3) Maintenance:
Build Your Mountain Structure

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Maintenance of Business Basics and Product Development (The Pillars)

Of all the music career warning stories that circulate, some of the ones that motivated the creation of Mountain most are the ones about losses from lack of business basics setup. We're talking cancelled sync deals because the musicians didn’t have proper incorporation (LLCs) for someone to write a check to, business banking accounts, or adequate PRO registrations to make the licensee feel comfortable in the transaction. Or, the musician was physically or mentally too ill to simply email the supervisor back quickly enough. Hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of dollars lost - not because of the music product, but because of logistics, the musicians didn’t have the correct business basics setup to see the opportunity through. 

Another heartbreaker for us: not being able to capitalize on momentum from a successful Event (Step 4 explains that Events are releases, shows, etc) because your product development wasn't ready. Imagine the lost opportunity if you get unexpected massive attention, and thousands of potential fans are scrambling online trying to follow you - but there's nothing to follow because your online presence isn't there, and you don't have a music catalogue or an Event coming up (like an upcoming song release) to get them hooked and in the game with you. These moments are the micro-"big breaks" of the current industry, and you missed yours because you rushed a little quickly, or you didn't find your productivity groove and burned out trying to keep up.


Step 3 creates the Structure of your unique Mountain with (1) Setup and (2) Maintenance. First we take you through Setup, then you develop your own process for Maintenance, in the form of consistent daily habits for Product Development, and Process Manuals (PMs) for the Business Basics from your Events in Step 4.

Here are the 3 parts that you'll Set-up and Maintain to support your Mountain.

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1. Definition of Success - Mountaintop
You can’t get to a destination that you don’t know exists, so set-up the destination at the top of your Mountain: define success for yourself. Maintain it by shifting it over time as you grow.

Success usually has 3 categories of components: Fun, Fulfillment, and Financial. Use those categories, along with your priorities on lifestyle, values, location, and work style to create a balanced Definition, not a masochistic one that will lead you to burn out and a botched, lost music career dream (or maybe you need a masochistic one for this part of your hero's journey, we're not here to judge).

Also, your unique Definition of Success should have some measures of immediate, as well as long-term success. Meaning: if you dream of headlining arena tours one day in the future, make a point of also enjoying the interim until then - living a musician’s lifestyle every day. Elaborate further and dream up the mid-term, like playing all the bigger venues in your town. The “I’ll be happy at the end of all the hard work” mentality disappoints - without learning how to find contentment along the way, contentment will stay elusive.

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2. Business Basics - Left Pillar
A music career is a combination of Money (the Mountain's left side) and Fans (the right side) - and the Business Basics Pillar supports the left Money Side.

Over the years, MIC collected and tested all of the business activities musicians are told they “should” do, and then narrowed down to only the ones you truly need to do - we even included a couple personal items that would directly interfere with your career if left unattended (like your personal financial portfolio). Consider this baseline list of definite needs as our “Less is More” gift to you.

A quick cyber-security tip: get a separate phone # like Google Voice to use for signing up for everything, because our phone #'s are growing to be like our social security numbers for scammers nowadays.

First, do your Setup with this list:


Great job. Next, use this list as a weekly check-in to make sure everything you just Set-up is Maintained:


Nice. Finally, all the other loose edges of your Business Basics (ones you haven't even touched yet, like Publishing and Royalties) will be Maintained along the way as you develop and use your own unique "Process Manuals" (PM's) for your Events in Step 4. Most musicians require these 4 Process Manuals.

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3. Product Development - Right Pillar
Like we said earlier, a music career is a combination of Money (the Mountain's left side) and Fans (the right side) - and the Product Development Pillar holds up the right Fans Side.

Also, it's the lifestyle that most people are aiming for when they pursue music.

Product Development means developing your Music World - which is both your music and yourself. Without you there is no Music World to cultivate and share. Set-up these items by growing a daily schedule (your lifestyle) that works on all of these, and then Maintain that schedule of Health, Craft, Music, Live Show, Fan Communication, and Life.

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Now, get used to upkeeping your Maintenance, with your own style, continue to Step 4 to begin your climb, using the music products you're creating in your Music World during your daily Product Development lifestyle.