247 – The #1 Thing Getting in the Way of Creating an Income in Music

247 – The #1 Thing Getting in the Way of Creating an Income in Music

Creating an income in music isn’t that hard. But growing and scaling that income can be. And it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, not knowing what changes or tweaks to make to cause a breakthrough.

What’s the number one thing getting in the way of creating an income in music?

That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:37 – Are we going to be talking about “fear” today?
  • 01:16 – Have you ever had these experiences (questions to ask yourself)?
  • 02:46 – What do those experiences look like as applied to your music career?
  • 04:20 – What is the real cause of your struggle?
  • 06:19 – Why do we stop doing what’s working in our music career?
  • 07:15 – What is the solution to this pain?
  • 09:22 – What weekly habit could you adopt to make more income?
  • 09:55 – Next powerful steps you can take

Transcription:

Coming soon.

Closing Segment

So, if you’re ready to stop doing what doesn’t work, if you want to start prioritizing the right things, if you want to stop getting lost in busywork or let discomfort get in the way of what you want out of your music career, I want to invite you to pick up a copy of my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code. Go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Code to get the special edition PDF eBook.

This has been episode 247 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

Are You Clear on What You Want to Accomplish as a Musician?

Are You Clear on What You Want to Accomplish as a Musician?

In an industry where charlatans and shills abound, it’s hard to let go of the couch to big screen dream and focus on the daily actions that will get you to your goals (if you’re even clear on what those goals are).

But anyone that’s trying to sell you on the idea that their $397 course is going to make you wealthy, famous, and ripped like a bronzed god is probably after the little money you don’t even have, not interested in how you get on once you get going. A real coach is always invested in your success.

Courses are great, and I’m a big believer in investing in myself.

But you need to be careful with a) who you buy from, b) lofty promises, c) placing blame (especially self-blame), and d) managing your expectations.

And so, one thing that can be helpful in bypassing the toll booth to the superhighway of shattering disappointment and empty coffers is achieving crystal clarity on what it is you want to accomplish as a musician – keeping in mind that there is no wrong path. It’s all about where you want to get to.

One thing that can be helpful in bypassing the toll booth to the superhighway of shattering disappointment and empty coffers is achieving crystal clarity on what it is you want to accomplish as a musician. Share on X

It could be making six-figures while making music from home. That’s a doable dream. People just like you have pursued that possibility and have made it their reality.

It could be touring the world, or signing a record contract, or just having a steady, easygoing, profitable career recording and performing in your locality. I’m not going to judge.

The thing that will stop you in accomplishing what you want in music, besides the snake oil sales, is getting too wrapped up in all the opportunity and failing to chart a course for the success you desire.

The way it works is this…

If you say that you’re a songwriter, and you’re committed to the craft of songwriting, and you start publishing songs you’ve written, you’re going to build a reputation as a songwriter. And then people are going to ask you to write songs. And you’ll start getting better jobs, and soon you’ll have a full-time career in songwriting. And then, you’re going to start getting requests for a lot of other things, like co-writes, or being a session musician, or licensing opportunities.

That’s a model that works.

The model that tends not to work is choosing to be a touring artist. But then seeing a shiny object over there. Music licensing and placements. So, you set yourself up to make beats at home. But what’s this? Mastering engineers get paid a lot of money. “I’m going to become a mastering engineer now!” But wait… these festivals look awesome. “I want to start performing at festivals.” Clubhouse! NFTs! Patreon!

And on it goes.

When you jump around like that, you don’t have the opportunity to get better at what you do, develop a reputation, find clients, get better jobs, build a full-time career, and have the wherewithal to branch out.

Too often, we branch out too early, you see. You can have your cake and eat it too, but if you don’t cultivate focus early on, no one around you will know how to support you. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. You want to be the person that when others see you, they say, “wow, they’re still going at it!?”

And that’s a matter of determination, sure, but it’s more a matter of powerful branding. You don’t always get what you ask for, but you almost never get what you don’t ask for.

You don’t always get what you ask for, but you almost never get what you don’t ask for. Share on X

For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.

Are You Investing in Yourself & Your Music Career?

Are You Investing in Yourself & Your Music Career?

I remember putting together a video ad promoting a new product and it talked about how I’d spent well over $100,000 on my business, marketing, and personal development education. And someone responded with, “bull crap” (I cleaned that up for you).

If I’m being totally honest – not like I wasn’t before – that number climbs higher each year. I don’t know if I’m at $200,000 yet, because I haven’t sat down and done the math, but every year I buy multiple Kindles, take multiple courses, and pay for coaching. So, it’s not like that figure has ever stayed stationary.

You can call me out on that, that’s fine. Because this isn’t about me. I think the issue is really that artists don’t see themselves investing that amount in their own growth, so they think it’s strange when someone else does.

And yeah, it is a different way of looking at things. But if you hadn’t figured this out already, I’m kind of a different guy. And the thing I know about artists is we’re all a little eccentric. It’s why we do what we do, and at the end of the day, I think it’s beautiful that we’re so expressive with our thoughts and emotions. That’s what makes us great artists.

But so long as there’s a price that’s too high, or a workload that’s too great, or a discomfort threshold we can’t overcome, we can never overcome ourselves, you see. We might still make progress in the world, but at every turn we will still be hindered by ourselves. Because there’s an arbitrary threshold, we’re not willing to cross.

So long as there’s a price that’s too high, or a workload that’s too great, or a discomfort threshold we can’t overcome, we can never overcome ourselves. Share on X

At some point, it’s just too much money, too much work, or too much discomfort. We want to turn and hide.

And the thing you need to understand is that this is what it means to be human. Trust me – everyone has times when they want to run.

One day, we’re walking along as adults, everything is going fine, and suddenly, we’re triggered and revert to little whiny kids. I’ve watched this happen in some of the programs I’ve taken – programs where some of the sharpest, most ambitious people gather.

So, what’s crucial to know is that while it’s not all about some arbitrary monetary figure, if you think any price is too high, you’re going to put a ceiling on your growth and success.

“I’m willing to do that, but I will never do this.”

We can measure money. We can measure workloads in the number of to-do items and projects you’re tackling, although I would still argue this is a little elusive. We can’t measure discomfort at all. It’s just something you feel internally, and no one else can feel exactly what you’re feeling.

The thing I want you to see is that you might be trying to put a quantity to things that no one can really measure. And if you’re in that realm, trust me, you’re not going to go the distance, because at some point, the price will just be too high.

Right now, I’m standing in the outcome that I can invest in courses and programs costing $2,000. Because I am just that excited about what more I can learn and discover, and what I can bring back to you as a nugget of insight.

And while I could probably find those programs as torrent files somewhere, I know I’m not going to value it as much. Because I haven’t invested in it.

We don’t value what we don’t pay for, at least not to the same extent we value what we do pay for.

We don’t value what we don’t pay for, at least not to the same extent we value what we do pay for. Share on X

If you’re getting stuck in your career, or if you’re bargaining with the price, do some looking. Take some time to journal. What are you unwilling to do? Because whatever you are unwilling to do, chances are you will end up having to do it to get to where you want to go.

For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.

Building a Solid Foundation for Your Music Career

Building a Solid Foundation for Your Music Career

What is the most important part of a building? The foundation.

It’s the same with music careers and businesses. If we want to grow, we need to build a solid foundation.

And this usually takes some digging. It requires some hard intellectual work and research. It doesn’t just come together in a vacuum or by accident.

Extending the analogy further, the part that usually takes the longest to build with any building is the foundation. After the foundation is in place, the rest of the building comes together much faster.

First, we need to know what we’re building towards. We need a blueprint. Otherwise, we don’t know how deep or wide to dig.

And that depends a lot on the type of career you want to have, whether it’s being a songwriter, a touring musician, a work from home music producer, or whatever else you might have in mind. You can create whatever you want, but you’re going to get more assistance from others and the universe if you’re clear on what you want and can stick to your guns.

Starting with the end in mind is an exercise a lot of people don’t do. So then, their building efforts are haphazard, and they end up having to repair their foundation later. It usually ends up being costly and difficult. Much more tedious than if they had started with the right foundation in the first place.

To offer an example, Music Entrepreneur HQ’s most visited blog post is a book review of Dr. Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.

At first, we were excited to see all that traffic come in.

There was one problem though. The people who came to check out that post? They were mostly interested in Dr. Murphy or his book, and not at all in music or building a music career. We thought we’d found an intersection of interests, when in fact we’d ended up attracting a different niche crowd altogether. So, we grew a lot of traffic and email list “bloat” that was never going to be good customers for us.

The sad part is that it took a couple of years to sort this all out. And my solution was to create an entirely separate email list for these people, in case I ever decided to take the niche more seriously and had other recommendations to send them.

Music Entrepreneur HQ still benefited from having a highly trafficked blog post. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” as they say. But what we learned from this experience was that we had to be a lot more careful about the content we published on our site. We needed to be sure that it was a good fit for our target audience if we had any intention of selling to them.

It’s often been said that if you lead with your interests, your audience will follow you. But sometimes this just isn’t true.

So, let’s start with the end in mind. What is it that you want in your music career? Be as clear as you possibly can. Don’t rush the process. Don’t get frustrated with it. Brainstorm. Speculate. Think about it. Talk about it. Discuss it with your mentors and people you trust. Journal about it. And let the picture form in your mind.

Once you know where you’re going, it’s all about unfolding the journey. The details start to take care of themselves. Instead of “working towards” something, you’ll be seeing the goal as a “done deal.” Then you’ll be unfolding it a day at a time. That’s a journey full of freedom and ease.

Don’t make up the blueprint as you go. Start with the blueprint.

For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.

As a Musician, You Are What You Say You Are

As a Musician, You Are What You Say You Are

Who are you?

That’s a difficult question to answer when you really get into it.

Because you might identify with your gender, your religion, your job, your bank account, your family…

And all these things are you, but at a deeper level, they aren’t. They are just the things and the people you’re surrounded by every day.

What we’d do well to recognize is that word creates world.

At first, this is going to seem like woo-woo nonsense. Because you don’t just say, “I’m a millionaire” and automatically become one overnight. The stacks don’t just land in your lap. The world doesn’t work that way, does it?

But the thing about the way we communicate is that we often talk about things through the lens of the past.

And the tell-tale sign is the way we start sentences with these kinds of phrases:

  • “Based on my experience…”
  • “What happened last time was…”
  • “It’s never gone that way before…”
  • “I’m always this way…”
  • “They’re always that way…”
  • “This is always how it turns out…”

What you can tell right away is that whatever follows these phrases is going to be based on some experience that’s already occurred, not based on what you’re wanting to create in your present and future.

What you might not be able to tell without examining a little deeper is that you’re creating your world with these sentences. You’re saying, “the world is this way, that’s the way it is, and that’s the way it will always be.”

So, it might seem like semantics, it might seem a little rigorous, but when we give up our judgment of what we think will happen – which is based on memories, which are unreliable to begin with – we can be more intentional about the process of creating things the way we want them to be.

We can start looking at the world with no lenses. And creating from nothing is the most powerful mode of creation.

Creating from nothing is the most powerful mode of creation. Share on X

You can create yourself as a musician or you can create yourself as a music business. And like we talked about before, businesses like to do business with other businesses.

You can create yourself as a musician or you can create yourself as a music entrepreneur.

It’s not about judgment, or criticism, or what others might say about your self-identification. It’s about living into the possibility you’re now creating.

We can say we’re aspiring, or amateur, or we can begin creating ourselves as professional. “I am someone whose work is valuable, and I get paid for my work.” You can begin living into that possibility now.

This is not about creating some made-up identity or insisting that others see you a certain way. It’s not about victimhood. It’s about being in power. Being rigorous around your language and living into a future that’s created rather than a future by default.

I’ve been asked before “Why music entrepreneurship?”

And I respond by saying, “Because it sounds like something you’d want to identify as. It’s empowering.”

But again, it’s not just about identification. If promises and requests don’t follow, then there is no power in the creation. It’s about living into the world you’re creating. That’s the part that I want you to get.

For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.