I’ll repeat my title, Indie Music Success Takes More Than Just Hard Work! It takes Talent. It takes Luck. It takes Timing. It takes Courage. It takes a certain amount of Toughness, Hardheadedness, and the Determination to not Quit no matter how bleak one’s future looks. There are some other things that are needed. Support from one’s friends. Good equipment. A Vision for one’s music. But there is one other thing that is necessary, and that is the willingness to do what it takes.
Years ago I read a sales piece written for a group of underwriters in the 1940s. The writer was a person named, Albert E. N. Gray. His essay, “The Common Denominator of Success,” postulated that the secret of success lies in forming habits of doing things that failures don’t like to do. Simple as that, and I was stunned by what I read.
According to Gray, if we set goals that are emotional or sentimental and not rational or logical, we will have a better chance of succeeding. Taking the easy way is not how successful people make it to the top. A person may be strongly introverted, and queasy about making the contacts they need to get gigs. A failure may simply avoid making those contacts, and wish that they had the courage to do it. By Gray’s standards, a successful individual, would put fear aside and find a way to face the strangers. Also a successful individual would find a way to make those contacts without making those contacts. Finding one agent that will represent you to hundreds, is going to be easier than representing yourself to hundreds.
Singing in public, in front of a crowd might be paralyzing to someone, but sometimes it’s just gotta be done. There’s actually no way for a songwriter to get their songs out into public hearing without doing it. A failure might give up before they start; a success will find a way to come up with the courage.
For the Indie Musician who wants to be discovered and have some success at music, quitting is not an option. Rolling over is not a step on the road to success. Sometimes when failure looks like that’s what it is, all you can do is just steamroll on through. Yes, success does indeed take hard work, but the key to success for me is simply the act of not quitting. To keep on going long after you should have quit, and going, and going, and going, tells me quitting is not an option, and success is a strong possibility.
Also, it is important to define way up front, just exactly what success is for you. My idea of success may not be your idea of success, nor yours mine. AND, give yourself the option to continually re-define success as you move along with your plans. Plans? You do have a plan, don’t you? You do have a brand to promote, don’t you? More on that on Monday. In the meantime, don’t give up your dreams!
Because of an increasing music schedule, from now on I will only post on Mondays–