First, a little background. I am a 43-year-old entrepreneur (the founder of The New York Enterprise Report), I recently put my first band together in 17 years, Fantastic People, and we played our first gig at Sullivan Hall in NYC on March 29, 2012.
About a week before the gig, I was discussing the whole band thing with another entrepreneur. He was curious as to how I was promoting the show and I told him that like a lot of things, it was a combination of a lot of little things: Facebook, e-mailing, etc. I also mentioned that I was inviting clients and business contacts through LinkedIn. He was surprised that I was "mixing business with pleasure" and stated that he would be afraid of doing it as it might affect his reputation. I told him that he had it all wrong. I thought (and retrospectively, I was right) that this whole band thing was going to be good for business. Here is why:
- My band played together with another band that was largely comprised of entrepreneurs, so I knew that the evening would turn into a really good networking event for many. Looking back, I was right.
- Anyone who has met me knows I am a serious businessperson. There is nothing about my playing in a band would hurt my image as such.
- I have always felt that business is personal. People do business with people and especially people they like. For me, the line between business and personal is quite blurred.
One of our business development managers saw this as an opportunity as well and invited many of her clients. Even just talking about it with perspective clients resulted in harder-than-ever-to-get, engaged conversations. Since the gig, about two dozen clients (a combination of people who saw us in March or those who couldn't make it) have been asking when we are playing next, because they want to come. Sounds like good business to me.
P.S.: If you're interested in seeing what we played and how we sounded, check out the video and playlist below.