Just some random thoughts to help you succeed, in no particular order:
1) study the industry you are in. Read everything you can (discern what is accurate and what is bullshit hype) and talk to others WHO ARE SUCCESSFULLY doing what you want to do. You might need to reach out to 100 people to get one to respond, but it’s worth it in the time you will save doing something wrong. Look around you constantly to see what works and what doesn’t, and be openminded to change because this industry changes quickly.
2) get a budget. Figure out what you want to do, price it out, and then figure out where the money will come from. There are tons of books and websites about finding investors and how to secure funding. It’s easier now than ever to find investors and funding–the Internet and books abound. You need money no matter what you want to do. Go get some. Get a job if you need money.
3) be the best at whatever you do. Sharpen your skills, practice, intern for free under someone who’s more skilled than you…whatever you have to do to get better, do it. Be the best. They say mastery takes 10,000 hours at any given task. That’s a thousand days at 10 hours a day, or two thousand days part-time at 5 hours a day (1,000 days is almost 3 years and 2,000 days is about 5 and a half years–without skipping a day). Get crackin’!
4) out work everyone. Not only do you have to work smart, but you have to work hard. Be the definition of the word “grind.” Be willing to give up everything for your dream. Be focused and unwavering. Outwork everyone around you. Be fair, keep your word, do your best and get used to sleeping less than everyone else. Be willing to lose friendships and relationships. Focus on your goal and achieve it. This is the hardest thing for most people to do because we are taught to balance our lives and not be a workaholic. You can still be successful without extreme drive, but it will take longer.
5) build a team and hone your business skills as best you can. As you build a team, surround yourself with people who are strong in areas where you are weak. Make sure everyone on your team excels at their position. You already know what team members you need because you studied the industry (#1).
6) remove everything holding you back. Whether it’s your mindset, attitude, environment, friends, etc. Get away from negativity and whatever is holding you back. If you have to physically move to another area to succeed, do it.
7) do what you are passionate about. If you are getting into music for the money, you will be sadly disappointed. If you are in music because you need to be and can’t imagine doing anything else, that’s passion. The passion and desire will sustain you while you hit bumps in the road and down times. This is a very difficult and frustrating industry. If you aren’t driven by passion, you most likely won’t make it.
8) network your ass off. Meet everyone you can and keep in touch with those who can benefit your career. Don’t be an opportunist–offer to give as much as you take.
9) give back. Teach others coming up what you know and freely introduce people to others. If your focus is getting paid for knowledge or connections, your already losing.
10) remain humble and always open to new thoughts and ideas. This industry is constantly changing and moving. It’s important to stay on top of the industry and change as it changes. Change and growth are good. Don’t be close minded to other sounds and ideas. When you realize nothing is wack because it’s all just opinion as to good or bad, your life will get easier.
I stopped at ten because I don’t want to overwhelm you, but there are a myriad of things that play a role in success. Read, learn, and be open to change and trying new things. It also helps if you have a definition of success (we all define success differently) so when you achieve it, you will know you are there! You can do it!