Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in entertainment but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maneli Jamal, Professional Award Winning Musician, based in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm an acoustic guitarist who specializes in Fingerstyle Guitar. I teach players all around the world to better themselves through music. Most of my students are people who are looking for guidance on how to cultivate this into a lifestyle giving life more purpose.

Tell us about yourself

Ever since I knew how to breathe, music and art have been vital parts of my existence. Both of my parents are musicians and artists, and I've had the privilege of being around that my whole life. My main drive for learning music was a focus on understanding myself through musical compositions. Shortly after, I knew that I wanted to share this insight with other players looking for the same intrinsic motivation and be there as a guide.

That lifestyle shed light on how I can better translate life's mysteries into a craft and mentor others to do the same. What motivates me the most right now is to keep learning as much as I can about other philosophies and integrating them into a holistic worldview via the musical instrument. Also, I find the "aha" moments during teaching the most enlightening as to why I do what I do. It's a beautiful cycle of giving and receiving that music can enrich.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I believe my biggest accomplishment is that I've been able to consistently over nearly 20 years in the music industry. Always making sure that I have new music of my own coming out as well as releasing free lessons online.

This can help the listener either enjoy the listening aspect of the learning aspect of music.  When I get heartwarming messages and comments from releasing my music, I consider that a big win for me. That encourages me to keep going and venture into new genres, pushing my personal and musical boundaries.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about being successful has to come down to grit. The ability to push through making a mistake after mistake while the vision is always present. There are always people who want to push you down and perhaps do not understand the passion one has to fulfill their destiny. Having the ongoing conviction to make your dreams a reality is highly dependent on discipline. The sooner you cultivate and embrace it, the sooner you'll find what you're looking for.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

My top 3 tips for anyone looking to start and grow a business today:

  1. Have a clear goal of what it is you're trying to achieve to turn into a business. Not all ideas can be turned into one, and also have the intuition for when to / not to pursue it is equally important. Not all passions should be turned into a business.
  2. One thing I wish I had done earlier was to outsource more work. Although I enjoyed doing everything myself and being a "solopreneur" and getting credit for that, I equally think that this would drive most people to quit halfway. It's easy to be excited, but is it easy to sustain that excitement all the way through transforming a concept into realization? Why put that pressure on yourself when you can find a team to work with?
  3. Once the business is running, it comes down to optimizing and growing the business. Looking into ads is one of the best ways to do that, given that you have the capital to invest in them. Note that I said "invest" and not "spend." The whole point of investing is to turn the initial investment into more profits. Hiring an agency to do it or learning to do it yourself is a key to exponential growth. Knowing how to retarget audiences with ads is such a crucial step to leveraging an advantage in your given field. Once the data is in, you tweak and optimize further to scale.

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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