Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Mizenko, Owner and Director of Join The Band, located in Sherman Oaks, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a music lessons studio called "Join The Band." Our customers are kids, teens, and adults. We offer lessons on guitar, piano, drums, voice, bass guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and more. We also provide a band performance program. The band program places our students in bands that culminate with a concert. Concerts are held at popular venues in Los Angeles to give our students a real professional experience.
Tell us about yourself
I got started as a private guitar teacher at a local music store. I teamed up with another teacher to create bands for our students to play in. It was a practical solution for the students to apply their lessons in a real band.
I am motivated by the progress I see in students participating in the band program. They learn more than music. Preparation, showing up, follow through, teamwork, and being supportive of their fellow bandmates are just some of the program's benefits. The results are more confidence, being a team player, and holding themselves accountable.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say sustaining a business for 25 years is a significant accomplishment. In that time, I went from buying four guitar tuners to purchasing a commercial building for the company. We have three state-of-the-art band performance rooms and seven private lessons studios. It has been quite a ride. :)
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Managing people and communication.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Hire good people. You are only as good as your team and the five people you hang out with the most.
- Weed out bad apples. You don't want to be around employees or customers creating 90% of your problems.
- Be a good listener. Seek to understand before you respond to somebody. Please don't start talking over them. We often create responses in our heads while people express themselves to us. It's better to "seek to understand" who is talking to you. Where are they coming from emotionally? What are their challenges? I recommend reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. The book changed my life.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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