New York City has never been a place well known for its mild tempo and easy market. Many journey to the city in search of dreams and opportunities and find themselves outbound sooner rather than later. Multi-tasking musician Cheryl Engelhardt has mastered the art of balance and utilization of business ideals to drive her career to success.
A self-proclaimed “chick pop-rock” artist, Engelhardt has released multiple albums, been on tour and has even written a book on her experience in the music industry from a business perspective. With all these achievements under her belt, she still manages to hold a job and keep her personal relationships alive and healthy. Even as a full-time musician, she finds time to focus on and achieve an impressive array of accomplishments. Though it may seem overwhelming, Engelhardt just has the business side of her career in check.
Engelhardt’s newest album was a fan funded album that she composed in parallel with her efforts to raise money. Through use of a gift and reward style, she was able to produce her album with donated funds alone. Over the course of a year, she wrote twelve songs, the topic of some dictated by top sponsoring fans, and simultaneously raised $30,000 for the completion of her album. As if this wasn’t enough of an achievement, Engelhardt also mixed and mastered the album with an orchestra and her live band. When she was finally ready to release her creation, she posted the demo online and allowed her fans to download the album at their desired cost. Surprisingly, she maintains that she grossed four times the profit using this method than by posting songs on iTunes for $1. Ingenuity at its best.
Other musicians have participated in similar programs, like KickStarter, and had positive results as well. However, Engelhardt maintains that she was more successful in her own incorporation of this method.
Along with her album release and music video release on February 14, Engelhardt has somehow found the energy write a book and e-course on being a financially successful musician. Initially a seminar in response to an invitation to Pennsylvania’s Millennium Music Festival, her work was so effective that she also made appearances at other festivals including SXSW. When the CEO of ReverbNation suggested she write a book with the material, Engelhardt heeded his advice, and not only published a book, but also converted the seminar to an e-course which is now available to musicians online.
Engelhardt’s list of feats doesn’t end here. Since publishing her book, she also now works with aspiring musicians offering coaching and mentoring to supplement her e-course and help bring success to each artist. Going a step further, she even writes a regular blog for DiscMakers where she documents events in her life and the lessons they bring.
Not impressed with her resume yet? Engelhardt also works as a freelance jingle composer and recently landed a jingle for Ziplock. Though many people will never even notice her music, she was chosen from a selection of several competitors and will receive royalties on the commercials. Engelhardt notes that this job helps her to remain creative even when she takes a break from song writing and recording.
With this busy schedule, Engelhardt is also planning her wedding for the fall. Her claims to fame in keeping up with such a massive collection of work are simple. One of the most important things for her is to remain clear about what she’s trying to accomplish, which she defines by assessing which of her many talents and projects would be the entree if her life were a menu. After putting thought into this, Engelhardt created her life statement.
“I’m out to inspire the world through creating music and sharing my process.” For her, this concept is at the root of all working decisions. In addition to weighing decisions carefully, Engelhardt makes an effort to rectify any situation in which she feels overwhelmed by either taking necessary action or asking for help.
Cheryl’s latest project is “One Up”, a CD where each song is devoted to a charity. The entire project is funded through sponsorship, and all the profits of each song will go to a charity. To listen to “Moving Towards Love”, one of the singles off of the album “One Up”, click here.
“There’s always more work than you can take on, especially when you’re in love with what you’re doing,” she shares. “I love having teammates and being part of a band, because that’s where you can ask for help, and it doesn’t feel like you’re asking for help.”
Engelhardt is also of the opinion that writer’s block is only a minor setback.
“Writer’s block is totally made up,” she maintains. “Inspiration is not something that happens to you. Inspiration is something you can generate.”
Whether other writers and artists believe her and can follow her example, Engelhardt has found a great space in which to live her life statement of making music and sharing it with others. Through her e-course, albums and mentoring services, she holds a place in New York’s local music scene as a teacher and helpful influence for striving musicians.