When I first started doing music, I would get so frustrated because many of the people that I asked for help turned me down. And it wouldn’t always be a hard rejection. I recall instances of producers and other musicians giving me their numbers saying “let’s work”, and when I reached out, they played dumb or didn’t return my calls all-together. I was forced to build my own studio, make my own beats, and record myself. After I released my first album, people begin to see that I was really serious and some of my old phone calls got returned. When I started booking my own shows, a few more calls started coming in. I was still very rough around the edges, but people were attracted to my work ethic and potential. They saw that I was having success on my own.
Years later, I would come to understand that my music career was a start up business. Although I didn’t know it at the time, through my small successes I was demonstrating Proof of Concept to those watching me (who would later become investors in my business). Every start up must go through this phase. Before you reach out to investors, supporters, or ask for any other type of hand up in general, it’s important to establish that your idea works either fiscally or that it can become popular. Once you do this, you won’t have to do as much reaching out for help. Investors will be attracted to what you are doing because they can see that it works.
Waiting until you are successful on your own puts you in a position of power. Success gives you options and you can chose who you want to work with as oppose to being desperate.