5 Ways You Will Succeed In The Music Industry
By T. Hess

What is the secret to becoming a successful professional musician? How do some musicians grow massive music careers - playing in a popular band, touring the world, and recording hit albums... while others never seem to get their career going at all? It all comes down to one thing: being totally success-minded in everything you do. You see, most musicians merely copy each other hoping that this will lead them to success. However, before you can achieve anything great in the music industry, you must first build a strong foundation for success with a success-oriented mindset.

Throughout the rest of this article I am going to operate on the assumption that you have already put great thought into what you want to do in your music career. To help you understand how you can achieve the greatest success in your music career, I am now going to compare the way 'unsuccessful' musicians think versus how 'successful' musicians think. By understanding the difference between the two, you will be able to reach your music career goals much faster.

Only Associate With People Who Will Help You Succeed

Everyone who is successful in the music industry is highly selective of who they invest time, money and energy into. You must also take on this trait if you wish to build a successful music career.

Here is a basic example that demonstrates how you can potential ruin your music career by associating with the wrong people:

When 'wannabe' pro musicians begin a band, they almost never examine a potential band member for anything beyond their musical skills. There is no conversation about how each member's goals work together with the goals of the band and no strategy put into place to for each member to lead the band to success. These kinds of bands generally break up after only a month or two. Worst part is, the risk to music companies increasingly grows once they have deal with several people who fail to deliver real value to the music industry. This kind of project is totally doomed.

Musicians who succeed know that there is much more to consider than musical skill alone. They look to find musicians who have the 'complete package' in terms of their mindset (made from the principles discussed in this article).

Even if you have no desire to play I a band, you must still create a network full of success-minded musicians who offer mutually beneficial value to you and your music career. These musicians all should possess (or be on their way to developing) the same mental elements discussed throughout this article.

I've seen the great value of this type of network many times over as the members in my mentoring program have put together money-making partnerships, toured the world in big bands and accomplished many other awesome things because they had a network in place that was based on the fundamental principles outlined in this article.

Eliminate "Zero-Sum" Thinking From Your Mental Vocabulary

All highly successful musicians think, believe and act on the following two premises:

#1. It is NOT in any way 'wrong' to want to make as much money as possible in the music business. Until you adopt this mindset (and act congruently with it), no one in the music industry is going to want to invest the time and money into helping you further your career. The main reason for this is the following: ALL companies in the music industry exist for one purpose only - To make money. If you believe the idea that 'money is the root of all evil' you will never attract the interest (or financial support) of any music companies. All successful companies will immediately know your stance on this issue upon first speaking with you (even if you try to hide your true intentions). This is why you must make all of your thoughts and beliefs 100% congruent with each other as I discussed above.

#2. The world is filled with opportunity and you can achieve unlimited success for yourself and those associated with you by using a win/win mindset and forming mutually beneficial partnerships.

Unsuccessful musicians usually believe opposing ideas to the two mentioned above. They believe that money and resources are limited in society and that becoming successful requires 'taking away' these things from others. In addition to these ideas being proven to be non-factual, the actions you will take as a result of this thinking will create a 'scarcity mindset'. This mindset will cause you to make a habit of creating lose/lose outcomes. Result: No one in the music business wanting to work with you.

This is an additional reason why you should not copy the separate tactics of other musicians. On top of lacking a main strategy, if you are missing the correct mindset to support your actions, you will never get the results you desire in your music career.

Get Rid Of The Entitlement Mentality

Unsuccessful musicians assume that they need to beg people in the music industry for 'a chance' to get their big break (by sending off promo packs or demos for example). Whenever this doesn't work, they complain that there is simply 'too much competition' and that making it in the music business is only for those who are privileged.

In contrast, people who go on to build successful music careers do not sit around waiting for someone to give them an opportunity just because they have written music or can play an instrument well. They are fully aware that they must 'earn' their success.

To do this, they must:

1. Fully be aware of the needs of long term goals of the music companies or musicians they want to do business with.

2. Complete a strategy that will help them form a beneficial partnership with anyone they work with.

3. Make the other side 'fully aware' of the fact that working with them will bring great benefit for everyone involved.

4. Come through big in order to provide all the value they claimed to offer and prove themselves to be trustworthy and loyal.

Any musician who follows these four steps will put themselves at the head of the line in front of the other 99.9% of musicians.

Have Intense, Unbreakable Focus

Highly successful professional musicians make sure that everything they do works in congruence with their major goals. They have an intense focus on their goals and do not spend 'any' extra time, money or energy on things that will not help them achieve them. For instance, if your main goal was to release a solo album on your own, you will need to invest your time into writing and recording rather than simultaneously searching for a band or get local gigs.

On the other hand, musicians who do not achieve success try to 'keep their options open' at all times as they are putting together their careers. By spreading themselves too thin (pursuing countless 'conflicting' goals at once), they rarely are able to achieve the big results they desire. In order to become successful, you need to become the absolute greatest at whatever it is that you want to do - this only happens once you are totally congruent in your thoughts, beliefs and actions (including tactics and strategies).

An additional aspect of 'being congruent' is staying true to your deepest desires when it comes to your music career. If your true desire is to tour in a big band but you settle for a job as a session musician because it feels 'safer', you will have a very hard time lining up all your thoughts, beliefs and actions to focus on that which is not what you truly want.

So how can you apply this into your own career in music? Simply put, question yourself in the following manner for everything you do in the music industry: "How is the current action I am taking helping me accomplish my greatest music career goals?" If you are not able to answer this question in basic terminology, it is a red flag that you are not on the correct path toward achieving your main goals. Ironically, even if the current action you are taking (or are about to take) IS truly beneficial for your music career, it will frequently not have any positive effect if you do it without knowing how to best apply it into your overall strategy.

Additionally, some of the actions you take might seem entirely unrelated to your main goals when they are actually completely related to them. For instance, many musicians who want to tour the world in a band refuse teaching music for a living, thinking that this will keep them from achieving their goal. However, the truth is teaching music is the quickest, most stable and flexible way to earn a living as a musician while working on other activities in your music career (such as going on tour - something you could never do working a regular full time job).

In the end, you must know why a specific action is important in order to get the most out of it and accomplish your music career goals.

Fully Understand What 'Tactics' Are And Why They Are Different From 'Strategies'

In order to reach a high level of success in your music career, you are going to have to determine specific objectives you want to achieve in the long term. For instance, you might desire to record music under contract by a music company, tour the world in a successful band or write songs every day while making good money through your music.

A 'tactic' is an action you take that achieves a specific result in the short-term. Examples of this include: playing a show, trying to get your album reviewed or creating a new web site for your band. Any single action you make is a tactic.

On the other hand, a 'strategy' generally means combining together many tactics as part of an entire system with the goal of reaching a longer term goal.

An easy way to understand this is to think of the board game chess. In chess, tactics refer to each individual move you make on the board. On the other hand, a 'strategy' refers to your understanding of how each and every move you make works together in unison to help you win the game.

Musicians who do not achieve success 'only' think with a mindset based around tactics. A lot of these musicians really try to 'take action' to move their careers forward, but struggle to make any progress because their actions are not part of an overall strategy. This is exactly why merely copying others does not help you achieve success (you are only copying the tactics without knowing the real strategy they are a part of).

With this in mind, the overwhelming majority of musicians are not great at forming successful strategies to build their careers (... neither was I). However, you MUST have a great strategy in order to maximize your chances for success when it comes to accomplishing your biggest music career goals. To form a solid strategy, work together with a mentor who has trained many musicians to reach their goals.

Now that you know the biggest differences between the mindsets of successful and unsuccessful musicians, you understand why only a handful of musicians ever 'makes it' in music. When it comes to developing your music career, your mindset will either be your strongest friend or your toughest enemy and you must learn how to make it work in your favor. After you develop the same mindset as professional musicians, you will achieve one hundred times more in your music career than you would have otherwise.

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a recording artist, online guitar teacher and a music career mentor. Visit his musician development website to become a better musician, get free music industry advice, music career tips and professional music industry advice.

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