Long term investments
I’m sitting here watching this Warren Buffet and Bill Gates town hall meeting on CNBC. The show was done before business students of Columbia University so, as you can imagine, they were hanging onto every one of these guys’ words. As a matter of fact, every question that they answered was accompanied by an auditorium of claps. My first thought was that it was pretty ridiculous, but then I started to think about the time that I saw Russell Simmons speak at Clark. I was doing pretty much the same thing. Besides, Buffet and Gates were spitting knowledge, Mr Buffet in particular.
For those that don’t know, in early November Warren Buffet purchased Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad company for $34 billion…yep, billion. He was asked about it by a student, and his answer was somewhat surprising. Not to quote him exactly because I can’t, but he basically said that he bought the railroad based on what he believes would happen 10, 20, and 50 years from now. I thought, “Wow A $34 billion investment based on a theory beginning 10 years from now.” That’s a long-term investment for that ass.
I cut off the television, and began thinking about the plight of an independent hip hop artist such as myself, and how what I just heard could help me. See, I’ve always thought of myself as a long-term thinker, especially when it came to my career; however, like many, if not all, independent artists who use their own resources, I’ve often found myself dumbing down plans based on what’s available, which in turn, usually change my long-term strategies. I don’t want to get into examples because I don’t want my ideas just out there in cyber space, but I’ve probably canceled, pushed back, or stripped down approximately 20 planned projects over the last 10 years. Would Warren Buffet and Bill Gates do that?
Another thing they talked about was how this is the perfect time to get ahead, which basically meant, the economy is slow – so prices are low. I believe Mr Buffet said, “If you wait to see a robin, you’re too late because it’s Spring already.” Relating this to the me as an “indie” artist, I started to think about all of the shows that got canceled, postponed, or passed on because of money. Or better yet, all of the CD’s that weren’t given to people at my show because I had to sell a certain amount, and they spent all of their dough on the show and drinks. How many fans could I have created off simple acts of giving someone a CD or by playing a show for a pay cut?
The dilemma: When should the independent artist choose short-term results over long-term goals?
The solution: Never…if it sacrifices those long-term goals. We are at a point in music when the general public’s want for something new has intersected with mainstream music’s inability to consistently meet those expectations. Adding to this, the average person cannot purchase music at the rate that they used to and the introduction of technology allows one to get information to people at an accelerated rate for little or no cost. This spells one thing, O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y Let’s get it.
Quanstar is an American underground hip hop artist, indie filmmaker, comic creator, and self published author from Atlanta.