Friday 14 June 2013

2Inspire Business Profile: Diane Dunkley, Founder of RM2 Music

In this 2Inspire Business profile interview we meet the amazing Diane Dunkley, a business woman who has broken through the glass ceiling of the music industry to create her own Music Business. Her success is an inspiration to so many, whether they wish to enter the music business or not her journey is worth noting. Read on and be inspired!
Diane Dunkley

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I’m not sure I have a typical day lol, but that is what I love. I have artists at different stages of their careers and different genres so that adds a lot of variety. I could be arranging a European tour, working on a corporate event, sourcing musicians for my artists to either perform or record, talking to lawyers, industry bodies, sourcing global distribution, networking the list is varied and endless J

My day is quite disjointed and I tend to work in blocks of time but works for me as a mother I can work it around the children and the differing time zones work in my favour. The down side is my days can be very long.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I fell into it. I was asked by a friend to help him come to the UK to put on a show as he had just started his solo career. I said yes and with a friend we hired out the Jazz Cafe and amazingly things just snowballed from there. It was a hobby at first but as time went on it turned into a viable business which was called KIKIT. An opportunity of voluntary redundancy came up which I took to concentrate on building the business as working in the music industry was always my dream. Three years ago I decided to leave KIKIT and start RM2 as it gave me the opportunity to work more closely with the artists.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
I think I probably live through my artists on that one J seeing them accomplish something and grow is phenomenal. My key objective is to help my artists achieve their goals, so when they do, I do. Highlights for me have been getting an artist on the radio after 20 plus years with new material, getting a distribution deal in Japan for a new artist and booking my first European tour.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Trying to stay ON my business rather than IN it. I am a bit of a control freak so learning to delegate and let go as I will let myself get bogged down with the day to day detail which isn’t always good. I now have 2 mentors who help me stay on my business and make me take a step back and plan properly.

What are your future plans for the business?
I am currently working on developing a lead body which celebrates British Black Music which is what I’m passionate about. I’m VERY excited about that.

For RM2 I’m developing a touring infrastructure which will make touring more accessible for acts. I’m aiming for RM2 to be central to the live market, seen as a centre of excellence not only by artists but industry partners also. 

We’ve just started sponsoring a new live night, Shine Live, so excited about how that partnership can develop.

Diane with Annie Lennox
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing, except probably bring in mentors earlier as that has been a recent thing. Every mistake/failure has been a learning experience, my journey has made RM2 what it is today.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
The sense of achievement and purpose is phenomenal it can also push and drive you. I always say if a dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough. When you are doing what you dream/love of it doesn’t feel like work.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Be passionate about what you do. There will be tough times and it is that passion that will get you through.

Develop a thick skin and have lots of patience, there are no shortcuts if longevity is what you’re looking for

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I used to lead a women’s networking group and seeing them continue to grow their businesses is amazing especially if they’ve had obstacles, like most of us do, to overcome.

There are also the business greats such as Lord Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey. They are people who started with nothing and became global forces with grit and determination.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Regret weighs more than fear – Shaa Wasmund, Stop Talking, Start Doing. A reminder to just do it, whatever it is, no matter how scary, you just never know, it just might work!

Contact details
   Tel: +44 (0) 20 7193 4911
Mob: +44 (0) 7775 615 203
   Skype: diane.dunkley
Leon Ware and Omar

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