The title of this post would suggest that I think I’m a successful music producer. I’m not… don’t get it twisted. I’m trying to be, but I fall short in many aspects. I don’t have any massive hits that are making the rounds at the moment and I’m not in talks with anyone currently who is on the “about to blow up” list yet I can sit here confidently talking about being a successful producer. Why is that?
Firstly, you and I need to define what we mean by success. Our versions of success vary. You might want a sweet car, I might want a comfortable living situation and the next person might define success as getting a song on frequent radio rotation. What ever your form of success, you need to define it and remember that other people will want less or more than what you want. We’re all different. This is the way of the world.
After defining success, we need to understand that just because we aren’t super stars doesn’t mean we are failures. There is a large middle ground. Over the past decade we’ve seen a rise in the musical middle-class. This group of people live really well making a living off their music. Their careers tend to last longer because their tracks aren’t always on the charts therefore their sound doesnt wash out quickly. I know a few people like this and although they aren’t all well known, they’re making a really good living doing what they love.
I don’t want to be a dampener and tell you that you aren’t going to be the next Dr Dre because ambition is what drives us to be better than what we are. I’m just trying to highlight the fact that in music there aren’t only the rich and successful vs. the poor and unknown. There has been an emergence of varying degrees of successful people you may never know.
What you need to do to get to a point where your music is taking care of you is to stop complaining that your industry is screwing you over and start looking for ways to fight back. It’s real easy to blame things. I see it all the time…
“My lyrics are dope, the engineer just did a bad job”
“I would be so much further along if I had money”
“I don’t have time to invest in my career because I’m always busy”
Don’t kid yourself, you’ve probably used one of these excuses before. Shifting blame allows you to feel okay about doing nothing about your situation. Instead, get a pen and pad and start jotting down your goals, put a time limit to them, break those goal up into smaller goals, put a time limit on those goals, create to-do lists and daily schedules that will allow you to reach those goals and then start executing on those goals. If you’re serious then you know that there is no need to complain, blame or make excuses. There is always a way to get stuff done and provided you have a goal and a route to that goal, what can go wrong? If you fail, readjust your goals, rinse, repeat.
Go and find your success. Our industry is still young. There are so many facets of it that you can go into that you can revolutionise. Once you’ve found your niche, build on what you have and then build some more.
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