Sonja Norwood’s Blog: The Music Biz Needs More Women Managers

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By: Vibe / May 17, 2010

There are very few female managers in the industry. A lot of that has to do with the fact that there isn’t any formal education that can teach you how to do that. I know some people go to school and take a business management or management course. Some of those principles will apply—many of them will—but the best way to learn is to get in there and get your feet wet.

You have to have an artist that really believes in you and you have to prove that you can do the job. You can’t be soft in this industry. You can’t be mediocre. If you’re an artist manager, you have to fight for your artist. You can’t worry about what people think about you or how much they talk about you, what your reputation is in the business—that really doesn’t matter if you work for the artist. Because whatever you do is in the best interest of the artist. At the end of the day you’re taking the heat for it.

My reputation is that I’m no nonsense and difficult to work with. But first of all, I have to consider the source of where that’s coming from. Then, I have to say: Don’t be mad with me because I come prepared for the same board meeting that you attend and you’re not prepared. And don’t be mad that I wear a skirt and I’m able to do the same type of business that you do.

If you do great business, you’re considered to be a great businessperson. If I do great business, I’m considered to be a bitch. If you allow those things to bother you, then you can’t move forward. You’ll always wallow in gossip and what people say about you and it will always interfere with your goals. If a person wants to do good business with you no matter who they are and they’re interested in something you’ve got and they don’t take all the little innuendoes with them when they go, they go to do business.

So I’d like to encourage more females to get involved in the entertainment industry and become managers. Women make great managers just based on our motherly instinct. We have a caring heart. We have a love for helping people. There are so many things that mothers bring to the table. The only thing we need to do is stay unemotional. We need to be more objective to situations and not carry our emotional side of us to business. That won’t work in this world.