Getting Your Act Together

» Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Music Business | Comments Off

On the surface, the title of this blog would imply that I’m talking about putting your band together or finding players to work with you live or in the studio. Actually, today I’m talking about you!

People send me e-mails all the time wanting to know how to be successful in the music business, how to get ahead in the game, how to find a job, how to get noticed, how to get a record deal, etc and so on. Networking (who you know) is important, but how can you be successful working with others if you’re personal skills aren’t in order? Doing what you say you’re going to do, prioritizing, being honest with other people, not making excuses and being proactive-these principles are the core of success.

Start with your goals, then compare them to your priorities. Eliminate things in your life that aren’t in line with what you’re trying to do. Maybe it’s as simple as deciding not to go out every night of the week? Instead, put that time into your craft: practice, research, networking, etc. It might take some time, but you’ll find that by putting more time into the areas that matter most yield a more positive result in your life.

I once had an intern tell me “Sorry I’m late man, I overslept-I just can’t get up before noon.” He didn’t call to let me know he was running late and didn’t seem to understand why I would have a problem with this. Guess what? He was fired. To this day he has been unsuccessful in finding a job in the music business. I just had a friend/studio owner tell me about an employee that just stopped showing up for work. Didn’t call, didn’t e-mail, didn’t return calls. Apparently it was discovered after the fact that there were some things that she just “didn’t enjoy doing” at the studio. (and no, she wasn’t cleaning the bathrooms) So, instead of talking with her boss and working it out, she just decided to not show up anymore. Do you think she can now use that one year (at a pretty big studio) as a reference on her resume?

A lot of this can be summed up in one word: communication. People aren’t jerks. If you have a problem, an issue-or whatever it is-bring it up, talk about it and move on. More importantly: Be honest! It’s a small world and people talk. If you make a deal with someone-stick to it. Also-be careful what you say about others. A lot of times you might not have the whole story and it just makes you look bad.

None of this is rocket science nor do you have to go to school to learn it. Treat other people how you would like to be treated and set higher standards for yourself than anyone else. It will take you a lot further than you think.