JEREMIAH SIEMIANOW - MUSO
Who are you and what is your involvement in the arts industry?
My name’s Jeremiah and I’m one of the co-founders of Muso, a live music booking platform that connects musicians with gigs.
How has COVID-19 affected your work?
We’re a high energy team with an ambitious mission; we focus heavily on the positives and look toward the next goal, so naturally we didn’t reserve any allocation in our forecasts or our business plan for pandemic to shut down the hospitality and music industries… and it just so happens that our business services a perfect cross-section of those two, and very little else.
Wearing one hat, as the head of our venue acquisition (business development) side of the business - having the ability to visit venues and find ways to help them with their entertainment operations stripped away from us, was a big change. In an instant, gone were the roller coaster highs of coming out of a meeting with a great venue who’d just signed up to use the platform, and with it, one of the things that really pumped up our team and artist community.
However wearing the more mature hat of a ‘director’ alongside a couple of great co-founders, we were able to focus on the opportunities that arise during hard times and once we identified what those were; user research, product optimisation and an enterprise-level sales focus, we redirected everyone’s efforts towards these.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be truly proud of our team’s ability to keep our mission in mind while we redirected our focus. It hasn’t been easy, but I believe that keeping our users in mind and the real reason for why we’re here is the sole reason we’re coming out of this in a stronger position than when we came into it. Our product is better than ever, our artists community has grown in size and strength and we’ve landed some big enterprise deals which will provide amazing new opportunities for artists and grow our business into the future.
Reading about people’s journeys through this time (thank you to our beloved Rom for putting this amazing series together) has definitely helped - seeing that everyone deals with things differently and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method or ‘silver bullet’ out there, but that there was a theme; positivity and keeping of faith through hard times, is a testament to the amazing people within our industry and it should give every one of us confidence that we’re in good hands with one another.
How do you intend on spending your time during this period? What are you doing to stay active?
From a Muso standpoint, we’ve been hyper-focused on creating the best product we can for our users so that once gigs are back, everyone has the best experience possible, and so we have a product that’s ready for scaling across the country. Working from home has been super productive - we’ve learned a lot about each other’s working styles and preferred schedules for optimal output.
Personally, (and probably like many others) I’ve tried to focus on my growth as a person, which for me came with being consciously grateful for what I have and being present. After we achieved the main iso-goal at Muso, I was afforded the opportunity to take a little bit of time off to reset and be honest with myself about what’s important to me outside of Muso - which in all honesty, I’d lost a lot of sight of.
Days have become about little wins and luxuries like checking in with a friend or family member and maintaining those relationships, as well as fitting in an extra exercise session - be it a run or shooting hoops rather than just trying to exercise like I’m preparing for Stereosonic (RIP).
Do you have any words of wisdom for the readers?
Having a mission in life is very hard, but understanding your ‘why’ is a force, one that even a pandemic won’t be enough to shake because it’s your reason for being here. However I’m conscious that we don’t all have that; and per my above comment, I’ve recently discovered that I’m not sure I have that myself outside of Muso, but I do know that we all have something that we aspire to be, or aspire to do, become better at or conquer.
From Mark Manson:
I’ll have to credit Mark Manson, author of “The Subtle Art of [you know the rest]” for much of the following, but my reading is that most people get stuck thinking they need something to inspire them in order to feel motivated to take action. This could not be further from the truth! Trust me, running a business is a rollercoaster, and although we’re expected to, we don’t always wake up with a suit of armour ready to take on the world. The relationship between inspiration, motivation and action works in all directions, it’s not linear or chronological, so don’t discount the impact that chipping away at even the simplest of things can have on your mindset.
TL;DR - “Action isn’t only the effect of motivation, it’s also the cause of it”. Get up and get going and once you start knocking things off that list, you’ll get the motivation and inspiration to keep the wheels turning.
From me (and a little bit from Gary Vee):
Take the time to be honest with yourself and recognise what you truly enjoy. If you’re procrastinating - don’t judge yourself for it - it simply means that you just don’t want to do that thing; it doesn’t excite you, which is a good learning for you to have. Whilst you might have to do the things you “need” to do now in order to do the things you “want” to do later, you’ve learnt that that’s not something you should get caught up doing for the rest of your life.
In the meantime, push yourself to be comfortable being uncomfortable. The one guarantee that I’ll comfortably make is that your ability to do this consistently will determine your factor of growth. It’s the only proper accelerator that I’ve experienced for the growth of skills, mindset and the self-belief to tackle anything that’s in front of you.