What do you think is the reason why some musicians develop highly successful music careers and most others end up either becoming ‘starving artists’ or abandoning music industry entirely? I have written about this topic extensively in the past and have explained that the answer ultimately comes down to having the skills needed to ‘add maximum value with as little risk as possible’ to all organizations, bands and people you collaborate with in the music industry. (If you don’t understand what this concept means, take this brief music business test to find out.) Even though there is a huge number of things that this idea relates to, it is the core concept that should be the basis for all actions you take in the music business. That being said, while the idea itself is easy to understand, it is quite a bit more challenging to fully assimilate it into your life as a professional musician.
As a trainer to musicians, the main thing I train people to do is to learn how to become effective at offering maximum value with minimum downsides/risk with every action taken. In my experience I noticed that most musicians easily grasp the idea of lowering their risk in conventional/obvious ways, however many people do not realize that even their ‘positive’ traits and skills can hold elements of severe music industry risk. It is the lack of understanding of this fact that proves to be the weakest link in the music career plans of most promising musicians, even those with a great deal of talent.
To end up as one of the few highly successful musicians, you MUST find out how to reduce the inherent weak points that lie on the opposite extreme of your music career strengths. As you read the rest of this article, I will demonstrate how to do this and explain how this analysis will bring you closer to the music career success that you want.
The Introspective Character Of A Professional Musician
On your journey to become a successful music business professional, you have without a doubt spent a lot of time and effort developing the necessary skills and value to offer the industry. At the same time, if you are like most musicians, all your skills were acquired in a random fashion, lacking an underlying plan of how these ‘assets’ will fit together to enable you to build a music career. As a result of this random planning, it is more than likely that your positive pieces of value will also contain contradictory weaknesses that can be interpreted as damaging elements of risk if they remain unchanged. I have witnessed this firsthand with hundreds of musicians, and the saddest part was that this happened without them being aware of it.
To accelerate the process of expanding your music career, it is necessary to find out how to exploit fully the positive elements you already possess, while at the same time working to reduce the conflicting risks that each of them carries for your music career. Every successful professional musician has done this in the process of reaching their goals, while the majority of wannabe pros go through life wondering why what they are doing to build a music career isn’t working.
To help you perform this analysis on your own, consider the list below. I will list for you several common music career credentials (written in the left column of the table) that many musicians have. Next to it, I will describe how each of these assets can also become a very serious weakness (element of music career risk). The items listed below are some of the most common problems I have to correct when working with musicians in my program about becoming a professional musician(although the list below is by no means complete). There are many more elements of music career values and risks that I could list, but to keep this article on point I have narrowed it down to the points described below.
Note: Of course as a general rule, the items you will read about in the left column of the table are good/positive (at least when taken in isolation). However as you will see, when taken in context of your specific goals they also often contain unexpected weaknesses that can hurt you unless you take proper actions to prevent this from happening.
Your List Of Music Career Values And Assets
Your Assets’ Matching Element Of Risk
With the above understandings in your mind, here are some additional actions you can take right now in order to speed up the progress of your music career:
1. Understand that not all elements of music career value are ‘positive’ when taking into account YOUR long term music business goals. Certain things that may at first glance seem very important and necessary may very well diminish your overall music career potential (as you have seen in the examples in the above list).
2. Make it a priority to obtain the most clear picture of your present arsenal of risks and value items for your career in music. To help you with this, fill out this short music business test.
3. Design a plan for organizing the actions you plan to take to grow your music career. This means to write out the music career value assets you must develop to reach your specific goals and also think about how you will seek to eliminate the conflicting weaknesses that come along with them. You will have a much easier time doing this step of the process if you work with a proven music career trainer who has already coached musicians just like you to reach success in the music business.
4. Keep in mind that compiling a comprehensive plan for reaching your music career goals demands having a clear image of what you want to achieve and supplementing that vision through ongoing training. Fact is that the majority of musicians are not hard-wired for thinking in this way. They, as most creative business minds, tend to act on impulse and intuition. While those attributes are certainly valuable at times, it is important to know how to balance them with strategic planning and careful implementation.
Additionally, realize that all things that you do to grow your music career will have limited effect on your progress until you get clarity on elements of your psychological profile of strengths and weaknesses as described in this article. The good news is that after discovering the best ways to mine the maximum results out of yourself, you will find yourself moving much faster towards your goals as a professional musician.
To help you find out more about your current potential to launch or expand your music career, take this free music business test.