John Doe is the founder of the seminal Los Angeles punk group X, a solo artist and actor. John answers questions from our community members in the WWJDD? blog.
A Question about Management
I have a question about whether I’m better off having a manager or not early in my music career. I have a manager now and my friends tell me I’m lucky to have one since I’m not really making much money at this stage. He is a fan of my music and volunteered to be my manager.
The thing is, I don’t feel comfortable with him representing me or my music to other people. People keep telling me I’ll seem more professional if I have a manager than if I just manage myself and that I need to keep him to appear more “professional”.
What would John Doe Do? Am I better off with a manager than without one I don’t feel 100% about? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What Would John Doe Do?
Thinking that a manger is a status symbol is kind of wrong-headed. They are a business partner or more if you choose.
If this person has similar taste in music & art (you say he does), world view, doesn’t spit when he talks, has decent table manners, is more or at least as organized as you are, has a watch, pen & cell phone, doesn’t offend people (unless that’s something you value) and most importantly, truly believes that you are talented & worth his effort; then by all means let him represent you. You should ask yourself, what can you gain or lose by having him as your manager. That will also help you clarify you own goals. Maybe you should ask yourself exactly why you’re not comfortable having him represent you or your music.
Personally, I look for a manger who has a similar take on the world as I do but is more organized, knows different people than I do & has better grasp of the business of music. It’s also important to enjoy their company since you’ll be talking & hanging out quite a bit. Very simply, he or she is you to the rest of the world until the rest of the world gets to know you or thinks they do.
I hope this helps and as always, thanks for writing.
If you have questions for John Doe about music, the music business or life feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on John Doe check out theejohndoe.com.