So here we are...at the end of another year and, in this case, another decade.
This would be a great opportunity for me to do something like a "year in review." Nothing like a good "Best of" or "Worst of" to finish out the last few days of a decade, right?
There are plenty of those stories around, so instead, I've decided to give you the best advice for music business success that I've got.
Do it now.
Sounds simple, and perhaps you're wondering, "Do what now? I don't know what to do!!"
The answer to that question was best answered by Ray Bradbury, when he said, "Jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down."
The Best Way to Be Successful at Anything
Being successful within the music business is a lot like learning a new language...
What's the best way to learn a foreign language? Go to a country where they speak it all the time and you'll learn more in a month than you would in years of "school." Total immersion is the best classroom.
Same for your music business career. You can say you want to be a fulltime musician, but as long as you have a job or something else to keep you in your comfort zone, it's unlikely anything will change the current situation you're in to make that happen.
Are You Pavlov's Dog?
If you're working a day job, you've got a tremendous amount of inertia to overcome. Most people have years of heavy social programming, which makes them think they "need" a dayjob. Beyond that though, a "weekly paycheck" trains us in its own way.
We're more like animals than we think. Do a trick, get rewarded.
Just worked 40 hours? Here's a paycheck. Good boy!
That's hard to walk away from!! I get it. But understanding this will help you do just that.
How to Change Your Music Business Career in a Single Day
In my years of working with musicians, the two biggest problems most have are:
- Treating music like a job
Total immersion solves both of these very quickly. It immediately takes you out of your comfort zone of a regular paycheck (and what comes with it-- food, clothing, shelter, etc) and puts you in a place where you have to make things happen in order to survive.
Have a problem asking for what you're worth? Giving away CDs? Playing for free? Do music fulltime, get a little hungry, and watch what happens...
Have friends who think what you're doing is a "hobby" and want to attend your shows for free? Do music fulltime and the problem is solved.
And the list goes on and on...
So let me repeat my advice one more time...
Do it Now
Seriously, do it now. If you really want this as much as you say you do, do it now. Otherwise, the upcoming year end up just like this one did.