Don’t wait for the big dreams; WORK for the small victories.
I wanted to share a few thoughts I had while in Spain during CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference EU.
These thoughts might be common sense, but I think they’re also easy to forget if we get stuck inside our own heads, the stresses of a musical life, or our artistic insecurities.
1. Your music is legitimate RIGHT NOW
There’s no single “success” metric out there that will suddenly make your entire music career easier, more glamorous, more legitimate. There’s no milestone at which point once you’ve reached it, you’ve “arrived.”
A manager, a prominent playlist placement, a record deal — none of those things make your musical pursuits any more serious or legitimate than they are right now. You will have just as many questions, tasks, and goals as you do right now.
Besides, success isn’t a meritocracy of quality and talent (quality being subjective anyway). Don’t waste your time on envy or thinking other people’s successes reflect poorly on your relative lack thereof. Celebrate the successes you have achieved, and realize your music might be every bit as worthy as an artist with a wider audience.
2. Don’t wait; work!
Grand schemes usually make us lazy. Instead, set smaller goals, and actually achieve them.
For instance: reduce your advertising spend on Facebook through smarter targeting; finish that lyric video idea you had a year ago; book a couple extra gigs this month.
Those are achievable goals that can make a difference. Sitting on the couch dreaming will do you no good.
3. Be a part of a community
Being a part of a community of like-minded artists is great when you need logistical help: booking gigs together, getting advice or critical feedback, etc.
But your community is more valuable than that; being a part of a community is good for the spirit. You’ll feel understood, encouraged, focused, and legit (which helps you remember the first two things above).
Join CD Baby in Nashville at the next DIY Musician Conference (August, 2018) for community, encouragement, education, and mentoring to achieve the goals you’ve set for you music career.
Don’t wait for the big dream; work for the small victory.