I never really thought about it before. But not everyone will succeed in the music business. While there are MANY reasons for this (lack of talent, lack of how-to knowledge, minimal drive or vision, no budget, etc), I realized today that most people fail because of their mindset. This is a VERY hard thing to change, and even to diagnose.
I got a “Happy New Year” text from a guy I know fairly well. He then texted me a bunch of questions about putting out his next record and securing radio spins. As I reflected on all of the advice I’d given him, for free, over the years, I realized that he had pissed away–wasted, a ton of money promoting his acts locally and hiring local folks who were unable to get his artists to the next level. He made moves based on what he had access to, and what was convenient and easy for him, and expected great results. He did this numerous times in a row until he (maybe) has finally caught on. He focused on meeting people who could help him instead of realizing he has to help himself (unless he’s going to spend money hiring a consultant, which he isn’t).
A successful person not only learns from failures so as not to repeat the same mistakes, but also does thorough research to know what moves will be best to make. Successful people don’t depend on their own assumptions; they actually read, study, talk, interview, and question those who’ve been successful before them. They then formulate a plan and execute it diligently. Not everyone is wired to succeed. Some people have a subconscious negative mindset that actually prevents them from succeeding. We’ve all seen those “unlucky” folks who just can’t seem to catch a break. They walk around with an invisible dark cloud over their heads, and it seems as if nothing goes right for them. Don’t be that person!
If you find that every attempt you make is blocked or doesn’t succeed, and you’ve put the time and effort into research, maybe it’s time to look deep inside and see if some inner changes need to be made. There are many self-help books and programs to help people get out of their own way. Utilize them!!
But as I watch this guy put out song after song and different artist after different artist, I can’t help but wonder if the reason he isn’t succeeding is more because he’s impeding himself than anything. Im not close enough to him to know for certain. After a decade in this business, if you haven’t learned how to do this successfully and haven’t figured out whom you can trust and can’t trust, maybe it’s time to move on to something else. Or maybe you need to do some inner work on letting yourself succeed…
Happy 2013. Let this be the year that you succeed in the music business. Know your goal (where you want to be), make a realistic plan to get there, and outwork everyone around you.