036 – Taking Ownership in Your Life & Your Career

by | Apr 4, 2017 | Podcast

Ownership is one of the most important concepts I could teach anyone in the music industry.

Many people do not take responsibility for their lives, let alone their careers. They blame outside circumstances and other people for their lack of results and success.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I explain the advantages and disadvantages of ownership.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Introduction
  • 00:30 – Taking ownership and the blame game
  • 00:53 – Taking responsibility for yourself and your actions
  • 01:33 – The victim mentality
  • 01:58 – Taking responsibility for your music career or business
  • 02:17 – Getting the results you want can take more work than you even realize
  • 02:53 – Learning to take initiative
  • 03:50 – Benefits of ownership
  • 04:22 – Upsides and downsides of partnerships
  • 04:65 – Downsides of ownership
  • 07:46 – Thanks for listening and leave a comment


As I thought back on my personal development journey, my life experience, and my business training, there’s one concept that struck me as being most critical to your success in music entrepreneurship – ownership.

Unfortunately, what so often happens is that people blame others for their present circumstances. They adopt a victim mentality. Nothing is their fault. And their life is not the result of anything they’ve done or the actions they’ve taken.

But it’s really the opposite.

Taking Responsibility is Empowering

First and foremost, we must take full responsibility for our lives. Many don’t realize that this is ultimately empowering. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we should blame other people, events, and circumstances for where we are and who we are in life.

For me, taking ownership was empowering, and I think you’ll find the same thing.

If you adopt the victim mentality, change is up to something external that you have no control over.

But when you say, “I’m responsible,” you can identify how you can change in a positive way. And that means change is up to you. So, you’re not waiting around for anything to begin creating the change you want to see in your life.

So, we must take responsibility for our careers, whether that’s a job, freelancing career, music career, or business. Because that means you’re in control. You can create the change you want.

You might not have the results you want right now. And the truth is, getting those results often takes longer than you think it will. It takes more effort.

But when you say, “if it’s to be, it’s up to me,” and accept personal responsibility for working towards your goals, it puts the power back in your own hands. And so long as you don’t give up, you can make your dreams a reality.

And even if you don’t hit all your targets, if you come close in the process, you can learn from that experience and adjust course as necessary.

Creating Yourself as a Leader

Oftentimes, we say things like, “my boss didn’t give me all the information,” or “so-and-so didn’t get in touch with me.” But we should take it upon ourselves to reach out when projects aren’t moving. Send an email or give them a phone call. Stay in communication until the project is completed, or until they say they can’t do it. At least then you’ll be able to find someone else to help you.

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the resources you need, or you’re not sure where to start, ask follow-up questions of your boss, collaborator, or investor.

Say, “I don’t think I have everything I need to get started on this project. I’m not sure how to move forward with this.” Take the initiative and take it upon yourself to move the project forward.

The Advantages of Ownership

I own the domain name davidandrewwiebe.com. No one else owns that. So long as I continue to make payments, I will own the domain and the website associated with it. It’s my intellectual property, and it’s worth something. It may not be worth a lot right now, but the value will continue to increase over time.

In business, there often comes a time to consider whether to take on partners. If you have a partner, they own a portion of the business. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if they bring something to the table that you can’t offer. But you need to consider whether it’s the best decision based on your trajectory. Does it make sense, for example, to give up 40% of your business at this moment in time?

Whether it’s an investment, business, or guitar, when you purchase something in full, you own it and control it. And generally, that’s an empowering thing.

The Downsides of Ownership

When you own something, you are responsible for it. For instance, if you and your spouse decide to have a child, you would be responsible for that child.

The downside is that there are maintenance costs to ownership. If you have a child, you will need to pay for their education and save up for that.

If you own a business, there are monthly expenses you can’t get around.

If you own a guitar, you will replace the strings, get the frets dressed, buy accessories, and so on.

But the greatest cost of all isn’t necessarily financial. Oftentimes, the greatest cost is the time and mind space something occupies.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re a bit of a pack-rat. I can relate to that. I have a bunch of stuff I could probably get rid of. The problem is that it takes time to do, and I have greater priorities in mind. So, I would need to schedule it in my calendar and prioritize it for it to get done.

So, the cost of ownership is opportunity cost. It’s going to take up resources and mind space that could be potentially better allocated to things that matter to you.

This was true for me in home ownership. When I owned a home, I couldn’t see just how much time, money, and mind space it was ultimately taking up. I became intensely preoccupied with how to pay the bills and little else. My creativity suffered because I couldn’t dedicate much of anything to it.

I still engaged in creativity as I was able, but it was difficult.

Ownership is ultimately a good thing, but it’s good to be aware of the cons as well. And, they may not be cons, per se, but you need to be clear that you will need to allocate resources to ownership, whether it’s time, money, energy, or otherwise. That’s accurate thinking.

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