Any aspiring musician is looking to get the most out of their career. A lot of the times, however, approaching the music industry is daunting to say the least. There is a quote by Hunter S. Thompson – “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” How exactly do we go about achieving success in such a doubtful industry?
1. The Formula for Success
Most of the time, success can be attributed to the thought processes of the achiever. What we really want to do is establish what actionable steps we can take to achieve our goals in music.
In the music industry, we can define success in 2 parts.
• Ability – This entails your ability to perform well on your given instrument;
• Promotion – This entails your ability to establish yourself as a brand in the music industry.
It is said that these 2 parts, when combined, should equal success. It doesn’t matter which amount of each is present, as long as the sum of the two make up 100 percent.
Knowing this, we can conclude that natural ability is not a factor when it comes to achieving success. What has become very important in the music industry of today is our ability to establish ourselves as a brand.
Let’s take a look at 2 things that a popular brand like Coca-Cola is doing that’s also applicable to our industry.
• Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles to interact with their audience;
• Merchandise, such as T-shirts, offer a great promotional as well as branding opportunity.
2. Achieving Our Goals
Goals are an important aspect for achieving success as a musician. We hear the success stories of setting goals from athletes through to businessman. According to a Harvard study, 83% of Americans do not have any goals defined, which very much attributes to why they fail to achieve.
According to Dr. Maxwell Maltz in his book Psycho-Cybernetics, the human brain is a goal striving mechanism. Without a consciously defined goal, it goes after targets that we haven’t defined on a conscious level.
Setting goals in the music industry provides many positives by
• Offering a roadmap for how we should spend our time;
• Dictating where our priorities should be;
• Defining the type of action we need to take in order to achieve our goal.
Dr Maltz also stresses the importance of improving our self image by focussing on our successes and not our failures from the past.
3. Your Right To Success
In many instances, musicians struggle with their right to be on stage. One thing to realise that this is actually a form of self-doubt, and it can negatively impact our performance.
The reason for this simply comes down to non-verbal communication. When you’re on stage, you’re sending out information about yourself that your audience is interpreting. If they feel that you’re nervous and uneasy, it will be difficult to make as big of an impact.
What we should strive for as musicians is to be confident performers. Although this mentality should not just be applied to performing but our craft as a whole, it is especially important in a non-verbal sense.
Although this is something that is normally developed over time, it is something we can also develop much quicker if we are consciously aware of it.
About the Author
About the Author
Dean Hailstone is a guitar player with 20+ years playing experience. He has performed in countless live and studio sessions, alongside some of the countries best musicians. He runs his own blog dedicated to the gigging guitar player found at PlayGuitarLive.com.