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Year: 2018

Launching a Music Career – Tips on Going Pro

For a musician, music is one of the prevailing passions of life. There’s no feeling quite like hammering out a day’s worth of stress on the drums, or transforming a life experience into an intricately-formed set of interwoven lyrics and guitar lines. If music is in your blood, it’s impossible to extract it, nor would you want to; music helps musicians get through life and gives them a creative outlet.

Practising music in an amateur capacity is one thing, but structuring an entire career around the art form is quite another. It’s not easy to break into the music industry; in fact, music is probably one of the most competitive and difficult careers you could choose for yourself. As a trade-off, though, it’s also one of the most consistently rewarding and downright enjoyable careers you could pursue. Here are some tips on getting your music career off the ground.

Build your finances

It’s boring, sure, but one of the most important things you need to do as a musician is to try and build your finances to the point where a few failures aren’t going to damage you significantly. Music as a career is rife with opportunity, but with opportunity comes failure; you’re going to play quite a few gigs to nobody in particular, so you need to be prepared to be out of pocket from time to time. Plus, you might need money to buy that new guitar you’ve been lusting after; how else are you going to finish your magnum opus? There are several ways to go about this. You could apply for a loan to bolster your cash reserves a little; if you’ve got a vehicle, we’d strongly recommend this logbook loan lender as a reputable and trustworthy source of money for that first van to transport all your gear. Alternately, you could simply put your nose to the grindstone and save a portion of your income until you feel you’re ready. Whatever you decide, you’ll need a decent wad of cash behind you before you embark on a music career.

Treat music as a business

One of the most heartbreaking things every musician has to learn about a musical career is that many aspects of this life will swiftly become just as boring and numbers-focused as any job would. Music is a commodity; it’s bought, sold and bartered for. As a result, you’ll need to make sure your music is adequately catered for in the business department. Get yourself a savvy management team who know how to negotiate proper fees for you and your band (if you have one); optimise the sound quality and distribution method of your music to make sure it’s getting to as many people as possible; make sure you understand the ins and outs of the legal side of music and, if you don’t, hire people who do. Obviously, most of this doesn’t apply until you find yourself making money, but there are too many stories of musicians falling foul of this side of the industry for you not to make sure you’re covered.

Hone your craft

Don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking the songs you wrote when you set out will sustain you for life. Keep writing, keep improving on your instrument and if you’re in a band, keep playing together to improve your chemistry. Eventually, the same songs and the same performances will start to bore the audiences who loved you to begin with, and besides, as the old adage goes, a huge amount of creators claim to despise everything they wrote more than five years ago. If you don’t want to keep writing songs and expressing new stories and emotions, then maybe this isn’t the business for you. While it’s true that many songwriters (lookin’ at you, Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain) weren’t technical wizards on their instruments, they still have a unique style which they honed over the course of their musical career. Whatever your musical niche might be, keep learning and evolving and don’t allow yourself to stagnate.

Don’t give up

This is one of the most crucial pieces of advice any budding musician could take on board, so it’s very, very important to say it: don’t give up. No matter how many times you’re rebuffed by venue owners who say they just don’t think there’s a place for you here; no matter how many times people tell you your music sucks (and they will, whether it does or not); no matter how many times you read a scathing review of a gig or single in a local music magazine. You are your own worst critic, and you only need to listen to yourself and the opinions of those you trust when it comes to improving your art. Obviously, reviews should be read and taken on board; you need to learn to deal with criticism if you’re going to be a professional musician. Whatever gets said about you, though, and whatever business setbacks you find yourself suffering, remember your love of music and let that carry you through the hard times; it’ll come in handy during the good times, too.

Handling The One Million Tasks Of An Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is about more than just having an idea and bringing it to the world. You’ll also need to take care of somewhere in the region of a million tasks to make sure your company is running smoothly. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it’s kind of true! As more and more tasks accumulate, the more under pressure you’ll begin to feel. The good news is that you don’t need to drown under the pressure of making sure everything is taken care of. Below, we take a look at a few helpful tips that’ll have you more in control.

Make a List
You’re going to feel like tasks are coming at you from all angles if you’re waiting for them to arrive before handling them. You might be in the middle of something you actually enjoy working on, and then realize that, ah, you haven’t yet sent that crucial form. From nowhere, your concentration has been lost, and you’ve lost some of the day! To prevent this from happening, make sure you’re making a list of things you need to do, and then set aside a block of time to work through it.

Cut It Out
Not everything that’ll be on your “to-do list” is essential. It’s just the things that you would get through in an ideal world. Well, it’s not an ideal world, not when you’re an entrepreneur! Sometimes, the best solution is just to strike a line through it entirely. If you’re sure that it’s not something that positively has to be completed, then stick in a pin in it until your schedule is a bit clearer, and revisit it then. Your time will be better spent doing other things.

Rope In Help
You don’t need to struggle through all of your responsibilities alone. We mean, you could, but why put yourself through it when there’s help available? Look at roping in help by outsourcing some of your tasks. If you have tasks that are easy but time-consuming, or overly complicated and thus you spend too much of your time just trying to figure things out, then you should outsource the work. You’ll have to pay for it, of course, but think of it as an investment; you’ll have more time to focus on things that will actually grow your business.

Work Efficiently
For the tasks that you must do yourself, make sure you’re doing them efficiently! There’s a whole range of software that can simplify the process of work. For example, the best online tax software will make managing your taxes a breeze, while there is also software for things like accounting and data management. With the right tools, you can limit the amount of time you spend working on these tasks.

Structured Day
Finally, make sure you’re structuring your day. It’s much easier to work efficiently and productively if you’re taking a proactive approach and planning your day out. Studies have shown that a routine is the best way to get things done!

How To Keep Your Business Protected

When running a business, there are so many different things that you will be having to think about, and that’s if you’re not already worrying about something else. It can be hard, and then even harder, and so you just need to learn how to ride through the rough waves as and when they come so that you make it out okay on the other side.

One of the most important things that you will want to make sure of when it comes to your business, is having the right protection. Nobody wants to admit it, but there are always going to be people and things ready to attack you – especially when you start making a real success for yourself. That’s because you’re now a competition and have a target on your back. So you need to know what areas you need to spend some extra time and focus on so that you can ensure that you’re safe and secure in everything that you’re doing.

Here are some of the main areas you need to think about.


Security around your perimeter

Whether you work in an office or not, if people know that you’re a business, then they will assume you have all the expensive goods and tech to back it up – most of the time they’re right. This means that you are holding a fair bit of money inside those walls, and bad people will want to get inside so they can sell your items off and make a lot of money for themselves. This is why you need to have security outside, not only to make it very hard to be broken into, but to also alert you of any suspicious kind of activity for the future. With technology being so advanced as it is, you can now be sent notifications straight to your phone or android alerting you of what’s going on, as well as regular updates to let you know that everything is A-okay when you’re not there.


Hire the right employees

The last thing that you want to end up doing, is rushing the hiring process when looking for employees, as you’ll only result in hiring the wrong kind of people for the job. This can be anything from not being qualified or having the right set of skills, to just being a generally miserable person that brings nothing to the team other than a bad vibe. So always take your time to spot the good from the bad. This means following up with all the reference calls too. This is time-consuming, and most people don’t want to spend their day speaking to references mentioned on the bottom of resumes, but it’s so important to do as it gives you a real insight on the candidate, as well as seeing whether their story matches up. One of the best questions to ask is why they left their previous job, and what it’s like to work with them on a whole.


Do your homework

It’s all fine and dandy to assume that you will never end up with a nasty virus on your system, but there is only so much that you can do to avoid them. So if and when you are unfortunate and you find one that’s lurking around in your system – you’re going to need to know what to do in order to get rid of it. This is where studying will help you. You can find whatever you need on the internet nowadays, as well as spyrack spyware removal guides which gives you all the necessary information you need to destroy this pest. So have a look online and read all there is to know. You wouldn’t believe how many different kinds of viruses and bugs actually exist until you come across them all. So do your part and read up so that you’re a lot more knowledgeable, as well as prepared.


Download and update your security systems

If you don’t already have security software to help block any hackers, bugs, or viruses taking over your system, then you need to change that immediately. You have a lot of important files and documents that include bank details, home addresses, and business transactions, and if this information got into the wrong hands it can really harm not only you and your business, but everyone that has come into contact with you too, like your faithful customers. So don’t even let the possibility arise. Once you do have the software, make sure that you then update it if and when it needs updating. Most software does this itself naturally after a certain period of time, but always check and then do it manually if necessary just to be on the safe side. It only takes a few seconds for someone to hack into your system and steal your files.


Cover yourself with insurance

There are so many different kinds of insurance that it can be rather overwhelming when looking for the right one for you. There are some that you legally have to have in order to run as a professional business, but there are also others that you can choose to have or not. While some of these may seem like a waste of money to you, you never know when something disastrous can happen and you’ll kick yourself for not having the cover, as you are now left paying hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of damage and repairs, when you didn’t have to pay a penny. It’s a tough call as you can’t predict the future, and you may pay for something for years, if not decades, and never have any problems at all. But sometimes it’s worth paying that little bit extra for something just for peace of mind.

Now you know the areas you should be focusing on, there is no reason that you should be living in fear any longer. You know now what you need to do in order to keep you, your customers, your employees, your business partners, and your overall business safe. So make it happen.

5 Tips to Finding Electronic Pieces for your Next Project

In this technological era, it is difficult to find electronic pieces that are original and in good working condition. There are several counterfeits in the electronic space, and you need a lot of research and testing to get what you want. Also, the many cons in the electronic market will try to rob you. The quality of the electronic piece is another component that determines where to find it in the crowded market. There are several places to find electronic parts. However, you need proper guidance to avoid wasting your money on fake pieces. Here are five tips for finding electronic pieces for your next project.

  • The Online Market. The online market is currently the leading store to everything in the world. You need to look for a trusted electronic website such as and search for what you need. Most sites will offer to ship you the order at an additional fee. Online stores will also give you a warranty on the electronic piece your purchase. These stores may also refund your money in case the product they sold to you does not work.
    In case the component you are looking for is not on their list, electronic websites will offer you the best alternatives.
  • Electronic Shops. Electronic shops in your local towns have a wide variety of electronic components. Some shops may stock specific types of electronic pieces making your search a bit easy. You may also forget the name of the electronic piece you are looking for, but a visual search will help you with your search.
  • Advice from Electricians. Electricians are individuals with broad expertise in electronic pieces. Electricians will advise you on where to find good electronics and how to test their quality. Electricians use these components on a daily basis, and they are knowledgeable about all electronic components. However, you need to look for a trusted electrician. You can ask a friend or a family member for recommendations on where to find a genuine electrician.
  • Electrical Journals, Magazines, and Books. Some people are so passionate about electrical components that they decide to publish their knowledge in writing. This information can help you locate a good source of original electronic pieces. These writings also elaborate on the price, how to use the electronic piece and the best alternative of your search. You can access these journals in the library or electronic shops.
  • Advertisements. Electronic manufacturers use adverts to pass information about their products to the public. These adverts create awareness of how to use various electrical components and where to find them. Advertisements can help you find the electrical piece that you require. The ad can be on the internet, television, or in print media. The best thing about using advertisement is that you will have the information you need before purchasing your piece.

Now that you know how and where to find electronic pieces for your next project, you need to consider the amount of money you are willing to spend. Electronic components are not cheap. You may consider buying in bulk to get a bargain.

Here’s How You Avoid Getting Caught Out by Cyber Criminals

There are so many ways in which you can get caught out by cyber criminals, and they’re always keen to target people who aren’t being careful. So if you’re worried about your security online and want to do more to protect it, you’re in the right place. We’re going to now talk about some of the things you can do to avoid getting caught out by cyber criminals. Read on to learn about the steps you can take and then take them!

Use Reliable Security Software

Having the right security software software in place is massively important, so if you’re not currently using a reliable security software solution, that’s got to change. There are plenty of security software options out there, so you compare them all decide which one can offer the security and protection that’s right for you. As long it’s reliable and offers you protection, it should be fine.

Educate Everyone in Your Household

If you have other people living in your home, you need to make sure that they’re all aware of how to stay safe online and avoid cyber crimes. Try to educate your partner and even your children. If just one person in the home does something incorrectly, the network and sensitive information could be unintentionally put at risk. You can’t let that happen if you want to stay safe.

Use a VPN to Encrypt Traffic Leaving Your Devices

Just what is a VPN? Well, VPNs are very useful and they should be used in your home if you want to make sure that the traffic and information leaving your devices can’t be tracked or intercepted in any way. It will encrypt it immediately and protect it from any external threats that might be looking to exploit it in one way or another. There are plenty of VPNs to choose between right now.

Dig Deeper When You’re Suspicious

If you receive something suspicious in your inbox, you should never take it at face value. Most of the things that seem too good to be true or seem somewhat dodgy should be treated as such. You can trace an email if you’re unsure; digging deeper like this is always a good idea if you want to find out the origin of the email and find out more about what’s behind them.

Keep Software Updated

It’s vital to keep your software updated if you want to avoid cyber crimes. When your software is not kept up to date, there will be potential exploits in it that hackers and cyber criminals could potentially exploit. They could then access your sensitive data and steal from you. That’s clearly not what you want to happen, so it’s worth keeping all of your software updated.

So many people get caught out by cyber crime every year, and many of these instances are avoidable. You should do what you can to make sure that you never become the victim of cyber criminals. Take each of the steps above in order protect your safety and security online.

Useful Tools For Keeping Your Business’ Finances On Track

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Of all the things that need doing to keep your business running smoothly, finance isn’t everyone’s forte. In fact, managing your finances can be far down on your list of priorities – but it’s one of the most important processes. Even if you’re not the most mathematically savvy, there are tools available to you that make running your business’ finance easier than ever.

Save time and keep your money in check with these useful tools for keeping your business’ finances on track.  

Accounting software

For small businesses, hiring an accountant can be a no-go, as hiring more personnel could be at the bottom of your priorities. However, thanks to technology, there is accounting software and applications designed to help make keeping your accounts up to date easier. The best accounting software will help you keep everything stored in one place so that you can manage your accounts on the go.

Reconciliation tools

Errors in reporting can be detrimental to your business, and even if things are better than what you expect – there should be no errors when it comes to your financial reports. Bank reconciliation software can help you manage your cash flow, match up your transactions and make sure that the balance you see for your business is accurate. This way, when it comes to your business’ finance, you’ve got all of the correct and up to date information at your fingertips.

Payroll management system

A payroll management system can be vital for managing your employees – especially if you deal with shift workers or contractors who might not get paid the same amount each month. Through a payroll management system, you can add rosters, apply payments and monitor things like vacation days to keep everything up to date. A cloud-based system will provide greater access to staff out of hours in case they need any information about their pay and other details.

Expenses tracking

If you usually gather all of your receipts in a box or some other form of unofficial ‘filing’ system, there’s a strong possibility that something is going to end up missing! Keeping track of your business expenses helps to keep things up to date, lets you see what you’re spending and keeps the tax man happy. Tracking your expenses in real-time can be a good way to reduce your small business spending and make sure that you are on track with your receipts. Seeing all of your spending in front of you could identify simple areas for cuts that will help your business run more efficiently.

Choosing the right financial tools for your business can take the stress out of business accounting and help free up your time to deal with more important matters. With more and more tools becoming available all the time, it’s worth keeping an eye on finance and business news to help you stay up to date. Managing your business’ finances might have been a pain in the past, but the future is certainly looking brighter.