170 – How to Take Ownership of Your Music Career

by | Dec 24, 2019 | Podcast

You’re a music entrepreneur. And, as a music entrepreneur, you are a leader.

Even if you aren’t a leader to a team or anyone specifically, you are a leader to yourself.

So, the question is, what kind of leader have you been?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share some thoughts about how I led myself, others and my team, what I discovered, and how I’m going to change moving forward.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – Happy holidays
  • 00:56 – The reflection series
  • 01:07 – Don’t let 2020 drift by
  • 01:31 – As music entrepreneurs, we are leaders
  • 02:05 – Thank you for being so difficult
  • 02:52 – Ways in which I can improve as a leader
  • 03:35 – A forgiving leader
  • 04:20 – A cynical and resigned leader
  • 05:18 – Your leadership is the ceiling on everything in your business
  • 05:55 – Invest in yourself in 2020
  • 06:45 – Let’s get excited about growing again


First and foremost, happy holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I hope you’re spending plenty of time with loved ones, eating loads of delicious foods, resting generously and enjoying giving and receiving gifts.

I’ve talked about several productive things you can do during the holiday season in a much earlier episode, so if you need a refresher on that, go back to episode 23 of the podcast.

This holiday season, I don’t want to give you more to do.

Instead, I thought I would put together a series of episodes that would leave you with some important things to reflect on and think about.

2020 is just about here and the last thing we want to do is let it drift by and be “just another year.”

It’s the last thing I want for you and honestly, it’s the last thing I want for me.

We want to make 2020 the best year we’ve ever had, because wins tend to stack.

It’s easier to stack your wins than to start from a place of failure and try to build wins on top of it.

As music entrepreneurs, we must recognize that we are leaders, and leaders need to stay ahead of the eight ball.

We need to be conscious of the kinds of leaders we are – the leader we are to ourselves as well as the leader we are to others.

In 2019, I made plenty of mistakes and dropped too many balls to mention.

That’s the last thing I want to carry into 2020.

So, I must evaluate what went wrong, establish clarity around the lessons I learned and put new structures in place to ensure the level of performance I expect from myself and my team.

That’s part of my responsibility as a leader.

I was also recently prompted to think about my leadership when I watched a video by my coach, James Schramko, on SuperFastBusiness titled Thank You For Being So Difficult.

If you’d like more context for this episode, I would suggest taking a moment to watch this quick two-minute video – you’ll find the link in the show notes at davidandrewwiebe.com.

The key point of this video is that adversity shapes who we are.

Adversity shapes who we are. Share on X

There can be difficult people in our lives – band mates, collaborators, bosses, coaches, investors, board of directors and so on.

But there’s a lot we can learn from difficult people.

We can learn about how not to act as a leader.

And, these experiences also shape who we are.

So, after watching this video, I started asking myself, what kind of leader am I?

I take pride in squeezing a lot out of my days.

Yet, I can also see areas where I could improve:

  • For most of 2019, I didn’t maintain a consistent routine.
  • There were some days that I didn’t even start work until noon when I’d intended to start much earlier.
  • I fell behind on several projects that ended up further on the backburner than I’d ever intended.
  • I said that my health was important to me, and I still often abused caffeine, didn’t exercise as often as needed or ate badly.

I could go on.

The key is that I started thinking about what kind of leader allowed this to happen?

And, that also had me looking at who I was to others, because I figured that would offer some clues as to who I was to myself.

First, I began to see that I was forgiving of myself.

And, we all know how important that is.

The National Science Foundation found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and of those 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive.

The average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and of those 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive. Share on X

This could be one of the reasons positive thinking alone does nothing – it takes monumental effort just to maintain it.

So, that had me thinking how I could talk to myself in a way that was positive yet firm, so that I would start on time and wouldn’t let things slip through the cracks.

If I could be a positive and firm leader for myself and others, I would be able to achieve more and be less wishy-washy about decisions I need to make.

Next, in addition to being forgiving, I could also see that I was cynical and resigned.

With each passing year where things don’t go right, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing and no matter how hard you try, you end up feeling like you’re getting nowhere.

With each passing year where things don’t go right, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing and no matter how hard you try, you end up feeling like you’re getting nowhere. Share on X

The problem with that is that you can end up taking your foot off the gas pedal without even thinking, and when you do that, you naturally make less progress than you did the year before.

Worse, you don’t even notice it.

You end up stopping by the side of the road, smelling the roses and engaging in the sights.

And, we all need to do that occasionally.

But if you don’t keep your eyes on the prize, you’ll never achieve what you set out to do.

So, that had me thinking about how I could maintain a childlike enthusiasm for my projects in 2020.

It had me thinking about how I could look at it as if it was a clean slate, so that I could maintain consistency.

If I could unload my baggage from the past and look at 2020 as a free year, surely, I could bring optimism to everything I do.

So, those are a couple of areas where I’m looking.

I don’t know what kind of year you had or what kind of leader you were to yourself and others in 2019.

But I want you to spend some time thinking about it because your leadership is the ceiling on everything in your business.

Your leadership is the ceiling on everything in your business. Share on X

Whether it’s traffic, revenue, email subscribers, social media followers or some other metric, whatever growth you experienced or didn’t experience is 100% reflective of your leadership.

That being the case, we can’t afford not to invest in ourselves as leaders.

If we don’t grow, how can we expect our revenue, business or following to grow?

It simply won’t.

So, I urge you to invest in yourself in 2020.

Identify your struggles and purchase solutions that will help you solve those problems.

Stop hunting around for free information on everything.

Free information is not free at all – it costs you time, and your time as a leader is incredibly valuable.

Further, you end up having to put together all the puzzle pieces yourself, and you could still end up with costly knowledge gaps.

Long-term, it’s more costly to spend nothing on yourself than it is to spend money on a solution now to move things forward.

Do you want to be dealing with the same problems next year?

I know I don’t.

Between 2018 and 2019 alone, I put well over $3,000 into my ongoing self-education.

I still have struggles, which means I will be putting just as much if not more than that amount into my personal development in the next two years.

So, let’s get excited about growing again.

Let’s get excited about growing again. Share on X

Let’s not give into cynicism and resignation.

If you’re ready to invest in yourself, I would love for you to pick up a copy of my fourth book, Start Your Year the Right Way.

The new working title for this workbook, by the way, is The Music Entrepreneur Power Year.

It will help you find inspiration, set goals, plan your year, achieve big and more.

Will you be buying a copy?

You can learn more about Start Your Year the Right Way at davidandrewwiebe.com/Year.

This is David Andrew Wiebe and I will see you on the stages of the world.