Build a team and take over, right? Well, I skipped a step. I'm one of those people who have always had a lot of different hobbies and things that I like to do. From drawing to skateboarding, to designing, to making music, and so on. With every hobby that I've taken serious and tried to pursue on a professional level, there has always come a point where it was evident that I needed more than just myself. For skateboarding, it was recording, I needed a camera guy. For gathering clients for my designs, it was promotion. I needed someone to help spread the word of my services. For making music, it's numerous things but each every time that I hit that point in the pursuit, I always stepped back and tried to figure out how I could find my way around that obstacle without pulling someone else in unless I absolutely had to. I'm not saying that it's something you have to do but for me, it was helpful because it strengthened my independence and made me feel capable of anything. Let me explain...
I'll get right into it. I've heard countless influencers, successful musicians, and social media music mentors (or whatever lol) say how as an independent artist, you'll need a team if you're going to get far in the music business. In this sense, a team would consist of someone who manages the social media, someone who produces the beats (a producer), maybe someone who writes the songs, someone who promotes the content, maybe a photographer/videographer, someone who scouts/book the shows, etc. All these people aka teammates would be considered a team who supports and helps the artist "make it" in the music industry as they're coming up.
I'm not saying that those who claim a team is necessary are wrong or that you DON'T need a team. What I'll say is that, not having a team shouldn't be the thing that's negatively impacting your productivity.
Here's my situation: I don't really have a team who solely focuses on my ideas, growth, and productivity. For all those things I mentioned above, I find a way to do myself. I have friends who make music, friends who take photos, even friends who make art, but I personally don't reach out to them as a teammate would (or should) unless I feel I have to. I keep in mind that they have their own projects and goals that they're trying to accomplish. Is there a deeper reason for me not reaching out? Not really, it has nothing to do with them personally. They're all really talented actually and are always down to help out with anything I need if I asked. I'm just used to doing things on my own unless I feel that it's impossible.
When it comes to beats and instrumentals, I do what most up and coming rappers of this generation do. I lease. When it comes to photos and videos, I initially think of a concept that I could pull off myself with a tripod or something. And if I can't pull it off myself, I bring in a sibling to hold the camera for me and I'll go from there lol. As far as promo, I think of ways to promote myself using my social media, my mailing list, and consistency (I consider consistency as self promotion). And if my friends and fans want to also promote, they will. But it's never a thing where I ask or try and force them to. If my friends feel that their friends would like the content that I'm creating, then they'll be willing help promote. That just comes with having dope content, cool friends, family, and/or some kind of fan base (big or small).
With that being said, don't think for a second that doing things on my own is easy for me. It's hard, no doubt about it. I shot the music video for "FIRE FOOD" and had to climb so many obstacles. From trying to find someone to shoot for me, to getting kicked out of certain spots I wanted to shoot, to not having the equipment needed to make certain shots look good, and the list goes on. But I was determined to get it done. I used my friends, my sisters, myself (and a tripod), different apps to help with effects, and pretty much anything and everything I could think of to get the job done. So yes, it's hard and can be very stressful doing things on my own but I don't trip. When I'm doing things on my own, I know its going to be done right and if it isn't done right, I know it's nobody's fault but mine.
When I don't know something, I scour the internet until I figure it out. When I want to access services, features, platforms, or anything at all that I feel will separate me from the rest, I use the internet and figure out how to make it possible for myself. For an independent artist, the internet is going to be your most powerful tool and if you don't have a phone or computer at home, go to the library for a few hours. I always, always, always do my research because it can make things you thought were impossible to do or learn, feel possible.
So does all of this really work for me ? In fact, it does. For the past few years, I've been on the come up & so everything has been very DIY (Do It Yourself) but I'm extremely fine with that. It forces me to figure it out, get stuff done, and realize that there's so much that I can do myself. There's no need to sit around waiting for people or, sometimes, money, to accomplish personal goals. Being resourceful can sometimes be more valuable than having resources. I also tell myself from time to time that if I ever do end up having a team of some kind, I still want work as hard as I did when I was solo so that the results of my hard work doesn't depend on outside factors.
So all in all, here's my message to you. If you're a creator (of any medium) and you believe that a lot of your task and/or goals are unachievable because you don't have a "team", think again. Go back to the drawing board and rethink how you can do things where all you'll need is yourself ultimately. And worst come to worst, if you need at least one or two extra persons, grab a sibling, a friend, or even a stranger if you're confident and comfortable, and just get it done. A team will come if that's what you seek but for now, YOU may be all you'll need. Best of luck.