064 – Getting Your Mindset Right as a Musician

by | Oct 11, 2017 | Podcast

A strong mindset is essential if you want to achieve big things in your music career. Sometimes, moving forward in your endeavors is a test of the will, and your mindset will determine how far you make it.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share several questions that will help you assess how strong your mindset is right now.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Getting your mindset right
  • 00:45 – Having a strong mindset begins with a healthy body
  • 01:15 – Questions to help you guide your thinking
  • 01:22 – Long-term thinking
  • 02:18 – Commitment to success
  • 02:52 – Your social circle
  • 03:36 – Where your time is going
  • 04:14 – Managing your time
  • 04:42 – Experimentation and iteration
  • 05:43 – Building a strong mindset


Thanks for joining me. Today, I wanted to look at something that doesn’t often get talked about in the music industry, which is getting your mindset right. I believe that your mindset will determine what level you will rise to in your life and your career. That’s how important it is.

Everybody has challenges in life. As you go along your own music career, you’re going to encounter some obstacles as well. The strength of your mindset will determine your willingness and ability to push through when things are difficult. Guaranteed there will be some difficult times ahead.

One thing I would like to address before I get into the meat of this episode is just that it’s difficult to have a strong mindset when you’re exhausted emotionally and physically. You must take care of yourself first. You could say that having a strong mindset begins with taking care of your body.

Having a strong mindset begins with taking care of your body. Share on X

If you’re burnt out right now and you try to push through with willpower, you’re going to discover that everything is going to be that much harder to do. If you were well-rested and in a good mental state, you will find it much easier to do the same tasks.

Here are few questions to help you guide your thinking in terms of the strength of your mindset.

Are you thinking long term? Do you have a five-year or even ten-year goal for your career? Most of the time, in life and business and in our career endeavors, we’re only focused on the present. I don’t have a problem with that. I think we should live in the present as much as possible. But when you’re trying to do something difficult, like build a sustainable and profitable music career, you must have a long-term mindset. That goes for business too. If you don’t have goals and a plan to achieve them, you need to ask yourself why, because chances are you’re still leaving the backdoor open so you can escape if you need to.

I’m not saying that we should be so stubborn that we’re not willing to adjust our strategy as we go, because oftentimes that is a necessary part of working towards the fulfillment and achievement that we’re looking for. But if you’re not thinking ahead, and you’re simply leaving a lot to chance, and you’re failing to plan which is a plan to fail.

Here’s my next set of questions. Are you committed to your success no matter what? Are you willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get to where you want to go? This goes hand in hand with having a long-term mindset. You’re going to grow over time as an individual and as an artist. Things that may appear difficult today could become much easier a couple of years down the line. Somebody with a strong mindset is always going to be committed to their personal success because they understand that nobody else is more invested in it that they are.

Here’s the next set of questions. Are you associating with the right people? Do they lift, support, and encourage you? Or do they criticize you and put you down? Everywhere you look, the “crabs in the bucket” mentality is prevalent, just as one person attempts to rise above and get out of the bucket, another crab just pulls them right back down.

Both in my coaching and personal relationships, I’ve seen some of the effects that association can have on your life, so associating with the wrong people will drag you down and exhaust you over time. A lot of people seem to like drama and want to make something out of everything, so while this is a hard question to ask yourself, you really need to look at whether the relationships you have are serving you.

Next, are you dedicating enough time to your creative work? Is your time getting eaten up by marketing, the business aspects of your career, social events, or other time-wasting activities? Whether you’re a musician or a music entrepreneur, you must dedicate time to your creative work and not let other things take president over it.

I’m not talking about anything here that I haven’t struggled with myself. Because as an author, the main thing that I need to work on is dedicate time towards completing my next book. But life happens, and things get in the way, so it’s important to be strategic about when you plan to work on it and sit down and work on it when you’ve planned to do it.

Next, are you studying how to better manage your time? Are you putting those strategies into practice? Time management is a subject I’ve covered on the blog before. The key point here being that you should be studying time management principles, especially early on in your career. Because if you constantly find yourself whining and complaining about having enough time, the reality is we all have the same 24 hours in a day, you’re just not using your time as effectively as you could be.

Finally, are you experimenting and iterating with your creative work? Are you gradually building towards a product your fans will love? Are you trying the same things expecting different results? It’s kind of funny when it happens, and it’s always easy to identify when others are doing it. But sometimes we stubbornly insist on our way because we believe the creative work that we are doing is the greatest thing on the planet.

Five or 10 years later, we’re still doing the same thing and we don’t have any more fans than when we started because we’re not doing anything people care about. I’m not necessarily talking about selling out or drastically changing the way that you go about your creative work.

What I am saying is try putting 10 songs out there and see which ones get the greatest response. Then, make more songs like them. Your next series of 10 songs should be more like the ones that got the most response the first time around. If you keep that up, it’s only natural that you’re going to make progress in your career, and you’re going to start to make more fans along the way.

So, do you have any thoughts on how to build a strong mindset? I look forward to seeing your comments in the show notes.

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