I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM501- Co-founder Records and Publishes Music for Songwriters Online

Podcast Interview with Chris Erhardt

Chris Erhardt is the CEO and co-founder of the online recording studio and music publishing house Tunedly. He co-founded Tunedly in 2015 and led the company through two business accelerators in New York and St. Louis, raised angel and VC funds and now manages a team of five employees and over 30 independent contractors.

Throughout his career, Chris has become deeply involved in business development and advocacy. He has been a speaker at an increasing number of tech and music conferences, including CMW, several accelerator events, and coast-to-coast startup festivals.

  • CEO Hack: Starting my day with the same routine
  • CEO Nugget: Just do it
  • CEO Defined: Wearing many hats, lots of responsibility but being able to share them

Website: https://www.tunedly.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisErhardt14
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chriserhardt/


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Transcription:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Chris Erhardt of Tunedly.

Chris, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Chris Erhardt 0:39

Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem. Super excited to have you on. What I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Chris so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

Chris is the CEO and co-founder of the online recording studio and music publishing house Tunedly. He co-founded Tunedly in 2015 and led the company through two business accelerators in New York and St. Louis, raised angel and VC funds and now manages a team of five employees and over 30 independent contractors.

Throughout his career, Chris has become deeply involved in business development and advocacy. He has been a speaker at an increasing number of tech and music conferences, including CMW, several accelerator events, and coast-to-coast startup festivals.

Chris, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Chris Erhardt 1:23

I am certainly ready. Yes.

Gresham Harkless 1:25

Awesome. Let's do it. I wanted to kick everything off, and hear about what I call your CEO story and what led you to get started with your business.

Chris Erhardt 1:33

Cool, perfect. Yes. As you already mentioned, I co-founded Tunedly, back in 2015. Before that, I had always been involved in entrepreneurship, I was a songwriter myself, I was a jingle writer and radio ads commercial writer back then, and I was living remotely enough that I couldn't get the talent that I often needed. If I needed a certain vocal type, if I needed a certain instrument, I only play the piano, I don't play the guitar or anything like that. It was kind of hard for me to connect with the session musicians. Back then I checked Craigslist, and I built up a team.

My co-founder, Milan, was an artist manager at the time. She introduced me to a few musicians. We started collaborating through email, phone, Dropbox, and whatever was available back then was very inconvenient. We hacked together that collaboration with them and that's how it started. That was the early version of Tunedly before it was a business and the songwriters noticed that I knew back then. They asked me, how you create your songs, and I explained to them how to do it, and they were like, Hey, can you help me do that too? It kind of became a business without really thinking of oh, this is going to be the business we got to create today.

Gresham Harkless 2:46

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I love to hear kind of hear how things kind of organically grow where you're just looking for something that doesn't create, so you start to patch it together. Next thing you take it to the next level, and then somebody is asking how you do it, then you have a business.

Chris Erhardt 2:59

You kind of stumbled into it rather than looking at the word and being like, Oh, that's a problem that needs to be. Nobody knew that there was a problem before you discovered it.

Gresham Harkless 3:10

A lot of times those are the, I think a lot of times the best prop the best businesses and best organizations is a lot of times, it's those things that we sometimes gloss over and don't realize are issues that are nagging at us the entire time, but you decided just to solve that small problem for yourself because you don't like how something's going and then all of a sudden, it just builds momentum from there.

Chris Erhardt 3:30

Exactly. It's very organic.

Gresham Harkless 3:31

Exactly. I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here a little bit more about Tunedly, can you take us through exactly how it works and what we can find using the software?

Chris Erhardt 3:41

Definitely. Let's say you songwriter based anywhere in the States, or anywhere in the world, really and you created a song. You wrote the lyrics, you came up with the chord progression of the composition on your guitar and you recorded a rough demo. Now it's time to produce that song. So you are certainly confident that this song could make it into film with a big artist, and you need to create a professional recording of it. The problem is you don't have the session talent around you. So what do you do, you come to Tunedly, and you can connect with all the session musicians that play in Nashville that play in New York that play on big records, and collaborate with them through the platform.

Now, here's the cool part of our app. We let songwriters create the songs with session musicians on our platform and we get to first listen to them. Those are brand-new songs nobody has ever heard. So we get the first listen to them. We can cherry-pick the best ones and reach out to the songwriter and be like, hey, look, this song does have potential, would you mind signing a publishing deal? Most songwriters who don't have a publishing deal yet or don't know how to pitch their songs themselves, take the publishing deal, and we can create value for them by pitching them music to the industry and hopefully place them in Film, TV ads and generate royalties for us and for that.

Gresham Harkless 4:57

Nice I appreciate that. I think for those who may not be familiar with the whole process of why you would want to create a song. You I'm sure a lot of artists, are passionate about their music and what it is that they create. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of the goal is to get that publishing deal so that you do kind of take that next level. So it's great to kind of have that one-stop opportunity.

Chris Erhardt 5:22

Correct. I mean, we have, we have all types of songwriters that use to me on some of our clients, they have a publishing deal elsewhere, or they self publish, they have connections, then film, they have connections in media. They're just used to getting their songs done in a professional way more economically than they can do locally where they are. That's fine, we never have a chance to sign these songs to our publishing catalog, which is fine.

But then there are also a lot of songwriters that don't have the connection as super talented guys. They know how to write songs, and they know how to make music, but they simply lack the connections in the industry. Those are the guys that we can help and add extra value to, besides just the music production, actually get them to a publishing deal.

Gresham Harkless 6:07

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I know that you hear it a lot in the book, the E-Myth, where usually people that start businesses are probably in the same thing as music. They are passionate about what it is that they do. They love making music, they love playing the guitar, but they don't necessarily want to do all those business aspects of it.

Chris Erhardt 6:28

That when I started out making music, bread baking, I don't know, back when I was like 18, 19 years old, a popular big music producer back then he told me, by the time you get to a professional level, the creative part is maybe 10% of your day, the other 90% is administrative parts, business parts, negotiations all that kind of stuff. The creative part gets diluted down to like, 10% of your day, once you hit the professional level and a lot of people don't realize that, but it's true.

Gresham Harkless 7:00

Yeah, it makes so much sense. Yeah, it's great to hear that because it is right in line with the E Myth. A lot of times when you start a business, you love doing whatever you do. Then you'd say, Hey, I'm going to start a business, or like you said I'm gonna create this song, and I want to go get a pitch, do the negotiation, and all of a sudden, everything you're doing is not as much of the music aspect. It's great to kind of hear that you're partnering with these musicians that sounds like.

Chris Erhardt 7:22

It's the same as when you start a business exactly. But when we went through the first accelerator, one of the mentors told me back then I was the CEO of a company of two, it was me and the co-founder, and we were doing everything right, like operating the business, right? That's what you do when you start a business.

Mentor told me on the first day of the accelerator program, he said, by the time, you leave this accelerator, you're not going to do any of the day-to-day stuff anymore. Because you'll be busy fundraising, you'll be busy trying to get partnerships all the day-to-day, so you're going to have employees so that. When you hear that from someone same with was 18 and somebody told me that 10% is going to be creative, and 9% is going to be business when you professional musician, you don't believe that until you get to that point.

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Gresham Harkless 8:03

Yeah, absolutely. It's always great, just like in a co-founder of a business, but also to be able to partner with people that are, that's their strong suit. As far as you doing and creating that collaboration tool but also, as you mentioned, if needed publishing did take care of that as well, too, so that a lot of people can focus on what they want to focus on and their core competency. I appreciate that. I know, you might have already touched on this, but do you feel like having that extra piece, in addition to the collaboration piece is what you would call your secret sauce or the thing you feel kind of sets you and your organization apart?

Chris Erhardt 8:40

Yeah, that was kind of always the plan, we had this collaboration platform. It's a very niche product, let's face it. There are only so many songwriters out there. We always knew that we needed to add something to supplement the revenue that comes into Tunedly. It just made sense. We had within the first few years, we had 1000s of songs created on the platform. It just made sense, we have to first listen to them. Nobody has a brand-new song. So why not go into publishing? We partnered up with Harvey Mason, Jr, and Matthew Knowles, who are helping us with building that part of the business. They mentioned the same thing. It just makes sense to go into publishing since we have so much content right in front of us. So why not tap into it?

Gresham Harkless 9:27

Yeah, it makes so much sense. It kind of sounds like a win-win opportunity where again, the sound songwriter, gets that opportunity to be published, but at the same time. I imagine that from a publishing standpoint, too, you're not going into dirty kind of bars and backlit countries that are trying to find these artists, it's probably a lot more efficient way to do that now or you don't have to necessarily do that you can go in and partner with people like yourself that have so much content.

Chris Erhardt 9:55

When it comes to placing music at all, it's all about relationships. It's you need to know you need to be in the spots where music is getting licensed, right? Unless you talk about stock music, what did you put up in a library? But other than that, if you're looking at any bigger opportunities, you got to be in New York, and Los Angeles or Nashville where the industry is. That's where we have a song artist, that's where we have people that are on the ground for us pitching music for artists.

Gresham Harkless 10:20

That makes so much sense, I appreciate that. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be an app, book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Chris Erhardt 10:28

I try to run every day with a routine without losing flexibility. As a founder, especially in an early-stage company, you can't get too bogged down on a routine, but at the same time, if you go wild all day you can't get much done. So I try to start my day the same way I wake up and I check my email to make sure that everything is on track. Then I have tasks laid out.

But at the same time, if an investor calls me and says, Hey, can you be on a conference call at four? I'd be like, Oh, no, four, I have planned my 30 supper. I'm gonna have to, that's the hop on that call. I try to be flexible enough to incorporate any surprises, but at the same time, I try to be as consistent as possible in terms of trying to resemble something like a routine to know what's going on to know what I do.

Gresham Harkless 11:29

Yeah, that makes so much sense. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, can be for somebody who started a music business, or even somebody who is looking for fundraising. But what advice would you give to these entrepreneurs and business owners?

Chris Erhardt 11:45

Just do it, man. I think that's the advice that I would give anyone.

Gresham Harkless 11:50

Awesome. Now, I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO.

We're hoping to have different quote and quote, CEOs on the show. So Chris, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Chris Erhardt 12:01

Being a CEO means wearing a lot of hats, and having a lot of responsibility, but also being able to share that responsibility with the people you pick, you pick them for a reason, right? We have a general manager down in Colorado who's running the day-to-day operations. He has a lot of responsibility himself, and I'm okay to give that responsibility away. At the same time, I know that I carry a lot of responsibility towards him and all the other staff.

Because I know I have to go out and fundraise, I have to make sure that the finances are right in the business, I have a responsibility towards our investors who put money into the company and bet on me and the co-founder, and then to grow this business and grow their investment. Being a CEO means wearing a lot of hats, especially in the early days, and then having a lot of responsibility on your back. But being able to distribute that responsibility with the right people that you find on the way.

Gresham Harkless 12:58

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for painting that picture. Because I think a lot of times, when you think of being a CEO, you think you're like the only one kind of in that rowboat, and you're only one rowing. But at the same time, if you don't, if you row only one side and the other person doesn't roll the other side.

Chris Erhardt 13:13

They have to just

Gresham Harkless 13:14

Yeah, exactly. Where you're gonna go anywhere. You need everybody to be on the same page and in the same boat a lot of times and growing together so that you can reach your goals.

Chris Erhardt 13:24

Exactly. Yeah, that's what I was asked the other day, what do you look for in an early-stage employee? Right. If we keep going with the rolling and boat, right, you don't necessarily look for the strongest people with the biggest artists look for the people that can adapt the best. Especially in the early stage startup doesn't make sense to go for the most experienced person because you can't compete with Google or with Universal Music to attract the talent.

You look for the people who truly believe in what you're doing and really behind what you're doing. They grow with you, they will stumble, they will fall in, they will make mistakes. But hey, every time they make them, they grow with it and they grow with the company and early stage company. Nothing. Everything is far from perfect, but you get every day you get towards perfection by failing and then ironing it out and making sure that this doesn't happen again. That's the kind of people you want in your team early on.

Gresham Harkless 14:17

Yeah, absolutely. You sound like you've created that culture and looking for that and knowing that that's an important part because I think I read something that it always talked about, like the sign of strength is the rock. But apparently, I was reading something that says the new sound of strength is water because water, can move around, it can go through anything. If you have enough water, you can always find ways. It kind of sounds like you've imprinted that kind of same culture into hiring and bringing on team members and so forth.

Chris Erhardt 14:47

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 14:48

Yeah. Awesome. Well, I appreciate that, and I appreciate your time as well. What I want to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and then of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Chris Erhardt 15:04

Sure, definitely. If you want to know anything else, always feel free to reach out to me, that's completely fine. You can find us tunedly.com. My email address is on there, just shoot me an email. Other than that if you happen to listen to this podcast and songwriter I would love to help you out.

Gresham Harkless 15:23

Awesome. We will have those links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. I appreciate you so much again, Chris, for all the awesome things you're doing and the reminder.

I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 15:35

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co

I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co.

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This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Chris Erhardt of Tunedly. Chris it's awesome to have you on the show.

Chris Erhardt 0:39

Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Chris so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Chris is the CEO and co-founder of the online recording studio and music publishing house Tunedly. He co-founded Tunedly in 2015 and led the company through two business accelerators in New York and St. Louis, raised angel and VC funds and now manages a team of five employees and over 30 independent contractors. Throughout his career Chris has become deeply involved in business development and advocacy. He has been a speaker at an increasing number of tech and music conferences, including CMW, several accelerator events, and coast to coast startup festivals Chris, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Chris Erhardt 1:23

I am certainly ready. Yes.

Gresham Harkless 1:25

Awesome. Let's do it. I wanted to kick everything off with here and about what I call your CEO story. And what led you to get started with your business?

Chris Erhardt 1:33

Cool, perfect. Yes. As you already mentioned, I co founded Tunedly, back in 2015. Prior to that, I always been involved in entrepreneurship, I was a songwriter myself, I was a jingle writer and radio ads commercial writer back then, and I was living remotely enough that I couldn't really get the talent that I often needed. If I needed a certain vocal type, if I needed a certain instrument, I only play the piano, I don't play the guitar or anything like that. It was kind of hard for me to connect with them session musicians. Back then I checked Craigslist, and I built up a team, my co founder, Milan, she was an artist manager at a time. So she introduced me to a few musicians. We started collaborating through email, phone, Dropbox, whatever was available back then I was very inconvenient. We hacked together that collaboration to them and that's how it started. That's that was the early version of Tunedly before it was really a business and the songwriters notice that I knew back then. They asked me how do you create your songs, and I explained them how to do it, and they're like, Hey, can you help me do that too. It kind of became a business without really thinking of oh, this is going to be the business we got to create today.

Gresham Harkless 2:46

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I love to hear kind of hear how things kind of organically grow where you're just looking for something that doesn't create, so you start to patch it together. Next thing you take it to the next level, and then somebody is asking how you do it, then you have a business.

Chris Erhardt 2:59

You kind of stumbled into it rather than looking at the word and be like, Oh, that's a problem that needs to be. Nobody knew that there was a problem before you actually discovered it.

Gresham Harkless 3:10

A lot of times those are the really, I think a lot of times the best prop the best businesses and best organisations is a lot of times, it's those things that we sometimes gloss over and don't realise are issues that are nagging at us the entire time, but you decided just to solve that small problem for yourself, because you don't like how something's going and then all of a sudden, it just builds momentum from there.

Chris Erhardt 3:30

Exactly. It's very organic.

Gresham Harkless 3:31

Exactly. I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here a little bit more about Tunedly, can you take us through exactly how it works and what we can find using software?

Chris Erhardt 3:41

Definitely. Let's say you songwriter based anywhere in the states, or anywhere in the world, really and you created a song. You basically wrote the lyrics, you came up with the chord progression of the composition on your guitar and you record a rough demo. Now it's time to produce that song. So you certainly you're confident that this song could make it into film one with a big artist, and you need to create a professional recording of it. Problem is you don't have the session talent around you. So what do you do, you come to Tunedly, you can connect with all the session musicians that play in Nashville that play in New York that play on big records, and collaborate with them through the platform. Now, here's the cool part on our app. We let songwriters create the songs with session musicians on our platform and we get to first listen to them. Those are brand new songs nobody has ever heard. So we get the first listen to them. We can cherry pick the best ones and reach out to the songwriter and be like, hey, look, this song really does have potential, would you mind signing a publishing deal? Most songwriters who don't have a publishing deal yet or don't know how to pitch their songs themselves, they take the publishing deal, and we can create value for them by pitching them music to the industry and hopefully place them in Film, TV ads and generate royalties for us and for that.

Gresham Harkless 4:57

Nice I definitely appreciate that. I think for those that may not be familiar with the whole entire process of why you would want to create a song. You obviously I'm sure a lot of artists, definitely passionate about their music and what it is that they create. But correct me if I'm wrong, a lot of the goal is to get that publishing deal and so that you do kind of take that next level. So it's great to kind of have that one stop opportunity.

Chris Erhardt 5:22

Correct. I mean, we have, we have all types of songwriters that use to me on some of some of our clients, they have a publishing deal elsewhere, or they self publish, they have connections, then film, they have connections in media. They're really just used to the for getting their songs done in a professional way more economically than they can do locally where they are. That's fine, we never have a chance to sign these songs to our publishing catalogue, which is fine. But then there's also a lot of songwriters that don't have the connection as super talented guys. They know how to write songs, they know how to make music, but they simply lack the connections in the industry. Those are the guys that we can help and basically add extra value to, besides just the music production, actually get them to a publishing deal.

Gresham Harkless 6:07

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I know that you hear it a lot in the book, the E Myth, where usually people that start businesses are probably in the same thing as music. They are really passionate about what it is that they do. They love making music, they love playing the guitar, but they don't really necessarily want to do all those business aspects of it.

Chris Erhardt 6:28

That when I started out making music, bread baking, I don't know, back when I was like 1819 years old, a popular big music producer back then he told me, by the time you get to a professional level, the creative part is maybe 10% of your day, the other 90% is actually administrative parts, business parts, negotiations all that kind of stuff. The creative part gets really, really diluted down to like, 10% of your day, once you hit the professional level and a lot of people don't realise that, but it's true.

Gresham Harkless 7:00

Yeah, it makes so much sense. Yeah, it's great to hear that because it is right in line with the E Myth. A lot of times when you start a business, you really love doing whatever you do. Then you'd say, Hey, I'm going to start a business or like you said I'm gonna create this song, and I want to go get a pitch, do the negotiation, and all of a sudden, everything you're doing is not really as much of the music aspect. It's great to kind of hear that you're partnering with these musicians that sounds like.

Chris Erhardt 7:22

It's the same as when you start a business exactly. But when we went through a first accelerator, one of the mentors basically told me back then I was the CEO of a company of two, it was me and the co founder, and we were doing everything right, like operating the business, right? That's what you do when you start a business. Mentor told me like the first day of the accelerator programme, he said, by the time you leave this accelerator, you're not going to do any of the day to day stuff anymore. Because you'll be busy fundraising, you'll be busy trying to get partnerships all the day to day, so you're going to have employees so that. When you hear that from someone same with was 18 and somebody told me that 10% is going to be creative, 9% is going to be business when you professional musician, you don't believe that until you actually get to that point.

Gresham Harkless 8:03

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Yeah, absolutely. It's always great, just like in a co founder of a business, but also to be able to partner with people that are, that's their strong suit. As far as you doing and creating that collaboration tool but also, as you mentioned, if needed that publishing did take care of that as well, too, so that a lot of people can focus on what they want to focus on and their core competency. I appreciate that. I know, you might have already touched on this, but do you feel like having that extra piece, in addition to the collaboration piece is what you would call like your secret sauce, or the thing you feel kind of sets you and your organisation apart?

Chris Erhardt 8:40

Yeah, that was kind of always the plan, we had this collaboration platform. It's a very niche product, let's face it. There are only so many songwriters out there. We always knew that we need to add something to supplement the revenue that comes into tunity. It just made sense. We had within the first few years, we had 1000s of songs created on the platform. It just made sense, we have to first listen to them. Nobody has a brand new song. So why not go into publishing? We partnered up with Harvey Mason, Jr, and Matthew Knowles, who are helping us with building that part of the business. They mentioned the same thing. It just makes sense to go into publishing since we have so much content right in front of us. So why not tap into it?

Gresham Harkless 9:27

Yeah, it makes so much sense. It creates kind of sounds like that win-win opportunity where again, for the sound songwriter, they get that opportunity to be published, but at the same time. I imagine that from a publishing standpoint, too, you're not going into dirty kind of bars and backlit countries that are trying to find these artists, it's probably a lot more efficient way to do that now or you don't have to necessarily do that you can go in and partner with people like yourself that have so much content.

Chris Erhardt 9:55

When it comes to placing music at all, it's all about relationships. It's you need to know you need to be in the spots where music is actually getting licenced, right? Unless you actually talk about stock music, what did you put up on a library. But other than that, if you're looking at any bigger opportunities, you got to be in New York, and Los Angeles on Nashville where the industry is. That's where we have a song artist, that's where we have people that are on the ground for us, basically, pitching music for artists.

Gresham Harkless 10:20

That makes so much sense, I definitely appreciate that. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be an app, book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Chris Erhardt 10:28

I try to run every day with a routine without losing the flexibility. As a founder, especially in an early stage company, you can't get too bogged down on a routine, but at the same time, if you go wild all day you can't get much done. So I try to start my day the same way I wake up and I check my email to make sure that everything is on track. Then I have tasks laid out. But at the same time, if an investor calls me and be like, Hey, can you be on a conference call at four? I'd be like, Oh, no, four, I actually have planned my 30 supper. I'm gonna have to, that's the hop on that call. I try to be flexible enough to incorporate any surprises and but at the same time, I try to be as consistent as possible in terms of trying to resemble something like a routine in order to know what's going on in order to know what I do.

Gresham Harkless 11:29

Yeah, that makes so much sense. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice, can be for somebody that started a music business, or some even somebody is looking for fundraising. But what advice would you give for these entrepreneurs and business owners?

Chris Erhardt 11:45

Just do it man. I think that's the advice that I would give anyone.

Gresham Harkless 11:50

Awesome. Now, I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So Chris, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Chris Erhardt 12:01

Being a CEO means wearing a lot of hats, and having a lot of responsibility, but also being able to share that responsibility with the people you pick, you pick them for a reason, right? We have a general manager down in Colorado who's basically running the day to day operations. He has a lot of responsibility himself, and I'm okay to give that responsibility away. At the same time, I know that I carry a lot of responsibility towards him and towards all the other staff. Because I know I have to go out and fundraise, I have to make sure that the finances are right in the business, I have a responsibility towards our investors who put money into the company and basically bet on me and the co founder, and then to grow this business and grow their investment. Being a CEO means wearing a lot of hats, especially in the early days, and then having a lot of responsibility on your back. But being able to distribute that responsibility with the right people that you find on the way.

Gresham Harkless 12:58

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for painting that picture. Because I think a lot of times, when you think of being a CEO, you think you're like the only one kind of in that rowboat, and you're only one rowing. But at the same time, if you don't, if you row only one side and other person doesn't roll the other side.

Chris Erhardt 13:13

They have to just

Gresham Harkless 13:14

Yeah, exactly. Where you're gonna go anywhere. You need everybody to be on the same page and the same boat a lot of times and growing together and so that you can reach your goals.

Chris Erhardt 13:24

Exactly. Yeah, that's I was asked the other day, what do you look for in an early stage employees? Right. If we keep going with the rolling and boat, right, you don't necessarily look for the strongest people with the biggest artists look for the people that can adapt the best. Especially in the early stage startup doesn't make sense to go for the most experienced person because you can't compete with Google or with Universal Music to attract the talent. You look for the people that truly believe in what you're doing and really behind what you're doing. They grow with you, they will stumble, they would fall in, they will make mistakes. But hey, every time they make them, they grow with it and they grow with the company and early stage company. Nothing is everything is far from perfect, but you get every day you get towards perfection by failing and then ironing it out and making sure that this doesn't happen again. That's the kind of people you want in your in your team early on.

Gresham Harkless 14:17

Yeah, absolutely. You definitely sounds like you've created that culture and looking for that and knowing that that's an important part because I think I read something that it always talked about, like the sign of strength is the rock. But apparently I was reading something where it says the new sound of strength is actually water because water, it can move around, it can go through anything. If you have enough water, it can always find ways. It kind of sounds like you've imprinted that kind of same culture into hiring and bringing on team members and so on and so forth.

Chris Erhardt 14:47

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 14:48

Yeah. Awesome. Well, I definitely appreciate that, I appreciate your time as well. What I want to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and then of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Chris Erhardt 15:04

Sure, definitely. If you want to know anything else, always feel free to reach out to me, that's completely fine. You can find us @tunedly.com. My email address is on there, just shoot me an email. Other than that if you happen to listen to this podcast and songwriter I would love to help you out.

Gresham Harkless 15:23

Awesome. We will have those links and information as well in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. I appreciate you so much again, Chris, for all the awesome things you're doing and the reminder and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 15:35

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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