After spending three weeks learning about breaking even, WIBO offered a Saturday coaching session for those who wanted more help with this topic.
I felt okay with Breakeven Analysis, but I wanted to get more coaching on it, so I could feel solid about it. I’ve been asked to volunteer as a WIBO backup course leader next semester, so extra coaching will prepare me to teach this subject when the time comes. I want to be able to share this skill with my music students and clients too, but ultimately, I want to make this work in my own business!.
For Breakeven Analysis coaching, we were asked to submit questions ahead of time, which enabled the WIBO folks to set up small break out groups of WIBO students with similar backgrounds with an entrepreneur coach. As the other students were from locations other than my own, this was also an opportunity to meet other WIBO students before our graduation in January.
The other two members of my breakeven “break out” group was a real estate broker, and a video producer. Like me, both of them were already working in their industry, and seeking to grow their businesses. Our coach, Zahra, was an experienced entrepreneur with an MBA, and she was fantastic in asking the right questions.
I have to say, though, that my breakeven “break out” group produced a BREAK THROUGH for me! 😉 During the past three courses on breakeven analysis, we chose one “unit of sale” that we based our numbers on. For example, that could be one CD for $15, or a monthly house concert that generates $500. Whatever the basic unit of sale is, we have to calculate how much of it we’d need to sell in order to break even.
If my basic unit of sale is a 99 cent MP3, and I need to make $2000 each month to break even, that means I’d need to sell over 2000 MP3s each month. That would also mean that I’d have to do a lot of marketing to sell that many MP3s. Frankly, that would not be the best use of my time, so the goal would be to choose a unit of sale that costs more, so I could sell less units, and make more money.
Since starting the Breakeven Analysis class sections, I’ve thought a lot about lifestyle design, and how I want to spend my time. I started this WIBO course with an eye to build my consulting business, but ironically, I’ve found myself questioning where music and performing fits into it all.
As much as I love helping others market their music, I feel out of sorts when I’m not singing or performing myself. Continuing to perform is what makes me a relevant music marketing consultant, so I wouldn’t be happy if I spent all my time consulting. While discussing my options, Zahra asked how much time I want to spend on a particular task, and my mind screamed “None at all!” I realized immediately that I had to change my basic unit of sale. Again.
But that was exactly what I needed. I went back to the drawing board to create my ideal life (which includes MAKING MUSIC!), and figure out how much it would cost to break even. I didn’t need to be a genius to know that selling CDs or eBooks could not be my main unit of sale. I’d have to think bigger.
In related news, I’ve also been working on a grant application for the International Women in Media Foundation (which is sponsored by the Ford Foundation). It has been consuming and exciting to create a new project that could be funded with a grant, but everything went to a new level when I asked myself, “If I won the grant, would I be happy following through on the plan I’ve created for myself?”
So I’ve decided to start the Rock Star Life Lessons TV show! My main unit of sale will be advertising. This will enable me to make and perform music on a regular basis, while also teaching others as I go, using video. I’ve also created a plan that will work whether or not I receive the grant. But working on the grant application is what forced me to think about the possibilities!
This idea was unexpected, and very exciting, so stay tuned as I learn how to bring this to life!
For more information about the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) course, visit WIBO.org