Well, if that isn’t a long post title.
As a biohacker, I’m interested in all sorts of ways to achieve my goals- not just putting stuff into my body. Increasing my productivity (which for somebody as restless, hyper, and distracted as me really just means focusing) is always a goal of mine, and I found a pretty interesting way to do it.
SO GUYS. In case you didn’t know I’ve been trying to biohack my way to gaining some weight. You can read all about the plan that I’ve been undertaking: a mix of P90X, trying to eat more, and some supplementation, in this first post.
So how’s it going after one month? Well, if my goal is to gain weight, there’s only one metric that matters…. my weight! And the results are…
I’ll preface my first ever blog post on Biohacking by saying this (completely for the benefit of my readers who have never seen me in person): I’m pretty underweight. I’m a 6foot+ tall 19 year old who weighs (on average) anywhere between 125 and 130 pounds.
Throughout my teenage years I’ve just kind of accepted that- it’s fine, my doctor says I’m perfectly healthy otherwise, and I’m not really insecure about my body or anything (I win over the ladies anyways so who cares?) But lately I stumbled onto some literature about biohacking that made me decide to gain weight as my first major experiment to see what I could push my body to do.
HEY WTF Records, the record label I started almost a year ago, is in pretty dire straits.
Sure, it’s hard to be successful in the music industry, but I’ve always felt that we haven’t hit goals as easily or quickly as we should, and by most people’s standards, the label is really failing right now. Sales are abysmal, we’re a few hundred dollars in the red, fanbase growth is stagnant, we’ve been turned down by a potential source of key capital, and things just generally aren’t going our way.
It’s gotten to the point where we as a team have sit down and said: “if we don’t have $XXX in the bank by the first week or two of September, the company will shut down.”
Between now and then, we’re going to be working hard so that it hopefully doesn’t happen. We’ll be:
To help me work on these different tasks, and to identify new areas we should be focusing on/adjusting/changing, I’ll be reading and going through a number of information sources that may help me. These are:
So, I’ll be taking this opportunity to review these products, share some information with you about them and about HEY WTF’s progress, and we can all learn/discuss together.
Over the coming days, I’ll be sharing tidbits from my readings, updating you on our tasks, and tell you exactly how far along we are to hitting our financial goals. I hope that you’ll all follow along with our Business Turnaround!
Running a company inside of a niche market can be quite deceiving, and in order to operate effectively and properly an entrepreneur has to both buy into the illusion, and realize it’s fallacies.
Let’s take me, for example. I run HEY WTF Records, and we’re really big into making cassette tapes.
There’s definitely an illusion that the cassette label/purchasing world is a super-cool niche to operate in. Sure, it’s nowhere near having the resurgence that vinyl (records) has experienced over the past few years, but there are still a number of labels selling out of their releases and gaining significant fan bases. I live inside this: I get tapes from other labels, I have a tape deck next to my desk and some 79 tapes to listen to. I totally buy into the cassette counterculture.
This is important: your customers need to know that you’re one of them, that you identify with them and know their needs and are supporting the same movement (or niche) they are. You can’t lead a group that you aren’t a part of- a brit can’t be President of the US and Trump isn’t going to (successfully) sell maternity clothes (but you never know what that guy is gonna try).
However, sometimes you need to wake up and snap out of the illusion to realize what a myth you’re living, in order to expand horizons, stay grounded, and make good business decisions.
Remember how I said cassettes were way smaller than the current vinyl world? Yeah, well, according to Bob Lefsetz (music industry pundit and ranter extrodinare), vinyl sales only account for about 1% of overall music sales (and I’m sure he got that number from somewhere, but I’m too lazy to look it up and I’m supposed to be reading a book about ADD right now not blogging oh the irony).
CASSETTES ARE TINY. So while yes, I need to be happily bubbling along in the fairy tale world of the super-niche, the niche of the niche of the market, I also need to open my eyes. Even if we captured 100% of the market would we be making big bucks? Six figure salary bucks? Nope.
So what to do? Expand.
You need to be in touch with both the illusion and the reality of the niche.
For those of you that don’t already know (and trust me, you’ll know soon)- I’m the “Head/Founder” of HEY WTF Records. While the rest of our team (Rae- publishing head, Sara- marketing/media, Rachel- art director) has pretty specific job descriptions attached to them, I don’t. Since I’ll be blogging a lot in the coming months about working on HEY WTF, I thought I would start off by defining exactly what I do right now.
So without further ado, the 7 roles I take on as HEY WTF’s Head:
Management: Everything from project management, to managing the rest of our team, is my job. I’m in charge of making sure things move forward, deciding where to go next, etc. etc.
Finance: Not only do I keep track of our money, I’ve also provided most of the capital for the company thus far, and I’m the one that transfers money between accounts and makes payments and deposits and the like
A&R: There’ll be two more people helping me with this in the Fall, but right now I’m responsible for finding artists to release on the label, getting in touch with them, writing/signing contracts and handling almost all artist relations
Digital Music Maven: I stay up on all of the latest music industry news, and make sure our music and artists are everywhere they need to be: whether it’s a new streaming service, or artist profile-type site.
Social Media/Branding: Most of our Facebook posts and Tweets are from yours truly, as are the Spotify playlists and anything that communicates our brand, pretty much. The exception to this being our Instagram- Sara takes most of those (although I’m on there infrequently as well).
Sales: I’m the one getting our tapes into stores, working on digital distribution, and trying to break into the retail world with our apparel line.
Anything else, really: Who knows what else I might be doing- developing radio promotion tactics to pass on to the rest of the team, learning new skills to apply to the venture, writing a business plan and pitching to an investment board, and developing our release calendar for 2013 are all things I’m currently working on.
So there’s a TON of work that goes into my job with HEY WTF. I intend to start using this Tumblr as a place to re-post what I publish on my personal blog at RyanLucht.com, both about running HEY WTF and about my infrequent musical endeavors, so keep an eye out here for more writings.