The Starving Artist Vs The Boss Producer

boss producer kris bradley music business musician mindset producer mindset starving artist successful mindset Oct 12, 2021
Produce Like A Boss Blog, Kris Bradley, The Starving Artist Vs The Boss Producer

I’m so pumped for this because the blog you’re about to read today is part 1 of 5 in a powerful series I’ve put together for my aspiring producers called “Boss Producer Business”

In this series, I’m going to walk you through the steps it takes to go from being an unpaid amateur to a paid professional producer.  

I’m also going to give you a sneak peek into how I run my six figure production company at a high level of performance and profitability. 

Now, I want you to get the absolute MOST you can out of this series, so I created a handout for you to help you implement everything I’ll be covering. Just head over to to download!

Also, if you make it to the end of this series I will have an entire workbook chocked full of goodies, recaps, and worksheets for you!

So let’s jump in!

Boss Producer Business:
Part 1:

The Starving Artist Vs. The Boss Producer

Now I’m calling the boss producer, the CEO, because that is the highest level in which you need to function in order to run a business. You must be able to think and act like a CEO. You may have heard me say this before but it’s worth repeating: “When you take on the role of being a BOSS producer, it’s no longer about just producing music--you must produce income, opportunities, growth, customers, and results.” 

Not only is it not JUST about producing music, but music is actually just one of the many things you need to go pro. I know, crazy right?!

It’s easy to get swept up in the romanticism of music and the arts--thinking that our only job is to be great at our craft and somebody will do the rest of the work. But in the new music industry that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t worry though, this is actually GREAT news, because now the power is in our hands & for those who are willing to put in the work, the opportunities to turn passions into profits are endless.

Before we begin and with full transparency:  I WAS a starving artist that learned everything I’m teaching you the HARD way. So before you start huffin’ & puffin’ as I describe some of these not so flattering characteristics, please just know I’ve got nothin’ but love for you baby & I’m here to help!

First let’s talk about the difference between the starving artist and the boss producer.


 The starving artist tends to be really self focused.  Check ME out, my art, my new song, my new single is dropping. I really want to get MY music into film & TV, I want more followers to care about what I’M doing. The starving artist wants solely to express themselves, wants solely to feel heard. The starving artist can be overly focused on vanity metrics rather than actual metrics. Good reviews, followers, and likes don’t pay the bills. Still, starving artists get swept up in these little ego boosters. 

Starving artists are also notorious for drowning in their own perfectionism, which is just procrastination masquerading as productivity. You’ll hear them say things like, “It took me seven years to make this record. I’ve tried five different mastering engineers and nobody has gotten it right!” They hold on so tightly to ONE song or ONE project and have a fear of just letting go and moving on because they don’t believe their best work is still ahead of them.  


The Boss Producer or CEO is more focused on service. They understand that in order to ask for money for their services as a creative, they must provide value.  They listen to the needs of their clients (Now I’m saying clients here because I’m speaking from the perspective of a production company but you can replace “clients” with “fans” if needed). They understand that the only way to grow is to look at true metrics and see what generates the most revenue and profit because that’s what an actual business does. Lastly, the boss producer doesn’t treat their songs like they’re their babies. They understand that in order to succeed they need to focus on quantity, not just quality. They don’t hold on too preciously to their work because by the time they finish they’re too busy moving onto the next. It’s easier for them to just let things go.

To Recap:

The Starving Artist:

  • Self Focused
  • Wants to Express Themselves
  • Wants to Feel Heard
  • Focused on Vanity Metrics
  • A Perfectionist


The Boss Producer (CEO):

  • Service Focused
  • Provides Value
  • Listens to Needs of Clients/Fans
  •  Focused on TRUE Metrics
  • Focused on Quantity and Taking Action
  • Lets Go Easily and Moves On

Don’t forget to visit the worksheet included with this series at to help you tackle what starving artists traits YOU have and how you can step into your role as Boss Producer CEO. If you’re identifying with few or even all of the starving artist traits and it’s causing you to cringe a little, don’t worry boo, I was RIGHT there with ya. No shame, we learn and we grow!

Let’s talk about what it means to be in business. I always say, musicians are the only business owners that don’t know they’re in business. If you wanted to be a chef, you wouldn’t just cook food at home then go walking around outside and ask people to eat your food right? Yet, that’s what so many musicians do. They cook food they like & go around trying to feed it to strangers--wondering why nobody wants to eat it. They don’t understand that in order to run a business, you need to:

#1 Be of service by providing something people value and want 
#2 Have systems by which you can deliver your services 
#3 Have consistency so that the process is repeatable
#4 Create awareness so people know you’re in business

Remember I was telling you earlier how this is all GOOD NEWS?! Here’s why: We are living in the best possible time EVER in the music industry. The old model told us you needed a record label, a publishing deal, a gold record, or you needed to have millions of fans to “make it”. And all of these things were out of our control because you used to need a label to distribute a record. You used to need a studio to make a record and you needed a PR firm for marketing. Now, we have the power in our hands. We can distribute, record, promote, and sell our own music; including our services as musicians.

This is the new music business and the new music economy where musicians are THRIVING and running businesses from their home studios!

So this blog did either one of two things for you. Either you went whoa...this sounds like a lot of work and you’re put off by trying to turn this into a career. 


You said: freaking cool is this?! The power is in MY hands? I can build my own business!! Yippee!! Give me more!

I’m hoping and guessing that if you follow this blog and my podcast that you’re ready to DO the work.   

If you are feeling overwhelmed or like ‘ugh...I dunno, this isn’t really “sexy” enough or exciting,’ I want you to notice that resistance. This is exactly what stops people from being successful. I could release a blog called “How to Get Rich Quick Getting Your Music into Film & TV” and that would get a LOT more views than this series simply because nobody actually wants to do the work. Everybody is looking for a “magic pill” but this is what sets aside the winners from the losers in this race.

Remember, you can work hard for yourself doing what you love or you can work hard for someone else. The choice is yours.

By the way, as many of you know I LOVE to read and a lot of you have been asking me for what books I recommend and I feel like now is a perfect time to mention “Do The Work” by Steven Pressfield. This book is one of the many that have changed my life and helped me to go from amateur to pro. I will drop a link to it below:


Speaking of going from amateur to professional, we are getting ready to 
kick off our Boss Producer Bootcamp starting September 7th

In this 5 day bootcamp you will discover:

  • The mindset it takes to go full-time as producer
  • What it takes to run a business from your home studio
  • The path from amateur producer (unpaid) to pro producer (paid)

I’m also going to show you:

  • How to increase the quality and speed of your productions
  • How to make pitchable, placeable, profitable music
  • Ways to make money online whether you’re a singer, songwriter, producer, mix engineer or instrumentalist (once you learn how to record)

We’re going to give away tons of prizes, there will be contests and even scholarship opportunities.

Now, this bootcamp is 100% FREE, but don’t get it twisted--this isn’t your run of the mill “fluff filled freebie” where you show up and give your time and don’t actually receive any real value. You are going to leave this bootcamp with a plan to start your production business today!! So I want you to treat this training like it costs you thousands of dollars, because that’s how valuable it is!

Just head over to to reserve your seat!