BDEM Now (Pt 2): Early Incubation Thoughts

This post follows part 1 which describes the background of the Founder of BDEM and how it came to be.

Riding the Wave of Exhaustion

Arianna Huffington is right that you are not performing optimally without sleep and that lifestyle optimisation can go beyond the arena. I believe this is true, but in my direct experience there are too many variables for this to be sustainable for the average person and unfortunately some sacrifices to ideal health are inevitable at the very early stages of our startup. This is a sad truth and one that theoretically shouldn’t be (if I could just give up beer, wine or gin and reduce food intake I’d lose a lot of excess fat, for example). If I stopped drinking in the week I would probably go to sleep earlier and get 8 hours of sleep.

The reality: Working on BDEM evenings and weekends means that I have a reduced social life; food and booze is an escapism from boredom and ‘stress’ of working 7 days a week (I don’t associate with stress, but I know when I’m burnt out). I already exercise, I already meditate and I do take some downtime, where I can. It’s not enough.

I will also not get optimal sleep all the time I live with 4 other people in a tiny house with plasterboard walls.

This is a period of inescapable ‘hustle’, I have already built a tight schedule I have followed for some years which proved invaluable for productivity, but I still feel burnt out regardless of how organised I am. I don’t want to sacrifice any progress or productivity I make in the other aspects of my schedule or reduce time spent on anything, so I’m stuck at often having to sacrifice sleep or compromise true relaxation with intoxication.

The reason I’ve opened with this is because BDEM has a ‘get shit done, even if it’s hard and even if the circumstances aren’t perfect’ mentality. With this in mind, it sets the scene of how we’re going to develop our business to become a leader in Music Tech.

Taking Massive Action

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” — Bruce Lee

We’re a company who likes to get shit done. I spend a lot of my time at the moment on the strategy-side of the business but I know the importance of applying. So far, I’ve not had a chance to show it much and it feels like a lot of the company are struggling to comprehend where their part is in what’s needed to keep pushing through the phases of our development and growth.

We seem to have reached a plateau between where side-project startups have the option to be relaxed with action and where you have to take this action under a paycheque because otherwise you’ll lose your job.

I bet many side-project companies who have other people working for passion rather than a paycheque have this same issue, and I bet it’s the difference between pushing the boundaries into the business becoming a reality, or a side-project dying as a dream.

I will not let the latter happen with BDEM, I owe it to the music industry to create a disruptive alternative now I have committed so many years to the dream. Whatever it takes to generate the necessary investment to officially open office and have staff on salary.

Having Systems in Place and Following Them

Saying that we want to take massive action but realising that we actually need structure in place for people to follow is a catch-22. Whilst you’re building strategies and processes without openly sharing this with the rest of the team, they assume nothing is happening and don’t keep up momentum with getting shit done that they can control whilst there is a loose structure.

We brought in a Project Management system to try and more openly show progress of projects and a CRM system so that we can openly show the progress of relationship development with artists and other contacts. Our common goal was to boost collaboration and momentum to ensure progress.

Why is it that people recognise the importance of having systems in place and how that drives progress, but they still hesitate to use the systems properly and make excuses for not updating them?

We have tools to help us keep momentum and drive progress, but we’re not using them to their potential because we’re lazy with updating them and using them to drive progress.

This has happened at every business I’ve worked at and I can’t get my head around it. A clear path towards completing tasks is outlined on management systems, stagnation is impossible if these systems are used properly, yet people choose not to use them and don’t achieve what they initially set out to.

We need to get better with our system management and using each other to help move things forward when we are noticing things stagnating or we can’t fathom a way to push something forward.

Part 3 of this series describes some of our plan over the next 3 years, as it stands at the moment.