Blog: "Three years on…Stampede’s controlled chaos"
If I had to pick two life defining business moments, I’d have to choose that day, back in 2004, I left my full time job to play in a rock band and the day my own company was realised.
3 years ago today, Stampede Press UK was officially formed. In a moment, of what can only be described as "chaotic clarity", I decided that I was going to have to take the "bull by the horns" (no pun intended) if I wanted to carve out a career in the music industry.
It was 2012 - I’d spent the best part of two years unemployed and the pressure was on. In a climate where the shockwaves of 2008′s recession were still being felt - I could not get a job for love nor money. Nothing. Admittedly my personal circumstances had changed - for the most part, it was better (marriage and relocation) but there were emotional stuggles and on a personal level, more importantly, my 4 year dawning realisation of just how difficult the music industry was had come to fruition. I was at a crossroads. On one hand, I was trying to co-manage / play in a new band, but on the other, I was becoming my own worst enemy. When you’ve had a taste of success, especially in this business, it’s very hard to forget. So with this in the back of my mind, I was forging on, trying to remain positive but all the while the waft of my dwindling savings was in the air and a very patient and supportive wife was by my side keeping me from going insane - I knew that I had to do something.
I went "back to school" and honed / built on the skillsets I had developed over 20+ years in business and playing semi-full time in a band. Literally, I was investing time and money in myself, learning more lessons about the music business and attending marketing / social media courses so I could add more "strings to my bow".
And so on the 26th July 2012 - Stampede Press UK was officially formed. And you know what - it’s the hardest, busiest, most stressful job I’ve ever had to do. That’s not me moaning - that’s me giving me 3 years ago a pat on the back. Because I do LOVE my job and if I hadn’t made that decision, I’d hate to think I may have have stepped away from the music business. Music is in my DNA, it’s a passion and life force which spurs me on and I knew if I wanted to move forward, forming my own company in an ever changing climate was the way to do it.
Self employment is not for everyone and you do need a lot of patience, BUT if you put the hard work in, and are savvy in your approach and work ethics, success can be achieved. How you measure that success though is down to you.
To coin a phrase (and tweak it) the biggest lesson I’ve taken from Stampede is “Ask not what the music business can do for you – ask what you can do for the music business.” As cheesy as that may sound - it’s true - it’s clear to me if you want to succeed, you need to work with the music community and support each other whenever possible. Everything costs money and in age where music is no longer the ‘treat’ it should be and bands have staggered opportunities/self believe that rewards are deserved easily; co-operating with your music community is a must…and that means investing. Whether its investing money by placing an ad with magazines/webzines, helping a local promotor out by lending your backline for an event, paying out for a studio and engineer or even a simple gesture like passing on a personal recommendation…it all helps keeps the wheels turning.
Anyone that’s genuine and carries the same passion that you do will respect you for it and that’s when things can really get exciting…you just never know where it may take you.
"Make Your Music Matter."
Rob - Stampede Press UK (July 2015)