I’ve saved the best for last! This is the final installment of my “Entrepreneur of the Month” series for June. African-American Music Appreciation Month is observed this month; so, it has been my pleasure to feature Mr. Fred Stewart! I hope that you have been inspired by Mr. Stewart’s background, supporters, and motivations for becoming an entrepreneur. In this post, you will learn about one of his future ventures as well as gain insight from Mr. Stewart.
In the fall of 2013, Stewart Communications is scheduled to unveil Stewart Com Sports. This entity will serve as a platform to spotlight high school athletes. Do you want to know more? Here is an interview with Mr. Fred Stewart, Owner of Stewart Communications:
- What is the purpose of spotlighting high school athletes?
- What advice would you give someone who is considering leaving college to pursue their dream?
- Many professional artists started out (and continue) producing jingles? Describe your experience.
- What are some common mistakes that independent artists make?
- What would you tell someone who wants to own a radio station?
- Why do you feel that you have constantly challenged yourself to do more?
The purpose of spotlighting these athletes is to expose them to colleges that wouldn’t normally look at them. The diamonds in the rough are often overlooked because they have no clue how to get exposure for themselves. I will always be looking for that player from a 1A school that hasn’t been exposed to Division 1 football camps. There are several reasons for this lack of exposure, including a lack of money and lack of knowledge about them.
My advice would be to know this is what you’re supposed to do and to have a Plan A-C. Plan D should be to go back to college. Also, think about retirement from day! Too many people have made lots of money based on their dreams, but during the process they never invest in an IRA. If that dream loses steam, they may abort the dream 15 to 20 years later. They might have little or NOTHING to show for it and have to start saving at a much later age. Since we know the benefits of compounding interest and time, we know that it’s never too early to start.
I kind of fell into doing jingles. I knew how to produce tracks, and I was great with engineering! I had the software and equipment; so, I tried to figure out a way to MAXIMIZE what I had. I started putting myself out there to radio people I already knew that had heard my work and offered them a free jingle. After that, they started to spread the word about my services.
One common mistake that independent artists make is believing the hometown hype. Many artists get stuck at home, bask in the local celebrity fame, and lose their way! Typically, there is no one there who will really critique the artist the way they should be critiqued. The artist’s craft never gets better (or just simply remains bad). Another mistake Indies make is NOT BUILDING THEIR FAN BASE. Indies make assumptions that just because their music has great quality that radio stations are automatically going to play it.
Radio airplay is primarily based on the amount of people that would actually like to hear your song IF it gets played. Radio stations only have so much time in a day to play music. So, you have to ask yourself, “Why would they take (insert big name artist) off the air to play my song?” Major artists already have a stable fan base that the station can depend on to come there and listen to their music. If you don’t have a strong fan base or “buzz” about your song, any airplay you get will not be significant enough to make a difference in sales.
Get ready to spend the money and resources to make it work! Don’t be afraid to be different. The odds are against you; so, come out swinging very hard!
I have a financial goal, and I want to achieve my financial goal in a way that God gets the glory. That usually means I have to get out of my comfort zone and do more. Every time I have tried to settle with doing one thing, God allowed something to happen to get me back on track.
How did it feel to get inside Fred Stewart’s entrepreneurial mind? Please comment.