I don’t know why, but we humans seem to have a natural ability to come up with reasons and excuses for why we shouldn’t follow our dreams and accomplish our goals. A lot of times this manifests itself as general worry about certain things, and keeps us from moving forward toward our goals.
Today I want to specifically address 13 of these worries, and tell you why you shouldn’t be worried about them, so that you can continue moving on in your musical career.
Alright, you ready?
I don’t want you to worry about…
Perfection. In any of this. Experimentation is far more important in helping you grow and improve. Set a goal. Set a deadline. Accomplish it. Learn from it. Do it all again.
The haters. If you are making the music you love and are proud of it, you will have people that are resentful and jealous of that. Don’t give these people the time of day.
The quality of your recording gear. If you do any amount of gear research on the internet, you’ll find the tone of many sites that come up to be super snobby, and they’ll try to convince you that you cannot make a good sounding album unless you dump thousands of dollars into high end gear. They are dead wrong, and people like Graham from The Recording Revolution (and hopefully myself) are proof.
Your technical abilities. Don’t know what a compressor does? Don’t know how to use an EQ “correctly”? Don’t worry about it. Trust your ear, and know that there’s no rules or requirements in any of this. Again, the more you play around and experiment with recording, the more you’ll learn and the better your music will sound.
How good your songs are. We are completely biased about our own songs. It’s hard to know whether they’re good or not while we’re working on them. But do you know when it’s most clear whether we wrote a good song or not? After it’s been released. After it’s set in stone. Only then will you learn about your song. This is why you need to write and release as many songs as possible. They will only get better through this process.
The ebb and flow of creativity. It’s true. Creativity comes and goes. We have dry seasons. Rather than worry about it, let it pass by. Worrying will only make the season last longer. In seasons of creative abundance, observe your habits and take note of the things that cultivate creativity and the things that squash it. The more of these things you observe, the faster you’ll be able to utilize them and exit a dry period.
Using social media right. The main purpose of social media is to connect with your listeners. Focus on that. Eventually you can figure out best practices and what has the most impact for you and your listeners, but it’s really all about relationships with people. Connect with them. Be real with them. That’s all.
Naysayers in the industry. People are incredibly pessimistic about the music industry these days. And they want you to feel the same way. They want to scare you and make you feel like there’s no way you can reach your goals. I’m here to tell you: they’re wrong. You have more opportunity now than ever to achieve your goals. You’ve just got to jump in and figure out the best way to do it.
Getting your close friends and family on board. I know it can be really bothersome and even hurt a little bit if the people close to you don’t show the kind of interest in your music that you’d like. But you know what? Realize that they’re not your target audience, and move on. It’s ok. Work on connecting with the people who will like your music.
The fact that your city/town/state might be musically dead. You no longer necessarily need to depend on local people/venues/relationships to get your music career going. It sounds corny, but the internet is a huge city where everything is going on. Find out where to plug in and spend your time/efforts there. This is exactly what I did… New Mexico is as dead as it gets, but I was still able to reach my musical goals solely based on an internet community.
Competing with other artists. One of the hundred zillion ramifications of the internet is that you can now market your music to the ENTIRE WORLD by yourself. There is room for everybody to make music. There is room for everyone to grow a fan base. Making connections with other artists is far better than competing with them.
What people are going to think about your music. If you are being true to yourself, if you are creating the music you love, and if you are proud of it, then you have no reason to be affected by negative critics. If you truly believe in what you’ve done, these people will have no power to change the way you feel about yourself, despite anything negative they might say about their music.
Mistakes. Do not worry about mistakes. In some sense, mistakes are the best thing that can happen to you as an artist. They provide the best way for you to learn about this stuff. Did you decide the last mix of your song was terrible? Great, now you’ll be able to pinpoint the problems, learn about them, and do a better job next time. Was your album release not as effective as you’d have liked? Great, next time you’ll be able to try some new things to make it even bigger.
Do you see the common theme here?
Most all of this has to do with pushing through your fears and worries to get to the lessons and knowledge on the other side. My entire career has been based on this concept of experimenting, learning, and doing it all over again. I didn’t have any formal training or knowledge on any of this stuff before I started, and I hope you can take that as encouragement!
Can you identify with any of these worries? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
The Music Passage"Learn to Effectively Promote Your Music & Grow a Fan Base with an Active Community of Motivated Musicians"
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