All posts tagged: entrepreneurship

The Real Reasons New Business Generation is Shrinking

Tim Askew’s recent post about the state of entrepreneurship in the US was filled with interesting statistics and a provocative, editorialized rationale for the reason people aren’t launching small businesses.  While nobody would challenge the diminishing  numbers, I think they have less to do with government overreach and more to do with our children not being adequately prepared to creatively lead businesses. In 10+ years of advising students in entrepreneurial endeavors, I have not once heard a student say “I was going to start that business, but overreach by the US government is holding me back.”  For me, it is the constraints our education system has placed on student development that I find most troubling.  Here are three reasons I believe new venture creation is shrinking in America: 1. No Child Left Behind In 2002, I began my career as an elementary school music teacher.  Unfortunately, that was also the first year of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Over two years I witnessed, first-hand, the deconstruction of the arts in the public schools. We are …

Skip E-Ship Class, Read This—Part I, Opportunity

Last week, I wrote an introductory post to get you primed for developing a new venture.  Today, I’ll help you identify and bring focus to your creative ideas from a business prospective. Creativity is something all of us possess.  The trick is to develop your creative ideas with a marketplace in mind. The exercises below will help you focus your ideas and provide a step by step process to get you thinking about a new venture. Part One: Identify an Opportunity All great ventures start with fantastic ideas.  Get your team together several times over the next week and start to brainstorm about the following questions. What are the needs on your campus that are/were not being met? What are some needs in your community (local, regional, national, or global) that are not being met? Is there something that you encounter in your day-to-day life that you think could be better? What do/did you find frustrating in your arts and business degree path? NOTE: Think broadly at first—you can always narrow your focus! Hitting a …

Taylor Swift and Equity for Artists

Taylor Swift recently pulled her entire catalog of songs off Spotify, arguing that there “should be an inherent value placed on art.”  It appears that Taylor made about $500,000 last year in domestic streaming through Spotify.  Before her departure, she had millions of people playing her songs every day. Spotify argues that artists will reap the benefits of allowing their work to be streamed when a critical mass signs up for the service.  For people like Taylor Swift who already have a huge following, this potentially works out well.  For most musicians, Spotify is hardly an option.  This article in the Atlantic is a dose of reality, stating that it takes over 4 million plays per month on Spotify for an artist to make a paltry $1,160. Historically, record label agents were the gate keepers who “picked” the artists they would represent.  Due to time and staff size, only a few artists were chosen to fill out a roster each year, leaving most artists behind.  Then, ten to fifteen years ago, many believed that the …

3 Career Fears To Tackle In 5 Years

Before declaring my major in college I remember losing what felt like weeks of sleep trying to decide if the path to become a music educator was right for me.  Choosing the wrong path or worse, choosing the right path and ultimately not finding success in said path was all consuming.  What I didn’t know then was that the pursuit of a music degree was preparing me incredibly well for work in the 21st century.  Like you, I was passionate, intellectually curious, and incredibly interested in becoming an expert in my discipline; all characteristics for a successful career.  Fear be damned. My career fear has led to a deep exploration of careers in the arts, an exploration that continues to this day. Most recently, I’ve been podcasting a course out of Stanford called “How to Start a Startup.”  Paul Graham, Co-Founder of Y Combinator, argues that genuine intellectual curiosity in pursuit of domain expertise in the traditional sense will enable you to thrive in the 21st century economy.  For example, if your intellectual curiosity involves becoming a scholar on the compositions for Dulcian by Giovanni Antoli Bertoli, great.  Your job …

5 Ways College Students Can Jumpstart Their Career In The Arts

I love this post by Ivan Trevino.  He raises questions many of us are asking at institutions of higher learning across the country.  The arts entrepreneurship  movement from the past few years has helped and many schools are working diligently behind the scenes to address the new needs of the 21st century artist, however, change is hard at the institutional level. While I agree with Ivan whole-heartedly, the curriculum he desires in his post represents a shift in the entire higher-education system.  That is, a shift from the traditional, lecture-based, skill and drill type curriculum to a curriculum rooted in experiential learning, critical thinking and real world skills building. What if you’re attending a music school that offers a great – but traditional – education?  You have to do more in today’s marketplace. No longer can you simply put in 100% effort into your degree and expect to be successful in your field upon graduation.  (This goes for just about every degree out there, not just music) That said, there has never been a better time to jumpstart your career while still in school.  Here are …