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TEM Blog

The Entrepreneurial Musician Blog by Andrew Hitz featuring articles on being an entrepreneur in the music business. Show notes for The Entrepreneurial Musician Podcast.

Show Notes for Episode 45: Drew McManus of Adaptistration and Arts Hacker

Andrew Hitz

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Drew McManus is one of the premier orchestral consultants in the country and the man behind many projects including Adaptistration and Arts Hacker. He started and sold his first arts-related business when he was in his mid-20's and has since moved on to form many successful organizations.

This was a truly delightful conversation. I love the way Drew thinks about the world and the arts. He is an incredibly thoughtful person and that particularly showed through in a few of his answers in this interview. He answered a handful of questions in a way that wasn't exactly what I was expecting and each time made me think deeper about the subject I had just asked him about. I can't chat with people enough who challenge my thinking along those lines.

It's no wonder he has launched so many successful businesses within the arts world!

Topics Covered:

  • The specific moment he learned the first great lie of academia
  • How he built his first arts-related business in his mid-20's that ended up being so successful that he sold it and it is still in operation today
  • What drove him to form a 501(c)3 at such an early age
  • The factors that led him to become an orchestral consultant (including a lack of people in the field at the time)
  • The importance of a musician having the skills necessary to be able to look at the fiscal health of an organization before auditioning or accepting a position
  • How he networked (and increased his consulting business exponentially) through content marketing years before that's what it was called
  • How his Adaptistration blog not only solved problems for people but also created a community
  • How Arts Hacker was born through identifying a need in the arts world that Drew and his team could meet better than anyone else
  • The importance of creating a workspace environment you can thrive in and of investing in yourself
  • How having good communication skills helps you focus
  • The problem with reading too much advice-driven content



Favorite Quote:

"If a problem exists is it because of a system, is it because of a problem, is it because of people, or is it a combination of the three?"

Bonus Quote:

"Anyone who is afraid to talk about failure is probably someone you want to listen to less and less."

You can help offset the ongoing costs of producing the show by making a small donation at Your support is greatly appreciated!

Produced by Austin Boyer of FredBrass