Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jorre Reynders, Co-Founder of Edge Effect VOF, located in Houthalen, Limburg, Belgium.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We provide music education through music transcriptions for jazz musicians or people interested in improvisation in general. Musicians who want to study the art of improvisation usually end up with very abstract kind of advice and education, so we try to convert the mysticism around the topic into concrete and actionable education.
Compare it to public speaking and what makes a speaker charismatic, coherent, and persuasive. You can try to copy it exactly, but it will probably come across as "fake" and not very genuine, or you could analyse the strategies and habits involved and create your own unique and authentic voice with it. We opt for the latter.
Tell us about yourself
After graduating with a Master's degree as performing musicians, we continued our research into jazz and improvisation through music transcription and published the material as an open source on Youtube. We figured that others could benefit from it as well, so why wouldn't we share that?
By doing that, we steadily grew an audience who would follow us not only for the study material but, more importantly, as a kind of music inspiration platform. This kind of feedback really is what kept us going, publishing every Monday consistently for over 6 years now without missing any of these Mondays.
Out of that also grew our awareness of the pains that jazz musicians generally struggle with when trying to improve their playing, and that would be a general theme for pretty much all instrumentalists. Now, in addition to the musical inspiration we keep providing our audience, our products offer clarity in the often "mystical" world of music, especially music improvisation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
- Having Bumblefoot (the iconic guitarist of Guns N' Roses) compliment us and many more of our personal heroes.
- Being asked by John Stowell to transcribe for him.
- Having a combined following of over 66k followers and counting.
- Being asked for an interview by Subkit.
But that's from a selfish perspective. The most important accomplishment is still the many times we've inspired people to develop further as musicians.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Two things that come to mind spontaneously here.
- Having to say no to projects you actually would like to do intrinsically, but you just know it won't be remotely justified in an economic sense as it will drag down a lot of other important projects.
- Getting your message and core activity clear for yourself and your customers. We keep refining and refining, but it feels like dividing 1 in half and dividing that half in half again, and so on... you can repeat that theoretically until infinity, but you'll never reach zero.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't be afraid to go for a super-niche. We are pretty much a niche within a niche, and we managed to have a combined following of over 66k followers and counting.
- Motivation is overestimated, turn up every time you need to, especially in the moments you don't feel like it. That makes all the difference.
- Grow a community of people that could be your friends, not a "customer base."
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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