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  • Ann Akinnuoye

Is Structure Your Achilles' Heel?


In my years of working with Artist, brands, corporate companies and creative in general I have always come across some the most talented people with amazing voices, projects, concepts etc… that all lacked one thing other. One of those things being, structure!

Sounds simple right?

First let us define structure:

Noun-

The arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex.

Verb

Construct or arrange according to a plan; give a pattern or organization to.

The key word or phrase here is “element of something complex,” which describes the mind of a creative. Although you would think creating/having structure is a no brainer it isn’t to a lot of people. Not only is it something a lot of people are unfamiliar with, it is something we sometimes have a hard time committing too. Not because we do not want to, but because it’s not how our mind work, it’s not a traditional part of our creative process. Also, structure like anything else requires consistency. When it comes down to it the reason why artist/designers/writers/athletes etc… all have a team around them is because they need the effectiveness and efficiency that comes with that structure.

They need people who are able and willing to make sure all the moving pieces are actually moving where and how they need to move.

The mind of a creative individual is an interesting one. Imagine having about 40 tabs open on your laptop that are constantly being refreshed with new data every minute.

Just picturing that has given me anxiety.

We all have days where get a rush of ideas or inspiration, but then… what’s next? If you are like most people you try to tackle them as they come, but what you will soon realize is this will leave you with a bunch of unfinished projects, or leave you mentally exhausted to the point where nothing gets done at all.

That is where structure comes into play.

In the world of the creative; artist, producer, clothing designers, visual artist, stylist, etc ideas are amazing, inspiration is needed, and muses are a constant necessity but without the structure and discipline to execute your ideas, you will join the rest of the people that are unable to get from ground 0 to the next stage of their careers and lives.

Structure is what allows you to finish that mixtape/album, set those meetings, decide what project to tackle next, creating a marketing camapaign, figure ourt a press or tour run, listen to those beats, get those covers/mixes/samples approved, confirm those bookings, plan that event, get that partnership etc..

Structure is what keeps the ball rolling and allows you to stay productive (not busy), which is key. You can be busy all day and realize at the end of the day you were not productive because you wasted time/money/energy on all the wrong things and people. Productivity requires some type of structure.

For many creatives, creating is not the issue, turning a profit and having visibility is the issue. And in the end turning a profit on your art and being able to impact as many people as possible is what many people are looking to obtain.

In order to take what you are good at and make it profitable you have to wear both the creative hat and business had. The business side of you must kick in and either figure it out on your own or build a team around you that can help you figure it out.

A few things that can help with creating structure:

Mission statement

Know why you are doing what you are doing. It does not matter if you are a one person team or a team of 300 it is important that everyone knows what the end goal is for the whatever product or service you are pushing. Whether it’s a album, clothing line, production company whatever it is, everyone involved needs to know what the end goal is, what are you looking to achieve, what does your company/product/service represent.

Business plan

This is business 101, create a business plan! It does not have to be some long drawn out 100 page document, it can be as simple as a one pager that highlights what your business is, who it is intended for, your strategy, costs. Etc… Not only is this good for you to actually get all your thoughts on paper and out of your mind, it is helpful when you are looking to pitch other people to invest or come aboard.

Delegating roles and responsibilities

To many cooks in the kitchen is never a good idea. DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE. If everyone is trying to do each other job either something will be left undone or something will not be done well. Delegate who is in charge of what and what their responsibilities entail. Especially in terms of management, publicist, marketing, branding, business development, assistant, the list goes on. It is easy for people to wear multiple hats, but that may not always be the best route. This is also a great way to hold specific people accountable for specific things. If something is not done or needs to be done, you know exactly who question!

You do not want people who are ok/mediocre at everything but aren’t great at anything. Pick your team wisely and DELEGATE!

Holding daily/weekly/monthly meetings or calls to discuss progress

If I have learned one thing, is meeting/conference WORK! Not only are they a good way to get the creative juices working and bounce ideas off of each other, it is important that you are keeping track of whatever progress is or is not happening. If you have a weekly meeting with your team you all know what is going on, what is expected, and what to look fwd to. It helps everyone feel as if they are part of the success of your company/brand etc

Set a day and time that works for most if not everyone and stick to it, if you do not, neither will the rest of your team. Also, allow these meetings to be a place of comfort don’t make people dread attending.

Structure is a topic we could go on and on about, but we will leave it here for now!

For any creative out there, we hope you guys were able to take 1 or two things that were helpful.

If you need help structuring your team, your next project or just need want to discuss how we can help you please feel free too send us an email at Info@AkinConsults.com

#artist #music #structure #talent #business #entrepenure

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