Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music & arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Aldieri, Founder of Virtual Music Coach, located in Anthem, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Virtual Music Coach offers a modern twist on the traditional music lesson. Learn Guitar, Piano, or Vocals from the comfort of your own home! I work with all ages and all skill levels in private music lessons through Zoom or Google Meet. If you are someone looking to hone your musical craft and expand your knowledge, I can definitely help you.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Nick Aldieri, and I'm the Founder of Virtual Music Coach. I have a passion for helping my students understand music on new levels and have eureka moments in each class. I've been playing multiple instruments for over 25 years now and teaching private lessons for over five years.
I wanted to change the way people learn music to help my students to love their playing. I'd had too many classes based around fear and intimidation, and my instructors weren't explaining where I was going wrong. I started the Award Winning Austin Music Studio in 2017 and started teaching private lessons, and when COVID happened, I switched to offering virtual lessons. I am now fortunate to work with aspiring artists all over the country.
I am motivated every single day by the little epiphanies my students have as their orbits of musical understanding spiral outward. It truly is the coolest thing ever to see.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Virtual Music Coach has won several awards, and the studio has recently grown! I now have over 30 students working with me on a weekly basis. But I'm also really proud of the fact that so many of my students have been with me for years now, which proves the lessons work. No one can resist actually getting better.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would say knowing when to say no. I'm a very giving soul, but as a one-man business, I have to set boundaries, which is sometimes difficult for me. My calendar time is very limited, and if someone wants endless makeup sessions, it is in my nature to help them.
But in the end, you have to teach your customers how you want to be treated. You must set those boundaries and ground rules or risk getting burned and burnt out by those same customers. I've learned through a lot of experience that even if you're direct, some people still won't get it, and that's okay. It's not always a good fit. At least in my line of work, I can choose my customers very carefully.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It's such a roller coaster, so remember to breathe and accept the things you can't control. Bad things will inevitably happen in life and in business, and it's mostly about how you respond. Don't give up!
- Don't be afraid to let your business be your side hustle until you're ready. It's not always like in the movies where you have to go all in right away. Good things take time, and great things take more time, so patience and strategy are key.
- Try to separate your business from yourself as soon as you can. Accounting and tax-wise, it makes everything a lot easier if you have your finances separated and keep good records of everything. For the artist types like myself, this can be tough but trust me, and you'll save yourself some huge headaches down the road and a lot of money too.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you're someone who's struggled to learn music in the past, I'd love to talk with you. Your first session is completely free, and you can set a schedule here.
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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