Getting Lucky. By, Bob Lefsetz (reposted from

Posted on March 6, 2013 by


You’ve got to tell the truth.

I want you to read this article:

“How I Landed on the New York Times and What It All Means”:

Yes, this is the same Marcus Sheridan I wrote about last week, you know, the pool-builder, who believes in blogging.

After reading this webpage, you’ll know why Mr. Sheridan is a success.

In this sold out, self-hyping, everybody’s a genius world, truth stands out.

If one more person e-mails me their MP3, I’m gonna scream.


And even though she’s a friend of mine, I’m not gonna say that Amanda Palmer’s TED talk will help you one bit.

Haven’t seen it?

It’s burning up the internets, you can view it here:

What you’ve got to understand is Amanda Palmer is a special person. And if you think doing it her way is going to work for you, you’re sorely deluded. The only thing that’s gonna work for you is YOU! Your personality! Your uniqueness! Your honesty!

That’s what art is. Not a cash cow, but a missive from deep inside one human being to another.

Can you do that?

Probably not.

Because you’re scared.

And artists are brave. Very brave.

Because first and foremost you’re going to be ignored. It’s like you don’t even exist.

And then you’re going to be hated.

And then you’re gonna realize you’re not really that good. That’s what a little traction will yield. Used to be our artists developed far from the mainstream, they reached us fully realized. Elton John sang covers and was with a band long before almost anybody knew who he was. Now you put your stuff up on YouTube and if you stick with it, years later you wince at how bad you were.

But if you told us you were bad, if you told us you were insecure, if you shared your hopes, dreams and desires, and didn’t just give us opacities, then you might have a chance.

I don’t know Marcus Sheridan. I don’t want to buy a pool. And I don’t want any advice. But by lifting the curtain and telling how he ended up in the “New York Times,” and how he felt about it, I feel good about HIM!

That’s what you want, people to feel good about you.


Don’t shoot for the stars, shoot for your own neighborhood, like-minded people on the Internet.

My inbox is filled up with people defending David Bowie. They can’t read, they can’t understand what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that with so many options, very little is universal. This is very different from the sixties and seventies. There’s more art exposed than ever before. As a result, it’s nigh near impossible to get traction.

Here’s a dirty little secret.

Publicity buys you nothing.

Makes you feel good. You can show your mother.

But what you want is luck.

People can smell the difference.

The key is to be in the game long enough that you can get lucky.

Talk to anybody who’s successful. All their big breaks didn’t pan out. But something from left field did.

That’s why you’ve got to give it your all every night.

Maybe there’s a financial backer in the house.

Maybe there’s a blogger you don’t know who’s going to go home and write about you.

You’re in the luck business.

Anybody who tells you different is lying.

Look at the major labels. They’ve got two paradigms. Major market crap that they hone, which is soulless and empty, and that which they sign which already has traction. If you can’t drive a truck, i.e. your music, through this giant hole, you’re ignorant.

The playing field is vast. Opportunity is huge.

But very few will reap significant rewards.

And those who win will have two qualities.

One, they’ll be great.

Two, they’ll persevere.

If you’re not improving every day, give up. It’s not about spreading the word, it’s about getting better.

You have to like creating as an end unto itself. Otherwise it’s just too frustrating in today’s world.

Don’t pay attention to the old model, investing a lot of money to get publicity in magazines and newspapers and on TV. Talk to someone who’s been on Letterman or Leno, they don’t even see a sales bump!

Everything they’re telling you is wrong.

It’s not about the right showcase.

It’s not even about the right people.

It’s LUCK!

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