If you’re a musician I bet you’ve heard multiple times this kind of statements:
- “You need to be famous to make a living from music”
- “You should get a real job”
- “The music industry is dead”
- “You have to be good-looking to be successful”
…Among many others.
Well, truth is, all of that is bullshit.
The only things that are mandatory to be successful at music or any other activity are:
- A great product (songs in this case)
- A great plan
And I won’t dig too deep into this because this is not supposed to be a marketing class, but I’ll just touch a couple of basic elements that should be considered.
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Never stop improving
Whatever instrument you play, whatever genre you sing, keep improving, always, push your limits further.
This is directly related to a better product (music, performance, songs)
Trace a plan
Don’t get fooled by viral stuff and 8 years old Japanese girls playing guitar better than you. THAT WON’T HAPPEN TO YOU. If you were that talented you’d already be viral or famous.
Truth is: in order to be successful you have to study as hard as you make music, you need a market, a small one by the way. You need a niche, a website, quality content, and engagement.
A small group of people must identify with your music, they gotta feel like you are part of their culture and then you can start monetizing that.
The “real job” part
Having a “real job” is not bad, don’t be frustrated if you ever find yourself running out of money and having to work at something you probably don’t even like just because you need money.
The real problem here is WHAT DO YOU NEED THE MONEY FOR? or WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THAT MONEY?
As musicians we’re emotional, we are impulsive and money goes away in a blink. So instead of buying more gear and beers every weekend, focus on your plan, and expense accordingly.
I used to buy a lot of things I thought I needed cuz I wanted a band. When I realized I didn’t need a band but a better studio to make music, I started selling stuff and getting what I really needed, as I result, I started making better music.
“Real jobs” sharpen skills
I’ve always dreamed of being a musician, but most of my adult life, about 15 years now, I’ve worked in completely different things: warehouses, inventory, foreign trading, finances, logistics, and right now software.
Not what I’ve dreamed of, but definitely all of those jobs taught me something that now I can use to my advantage while creating my music business plan, my relationships, my computer abilities, etc.
Don’t be frustrated because you have to work, be thankful, positive, do your best, trace and plan and stick to it with the most efficient resources management.