Business advice for guitar teachers

bigstockphoto_Business_Concept_5599757Every week I speak to guitar teachers who share with me their unique approach to teaching guitar. In many cases they have put hundreds of hours combined with years of experience to come up with what they believe is the ideal system for teaching guitar or they are in the process of developing their method of teaching guitar. While it is important for guitar teachers to be innovating I find many teachers go too far  spending way too much time on developing their method of teaching. Let me explain.

Success built on a good idea.

Many of the famous successful franchises started out as someone else’s idea. McDonalds was created by two brothers Richard and Maurice McDonalds but it was Ray Kroc who took their idea and turned it into a worldwide franchise. Starbucks is another example. They began in Seattle later being bought by Howard Schultz who took the idea and expanded it globally. You can even apply this idea to The Beatles. They had been playing for a number of years with very little success. It was Brian Epstein who took them from Liverpool to the world. The reality is that many successful products started as someone else’s idea. Creating your own product and turning into a profitable one whether it be a hamburger or a guitar method from scratch is a long and difficult process and one that rarely gets truly realised. I read a report that said 99% of all patents never make a profit and we know this to be true with bands and musicians.

Getting past our egos

Given such small odds of a product succeeding how do you increase your chances of success. Simple, find a guitar method that is already working because it will save you hundreds if not thousands of hours that you probably don’t even have to spare.  Many entrepreneurs want to be recognised for the creation of a product but the truth is its just our egos talking. If we truly want to help people learn guitar we should be seeking out the best way to help as many people as possible in the least amount of time.  How many people really care about Walt Disney. I bet Mickey Mouse comics out sold the Walt Disney biography many times over. The fact is we need to get over our egos if we want to be successful in business.

Don’t get too attached to your product

Taking on an existing product especially one that has proven itself in the market place is a much smarter idea than investing hundreds or thousands of hours and your life savings on the off chance it might work. It took me 25 years to develop my business and yes it finally got there in the end but in hindsight I would not do it again especially today with the Internet. It makes much more sense to find and partner with people who have already done much of the work.


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