The Art of Entrepreneurship
by Jason Torres
photo credit: Getty Images
Whether or not you're a fan of Taylor Swift, I believe she deserves all the praise for an open letter that she wrote to the people at Apple on June 21st, 2015. If you have yet to read this letter, don’t worry because I have provided you the link right here-
To Apple, Love Taylor.
Note: Read the letter before you continue reading the rest of this piece.
Here’s the reason why artists need to print this letter, tape it on their wall, and read it over and over-
As I interview many current and aspiring artists, the topic that consistently comes up in conversation is money. For many artists, this is a great struggle and one that I absolutely understand. Although it is a challenge for many, this is something that can be fixed because it all comes down to one thing: Mindset. Artists have been programmed either through media, society, family, friends, etc. that making money as an artist is weird and artists should not worry about money. Well, I’m here to tell you that mental programming is what’s stopping you, but the great news is that you can shift your mindset. It takes time, but it’s worth it.
In the meantime, I want you to use Taylor’s letter as a reminder of what is possible, because she understands something that many artists do not, which is this- Taylor Swift is not only an artist, she is an entrepreneur. She is a business woman. She provides value through her music and, therefore, absolutely deserves to be compensated for it. That's the message Taylor wanted Apple to understand when they initially decided to not compensate artists, writers, and producers during the three month free trial of their new Apple Music streaming service.
Here’s the bottom line- If you are an artist and want to make a living with your art, you must understand that you get paid based on the value you deliver to the market and that value is your art. You must understand that if you desire to make money as an artist, you must begin thinking like a business person or else you will have a very difficult time getting compensated. You deserve to get compensated and that’s why Taylor wrote this letter to Apple. It wasn’t about exposure or money for her. She’s fighting for you all- the artist who may be afraid to ask for what they are worth. Many people do not see you as entrepreneurs, and I believe it’s time to change that. Taylor helped you to take that first step, but now you have to believe that it’s possible for YOU. The world needs to see your work.