The Top 10 Guidelines To Follow for Ongoing Success!
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!
- If you don’t first and foremost believe in yourself – your capability as an artist and as a human being – you will have NO shot in “Making it.” Being unsure of how you’ll “Get there” is 100% normal and totally fine. However, you must innately know you WILL get there (where ever “There” is to YOU), eventually. THAT’S believing in yourself.
- Drive and Perseverance.
- You must have the drive and perseverance to succeed or again, you will have NO shot. This means doing what ever it takes, even if it seems repetitive, difficult, annoying, frustrating, and like what ever it is you’re doing won’t get you anywhere, or at the time it doesn’t seem like it’s helping or will help. BELIEVE and TRUST that the task you’ve been given to do, is all a part of The Process, and there’s a reason behind it.
- What are they? Oh, you don’t know? Then how do you ever plan on reaching them, making more and reaching those, if you don’t have a quantifiable idea of what you want to accomplish? Before moving forward, at this moment, write down 10 goals for three different time frames: 1) Immediate. What can you accomplish in the next seven days? 2) Near future. What can you accomplish in the next 30 days? 3) Six months from now, where do you see yourself after continually making new goals and achieving them? Did you include financial goals? Personal goals? This isn’t just about music. It’s about YOU. Think outside of the box. You are the creative director of your future!
- Set Limitations. Be realistic.
- Don’t overdo it and don’t expect more from yourself than you can give. Be hard on yourself, but not self-punishing. Demand your best, but be aware you may (and likely WILL) fail. Multiple times. THAT IS OK, as long as you learn from those missteps! Move forward and don’t live in the past, or else you’ll be keeping yourself from developing a positive and continual motion of striving for your ultimate goal(s), thus pausing The Process. We don’t want that!
- PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PERFORM. PERFORM. PERFORM. WRITE. WRITE. WRITE.
- Time will always be an excuse. It will be your enemy and try to keep you from moving forward, but you must make sure you show it who’s boss first, by always setting time aside to practice, play shows and write. Twelve hours of practice a week for the first three weeks and three shows a week for the first month. Learn a few covers, but mainly FOCUS ON YOUR CRAFT, YOUR material and write 15 songs this month. Go.
- WORK HARD. GIVE 110% ALL THE TIME.
- So you’ve set your goals, you’re feeling good because you achieved your first “Hard” one. Feel like taking a break? DON’T! The harder you push yourself, the faster you’ll break through those fake barriers. “Fake barriers” are limitations you or someone else put on you. “Haters,” for example. They’re the ones who will try to keep you from becoming the artist you know you can be. Haters show up in many different forms: Friends and even family members (Yes, unfortunately), co-workers, agents, venues and most of all, fellow musicians. DON’T EVER LET THEM SLOW YOU DOWN. The second you do, they win, you lose, and the light from your future is immediately dimmed. Be careful who you trust and share your thoughts/ideas with because sadly, as much of a “Relationship Business” the music industry is, it’s equally, if not more of a “Stab You In The Back” business. Stay alert. Your reputation can be diminished fairly easily.
- PROMOTE. PROMOTE. PROMOTE. Fans/Social Media.
- Do NOT be afraid to talk about yourself, hand out your business cards, ask for tips on stage and sell your CD’s. This is probably the #1 most important thing you will ever be taught as an artist. Keep your websites current, put out fresh material, respond to fans, etc. These are things you need to be doing on an almost daily basis. Stay on top of your game. Watch others slack by taking days off while you work hard every day and pass them at 190 mph. If you do this the RIGHT way, which you will be taught there is a MAJOR DIFFERENCE between RIGHT way and the wrong way, then you will have this industry eating out of the palm of your hand.
- What you wear off stage, how you dress on stage, how you act both on and off stage, what you say, manners, EVERYTHING WILL BE CONSTANTLY JUDGED. Repeat that: “Everything I do will constantly be judged and scrutinized.” So the best thing to do and remember is to ALWAYS be on top of your game. A class act. Memorable. Friendly, smiley, GRATEFUL. You thank ANYONE AND EVERYONE for the “opportunity” or what have you, no matter if they’re the janitor or the president. Treat everyone equally. Absolutely no one should be treated better/worse for whatever reason and no matter how far up the ladder you may climb, remain humble and appreciative. You may deserve success, but you don’t deserve to stay there if you where you came from.
- It is vital that you have recorded material by which to promote yourself, such as Demos as well as CD’s. Every show you play that you don’t at the LEAST present business cards so people can know where to purchase your music online, are many dollars lost as well as potential connections. You need to think of every show as a business opportunity. You never know who’s listening/watching. You never know who’s playing in your round, who they know or what’s going on in their lives. Quit the excuse that you don’t have enough money to record…because you do. Some people will do it for free, or very inexpensively. Or, just record off your laptop, make a little demo, make your own label and sell it for five bucks. JUST. HAVE. SOMETHING. ON. YOU. And you must CONSTANTLY be handing out your cards!!! One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen fellow artists make is that they think talent is enough. Talent is NEVER enough and you should read the book by John C. Maxwell, ‘Talent Is Never Enough,’ to further prove my point 😉
- DO IT YOURSELF.
- You must have a DO IT YOURSELF mentality. Not everyone is going to be mommy and daddy, ra-ra cheerleader your whole life. YOU need to be your #1 fan, and act like it. That means YOU do your booking (initially), YOU build your social media. YOU create the perfect set list. YOU find a niche (mine is the color blue and my slogan is “Bring the crew and wear your blue!” I also am known for donating to the Alzheimer’s Association). BRAND YOURSELF. YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU! You fund yourself if you must! If you can find friends, family, fans, who ever, who want to donate to your cause then GREAT, but don’t expect that and be prepared for 0 help.
These are the Top Ten things you need to do to begin “The Process.” Remember, this is a PROCESS. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Some artists may experience immediate successes in particular areas, but for most artists, it could take years. BE. PATIENT. This is a patient process that you will reap rewards from over and over again if you TRUST it. And what’s number one? BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Let me help you get to where you want to go. I became a fully self-sustained artist exactly one year after moving to Nashville, knowing no one, and not having a job set up. I just FIGURED IT OUT, and can help you do the same. What do you have to lose?