John P. Engel responds to a music business professional who asks for career advice after losing his dream job.
I refuse to call you “Ex-Music Bizzer.” You may have lost a job but you certainly did not lose your passion. With your background in sales and marketing you should be able to create your own job in the music industry. If you’re not ready for that, you most likely have the moxy to sell the product that you know the best, yourself, as a music executive. Now you just need to figure out where you want to be in the industry. Can you identify an unmet need or something you could do better than anyone else? You’re in better shape than a lot of people out there because you have already found your passion and you’re not willing to give up on it. You just need to reinvent yourself.
Ten years ago a publisher of a global music magazine called me in tears. The invention of MP3s had caused the labels to cut back on their advertising for niche markets. She thought she was going to lose her magazine. Instead we found other ways to grow subscribers and identified new revenue sources. We created partnerships with other publications that served her target market. We convinced embassies to sponsor issues and bring in advertisers from their countries. We found new advertisers like Lonely Planet and XM radio. In the end, she was making more money they she ever had and she sold the business for over a million dollars and started a nonprofit in Africa to provide fresh drinking water. This is a major change in your life but if you embrace it and use your creativity and sales skills you might find a yourself in a much better life. Create your bucket list and start making it happen.
You could start a music festival, become a promoter, start your own radio station, create a music magazine, become a wholesale rep for a instrument manufacturer. Music is a huge industry. The opportunities are endless.
I wrote a book with advice for students on how to be successful in school and in life. I believe it can help you and it’s free: ProjectBeTheChange.com. Now anyone anywhere in the world can get advice from some of the most successful people in the world for free! How cool is that?
Read another guest opinion about how to recover from loss of a dream job.