When you live only off of music, the grind can turn into day to day survival mode. There’s an urgency that exists when you don’t always know when the next job will be (or if it will be), and when the next paycheck is coming (when you don’t have to chase it down.) Even when you hit a big project, whether it be a tour or a big album project, every thing is a passing moment, and you always have to be thinking of the next steps to stay relevant and powerful. Nothing is ever guaranteed. However, if you only think about the very next job or paycheck, you aren’t thinking about a bigger picture. By bigger picture we mean larger ways you can make an impact or make your career grow, and keep growing for years to come. Just remember that short term thinking leads to short term behavior. This is one of the Most Common Music Business Mistakes. Here are 3 “short-term” things to quit doing right now, if what you want to achieve is long term success:
#3 MAINTAINING A 9-5 MENTALITY.
We’re not saying quit your 9-5. We get that you need to pay your bills. But quit the thinking. Nothing about an artist’s (or any industry professional’s) life is structured like someone who works 9-5. If you do have to have a day job, your artist life begins before you clock in and as soon as you clock out. It’s a lifestyle. 24/7. Not a job. If you need to take a meeting at an odd hour, or wrap up a tune to get it in on time, or put out content on social media for that day and it gets you in bed at 1am, you need to get it done. Don’t you want to grow out of that day job so you can live a life doing what you love? Then keep and open mind and don’t let it hinder you. Otherwise, it will be easy to watch the years pass you by as you stay put right in the same place you didn’t want to stay in.
#2 BEING CLOSED MINDED.
Don’t pigeon hole yourself. You might love R&B music, but perhaps you have a great tone for country music and can make more waves in the scene because you attract it’s audience more. Or maybe you don’t necessarily want to be a back-up singer, but you get offered a great opportunity to sing back-up for an artist you will learn tremendously from, alongside a band of great musicians that will only make you better that can also potentially recommend you for other session work or gigs. Don’t pre-decide what’s good for you if you don’t know yet. Give opportunities a chance.
#1 BEING UNGRATEFUL.
We know what you’re thinking. Ungrateful? Me? Yes you. We’ve all possibly been at one point or another without even realizing it. You know how? By complaining. “I’m not making enough money.” “I’m so tired, I wish I didn’t have to go do this now.” “Ugh, that musical director is mean.” “I hate this repertoire.” First of all, such is life. You don’t always make the most on a gig right away. You don’t always sing the stuff you want to sing. Oh, and almost no one has time for you to catch up. So, deal with it. How about being thankful you get to do what you love to some capacity. Many people don’t. In fact, many people don’t know what they are even passionate about and you do! How cool is that? We make what we want out of situations. If something we are doing makes us unhappy, we can take steps to change it and be grateful for what we learned from it along the way. You’ll see how this attitude not only helps you maintain a positive reputation, but helps you attract better opportunities in the long run.