One of the first advice i got when i got into music (and a lot of my friends with similar creative hobbies got the same); “don’t treat it as a business!”
Being a bit more experience now, i can say that i don’t think that’s completely true. Thing is you need to treat parts of it as a business, in order to make the creative side of things flow smoothly. A prime example is sessions with other people (writing, record, etc.) nothing kills it easier then the other guy thinking it’s okay to show up late and drunk, because it’s just for fun.
I personally do a lot of non-creative stuff as part of my music (used as a broad term), i administrate everything my band do, i write reviews and offer critique on marketing/promo/communication for other hobbyists and semi-pros (BTW just drop me a line if you are interested), all this stuff is treated as a business, that way, when i go into creative mode, i don’t have to worry about other engagements or people not taking it seriously.
I found that the best way to get people to act professionally is to do so yourself and that is another point of treating it as a business. If i where to run a “real” business, i would be professional and i try to be as professional as i can be when working with music. Part of it is pure show, again if i want other people to act professionally, i need to convince them that i’m professional. A few example, i got a business calender, i never needed it nor used it as a calender, but it’s a great way to show that you are professional. Of course you need to have good skills in terms of what you are to do and no amount of show is ever going to rival true professionalism, but when making first impressions, it’s hard to show any meaningful skill level, so a little bit of show can often help getting people to trust that you are serious about what you do.
Of course any type of creative outlet is supposed to be some sort of fun and you still have to laugh and mess around when working with other people, but i find that this is a lot easier to do when all involved is acting like this where their business.
That’s it for this week, i’ll do a new blog on something else new week.