If you’re going to climb a Mountain, you're going to need a Backpack. You'll reach in and pull things out from it every day. Since you’re starting a business, we'll call these the “Business Basics”. Let's set up your business' infrastructure thoroughly, efficiently and quickly. You'll see: 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 incredibly proud of it. We’ve spent (and will continue to spend) many years boiling it down to everything you actually need so you can grab any opportunity that comes. We're picky, we cut out all the unnecessary stuff that commonly distracts musicians and drains their time and energy. Anything we suggest to you is highly important, not excess fluff.
A few notes before we begin:
∆ Beware: if you skip any part of this Step, you risk not being able to capitalize on an incredible opportunity that comes your way. Why? Because you’ll have to scramble (and probably 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.
∆ Make it easy for yourself to track your progress. For example, we suggest turning these lists into a single spreadsheet “Masterplan” like we do for our clients, so you can check off the items as you go. That'll feel satisfying. (If it helps, if you have a Gmail, you get Google Drive, which gives out free cloud softwares that autosave & allow access for multiple people at the same time - and one of those softwares is indeed a spreadsheet maker like Excel.)
∆ This is a meaty Step. These lists might look long at first, but please avoid feeling overwhelmed by remembering that Step 2 takes time. Pace yourself for at least a couple weeks and remember that most of this will never have to be repeated anyway, only maintained (wahoo!).
∆ If we’ve included something that doesn't make sense to you, hang tight, it all adds up to support you in the future Steps. Again, Future You thanks You.
Every music career is different, so this is the list that 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 (multiple of the FAQ on our home page will explain why we’re so arguably strange!), so if you don’t do Consulting sessions 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.
In fact, I'd like to take a moment to explain why the lists you're about to see aren't always fully flushed out (the way they would be during a personal Consulting Session). In the past, I (founder Emily Plazek, hello again) tried to share absolutely all of Step 2's information in writing, but the website got way too long to read. You would not have liked it. So for this missing, granular detail, schedule a Consulting Session, or wait till one day in the future when we can hopefully make videos to explain it all. It's a goal of ours because we know a lot people are visual learners. We hope the visualization of climbing The Mountain helps for the time being. This written version of The Mountain is the best vehicle to share it with you right now, and it's definitely thorough enough to be your reliable home base reference sheet to guide all your planning & setup. However, if you truly want personal help but you're worried you can't afford Consulting, shoot us an email to email@example.com explaining your situation, budget and questions, and we'll do what we can to help you.
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.