We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Janik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aaron, how do you think about risk?
We must think of “risk” as actually not being risky at all. The “risk” we take – to invest in ourselves – is 100% necessary. This can take many forms, from investing in gear to do our jobs more efficiently, to moving to a new city that better suits our aspirations, to starting a new business and investing hours and dollars in building it from the ground up, to even saying NO to gigs because the employer does not associate enough value to our contributions. Without taking these calculated risks and following through fully on them, it is near impossible to achieve lofty goals in any field. As we all know, financially stable musicians are entrepreneurial and acquire their income from multiple streams. Let your “risk” always involve building one of those streams of income, and it will always be worthwhile.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Find your niche.
If you are a young self-employed individual looking to build a new business, the most important thing you can identify is your niche. Once you identify that, you can more easily scan the landscape within that niche to see if you have any competition. My business, HornFX, is an online community devoted to educating wind instrumentalists, vocalists, and more on how to use pedal effects and electronics in their live and studio performances. The reason we chose this path was two-fold: 1) there is a LARGE niche of musicians around the world that wish to achieve this goal and are actively seeking solutions, and 2) there is NO COMPETITION in the market. No other website, database, or community exists to educate these people on pedal electronics, so we knew that if we put in the work to make a quality product, the niche would follow.
Starting any business is a FULL TIME JOB. Make sure you have all the motivation to succeed that you can possibly muster, and know that it will take you years and years to reach your goals. Don’t feel like you have to go through it alone; maybe there is someone you know looking to start a business in the same field and the two (or more) of you could go into business together. I would be nowhere without my business partner.
If you are a wind instrumentalist, vocalist, vibraphonist, or string player, check out www.horn-fx.com! It is an incredible resource that will save you thousands of dollars in gear and thousands of hours in your pedal search and exploration. I encourage all of you to check it out or let your friends know about it!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles is massive, so it is almost impossible to see it all, no matter how much time you have. I would want to show my friend the beautiful nature it has to offer, from the hiking in the Los Angeles Crest and the Santa Monica mountains to the beaches down the coast and into Orange County. I would take them for authentic Mexican food, as well as to one of my personal favorites, Lola’s Peruvian Chicken, in Van Nuys.
Most importantly, I would try to immerse them in the LA music scene. There are so many incredible creatives out here, and I strive to promote all of them and make my friends aware of the fantastic music coming from here. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my HornFX Co-Founder and business partner Douglas Levin. Without his support, knowledge, enthusiasm, work ethic, and incredible friendship, there is no way I would be the person or entrepreneur that I am today. To build something meaningful takes a team, and even though our team is two people, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I would advise ANYONE looking to build a business to seek dependable and driven teammates like Doug, because accountability is the best kind of motivation.
Instagram: @ajanik07 (@hornfx)
Linkedin: Aaron Janik
Facebook: Aaron Janik (HornFX)
Youtube: Aaron Janik (HornFX)
Other: use both links for all if you can 🙂