So the inflexion point has happened. And honestly I was surprised by my emotional state. I’ve just been given more equity in a new baby we’re putting together and with it, responsibilities. Normally people should be happy with more equity, but I suddenly felt a kind of burden that I was unwittingly avoiding all these while.
Well this post isn’t going to be the laundry room of some startup, but a reflection of my other commitments. As is, I’m only juggling being a good daddy, and a good SME boss, that SME being my music arrangement livelihood for the past 8 months.
First about being dad. Wife is right – this is the stage of the baby that you don’t want to miss. And I’ve not missed it much. Apart from working hours at the nanny, and a pending work trip to China, I think I have balanced it well. But after today, it might look very different. I’m setting myself up to be exactly that hard working C-suite octopus that might potentially neglect the family. I’m brain storming for ideas as I type now on how to pre commit family time, put up some serious label and warnings around my work desk etc.
In comparison, that was the easy part. The harder part is on my own vow to see through this side business of mine for the past 7 years that it scales and becomes self-maintaining. If anything I’ve totally failed in this given the 8 months runway that I had – I’ve literally doubled the revenue, but probably quadrupled the time and effort in getting things done.
It’s easy to see why – as a part time business I’ve worked on low hanging fruits. If there’s a believer in my works of art, I take it on and work on it, and that will probably occupy all the remaining time I have. As a full time business however, I have to scraped deeper into the barrel for larger projects, and its rewards are usually not as commensurate to the effort put in.
So in business speak, I might have to quickly pivot, outsource, or exit, before my new responsibility kills me. As of today, Sin Yee and Teng Hwang has been of immense help in helping me scale up quickly to deliver projects on tight deadlines, but I continue to be the bottleneck as naturally the majority of the commissions are directed directly at me as the arranger and not the conduit.
I have 3 choices:
1. Pivot into a consumer company. Produce cheap but mass products and publish into existing platforms like sibeliusscore.com and earn scrap. Sell the same online, except deliver in PDF and hope for no plagiarism.
2. Outsource the entire operations to another person, and only remain an artist. This was the original plan but instead of outsource, I intended to hire such a person. Since the person did not appear, it is going to be challenging identifying the right music company who I can “merge” with to continue.
3. Exit, just stop running this like a business and revert to freelancing mode, and only work for fun and cash. No additional learnings required for a long time. And leave the details to the publishers.
What do you think I should do?