In the last instalment in this month’s focus based around Business Administration, I wanted to talk about the most exciting and daunting tasks you might come in contact with as your studio grows, as well as talking about how to ensure you don’t burn out and how to make your life much easier as you progress.
I want to keep this intro short as we have a lot to discuss, so let’s dive in!
There’s a big difference between taking a risk and taking a calculated risk. The main thing being that one is a simple game of chance which bears the weight of uncertainty with not much to win and a lot to lose, whereas the other holds a much greater reward with a far less weight of risk due to preparation or premeditating the choice to take the risk in the first place.
You’ll find as you build and progress your clients, your skills, and your confidence in your own ability, that these choices happen far more than you’d think - a good example is if you are starting out, and you are thinking of taking the leap from going from part time in the studio and full time in your workplace, to the opposite and relying on yourself entirely, that choice is always daunting; but the timing in which you make that choice is much more important. If it’s impulsive or arrogant and you have little experience in how to do run a studio, do the various roles it requires, and finding clientele, then the risk will likely not pay off and you’ll end up either starting again at square one, or in a lot of cases I’ve seen, give up entirely. Instead, if you;ve been working like this for 2 years or so, you’re confident in your own ability and you're struggling to make time to do both jobs, that seems like a much better risk knowing you’ll have work and sustain your lifestyle (even if rough at the start!).
Every journey requires small steps to be made, and this one is no different - see every goal you achieve as a stepping stone and try to have a wider goal in mind. With preparation and a good plan of action, you’ll achieve much more with less risk as opposed to simply reacting to a situation or being outright impulsive with your decisions.
Invest In Yourself
Time is the most important currency in life, and spending a good amount of it at the start to invest in you learning more about your craft is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest things you can do.
Although I say at the start, there’s never a bad time to try and do this, plus with the abundance of resources now available to choose from, there’s no reason not to make the time if you haven’t already. It took me quite a while to to understand that investing in me learning about what I wanted to do was more important than having the latest piece of equipment, but once I understood this to be the case I set my sights on learning as much as I could - whether that was researching how a producer created albums I loved, all the way to learning the differences between normal acoustic absorbers and bass traps.
Some of the best places I’ve found to gauge a better understanding of how to record or mix where recommended to me by a friend, or I found them by pure accident; but in order to save you the hassle of research, a few good ones to start off with are the various Creative Live courses, FTSG from Brian Hood, URM, and Produce Like A Pro. Between them all, you’ll have everything you need and more to really start investing in your future.
Unstoppable Recording Machine (URM) is still a place I've made sure I access if I'm unsure of something while mixing or want to improve my skill set further in recording and mixing.
Make Time To Rest
This is one of the hardest things for me to do even to this day. I have a real habit of not being able to put time aside for myself to just read a book, take time away from the studio or watch a movie; the irony is that I know how important it is to make sure you do this. Burning out won’t help anyone, especially not yourself, and it’s something we all do far too much - I know everyone has their different reasons or excuses to validate not relaxing, mine is usually that I’ve booked far to much all at the same time and I say yes to more and more outside work on top of my usual amount.
Recently, however, this whole year has been a personal focus of mine to stay organized, learning how and when to say no to work if I know I don’t have the time, and more importantly, using that free time to rest both mind and body so I’m always at my best. It really is understated how important this can be to ensuring you’re always at your best and can offer the best work to clients consistently.