What one thing is the key factor for your success in the music industry?
Answer: Your type of mindset. Regardless of what you do, every choice you make and action you have performed up until now has been determined by the type of mindset you’ve built for yourself.
The most popular and successful professional musicians were not born with amazing skills or more potential than everyone else. They have a separate kind of mindset that causes them to take different actions and get better results.
When you possess a positive and self-motivating mindset, you will make decisions that lead to actions (for the majority of the time) that produce tons of success for your music career. If you’re not sure how to build your music career, having a positive mindset will cause you to ask all the correct questions and seek answers in all the right places.
When you have an average mindset, you may achieve a little bit of success in the music industry, but chances are, you will not see long-term sustainable success.
When you have a pessimistic or cynical mindset, you will never make it in the music industry, and will struggle to make any progress in your music career at all.
I want you to visualize three different musicians who are all equal in every way (they all have the same goals, skills, etc.), except for the kind of mindset they have. Musician one has a pessimistic mindset. Musician two has an average mindset. Musician three has a positive, empowering mindset.
Read through these examples to understand how big of a difference your mindset can make for the results you get in your music career:
Music Industry Challenge Two: Getting More, Better And Higher Paying Gigs
Musician #1 thinks: “I’m not making enough money from my gigs because booking venue owners don’t pay well and are ripping me off.”
Musicians who think like this will never be able to find the best gigs that pay tons of money. If you want to earn more money from a gig, you have to help that venue earn more money. By just showing up and playing, you won’t achieve this goal (unless you are already a huge band with tons of fans).
Musician #2 thinks: “I need to figure out how to get more people to come see me play. This will help the venue make more money, and they’ll probably notice and pay me more too.”
This is the right thinking when it comes to getting more/better paying gigs. Grow the value that bookers/venue owners see in you, then it will increase the amount of money they will pay you to perform at their venue.
However, this mindset is still limited in the amount of success it can bring you.
Musician #3 thinks: “I need to get more people to come see me play AND get them to purchase my music/merchandise + actively support my band.”
Using this mindset causes you to take drastically different actions when it comes to self-promotion (when contrasted to the other approaches I mentioned). This will lead to very different and bigger results.
For example, this mindset will help you:
1. Attract lots of people to come to your shows, and help the venue earn more money as a result.
2. Make way more income overall (from the money you make from the gig + music and merchandise sales).
3. Stop worrying about the amount of money you get paid to perform.
4. Make it more likely that you’ll get the gig, since you don’t care as much about the performance fee.
5. Build solid relationships with the people who book your shows, venue owners and your fans. This increases your chances of getting better gigs in the future.
To discover more about this topic, check out this article about how to get more gigs.
Music Industry Challenge One: Building A Financially Stable Music Career
Musician #1 thinks: “First I need to have a backup plan in case my music career doesn’t pan out.”
Based on a fundamental fear of failing, this mindset commonly causes musicians to get non-musical day jobs they aren’t interested in. Eventually, the get stuck working this job and have no way out. This is a perfect example of how fear can derail a music career.
Musician #2 thinks: “A backup plan will lead away from what I really want (a music career). I will now ONLY focus on music and think about nothing else until I accomplish my musical goals.”
This approach drastically increases your chances of making it in music. When all that is left is either success or failure, choosing success is the best choice for achieving what you want.
However, this approach is also very black and white… which leads to unnecessary risk. Although it increases your chances of achieving your goals, it does almost nothing to eliminate your chances of failure. If you ignore any short-term financial responsibilities or deadlines, you will struggle to build a successful career in music. Tons of musicians have this mindset and give up… never realizing their musical dreams.
Musician #3 thinks: “I don’t want to have a hard time making money while building my music career. I need to use an approach that: 1. Provides me with a lot of free time to work on music, 2. Supports my long term musical goals, 3. Doesn’t make me work endless hours every week just to get by. When I do this, I can work to reach my musical goals without significant struggles.”
Knowing the ins and outs of how to grow a music career like this is pretty simple (you can learn how by working with a mentor). The hard part is just avoiding the other two approaches above.
Test yourself right now to see how close you are to achieving financial freedom in your music career. Use this music industry success test to get my feedback on your music career.
Music Industry Challenge Three: Finding Opportunities In The Music Industry:
Musician #1 thinks: “People who get opportunities in the music industry are just lucky, living in the right city or know inside connections.”
These musicians take away responsibility from themselves in exchange for hoping that someone will simply “give” them the opportunity to advance their music career. This kind of thinking is full of excuses and no one in the music industry hands out opportunities to people who think this way.
Musician #2 thinks: “If work really hard, someday I will achieve my musical goals.”
This mindset supports self-motivation, taking responsibly and having a great work ethic all important traits to have in the music industry). This is light years ahead of the negative mindset I just described, and will help you go far in the music business.
However, hard work alone will not bring you long-lasting success. A lot of musicians fail to achieve success in the music business, because they aren’t sure exactly what to do or how to do it.
Musician #3 thinks: “I’m not sure how to get really big music business opportunities…but I’ll do whatever I have to in order to find out. I have to get training from someone who has already done it before. I can’t make assumptions about how the music industry works based on advice from people who have never succeeded in it at a high level.”
Learn how to put your music career on the right path for success. Take this free music industry success test and get quick feedback to help you become a more successful professional musician.
About The Author:
Tom Hess is a touring guitarist, composer and a mentor to musicians. Tom also trains musicians internationally on how to get into the music industry. Visit tomhess.net to get free music business tips and music career resources.