D.I.Y.

How to save a music career [Video]

When it comes to a career as complex and difficult as one in the music business, it can be easy to make mistakes and encounter major setbacks, but that shouldn’t put you off from achieving your dreams. Here, we ask five questions that could save your music career.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

It’s incredibly easy to lose your way in entertainment, but we can save your music career in five questions or less.

There is no easy way to admit you made a mistake. We humans pride ourselves on knowing what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We lead focused lives spent chasing goals that we believe will bring us some sense of purpose or satisfaction in life. We create not because it’s a choice but because we don’t know any other way to live. Our souls ache to be recognized by others, and we do whatever performative tasks we can to get their attention. It’s a mess of best intentions, countless trials, endless failures, and hard-fought victories. It’s…It’s a lot. But it’s the only way most of us know how to live.

The vast majority of people would rather suffer than admit they made a mistake. Many of us are one or two small changes away from leading the lives we dream about, but we struggle to get out of our way. We double-down when we need to step back. It’s human nature, and it sucks.

But you can do better. By answering the five questions asked by host James Shotwell in the latest Music Biz video, you can change the course of your career. In 10 minutes or less, we can help you reevaluate your goals, reset your expectations, and give you a renewed passion for the things that matter most. Check it out!

Questions to ask:

  • Are your goals your own?

Many of the goals we pursue are achievements that other people tell us to chase. We spend our entire lives being told that we need to make a certain amount of money, achieve a certain level of financial security, start a family, own a home, and a billion little things in between. Those things are good to have or achieve, but they won’t necessarily make you happy. What do YOU want?

  • Do you have specific goals?

Many musicians tell me they want a hit song, but what does that mean? Do you want to go viral online, or do you want to top the Billboard charts? Do you want a billion streams or a million album sales? When you say you want a hit song, what result are you seeking? What will this ‘hit song’ do for your career? Be specific.

  • Do you have a plan to achieve your goals?

The only way you can achieve your goals is by having a plan. You need specific, step-by-step instructions to get from where you are to where you see yourself in the future. Nothing is as simple as booking a tour or writing a hit song. You need to think harder about your goals and how to achieve them. What can you do today to ensure you are closer to your destination tomorrow? Make to-do lists, track your progress, and again—BE SPECIFIC.

  • What is your support system?

No one is an island. The individuals who find success in music do so because they have a support system that uplifts them. You may have friends or contacts that you associate with, but is their presence in your life positive? Are you surrounded by people working toward their goals and supporting one another, or are those near you lost in drugs and flights of fancy?

  • Why do you quit things?

When the going gets tough, you give up. Why is that? What is it about the hurdles you encounter that you feel are impossible to overcome? Do you lack knowledge? Confidence? Figure out what is holding you back and put in the effort to change. You are capable of growth in ways you cannot imagine, but it’s up to you to change. Nobody can do the work for you.


Music Biz is brought to you by Haulix, the music industry’s leading promotional distribution platform. Start your one-month free trial today and gain instant access to the same promotional tools used by BMG, Concord, Rise Records, Pure Noise Records, and hundreds more. Visit http://haulix.com/signup for details.

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