How you define success is completely up to you. Nobody can dictate you that.
Of course, people can tell you what success is. But it’s always a subjective representation of their own perspective on success.
My definition of success is probably completely different than yours. And that’s a good thing. Why should you care about what I think is necessary for me to be successful in my life?
I don’t like the word success on its own. Because it always got a connotation – be it positive or negative. On top of that, the word by itself is quite meaningless due to its multitude of contextual and individual meanings.
But to succeed in life, you have to define your meaning of success.
And the clearer you are about your vision, the clearer you can get about your actual goals.
A music career doesn’t happen overnight. Let’s get rid of this myth once and for all.
It’s a long grind. Even if you’re lucky, a music career is still hard and probably long.
I can’t praise this enough…
If you know where you’re heading, you can make resourceful decisions and dump idiotic ideas.
Having your perspective on success defined and your goals laid out is extremely important. The only thing that’s even more important than having a clear plan for action is to know why you’re doing it. (Won’t be the last time you’ll hear that from me…)
So where do you see yourself in 1 year? In 5 years? In 10 years? In 30 years?
Where do you see yourself when you double your age? I don’t take six-feet under as a response:)
It doesn’t matter how old you are. There are people older than you creating new goals. Recently, I talked to a 76-year old man who drove thought the Namibian desert with a bike. Around 350 kilometers In 22 hours. He’s got goals for his future. And he’s working every day to achieve them.
Yep, thirty years is a lot.
Your goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound – i.e. SMART goals.
So open a new document and start brainstorming.
Cut that generic milestone bullshit like “I wanna produce music from my home and make a living out of it” or “I wanna play in an arena.” It’s a great way to start, but once you have this undefined big-picture vision laid out, work on the specifics. How can you manage to achieve your goals?
For example, you wanna produce music from your home and make a living out of it. First, set a realistic time when you achieve this. Oh, you have 500 monthly listeners? Probably not a goal for this year. You’re already getting five million plays via streaming per month? (Who am I kidding, as if you’d read my thoughts on the music business…) So if you’re at 500 monthly listeners, this might be a great goal for in ten years. But how exactly do you get there? What’s your goal this year? And in five? How would you ramp-up your goal to have something to look at in 30 years? How can you measure it? What do you need to get done this year, this month, this week, today? How much does it align with your life’s purpose?
When you find answers to these questions, you’ll create a path for your music career. And suddenly, everything seems easier and much more likely obtainable.
Dive deep. And when you think you’re done, dive even deeper. Brainstorm the heck out of it.
This isn’t something you do in five minutes. Block half a day off and do it thoroughly.
Listen, NAME, this is about you. This is about your future. Don’t give a sh*t about what others tell you what to do. If you know what you wanna do in your life, you will get there eventually. Not today, not tomorrow, probably even not this new decade. But someday, when you put in the daily hard and smart work, you can cross off your goal on your list.
No worries, you’re using a computer, nothing’s cast in stone:) If a goal changes – it happens from time to time – simply take your time to brainstorm, go back to your document, update the goals, and reprint it to hang it on your wall.
Even though the road is bumpy and twisty, you can (and will) enjoy it most of the time. Because it’s what you wanna do. It’s your life’s (business) mission.
So here’s a summary of what you can do now to change your life forever and build your music career. I’m dead serious here. And if you discover that a music career isn’t what you’re pursuing, you can focus your energy on what matters most to you elsewhere.
- Create a document and name it “My Music Career”
- Add four sections: 1-year goal, 5-year goal, 10-year goal, 30-year goal (or double your age if you’re between 25 and 40 years old)
- Write down your goals for each section
- Go deep by specifying the steps that need to be taken to achieve your goals
- Go even deeper
- Strikethrough a line once you achieved it
- Update the document every time your goals change
One last advice before I leave. If you’re playing in a band or are a part of a group, have everyone create a “My Music Career” sheet to track their vision and goals. Once everyone got their vision and goals laid out, gather and create the master list for your band or group. You probably don’t even have to vote (or even kick) out someone as soon as they realize they’re pursuing different paths in life and the music business.
Now… stop dreaming, start working.