This episode about mapping out your music business plan was previously published on the Profitable Musician Show.

Gail Taylor has similar background to me. She used to work in finance and is now runs her business as a musician. A lot of people think that is the weirdest combination.

She was in financial business for 25 years. She was a successful financial advisor. It was her goal to make her clients as well as herself financially independent. She loved her work. In her late 50s, she decided to take piano lessons. She loved it and had so much fun that at 61, she decided to retire and study music full-time. After two years, she reinvented herself as a musician. People were inspired when she tells her story. She thought to come out of her retirement and monetize it.

She was a public speaker for 35 years when she was in finance. She took her music and public speaking background and became a keynote speaker. She tried to help folks find their best selves, shared her stories, her music and her journey.

She developed her music business during COVID on January 1st, 2020. There is a big learning curve for Gail. She is a songwriter, a keyboardist, and a keynote speaker. She takes her songs, hire studios and musicians, bring them to life and distribute them through Distrokid or CD Baby. You are no longer dependent on a third party accepting your product. You can take it to life.

The only negative thing she kept hearing when she was starting out, was that there was no money in the music industry. The music industry is a billion dollar industry. You just have to find your niche. There is a place for everyone.

Gail was able to bring in things from her work as a financial advisor to her music business. She did a lot of her studies in Berkeley School. She is fortunate to have a business background and she loves business. Having a business plan and strategic plan is needed no matter what your service or product is.

Being able to take music and business and combine them, it is something she loves. Her advice to others is it doesn’t matter what industry you are in. You should do something that you love for a living. You should be passionate about whatever it is you are going to do for a living. You should like it. That is important. If you are passionate about the music side, but struggling with the business side of it, then partner up, join a band, and find a way. We do not all have the same passions, strengths, weaknesses, and expertise, so find the ones you love doing and outsource the other parts.

You can outsource the parts you are not good at. Like myself, Gail outsourced her social media to her daughter.

You can reinvent yourself at any age. Whether you are a financial advisor or a musician or making widgets, you have to be able to get that vision going, figure out what it is that you want in the end, in the 5 years or 10 years down the road, and then work backward towards trying to achieve it. Knowing your passions is a big key for everyone.

Your priorities may change depending on what stage of life you are in. Your passion may still be for music but you can pursue it in different ways. Some may want to do touring while some may do music in some other way. To be able to pivot through your life as the ebb and flows happen with our lives. That is an important part of everybody’s journey.

Gail recommends writing up your plans, either strategic or business ones. If you are looking at financial backing, even if it is doing crowdfunding or however it is that you want financial backing, both strategic plans and business plans can be very simple documents or they can be very comprehensive with the index. In this world, it is so easy to get access to free templates for $49 or take an 8-week course on how to write a business plan. It is going to take you a total of 2 hours a week and it is $79.95. We are in an information age like we have never been before. Learning how to do these things is quite simple. The right time to do this is when you decide to run your own business and no longer be an employee.

A business plan is a plan on what the business is. It is going to tell you who is in the business, who the key players in the business are, who the people are that are going to be in the business, what it is they are offering, what service or product that they are offering, and how that fits within the industry. If their service is in the music industry, then what is the size of the music industry and where are all the revenues coming out of that music industry so that you know it is viable and that it fits? You will have your marketing plan and how it is that you are going to get this product out to the people that are going to benefit from it. There are going to be financial plans as to how that is going to work. That is the framework of a business plan.

It will have an executive summary at the beginning of it. You will outline all that in a couple of pages and then you will have those different sections to it. When I was a financial advisor, I had a team of assistants and associates. I used to take them off-site for about three days a year and we do the strategic plan for a year.

The business plan is more of the overarching thing like, “This is what this business is, and this is how we are going to make money.” The strategic plan is a time-based thing, “These are the projects we are going to do to achieve the goals that we had in the business plan. Here is how we are going to get it done.” If it is just you in the business, if you are a solopreneur, then you are going to do all the things or you are going to be like, “I do not want to do some of these things. I need to outsource some of these things.” That helps you figure out where you need to spend your money and where you need to spend your time and where you need to bring people into to have their time.

People are either going ignore you all together or they are going to say something mean because that is who they are. It is what it is. That is the reality. Enjoy the journey because that is what it is about. You can have these beautiful end goals, but you better enjoy going towards them. If you do not, when you get there, it is going to be a little anti-climatic. That is what I always tell young people. Do not worry about 5 years, 20 years from now. Enjoy the journey you are on and go for what it is that is important to you at this juncture.

Do not feel like you cannot change your mind and everyone is going to hate you. Just because you said it, you got to keep going down that path, even though you have taken some classes and you cannot stand it. You have control over your own life.

Gail’s word of advice would be to find a way to flip the negative into a positive. You love it. It is your passion. Work on the positive sides of it. Happiness, to me, is every day has to be fun. That is how I live. I have to be happy. I learned many years ago that if a negative thought jumps in my head, then I have to immediately give it the boot. “Garbage in, garbage out.” “Catch, cancel and correct.” If you are around a lot of negative people, it becomes a little bit more of a challenge to find the way out. It is still doable. They say that you are a result of the five people that you spend the most time with. You can pick who you are spending your time with and you can suck up the energy from them.

Her website is Her moniker is “Gail T as Charged.” She is everywhere — on Spotify, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Everything is under Gail Taylor Music.

Links mentioned in this episode: