Farah Allen, Founder and CEO of LABZ, is this month’s BEA “One to Grow On” featured speaker, Tuesday, May 29, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM,EDT in Atlanta.
Join us for this Free open forum, networking event, with success tips for entertainment industry entrepreneurs. CLICK HERE to register, and for more details.
Ms. Allen is an enterprising woman who has always had big dreams leading her to start LABZ, which uses Blockchain technology, allowing artists to create and collaborate on songs while protecting their work.
The platform ‘fingerprints’ audio files as well as pulling out critical data for documentation on song ownership, copyright and payments.
Her risk-taking, not-afraid-to-fail approach to life, has led her on an impressive entrepreneurial journey. Ms. Allen was CEO of Song Society App LLC, a mobile app for songwriting collaboration. s also the founding member of What Matters LLC, an IT Management Consultant agency, specializing in Software development, IT Project Management, Program Management and Solution Architecture.
Here are three powerful tips Ms. Allen shares with entrepreneurs?
1. “You are right most of the time: There is no real science to being an entrepreneur other than acquiring skill sets that push you to make better decisions. Trust your instincts/knowledge it’s the only thing that will move your forward. “
2. “Continually test your assumptions: Because something is true 10 times in a row does not make it true all the time. Not all problems have the same root cause. Use the “why?” method whenever you are faced with a problem.”
3. “Deliberate practice: I learned this term while reading Malcolm’s Gladwell’s book called “Outliers.” Studies have shown that “expert-level performance is primarily the result of expert-level practice NOT due to innate talent.” If you like being an entrepreneur practice and grow your skills.”
Come to our next “One to Grow On" monthly meeting, May 29th, and hear more great ideas from Ms. Allen, and BEA experts. CLICK HERE
“We have a simple mission at Backstage Economic Alliance (BEA). Unite our creative communities and empower each member with financial guidance, support and the knowledge they need to be successful in arts & entertainment.”
Those words spoken by BEA co-president Bram Bessoff, are filled with the passion and determination he needs to lead this newly minted non-profit started in Atlanta, Georgia, the production capital of the south and soon to be the world if Bram has his way. He knows well what artists need to be successful as the Founder and President of Indiehitmaker, his artist development company. “We put artists on the billboard charts every week,” says Bessoff. “and help them build momentum to have successful careers where they remain in control.”
Working so closely with talent, Bessoff sees success in artists, and their potential downfall if they do not know how to manage their finances. “Finding success in film, television, music or digital entertainment you must first understand the business. A lot of creatives didn’t go to school for business, myself included,” says Bessoff.
Bram one of two presidents of BEA (he shares the workload with fellow friend and colleague Eddie F of La Face Records days) is first and foremost a member. “I could be the BEA poster boy. I need the same services offered to every BEA member. I’m a self-employed artist and small business owner who has a family and home that depends upon my income.”
Bram often repeats the wise words of his early mentor, Jeff Hoffman to the artists he works with, “ To be a successful artist in today’s entertainment industry, you must think like an entrepreneur. Know how to run a business, hire and manage a winning team and then put everything you have into making your dream a success. If this isn’t you, I suggest a career change.”
Bessoff, a born drummer, knows from experience artists need BEA. His professional career began when he started Soup here in Atlanta, an acoustic jam-rock band that constantly toured playing over 150 shows a year for seven years straight. After its disbandment, Bram started SoundArt to help other independent artists avoid the same pitfalls of his past. Bram fell deeper into live music when SoundArt helped produce the Virgin College Mega Tour and later toured the world with Atlanta indie rockers State of Man that led to starting Indiehitmaker[and finally finding his true passion as a live music producer.
“If BEA was around ten, twenty years ago to guide me, I’d be in a very different financial position at this point in my life.” Bram now knows what it takes to create a successful career in music. “Being an independent artist is not the same as having a regular day job where you can always count on getting a check.”
BEA has workshops, one-on-one counseling, and featured speakers at their monthly meet ups to teach finances, in addition to providing financial resources and other educational tools for artists and entertainment industry professionals to manage their finances and business.
When not helping artists build momentum, working on live shows or furthering the success of Georgia’s Music Investment Act (Georgia’s newest entertainment tax incentive designed to close Georgia’s creative economy loop), you can find Bram speaking at industry conferences around the nation, including MusicBiz, SXSW, A3C and many more, or find him aboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship working with their resident artists to create better live music experiences for Carnival’s passengers.
It was at a Grammy meeting several years back where Bessoff met Aneesah-Bray Power, Founder and Executive Director of Backstage Economic Alliance, an endeavor she started six years ago that finally came to fruition after the two teamed up.
“I was immediately on board with Aneesah’s vision to start Georgia’s first entertainment based credit union” says Bessoff, “but we knew we had some major obstacles in our way. The first step was to unite our creative communities: music film, television and digital entertainment and get them working together. Something we are still working on today.”
Knowing well the loftiness of this goal, Bessoff and Bray along with other board founders, decided to focus first on helping the individual creative strive for financial freedom marking the start of BEA.
“There’s plenty of groups to talk to people in the industry about honing their craft,” says Bessoff, “But there’s no organization really out there helping creatives manage their money.”
Backstage Economic Alliance is filling that gap. Join today. CLICK HERE
BEA welcomes LaRonda Sutton, Film City LLC owner, and this month’s “One to Grow On” featured speaker, Tuesday, April 24 (12:30pm-2:00pm).
Join us for this Free Atlanta event. CLICK HERE to register, and for more details.
Ms. Sutton is an entertainment industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in all aspects of film, television, music, and new media.
Her consulting firm, Film City LLC, is also a film permit facilitation agency dedicated to advising policy makers on the long-term economic benefits of being a film and entertainment friendly municipality.
Prior to establishing Film City, Ms. Sutton was the founding Director of the Mayor's Office of Film & Entertainment for the City of Atlanta. She launched the new executive office during Mayor Kasim Reed's administration in July 2013.
Vice President, Music, Development & Production for Foxx/King Entertainment, Sutton managed the music careers for Academy Award-winning actor and Grammy winning musician Jamie Foxx, musical icon Ron Isley, and Grammy winner Lalah Hathaway. Her department primarily focused on touring, music publishing & licensing, artist development, music supervision for film, television and radio, marketing, branding, and endorsements.
Ms. Sutton lends her time and talents to several community and charitable organizations.
Each month BEA hosts One to Grow On, a free and open forum for Atlanta creatives to receive financial and career advice.
Working in the entertainment industry, you may think it’s difficult to save money. However, it’s important since many jobs are temporary.
Even if you think you are not making enough money to save, at least try beginning with a small amount. You can even start by putting your spare change in a jar. You’ll find that now you want to save more because you are changing your mindset, from “I don’t have enough money,” to “I have money to save.” Before you know it, you have gone from saving change to saving dollars. You are now expanding your consciousness from lack to abundant thinking.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. We found a few apps to help you:
Save Money Without Thinking About It
Digit is the effortless way to save money without thinking about it. Every day, Digit checks your spending habits and moves money from your checking account to your Digit account, if you can afford it. Easily withdraw your money any time. Fast Company named Digit 2017's second most innovative company in finance having now saved over $500 million dollars for its customers.
Tip Yourself - Save Money, Get Motivated
Save money! A saving money app that's fun. Reward yourself and save money.
How do you save money? The secret is habits and mindset. Examples how to tip yourself when you:
Google Play named Clarity Money as “Best of 2017”
This app improves your own financial well-being. It uses data science and machine learning to analyze user’s personal finances to help make smarter decisions with money.
It’s free-to-use and can help you save money, plan your budget, track your spending, keep an eye on your credit score, and manage all of your linked accounts in one place.
(Note* BEA is not compensated for featuring these apps)
One of the biggest challenges for many newbies in the entertainment industry is trying to balance the lack of having a consistent paycheck like working a 9-5 job.
Actually, it can be an ongoing challenge for even those with a long show business career.
In the industry, getting paid is often called feast or famine. Entertainers will receive a huge paycheck for a project, but they may not work and get paid for a long time between gigs.
In addition, there are little things called taxes and fees.
Comedian/actor/producer Kevin Hart, who today is on the Forbes list as one of the wealthiest celebrities says he learned financial lessons in the industry the hard way.
Kevin writes in his book, “I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons” that his
first big show business pay check was $25,000. However, when he got the check, taxes and his agent’s fees were taken out among other things. He was shocked that he only received $12,000 from what he thought would be a lot of money in his bank account.
This is one reason why Backstage Economic Alliance was created to help people in the entertainment industry like you, learn not only how to budget your finances, but to educate yourself on what to expect. We don’t want you having any surprises which you can’t handle.
We have classes, one-on-one counseling, and speakers at our events to teach you about finances. We also provide financial resources and other educational tools.
It’s our mission to help you monetize and organize your finances. You can’t fully create when you are struggling and worried about money. We want to you succeed so you can continue doing the things you love in the entertainment industry and to become prosperous.
Become a BEA member today!
Creative types sometimes feel they will be “lucky” to get the career they want. “Maybe I’ll one day have a great career with plenty of money.”
What’s wrong with this statement? “One day” is sometime in the future and may never come. “Plenty of money” This may be too much for your mind to handle and it immediately rejects it. “This won’t happen.”
Instead set your intention. Be specific. This means not straining trying to make things happen. It’s about focusing on what you want and having faith that it will materialize when you take the necessary steps.
The definition of intention in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is this:
“Intent, purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal mean what one intends to accomplish or attain. Intention implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about. Intent suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness.”
When a pilot gets into his plane, he sets an intention to get to his destination. You set intentions all the time to buy something, to go places. It’s the same with you having a successful, prosperous career. You need to set your intentions and not just hope and wish. Move forward.
Backstage Economic Alliance was created to help you set your intention for your career/business by offering members personal guidance, technology, networking, and educational opportunities to create your financial independence. You can join today.
In the meantime, here is one way to set your intentions:
Write your vision statement for your intended career and finances.
A vision statement is a powerful tool to help you create a lucrative dream career in the entertainment industry. It helps you to “think from the end.” In Steven Covey’s classic best-seller, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” he writes: “begin with the end in mind.”
Here is a way to set your career intention thinking from the end. It starts with visualization.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”~ Albert Einstein
If you are a musician perhaps you want a hit album. If you are an actor, maybe you would like to star in a movie or a television show. If you are a writer possibly a screenplay or a book.
How much money would I be making a year, or per project? (Set a dollar amount .)
Where would I live?
What type of home would I have?
What type of automobile will I drive?
How would I look and dress?
How would you look?
I would like to have my credit card bills paid off by _________(date).
I would like this much_________per year or per project
for that thing to come to you.
Take the time to experience your success by feeling as if it has already happened.
How does your body feel?
will power, and trying to make things happen. You’ve done that before, right? How
did that worked out for you? Setting intention is focusing on what you want, and
allowing what you Imagined to unfold and materialize with faith.
You deserve the best. Set your intentions for your dream life and we’ll help you.
“Our intentions create our reality.” Dr. Wayne Dyer
Become a BEA member. Click Here
Backstage Economic Alliance (BEA), a new Atlanta non-profit, is creating economic value for its’ members in the entertainment industry by addressing the financial challenges unique to those in show business.
The organization welcomes professional and student musicians, actors, filmmakers, to learn how to become financially independent.
Aneesah-Bray Power, BEA founder and Executive Director knows first-hand the need for creative types to learn how to manage their money. When she was in her twenties, she tried buying a house with her husband, a rapper. “We had the money, $75,000, but we didn’t have the credit or proper collateral for a home loan.”
When the couple was turned down, she was shocked and wanted to know how they could improve their knowledge to be in a better financial position, but they couldn’t find specific training for those in the entertainment business.
This experience fueled Power’s drive to not only help her family, but others in the entertainment industry who may be financially challenged, or simply wanted to educate themselves to better fund their personal and business needs.
Over the years, Power has met the aspiring artists who did not have a realistic view on how to survive in the entertainment industry.
“When I was traveling on tour, every young person that I ran into wanted to be an artist.” Says Power who owns a consulting and management firm with entertainment, marketing and promotions services.
“They didn’t know how many other jobs are in the entertainment industry. Everyone cannot be a performer, but there are plenty of jobs available for these people, and ultimately if they want to be on the creative end of the business they can be.”
According to Power, Performers are Artrepreneurs. They own a business and the key to a successful business is education, especially learning how to financially survive between jobs to become prosperous.
“The BEA mission is to educate members through coaching, workshops, events, monthly meetings, and online videos to be successful,” says Power “We want to help creative minded people grow their careers, manage their money and make smart financial decisions for the short and long terms.”
Click Here to join today!
Local Entertainment Industry leaders launch new association and partners with a credit union to bring Atlanta’s creative community financial soundness.
Atlanta, GA – A group of visionary professionals have come together in an effort to influence, inspire and educate those in Atlanta's entertainment industry about financial literacy, wealth building and career sustainability. This Alliance board is composed of independent entertainment business owners, educators, IT professionals, lawyers, investors, bankers, publishers and marketing experts that all recognize that Georgia is quickly becoming a production capital of the world.
BEA (Backstage Economic Alliance) officially opens its doors of membership to unite Atlanta’s inspired community, both individuals and associations, under the common bond of financial cultivation for all. The nonprofit will feature individual mentoring sessions to its members supported by free-to-members financial education webinars, phone conferences and yearly retreats starting in 2018. Our projects include preparedness and administering entertainment loan and grant programs, creating an internal credit line and real-world business establishment.
“BEA’s goal is to empower Atlanta’s artist community to have the financial knowledge they need to build and sustain wealth for their families in an industry that has abnormal pay structures and salaries. We help our members grow their careers, manage their money and make smart financial decisions for the short & long terms. As making money and finding success is a common bond between all those who work in film, television, music, digital entertainment and new media industries. We want BEA to be the conduit for our members to work together for the further prosperity.” says Founder and Executive Director Aneesah-Bray Power.
BEA's Mission is designed to keep more money in members’ pockets. This means partnering with local entities to create Atlanta’s first Entertainment Credit Union while uniting existing and new organizations to build the wealth of Atlanta's prolific ecosystem. We currently have a credit union partner in 1St Choice to assist in the first steps of our program. “Finally, an association fully focused on unifying our niche groups to establish individual financial solvency so every creative can achieve life goals doing what they love”, says Co-President Bram Bessoff.
As BEA grows, we will build a stronger relationship with our members by adding tailored programs, provide technologically advanced tools and leverage our financial powers to make financially strategic decisions that benefit and profit all who join.
To become a member sign on to ATLbackstage.com or BEAAtl.org and click join.