If your definition of “making it” in the music business is selling millions of records
and becoming a “rock star” then by that
definition very few musicians are ever successful. It’s good to have some sort of measuring
stick when it comes to measuring success, otherwise how would you ever know if you’re on the right track.
with setting the bar so high though, is that it can create a lot of frustration
if you fail to live up to your own expectations. I know very few musicians who are bonafide “rock
stars”, in fact I only personally know one and he’s more of a country star. But
I do know a lot of musicians that I would consider successful, musicians that
are actively building careers and carving out their own paths in the music industry.
When I was
younger I studied guitar with the Chicago based jazz guitarist John Mclean, who
is certainly a huge success in his own right.
I once asked him if he ever got bitter about the fact that groups like
the Spice Girls (who were famous at the time) were more famous and known than
he was, when in my opinion he possessed way more talent. His answer, and I’m paraphrasing, but he said
something like “both becoming famous and developing talent are huge mountains
to climb but that they are different mountains”. In other words, talent and fame are not
mutually exclusive and although they sometimes overlap, they don’t necessarily
have anything to do with each other. His
response always stayed with me. I’ve forgotten
most of the conversations we had during the brief time we studied together but
I never forgot that one.
definition of success is very simple. It’s
when you’re doing what you love to do and you’re moving forward. That’s it. If you’re doing that, you’re way
more successful than most and if you keep doing that you might just actually
become a rock star or country star or whatever kind of star you ultimately want
to become. But even if you don’t, if you
love what you’re doing and you do it with all your heart and soul on a regular
basis, you’re already living the dream in my opinion.
you? How do you define success for
yourself? What kind of goals are you
setting? What does “living the dream”
mean to you? Let me know in the
In : February 2013