My Five Best 2018 Ideas

My Five Best  Ideas from my “Sound of Money”  column  published in MMR.

OK. The title is a bit much, because as a newly minted 2018 grandfather, my best idea was to marry and have a family. Still, the ideas all previously published in MMR are all really powerful. If you want to dig in more, visit, for links to the complete column.

1- Exiting? A Buyer’s Perspective., MMR, January, 2018

When it comes to how much a business is worth, who better to ask than Steve Zapf, president of Music & Arts. When I asked Zapf what were the key drivers for valuation multiples, the seller’s intellectual capital was on the top of his mind. “ Larger businesses with consistent earnings that are less dependent on a single person provide for a more stable and predictable operation after the acquisition,” he says. “These are factors give us the necessary confidence to increase the multiple we pay.” If you want to increase the offer from a buyer, growing your intangible assets is a powerful way to reduce the risks when exiting your business.


2- Got Value?.  MMR, February, 2018

Why are brick & mortar stores with an online presence not promoting their physical space where people can gather, learn, share, and be musically inspired? This is kind of like drawing a straight flush, only to throw away the winning card, which is your music store. Start small. Carve out a small space for events and ask your suppliers for help. Tell a great story, and let your imagination go wild. Share your unique value.


3- Masters of Intangibles. MMR,  March, 2018

At Winter NAMM show 2018, I spotlighted 10 of the some of the best MI retailers. I call this group the Masters of Intangibles  because they recognize their intangible assets are worth considerably more than the value of their inventory.

For example, take Spicer’s Music. Tim Spicer is looking to set a new world’s record for the world’s largest rock band. His last event had 850 members in the band.  China, the current record holder has 953 members. I’m betting on Tim Spicer and team to be #1.


4- Curing Financial Pain. MMR, May, 2018.

The fear of money scarcity, or the confusion of money greed, can derail non-financial goals like physical health, or time deprivation, creating a displacement to value-based priorities. Of course, many of the financial decisions we make may not be aligned with our true values. As a result we become trapped with negative feelings like shame, envy, anger, fear, guilt, jealousy, anxiety, sadness, depression, and despair. The cure to financial pain is re-igniting one’s passion. Helping customers connect with their music passion is the “why” we are in business in the first place.


5-How to Retain, Grow, and Recruit Top Performers. MMR, November, 2018

How are Rockstars measured? There are two metrics which justify Rockstar status. Metric #1:  Those producers who are top revenue producers. Metric #2: Those same revenue producers must also be “value aligned” with the owner. If beliefs and behaviors are not in alignment with those values, the culture is out of balance and begins to erode. When the culture erodes, going to work is no longer fun. On the other hand, if the culture reflects a caring, people- focused vision, the company culture promotes employees happiness, turnover is reduced, your current team will be more productive, and new Rockstars will want to work for you.


Want more great ideas?  Check out my NAMM Idea Center Talk, Strategies to Engage and Keep Your Best Employees, on Thursday at 3:30. Enjoy your 2019. As for me, I’ll be in baby nirvana.


Jaimie Blackman

Jaimie Blackman — a former music educator & retailer— is a Certified Wealth Strategist & Succession Planner. Jaimie helps business owners accelerate the value of their company so it can be sold profitably when ready to exit. He is a frequent speaker at the National Association of Music Merchants, (NAMM) Idea Center and has spoken at Yamaha’s succession advantage.

His content has been published in multiple trade magazines including: Music Inc., Music & Sound Retailer, Canadian Music Trade Magazine, and Sound & Communications. His column is now published monthly in MMR— Musical Merchandise Review—and contributes to NAMM U online.

Jaimie is CEO of Jaimie Blackman & Company, and Creator of MoneyCapsules® and the Sound of Money®. To register for Jaimie’s live webinars, or to subscribe to his podcasts & webcasts, visit

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