Last night on a jog, I listened to a CDbaby podcast called DIY musician. The topic was “25 ways you’re sabotaging your carreer.” In general, I really enjoy the podcasts and pick and choose from their huge catalog of topics.
I also use CDbaby for a lot of my distribution and even CD printing. I’ve found them super easy to work with and efficient at distributing my music on the majority of platforms available. Even with my current use, I’m sure I underutilized the tools they have available to me.
I tend to skip through the first 10 minutes or so of the podcasts because the chatting is often off topic, and really, I my runs don’t long enough for the entire show 🙂 But I always find some pearls in the episodes that I file away for later use.
In this episode, they go through a long list of ways people tend to hurt their music careers. (They also reference another FAVORITE podcast of my, The Working Songwriter by Joe Pug – LISTENT TO THIS!!)
After the 6th or 7th bullet point, I started noticing a trend that continued through the entire episode. In my opinion, there are really 5 things that are important to becoming a “successful” musician. And let me clarify that I’m defining the term success as maximizing one’s potential – not necessarily by album streams or number of festival headlining acts. And I honestly think these rules would apply to anything. Work, a relationship, school, canoeing.
So I could go on and on about this, but I’ll just lay them out here.
THE 5 TRICKS TO BEING A SUCCESSFUL MUSICIAN….. OR ANYTHING
- Be kind
- Be consistent (or reliable)
- Be persistent
- Be patient
- Be prepared
The secret 6th that is necessary for all of the above to work is to work hard. In fact, I don’t think you really can do all of the five “tricks” without working hard. Sure, I think you could play with the semantics of these points and come up with alternate scenarios to find a few more, but when it comes down to it, you’ll go a lot further with just these qualities. They are general, sure, but they will always work in your favor one way or another.
Will we all achieve every single goal we set for ourselves, no. Will we have to re-adjust our sights or change our course from time to time? Yes. Will there be times we aren’t quite sure what our goals are and where we are going? Of course. But keeping these points in mind will keep you moving forward and open further opportunities, musically or otherwise. What does it take to do anything challenging in life? It takes flexibility and tenacity among other things. But it’s a lot easier to put in the hard work when we are doing it for something we enjoy.
Some exceptions to these rules that were a bit more specific on the podcast, and very interesting, were things like “don’t spend time re-working old material” or somthing like that. That might escape these five. What what is Kylo Ren tells Rey?
Yeah, that might lie outside of this short list 🙂 You’ll surely find value in listening to the podcast that inspired this post.
I know this is a different post than I usually share, but I couldn’t seem to get these words out of my mind another way. Countless others have written Barnes and Noble’s full of books on the topics of success, and I don’t think this post adds anything to the literature other than the fact that I wrote it (which I enjoyed:)
So there you go. If you agree, let me know! If you don’t, great! Let me know about that too! Have you seen these qualities or others play an important role in your music or life? I’m sure I missed something, so let me know!