Check out part 1 of my interview with Vinny Ribas to learn how he got his start in the music industry!
You experienced the typical frustrations of most artists-wanting to play out more and just not getting enough gigs. So now your entrepreneurial spirit kicks into high gear. More and more I find, that if there is a particular area in your life that frustrates you, and you’re passionate about that area, rather than complain about it, you’re probably the one that should do something about it to change it. You became a CEO, this eventually leading you to helping other entrepreneurs in their businesses. How did that come about?
After I was in Reno about 15 years, my wife and I kind of decided that we were tired of there. We had done everything that we wanted to do there-
Is that where you met your wife, in Reno?
Yeah- and so we figured we wanted to move. By this time I had been out of music. I had been managing a name act, I’m not going to mention who, but they were the main reason I got out of music. They burned me big time. So I was out of music for a long time and had been selling time shares. I was doing really really well with the company I was with. By the way, I still love time shares, I think they’re amazing and I want to buy more!
But in Reno, it’s a big summertime town then as soon as Labor Day hits there’s nothing. I was able to move with my job anywhere I wanted to go and so I came to Nashville because I had a niece, my only niece, there and some friends that had moved down from Connecticut as well. It fit in with the music-not that I had any dreams of being a star. I’ve always been the support person and I like that role.
I had gotten involved with an organization called CEO Space-it is an entrepreneurial organization for people that don’t think small. It’s not for someone who wants to open up a restaurant, let’s say. It’s for someone who wants to open up 100 restaurants within the next five years. What it is basically is that we have people from all over the world. We have a conference five times a year and at that conference they would bring in some of the most high-powered business coaches CEO level executives from fortune 500 companies and major corporations. They would teach you how to build a business plan for a company that size, how you would raise capital, how to put a marketing plan together on that scale. When I moved to Nashville, there was no one representing CEO Space here so I became the state director for that, and that’s how I got to work with entrepreneurs. When I started IndieConnect and became involved with it full time, I turned leadership over to Tim (Cummings). CEO Space is now CEO Nashville. IndieConnect actually came out of that. I had so many musicians coming in wanting to get connected with people and weren’t getting the help that they needed from the chamber of commerce and other sources. There was no place for them to go and get actual industry connections. So there were always a lot of people needing help so I asked them if they wanted to get together once a week and talk music business instead of just general business. They said yes and it grew from there.
In your work with entrepreneurs, do you work primarily with music industry professionals or business professionals in general?
Business in general, right now I’m writing a business plan for somebody that has a social network-a very different social network. I’m doing a business plan and financial projections for them, coaching them.
You’ve also written a book.
I wrote a book-by accident
Another “accident”-you’ve made some really good mistakes
Basically I had been putting out a newsletter every weekend for CEO Space. I would submit articles with solutions to questions or problems people would have in the business world. After a couple of years, people were saying that they collected the articles, printed them all out and that I needed to put a book out! So I had the book written. I just had to go in and give it some continuity and separate it into chapters. That’s how CEO Secrets came about…CEO Secrets: What They Know About Business That Every Entrepreneur Should. It’s about the mindset that you have to have to be an entrepreneur, to be a big entrepreneur. It’s how to think big. The way I look at things is that it takes the same amount of time, the same amount of effort to build something huge as it does to build something small. It just takes a different plan. You still have the same amount of hours in the day.
That’s why when IndieConnect started, again it was just a small informal luncheon for musicians. But the first day that I did this I asked a friend of mine who was going to be their publicist, Chuck Whiting, if he would talk about his expertise in publicity and why an artist would use that. He put this article in his newsletter and I got a call from someone in L.A., saying they wanted to start the L.A. chapter. This was just a lunch, but we realized that artists don’t have that! There was nothing like that. We weren’t ready for that but at that point we knew that we were on to something. It’s been powerful. We have a meeting once a week, a Christian meeting once a month and a new to Nashville workshop once a month. We’ve got chapters now in several other cities. We have a magazine. Lots of good stuff.
Tell us about the magazine
It’s an emagazine. It was monthly for a long time. I recently decided to go weekly with it. It consists of articles, videos, podcasts whatever it is we put together or that I can find or that people submit to me that are about becoming successful as a musician, songwriter, as a singer or just in the industry in general. Sometimes we have record labels that come to our meetings, managers, booking agents-because they all want to know what’s going on in the industry and how to make it more successful for the artists they’re working with…so, it’s that kind of contact. There’s nothing out there that does this. We’ve hit a niche that can be really big…
And that's not all! Find out the one question that is asked at every IndieConnect meeting that keeps artists and industry professionals alike coming back weekly to connect with Vinny Ribas.
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