In life, when you surround yourself with smart and talented people, their knowledge will slowly seep into you like water into a sponge. Successful people always seem to seek out others who have previously succeeded in their field as they begin a new journey.
Successful people also seek out people have attempted and failed at what they are trying to do, so long as those people are smart enough to have learned from their mistakes and have the ability to articulate what went wrong and what they learned from the experience.
The best thing a young person entering the music profession (or any established musician who is attempting a new phase of their career) can do is surround themselves with people who have both succeeded and failed as entrepreneurs. More specifically, people who have succeeded and failed both in music and other fields.
Aspiring band directors should hang out with successful band directors. Aspiring chamber musicians should hang out with successful chamber musicians. Aspiring composers should hang out with successful composers. And everyone should hang out with smart people, regardless of their profession.
As musicians, we are used to learning from those who came before us when it comes to how to play high notes or how to play faster. But we are not as used to learning from the successes and failures of the business men and women who have come before us. A true sign of intelligence is the ability to learn from other people's mistakes.
Surround yourself with smart people and learn from them. That's exactly what the successful people we all look up to did.