Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Self.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up listening to country music, singing in church, sitting around the kitchen table with my Papa watching Hee Haw, and tapping along to Conway Twitty. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in music.
Fast forward to high school, I attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities in Greenville, SC, and focused on classical vocal performance. From there, I received a 4-year voice scholarship to the University of Georgia.
Two years into college, I decided to add a 2nd major because nailing jobs in music performance is not an easy task.
My friends were graduating with music performance degrees and doctorate degrees and still had a hard time finding work as classical musicians. I had to be finished in 4 years because I was an out-of-state student and my grandparents were paying for the expenses that my scholarships did not cover. So, I added Risk Management and Insurance to my Music degree.
I was trying to create my own Music Business degree because Georgia did not offer one; however, soon after that, a brand new music business certificate was started and I was in the inaugural class. As part of my studies, I interned in Nashville the summer after my junior year at Sony Music Publishing. Following graduation, I started at a Business Management firm and worked with one of the world’s largest artists, as well as some developing acts and established acts.
After 8 years at that firm, I left to start my own firm with 2 partners. We have over 50 clients now and 20+ staff. FSM’s current client roster includes some of the most celebrated current country music songwriters, producers, and touring artists. Collectively, clients have cuts on more than 250 million albums sold and over 100 #1 songs as well as numerous BMI, SESAC, ASCAP, ACM, CMT, CMA, K-LOVE, Dove, Grammy, & Billboard awards.
I have been named one of Billboard’s top country power players and one of Billboard’s top business managers. Also named one of Nashville’s Emerging Leaders, Nashville’s top 30 under 30, and UGA Terry College of Business’s Young Alumni of the year.
None of these things could have been achieved without the support of my family, friends, partners, colleagues, mentors, clients, etc. It takes a village. I was just at the right place at the right time, determined to build something different that would become bigger than ourselves and to grow and mentor others along the way.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Had I chosen to go out on my own rather than partner with Catherine & Kella, the path would have been a lot harder.
We are the perfect partners and normally are on the same page, though we may have gotten there from different routes. I love the collaboration we have with each other and our staff, as well as “having each other back.”
So, no, it hasn’t really been hard. It has been a lot of work building a company that started with 3 and has grown to 25 while all starting families and raising children, but it’s fun and rewarding. We have the best clients.
We’ve been impressed with Farris, Self & Moore, LLC, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
FSM is a business management and financial planning firm representing artists and songwriters in Nashville, TN.
Farris, Self & Moore, LLC (FSM) aims to make a positive, impactful difference in the life of the upper echelon songwriter, national and international touring artists, and producers. The boutique firm was formed in 2015 and specializes in business management, financial planning, accounting, and human resources.
Together, FSM serves on the foundation of providing value-added service through relationship building while offering a personal touch and local feel. Start-Up Services
Analyze the entire financial picture.
Set up a monthly personal budget.
Analyze current investments.
Review all insurance policies (home, auto, life, health, disability, and commercial); Revise/update as necessary.
Set up a filing system for bill pay & receivables, legal documents, and tax purposes.
Analyze current business plan / corporate setup and adapt as necessary.
Review/update wills and Power of Attorney with the estate attorney.
Bill Pay (check accuracy and timely payment of all household, business, and personal bills)
Invoice Label / Publisher as necessary
Manage cash flow (personal and corporate)
Tour budgeting, projections vs. actuals
Set up a personal budget and review monthly (income vs. expenses)
Tracking / Analysis of Investments (stocks, bonds, annuities, IRAs, etc.)
Banking deposits, transfers, loans, reconciling.
Filing all bills, tax documents, paperwork, royalty statements, etc.
Quarterly Financial Statements
Receive, record, and deposit all checks
Quarterly song comparisons BMI / ASCAP
Ongoing and Yearly Services
Tax prep work (actual return prepared by CPA) / Make estimated payments
Asset Acquisitions (purchasing homes, land, auto, studios, etc.)
Asset Liquidation (selling homes, land, auto, studios, etc.)
Guidance on tax implication, (work with CPA) cash position, and how it affects the overall financial picture.
Business Venture Analysis.
Catalog Sale Guidance.
Publishing Deal Guidance.
Publisher / Attorney / Accountant / Insurance – Meetings.
Negotiating financial agreements with booking agents, promoters, and vendors.
Reviewing and verifying global box office and merchandise settlements.
Royalty audits are conducted on an ongoing basis.
Tax prep work; return prepared by CPA.
What sets us apart: we super-serve our clients, we are All In, Innovative, Boutique, and a Family Back Office. We have strong morals and ethics that are the foundation of our firm.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up, I was pretty serious, a little bossy, loved to perform, loved to lead, loved a schedule, enjoyed playing school if I were the teacher, loved music – played piano, violin, flute & singing, loved reading, enjoyed youth camps and mission trips.
- Website: www.fsmnash.com