Advice for musical entrepreneurs

ALEXANDRA SCHWINN, co-founder, Musiqli, writes:

“There are opportunities for new tech businesses and digital entrepreneurs in all fields - so it can be difficult to know where to begin. To be honest, my first steps when approaching new projects are always:

1. Is there any opportunity here?

2. Do my skills apply to this opportunity? Or can I learn the skills I need for this opportunity quickly?

3. How does this opportunity make me feel in my gut? Am I excited by it?

When you’re starting out here are a couple of good ways to get going:

1. CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES: Industry events/conferences and summer programmes like are a really great way to meet: new people who have similar interests to you; other entrepreneurs working in your field; or even potential future employers. Always try and schedule a tea or a hang with the people you meet. New people will spark fresh ideas and projects. // Not good at meeting new people? Try starting conversations with the people sitting beside you at your lunch break, or during the opening ceremony of a conference. “Man, I can’t believe this one actually started on time.” Boom. There’s your introduction.

2. FOLLOW UP: Always, always, ALWAYS follow up. Even if it’s just to say “Really great to meet you at Digital 2015 last week, hope to run into you again next year” it’ll cement you, your meeting and your name into their brains (and address books). If you think there are good vibes or possible opportunities, suggest meeting for a coffee.

3. ASK QUESTIONS: …Especially when chatting to people in your field. “How did you get started?” “When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?” “Are there any events coming up that you reckon would be useful?” People are your greatest resource.

4. GET STUCK IN: I’m generally most productive when I’ve been at the grind for a solid few hours. I like to focus on one project or major task at a time, so I try to completely unplug and let the project envelop me.

5. TRY EVERYTHING ONCE: It’s hard to know what your likes or dislikes are if you haven’t tried them. (It’s hard to know your boundaries if you haven’t pushed them) Humans are incredibly resilient and experiencing new things will further your creativity and open you up to new perspectives.

6. A SOLID TEAM: Finding people who are supportive of you and your goals is really important when you’re starting out. You are never going to stop being told that you can’t do something, or having people question your motivations or interests. You have to fight the great fight for what you believe in and having some people in your court who are either fighting for the same message, passionate about the same things, or ready to go to bat for you, will be a huge help when the going gets tough.

5 GREAT SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS THAT HELP ME FOCUS:

1. Deep Focus

2. Evening Acoustic

3. Intense Studying

4. Peaceful Piano

5. Sublime Strings

*Film scores are also great for the work day, if you can find one that fits your work vibe. The Theory of Everything Film Soundtrack by Johann Johannsson is brilliant and helped me see the light through this year’s dark winter work blues.”

Alexandra is Co-Founder of Cardiff based startup, Musiqli, and will be speaking on the Entrepreneurs stage at the upcoming Digital 2015 festival in Celtic Manor, Wales – visit http://www.digital2015.co.uk/ to register

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