Entrepreneurial Anguish: The Cost of Doing Business in This Business of Music

Building a business empire has its price. Starting out is exciting but not for the faint of heart. It is an expensive proposition. We often see the confident and charismatic CEO in publications and at educational panels. But it often falls short of reality. Before, during, and after public visibility often comes personal self-doubt, anxiety, and mental anguish. Many business owners are reluctant to divulge the stress they feel, because they don’t perceive it as a strong image for their business. But it is this very mentality - that whatever you do has to produce a good image - that drives too many music business people out of the business.


This very battle was poignantly described in Jessica Bruder’s 2013 article in Inc. magazine – “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship”. Bruder delves deep into the phenomenon of depression and suicide in the business world, a telling portrait of the stressors and burdens commonly faced. From sleepless nights to crippling anxiety, many business owners have the added pressure of supporting their families as well as the livelihood of their employees.


As a business grows, so do the responsibilities of the owner. This situation leads many entrepreneurs to question their worth. Bruder notes that there are steps entrepreneurs can take, however, to combat depression and anxiety in the business world, such as taking expert advice, asking for help, limiting personal investment, and allowing yourself to make mistakes and grow from them.


The life of an entrepreneur is complex, and Nashville adds its own “Crazy Town” complex: You face “Ups” and “Downs” daily. You are responsible for yourself and for the health and vitality of your business.  This is a tall order.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to your colleagues and friends in the biz.  Following expert advice and learning about others’ struggles is a great way to stave off anxiety and depression. It is also important to do what you can to protect yourself and limit your liabilities. A good place to start is speaking with a lawyer about what you can do to protect your interests in this business of music we love.


You will never read an article or discuss the internal struggles of music business people at an after-hours party.  The internal challenges and struggles will never be as publicized like external successes or failures will be. This business of music we love is one that is best appreciated from the inside.  And the rewards of moving forward on your own can be considerable. 


Developing a relationship with us as your trusted Creative Business Lawyer® will help ease anxiety and navigate the road ahead. We can guide you through major changes in your business and assist you in making the best decisions regarding its future success. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your interests are protected can mean the difference between struggle and success in your business endeavors. Having a trusted advisor who understands you and your business in an objective fashion is critical and is often an overlooked keystone to creating a business that meets the needs of your life. 

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