002 – 2 Ways to Make It to The Top

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Podcast

David was once convinced that the only way to make it to the top of your respective niche of the music industry was to be or to become a driven leader type. But he’s recently seen things from a new perspective. So, can you make your music career dreams a reality without being a natural leader?

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares his latest insights into growing your music career.


  • Clean Slate: The most exciting and inspirational New Year live music and multi-media event you’ve ever been to. Get your tickets now, before they’re gone!


  • 00:00 – Two ways to make it to the top
  • 00:54 – Qualities of a driven leader
  • 01:10 – #1: They’re quick to turn vision into reality
  • 01:59 – #2: They’re always looking ahead
  • 03:22 – #3: They’re always readers
  • 04:45 – What if you don’t possess these qualities?


So, you’ve heard me talk about the importance of developing your leadership in building a music career. There’s no harm in anyone learning leadership principles, even if they don’t one day become a leader.

But what I’m recognizing is that there are two ways to make it to the top. There isn’t just one, and not everyone is a driven leader type. They just aren’t.

So, more and more I’m recognizing there isn’t just one way. One way is to be a driven leader. But another way… Well, we’re going to cover that in this episode.

So, let’s talk about the qualities of a driven leader. What does that look like? You know, a driven leader has many qualities, so I can’t cover them all here, but I’ll touch on three things that would characterize someone who’s very driven.

First, they’re quick to go from vision to reality. They’re able to take a vision and move it to reality rapidly. It’s almost like they have an idea and snap, six months later, there it is.

Leaders are able to take a vision and move it to reality rapidly. Share on X

Maybe it’s an idea for an EP or a song. Maybe it’s an entire album. Probably in six months, I’d say they’d be able to complete an album because they’re just that driven, and chances are they’ve got experiences and skills to back up that as well.

And one of the reasons they’re able to go from vision to reality so quickly is because they’re able to harness their energy and focus. Focus and concentrate on the thing that they want to accomplish. Not just starting it but completing it. Finishing it.

Next, they’re always looking ahead. A leader is tuned in to the needs of others, the needs of themselves, the needs of their company or business, and the needs of their career.

So, they aren’t just thinking about the things that they need to do now or complete now. Most of us end up focusing there. Leaders are creating charts and graphs, and they have the statistics, and they’re aware of the next steps to take.

If something’s not working, their mind is already into next week or next month or next year going, “This thing isn’t working, we need to stop this now.” And if something is working, they’re already going, “Oh, here’s how we can boost our performance next week.”

And because they take responsibility for others, they’re anticipating the needs of others. They aren’t just thinking about themselves. They’re going, “Okay, this person is in this state of mind right now. Because of that, they might need this resource to be able to be at optimal performance. Or “This team member may need to go on vacation in a couple of weeks because it’s starting to look like they’re a little burnt out and I’ve given them a little too much work.”

Leaders anticipate the needs of others. Share on X

So, leaders are always, always, always looking ahead. They’re not just present in what’s going on now, they’re present in factors that are going to be affecting things in the weeks, and months to come.

Next, leaders are always readers. And I know some of you don’t take this seriously, but I do. I don’t just listen to audio, although I think that’s great if you’re listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and audio programs. I also like to turn all the courses that I’ve purchased into audio that I can go and listen to on my phone in my car.

But you know, leaders self-educate themselves in a variety of ways. They don’t just listen to audio because they know there’s intense and immense value in reading as well.

So, I always read. I like to read. Sometimes I don’t get to read as much as I would like to read, but I still read all the time.

And you could be the worst at reading in the world. And that’s okay. All you must do is read two pages per day. Make sure whatever bookmark you’re using moves to the next page every single day.

That’s all you’ve got to do. If you’re not sure what to read, we’ve suggested many books through the years, including my own. You might want to check out our recommended resources and tools.

So, those are some of the qualities, that a leader would possess. There are others, but those are some of the ones that I would look for.

Okay, so what if you’re someone who doesn’t possess these qualities, and in fact no matter how hard you try to develop yourself, you’re just not getting there?

Well, some of us are average and ordinary, and you know what? that’s not a bad thing to admit. It’s better to have clarity on who you are than to delude yourself

A lot of people love to delude themselves. They think they’re better in pretty much every area of life. This is what the statistics show. People think they are better drivers than others. People think they have above-average looks. People think they are above average in pretty much every possible way they can think of. And that’s not possible because the average is the average.

People think they are above average in pretty much every possible way. And that's not possible. Share on X

So, what’s available to someone who wants to make it to the top, but is not a driven leader?

What you can do is hitch your wagon to a star. And that means to go and find the driven leaders and hitch your wagon to them.

Go and find the driven leaders and hitch your wagon to them. Share on X

Honestly, I’m surprised that a lot of people don’t do this because they’re convinced that they are an e-commerce guru, a content marketing ninja, or a Facebook wizard of some kind. Many times, they’re mistaken in their assumptions.

Everyone’s just trying to do their own thing. They want to be known for their blog, or their podcast, or their music, or their book, or their course. But they don’t take things from vision to reality very quickly, or they don’t finish many things.

Now, I have many unfinished projects, but I’ve finished plenty, including seven books, 44 songs that I’ve published, and much, much more.

So, if you’re not in that habit, and you don’t find that you’re someone who can take a vision and turn it into reality very quickly, you need to go and find yourself a driven leader, because they’re going somewhere, right? And you can go with them.

All you must do is be loyal to them and serve them. Do you think every bass player was a driven leader? Okay, I’m poking at bass players a little bit. I jest. But some of us are average. Some of us are ordinary. And that’s okay. We just need to find a leader that we can hitch our wagon to.

So, those are the two ways to make it to the top, even if you’re not a driven leader. Thanks for listening.