Willie Nile
musician ceos willie nile

After making acclaimed albums for Arista and Columbia, Willie Nile found success and happiness piloting his own ship. Here's what this CEO says about running things.

"It's never been better. With my River House Records, I can realize all my creative decisions, unencumbered. I answer to no one."

Nile says being his own boss, he spends his bucks wisely. Hiring the right employee turned things around.

"In 2011, I got a publicist, Cary Baker. He got my record The Innocent Ones to USA Today. They wrote a great story about it. And because it hit the wire services, I got a ton of gigs out of it."

Still, there are drawbacks to running one's own business.

"Along with recording and touring, I'm always attending to details. There's artwork to approve, booking issues, shipping. It's exhausting. But for my upcoming album, American Ride, my fans raised my recording money in four days! That gives you the energy to go on. So you can justify your fans' faith in you."


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated March 13 2013 02:23 PM ET
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