Success Spirals

Posted by Aaron Davison on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 Under: August 2014

Do you feel frustrated with where you are as a musician? Do you feel like your dreams of making it as a musician are passing you by? Do you feel like no matter how hard you try you don’t get to where you want to be?

I know what it’s like to struggle as a musician and feel like the success you’re after is eluding you, always just out of reach. I used to go through periods of feeling despondent after years of not getting the success I thought I rightfully deserved.

There’s a zen proverb that states that “the hungry don’t get fed”. I’ve observed this principle over and over in my life and the lives of others. Think about how this is true in two of the areas most people put the most focus on, money and love.

If you’re totally broke and down on your luck, good luck getting a loan.  When you need money the most it seems to be the hardest to come by.  On the other hand, if you’re making great money and things are going well, watch the loan offers start pouring in.  If you’re rich AND famous I hear that companies just give you stuff!  I mean how ironic can you get?! When you really need money it seems to be the most elusive.

What about love? Try getting a girlfriend if you’re desperate for a girlfriend.  Good luck with that. It seems like when people crave love the most they somehow push it away. Of course I can only speak from the perspective of being a guy, but I’ve heard women deal with similar issues.  When we long for love it seems to be the most out of reach.

So what does this have to do with pursuing a career in music? I think it has everything to do with your music career. This principle is at work in all areas of our lives. The more relaxed and focused you are about your music career, the more success you’ll have.  Again, I can only speak from my experience, but invariably I have more success when I pursue things with a sort of “relaxed focus”.  A certain amount of detaching from the outcome is required.

Once you start seeing success as a result of approaching things this way, you’ll be motivated to achieve more success.  Success breeds success, in the same way that failure breeds failure. I like to think of this sort of forward momentum as “success spirals”. You can build a momentum with your success that compounds and picks up speed over time.

Even after all the successes I’ve had with my music over the years, I still doubt myself.  I’m only human after all. But when I catch myself feeling down and frustrated now I quickly bitch slap myself really hard and get back to calmly pursuing my passion. When I approach things this way, invariably things start to happen and more doors start opening.  When you get positive feedback, it encourages you to go for more and more opportunities. If company X likes my music, why wouldn’t company Y? If tv show X uses your music, maybe TV show Y will also?

If you really want to make it in the music business, set aside your doubts and worries and focus on your passion and why you love making music in the first place.  Stay calm and rock on:)

In : August 2014 

Tags: success  music business  music licensing  music pubishing 
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