People in general have trouble succeeding sometimes, it can be because they have to much in their hands or they are going through some form of personal difficulties, either way the most affected aspect is professionally and musicians are no exception.
One one of the main reason why some of us have difficulty achieving our goals with the success we desire or just reaching them at all is because of our process to do them and the mentality we set ourselves.
As many musicians may know and feel identified with the next statement, many of our goals require arduous dedication, time, money or support from others, including your fans.
We realize that the best general concept to keep advancing is avoiding stress and organizing ourselves as best as we can to be prepared even for the unexpected, but the process sometimes is very slow and we get the constant feeling that there might be more to it,… that is why today we have recompiled 10 very useful steps to not only achieve or reach your goals successfully, but faster!
Why would I Need To Speed My Success Rate for My Goals?
The answer is rather simple and that is to avoid time gaps, to be able to keep a rhythm but not giving ourselves the overwhelming feeling that our career is taking forever to lift off the ground.
There is a very vast world of opportunities and methods today to be successful indeed, but there is also many ways to get lost in between them and find ourselves with failure, which in worst case scenarios and repetition leads you to depression or giving up, we are plenty sure you do not want that!
Accelerating the rate at which we achieve things can also be market and promotion wise, as this way you will always have new updates, new stuff to share, and more activity for yourself, your band and your fans, you will be a more overall active individual too.
As I said, musician’s goals are usually time-related and they require a vast amount of dedication, but there are steps to be taken that can surely accelerate the process and, if possible, help you maximize it’s potential results.
So, let us immerse you in these ten steps, we will introduce each one, give you some useful word of advice, how they can help you not only with one but many purposes and help you achieve the greatness you are seeking.
Let us begin…
STEP ONE: S.M.A.R.T Is Not Always Smart…
Confused already? Please don’t be, allow us to explain what is S.M.A.R.T, to begin with it is an acronym that stands for:
Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic & Time-Bound Goals.
This refers to small goals, simple goals, made by small minded people, this kind of goals waste your time, I can bet you a few bucks that you have met that musician who says “One day I will play for more than 100 people..” and they say it dead seriously, as if it was the biggest achievement anyone could ever have.
Not to sound insulting, but dream bigger than that! Real dreams are demanding as the saying goes “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough!”
So this is your first step, dream bigger, expand your dreams, because the bigger they are the more space there is for improvement, for challenge, for learning, for money, for meeting amazing people who will be part of your career.
S.M.A.R.T goals have to be a bunch that conform a real goal, they are just tiny-well taken steps that lead you to the real big one, but don’t make the big and important goals as small as this, we want to hear you say “One day I will perform for 100, 000 people and they will all know who I am, I will make their day memorable”…
So our advice is … be D.U.M.B, yes you read right, what does it stand for?
Dream-focused Uplifting Method based Behavior-triggered goals.
Your Goal has to be a vision in your head that makes you shiver of how great it feels, dream and let that guide you, for a musician a dream and a goal are usually hand by hand, so please, we petition you to write it down and use it as a motivation.
My Vision is…
Step Two: Crazy Talk Is Real Talk!
No, we aren’t going to tell you to yell out loud pink elephants are raining from the sky! Seriously, the first step to start taking action is talking, and talking makes you feel omitted to something or some form of situation, it means it won’t stay in the back of your mind.
Many people who give up because they don’t share how they feel and yes, this includes even frustration and anger or sadness towards something, human-feeling talking is what we refer to.
When you talk out loud, you are exposing yourself, your idea, but talking crazy means exposing your ambitions, your true desire… your goal! When you talk out loud mentors show up, interested people pop out of nowhere to help you or work with you.
An Olympic winner recently was asked “When did your biggest breakthrough and gains come in your career?”
She said, “When I finally started voicing my dreams to do this. Suddenly, people started pointing me in the right direction. They told me what to do, what skills I would need, who I should talk to, what equipment the pros used”
It can be the same story for you as a musician, you might be heard even by one of your idols, when we see determination in someone, and how they are striving to become better every day, others grow curious and to a degree they just extend their hand to help you, because trust me, they know perfectly how that feeling is like.
Here comes into play a bit of work for you, write down a mission, a motto, a personal philosophy here, it will have to be almost like a statement that includes an affirmation and a reason.
Example, “I will be the best piano player in my country, because I want to be renowned and respected by others.”
As we said, dream big, if you think your statement can improve please write it down again, make it an even bigger affirmation and with a bigger reason, something that sounds almost impossible, that sounds almost crazy o believe.
And start by telling your closest friends, family or contacts about it, you never know, they might have a helping tool to assist you or even start your journey.
Step Three: Skill Development
The next step you have to take is now more technical, you will have to focus on setting yourself to understand what skills you need to reach your goals.
Skills are an elemental reason to whether you might success or not and here is where many fail, for example, there are musicians who don’t know how important is online marketing or online promotion these days and they immediately turn down the chance to learn about it.
Keeping an open mind is an essential, as new information will always arrive at your hands that might or could indeed change your perspective or concept of any subject.
It is important that you sit down and structure how your goal is going to be backed up by skills and what you need to learn them.
Maybe you are attempting to start a record label and you need to learn all the legal terminologies, that would be a skill “Music Legal Matters” and find out where to start or who can teach you, many lawyers have written books or long articles regarding this matter, it is not exclusive information, all knowledge is somewhere to be found.
When you develop knowledge you develop the skill to apply it, when you learned how to play your first chord you probably played it for weeks, and then learned the second one and combined them and you starting escalating into the… Complexity
Complexity is my next point for skills, how far do you need to really know this subject and why? Write them down and try your best to at least have 5, if you have more that is great, but five is a good starting point.
Step Four: Identify What Really Matters
The next essential step for you is to identify what really matters, if you need some inspiration for this step, let us look into Pareto’s Principle.
Pareto’s Principle (Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto) States that 20 percent of the things
you do get 80% of your results.
Here you have to prioritize what really is important, what is a distraction and what is just irrelevant to you or trivial, it is very important you end up with a short list, as that list will require one very important factor and that is, Focus.
Focus is the mother of learning, you heard it in school, your boss at work mentions it in the office to create motivation, and it is an action you perform often as a musician when playing your instrument, composing or structuring your plan for the future.
Focus refers to dissipating unnecessary thoughts and setting your mind and vision in one single subject or idea.
Going back to Pareto’s principle, with what focus is, it refers that the 20 percent that you pay attention to, rewarding with an 80 percent of results, as it is something you handled, delivered or did at your best because you where, well… Focused!
Why 20 percent? Simple, you grab a hundred percent and divide it in 5 you get 20 percent slices, five of them.
This represents 5 things you will have to pay attention to, and maximize your focus on them to deliver results.
Please, write down the 5 actions you will have to perform to achieve your goal and maximize their focus on:
Step Five: You, Yourself & Your Attitude
For many musicians the real reason why they do not find success, improvement or motivation is simply because of themselves, their thought process, how they put a “but” towards everything and start building infinite walls of “I Can’t” “I’m Not good enough at this” “That’s too hard” etc…
That’s like the typical guy in the office who comes in and his whole face speaks the language of depression, it’s winter all the time for him! But that is exactly the attitude you need to avoid!
A musician is also a business, besides an individual and a human being, and all three of them require something to keep moving forward, motivation, attitude, demands, strength, versatility, support & happiness.
A good business runs with sheer power and cold estimation, administration of all kinds and a good attitude, and that’s exactly what you need to find.
A good practice is sitting down and stating to yourself out loud what you are going to do about it, change the “but’s and the I can’t” for solutions, this is where being positive kick in, you can even include this in your 5 actions list if you couldn’t find all of them, work into your positivity, other people can tell when you are someone who is really striving for the best with a big motivation, and that not only arouses curiosity but inspires them to do the same thing.
Now, try to find things you consider difficult to be positive about and write them down, afterward think of a solution, how important they are to you and why they are important to you:
Step Six: Set Deadlines
Regarding your positivity, there is another big shadow to tackle down and transform it, to action and strength and that is Laziness.
Some days you might come back from work or wake up and just feel that you are not in the mood for doing things, you will say “I can do it tomorrow, nothing will happen, my music career will work one or another way..” and they keep doing affirmations like that to avoid the guilt that 3 years have gone by and they are still standing in the same spot, in a state of conformity and simpleton attitude.
Get rid of it if it’s your case, being this way is a very comfortable method of not confronting the fear to attempt to succeed, the reason many enter this state is fear of failing, of being seen as weak or not “good enough” for their dreams.
The best method it’s to just set a date, even give yourself a reward for every time you manage to complete something, motivate yourself. Write down in a calendar the goal and a logical time for it, “I Will find my manager in 30 days from now” and write it on your cell phone calendar or any where, make sure it is in a fairly visible space or in your office, somewhere where you can see it and remind you of it everyday.
Every time you successfully achieve something is a day you are better off than you where 2 or 3 weeks ago, build the courage and confront it.
We want you to write down in order the goals you have set and an estimation by their side.
Example: “Will make a professional song cover video for my Youtube channel in the next 15 days”
Step Seven: Reclaim Your Time
There is an estimated average that we spend between 2-4 hours wasted in non-important matters, social network over scrolling and diverging into a T.V show that does not give us any information that could be useful any time soon.
The first micro step to be taken here is to analyze what it is that you are spending your time on that is not necessary and completely erasing it from your life for the moment, of course if it is possible to actually get rid of it, if not just ignore it until you have a break to pay attention to it.
You have to maximize your potential and capacity to achieve goals, plan a strategy on how you are going to reach them and write the time they would actually take for you to do it.
The best way to start is when you wake up sit down 10 minutes and write thing you are going to do that day and estimate the time they will take and their importance.
Have piece of paper and a pen ready with you to just do it as your first thing in the morning and organize a proper plan of action for that day.
The same as the daily list, write a weekly list and a monthly list with the actions you performed the most, for example, you find out you are playing 10 hours more of video games than what you should be rehearsing your new band’s song, give that gaming time to your
instrument, you will thank us later.
After a month has gone by, write down the most common actions you performed here, this might represent your priorities at the moment, if you consider one of them to not be a priority see what you can do about it if it is just consuming your precious time.
Step Eight: Start A Team
Every musician gets to this point, if you have, congratulations! If you haven’t you will when you dream big enough!
We all know you can achieve as much as one or two things by yourself and that is an ironclad fact, no changing or altering that, your action plan and strategies can benefit greatly from these people and it is now your time to find your team to help you on your musical journey, here is where your musical career really can boost up to the sky and there is no limit beyond that.
So how do you start? Investigate Outsourcing methods, and use LinkedIn as a way to widen up your reach for talented individuals who might be a good asset to add to your team, as we mentioned you are a business and a business no matter how small it is, it will never be conformed of just one individual if you want to make it big enough.
Your best choice is to first sit down with your current band members and see the kin of people you need to lookout for, what kind of talents you need to boost sales or promote your band’s image.
Write down the skill sets you and your band members or current team members consider essential to your goal:
Now write down the skills you and your band currently have and how they can support your goal or make themselves worthy at some given point or emergency situation:
Step Nine: Quit Wrong Paths
If you currently feel without motivation, depressed or just need a new perspective here is one to consider strongly especially as a musician, quit your current path…
Now don’t give up, but start over if you feel what you are doing is not working for you! Surround yourself with new people and new opportunities, sometimes there is a limit we do not notice and that is what our surroundings can really offer us and the limitations that bring can be plenty.
There is no worth in putting your effort everyday in a surrounding where no one supports you or helps your cause, for example the common “forced musician syndrome” this refers to an artist who plays in a band where he does not feel happy, comfortable or the music they play is not even to his liking, that is no way to live life! Correct?
If you are in a situation similar, quit it, follow your intuition and what you really want to do, if it is money what you need make a back up plan for when you do the change and e prepared before it.
An environment where you are so limited or uncomfortable with only brings a sense of underestimating your capacities and what you can really achieve, in short, Insecurity
Write down all the things you have a bad feeling about or just feel uncomfortable about and try to include in your goal list a strategy to change them:
Let us see now our last step…
Step Ten: Obsess about 4 things
If there are four words all successful people have mentioned, talked about, found meaning or guidance inside of them are…
The first, Energy is the one thing that boosts all actions, it is the fuel tank to your daily life and well-being, a good way to keep a constant energy and a good level for it is by sleeping well, avoiding stress and being as much as possible in good physical shape.
Focus, as we explained earlier is a basic on achieving goals, it will help you build the correct strategy, alternatives and any other reasoning process you need to come up with, focus can help you understand, comprehend, explain any situation or subject to a very far extent depending on how much you work on it.
Habits make a positive life, habits are the reason why many succeed in through actions and manage to achieve goals faster, it is a process of thought, then a process of creating the moment and striking the right timing for it, make habits in your everyday life, go running, play your instrument more, learn a new language make sure they are all thing you really want to do and help fuel your happiness and well-being.
Learning is what will give you skills, what will make you think in a wider diverse of themes, what inspires imagination even! Imagination works only with what we know and so does our logical thinking, once the learning stops we put a stop to our capacities too!
Write down one thing you can do to improve each of these four words in your daily life, and write them down in a big piece of paper, if possible make a poster with them and hang it on your wall to remind you of every reason why you want to be successful:
There is nothing better for you than a change of mind and a good piece of advice like this one when you feel trapped in the bottom of a hole, we encourage you to implement these ten steps and share your progress with us by showing us your achievements and goals complete.
Trust me, the biggest reward lies when one morning you wake up from your bed and you discover you are finally where you wanted to be all your life, it is never to late to try or to soon to attempt, good luck.