughout my career where I leaned on the advice of other artist managers. Get guidance from trusted peers if you needed. The main idea here is to not let the initial stress turn into chronic stress of burnout. Speak up and ask for what you need before it gets to this point.

Burnout among artist managers is a very real thing.

It’s a prime example of the lack of love an artist manager has for oneself.

Take the time to love on yourself.

You deserve it.

Hope this helps.

✋🏾When you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

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3. Here on my website, I have resources that can help. Check out The Playbook for more information.

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