You’re going to climb a Mountain, so pack up your Backpack. You'll reach in and pull things you need from it every day. Since you’re starting a business, we call these the “Business Basics”. You’re going to set up your business infrastructure properly, efficiently, and solidly without missing chunks. Future You is going to thank Present You, a ton.
Step 2 is the most checklist-y Step compared to the others, and we’re insanely proud of it: we’ve spent (and will continue to spend) many years boiling it down to everything you truly need, to set you up fully so you can grab any opportunity that comes your way. We cut out all the unnecessary fluff that commonly distracts musicians and drains their time and energy.
A few things you should know before we share the lists:
∆ Beware: if you skip any part of this Step, you risk not being able to capitalize on an incredible opportunity that comes your way, or you’ll have to scramble and potentially stress out trying to get everything together that should’ve been set up in your business’ foundation already.
∆ These lists are optimized - meaning, put into the chronological order that best serves you, so you don't have to double back. We highly recommend going in the deliberate order we set up for you.
∆ Lastly, a lot of this Step sets you up for future Steps - so if it doesn’t make sense to you why we’ve included something, hang tight, it all adds up! Again, Future You thanks You.
Every music career is different, so this is the list our Mountain Strategy Consultants use to talk our clients through the Planning and Setup of 5 "Business Basics" categories (Business, Publishing, Team, Brand, & EPK), while customizing it to the individual artist/band. You know the drill, we share The Mountain here on our website for free because we believe in doing so (our main page can remind you why we’re so arguably strange!), so if you don’t plan a Consulting session with us, this list will help you head out on your own. Customize it to yourself when necessary, but remember that all of this is our highest recommendation to make your life easier, and your career more fluid, so don't skip the important parts.
Since this is our personal Consulting list, some of it isn't explained fully the way it would be through Q&A in a Consulting Session. Since you're reading the words of MIC Founder & Lead Mountain Strategy Consultant Emily Plazek right now, I'd like to take a moment to mention that in the past, I tried to flush all of this information out here in writing, too, and the website got way too long. Way too long. So, for this missing, granular detail, we're working on behind-the-scenes on videos for you, very soon, as soon as we can, soon so soon. (We know most people are visual learners anyway; this written Mountain is simply the most information-packed version we knew we needed to share with everyone first - it's our own foundation.) In these videos, I'll talk you through everything the way I would for a client or intern: at high speed with lots of gusto and stories to make the potentially boring business stuff sticky and memorable.
Regardless, this written website page will be your reliable home-base to come back to, a reference sheet to lead all your planning & setup. Heck, take one more hot tip from us: turn it into a spreadsheet in your “Masterplan” like we do for our clients, so you can check off the items as you go. Also, Google Drive gives everyone free softwares that autosave & allow access for multiple people at the same time - and one of those softwares is indeed a spreadsheet maker like Excel.
A final note, so to avoid any potential overwhelm at what may look like a pretty extensive list: Step 2 takes a handful of very solid work days, across a few weeks or months, so pace yourself and know most of it will never have to be repeated, only maintained (wahoo!).
CLick the following HEADINGS TO OPEN/CLOSE the SECTIONS:
If you're here at the end of this page having completed Step 2, you deserve a massive congratulations. You just completed something phenomenal and rare. You've set yourself up in a powerful position. Now you're completely supported in your ability to go after all your dream music career activities. Keep going.