How To Leverage Your Past Success

Posted by Aaron Davison on Thursday, September 25, 2014

Whatever your goals are as a musician, whether you want to become the next U2 or Coldplay, or if you want to simply be able to wake up every day and make a living writing and playing music, it's important that you have success. Success, even small success, breeds more success. When I first heard my music on national television it was thrilling beyond words. I was literally jumping up and down I was so excited. And I can remember thinking that it was only a matter of time before I became as famous as Coldplay or U2. I've always been just a little 
 delusional at times! Although I've yet to become a household name, that single step forward gave me the confidence and inspiration to keep going and over the years I've accumulated a variety of accomplishments that I'm extremely proud of. The success that I had came at just the right time and without it, I sometimes wonder if I would have kept going forward.

It's frustrating and demoralizing when you're trying and trying to do something and you're not getting anywhere.  I'm not going to use the word failure because I don't really believe in the concept of failure.  But sometimes you fail to get the results you want and when this happens consistently it really, well, sucks!  It's the opposite of inspiring. It drains your energy and leaves you feeling unmotivated.  When this happens long enough it can lead many people to just give up altogether.

On the other hand when you do have success it's awesome!  Trying something and then succeeding and getting the results you're after leads to feeling more motivated and more inspired and makes achieving more success even easier.  We can see this principle all around us, like how  people in relationships usually, paradoxically, find it easier to attract other partners.  Or how the rich tend to get richer, and conversely how the poor often get poorer. Success tends to come to people more easily who are successful.   

This principle is of course pretty logical in many ways.  It's easier to open doors once you're in the building so to speak.  But I think it goes deeper than that.  I think there's also a psychological aspect to this principle.  I think you can leverage success.  Each victory you achieve and celebrate gives you a little more confidence to go after and achieve your next goal which gives you even more confidence and motivation to go after the next and so on.

But what do you do when the success you're after is not forthcoming? Well the obvious thing to do is to no let your lack of immediate success get you down and convince you to throw in the towel.  That definitely won't work.  What I do when I reach points where I'm feeling frustrated and not moving forward as much as I'd like, is to take a step back and develop goals that I'm fairly confident I can achieve and then work from there.  

For example, if I'm not landing the huge licensing deal that I would like to get, I'll start pursuing smaller deals or I'll add more music to companies that have placed my music in the past.  Or maybe I'll focus on getting more youtube views for awhile.  The key is to remember there's always something you can do to move forward. Always.  It might not always seem like it.  But be honest with yourself.  Is there something that you can do right now, that will move you closer to your goals?  Of course there is.  There always is, so quit feeling discouraged and go do what you need to do to reach you goals.  One day at at time.

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