Selling my friends’ CDs was starting to take up a lot of my time. I realized I had accidentally started a business. But I didn’t want to start a business! I was already living my dream life as a fulltime musician. I didn’t want anything to distract me from that.
So, I thought that by taking an unrealistically utopian approach, I could keep the business from growing too much. Instead of trying to make it big, I was going to make it small. It was the opposite of ambition, so I had to think in a way that was the opposite of ambitious.
I wrote down my utopian dream-come-true distribution deal from my musician’s point of view. In a perfect world, my distributor would...
- Pay me every week.
- Show me the full name and address of everyone who bought my CD. (Because those are my fans, not the distributor’s.)
- Never kick me out for not selling enough. (Even if I sell only one CD every five years, it’ll be there for someone to buy.)
- Never allow paid placement. (Because it’s not fair to those who can’t afford it.)
That’s it! That was my mission. I liked it. It was a worthy hobby. I named it CD Baby, and put my friends’ CDs there.
Those four points were like a mission statement. I wrote them on the site, talked about them at every conference, and made sure everyone I worked with knew them.
The key point is that I wasn’t trying to make a big business. I was just daydreaming about how one little thing would look in a perfect world.
When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia.
When you make it a dream come true for yourself, it’ll be a dream come true for someone else, too.