by Bob Baker
Here's an important lesson that could alter the way you view your place in the world of music ...
Do you complain about gravity? If not, why not? I mean, it is the source of so many frustrations -- scraped knees when you trip and fall, body parts that sag as you age, trees that crash and damage property during thunderstorms. Not to mention more extreme gravity-related tragedies like airplanes that fall from the sky or asteroid collisions that could alter life as we know it on the planet.
With all these obvious negative aspects of gravity, why don't you hear more people bitching and moaning about it? "I am so sick and tired of the damned gravity on this planet!"
I suppose you don't hear about it much because gravity is a basic law of physics. Everyone accepts it as an eternal state of life. And what good would it do anyway? No amount of complaining would change anything.
What does this have to do with your independent music career? Hang in there with me and you'll see ...
When it comes to gravity, human beings generally don't complain about it. In fact, we have learned to use the qualities of gravity to our benefit.
If it wasn't for gravity, we wouldn't have exciting activities like parachuting, surfing, skateboarding and windsurfing. There would be no home runs or pinpoint quarterback passes or Olympic diving competitions. Instead of accepting that gravity will forever keep us on the ground, daring engineers like the Wright brothers figured out how to use gravity (and other natural factors) to create lift and powered flight.
Instead of fighting with gravity, we have learned to work with it and use it to our advantage.
You know where this leading. How much do you complain about your local music scene or the music press or the sad state of radio or the lack of support from ... whoever? And what good does all the moaning do?
I'm not suggesting that the state of the music industry is somehow related to Newton's Law of Gravity. But there are certain things that you can always count on: people who won't support you when you feel they should, venues that won't book you, reviewers who won't write about you, and on and on. If you search for things to complain about, I guarantee you'll find plenty.
The trick is to treat these things like gravity. They're always going to be there to some degree. But if you're smart, you'll find a way to use whatever you have to work with to your advantage.
Think like an aerodynamic engineer or a parachutist or a major league slugger. How can you use the reality of your world to create opportunities and make something exciting out of a perceived weakness?
Bob Baker is the author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook," "Unleash the Artist Within" and "Branding Yourself Online." He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and e-zine that deliver free music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas to musicians of all kinds. Visit TheBuzzFactor.com for more details.