294 – How Words Shape Your Music Career

by | May 12, 2023 | Podcast

It seems insane that the words you use would make any difference in your music career, doesn’t it? And yet, words are how we communicate. Everything that’s available, is basically available in language. So, if we’re asking for something, how we ask makes a difference. If we’re communicating our value as performers, how we communicate our value makes a difference.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David shares how words impact perception and how perception shapes your music career.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:16 – You are what you say you are
  • 00:39 – Limiting past-based language
  • 01:46 – Completing past pains and hurts
  • 02:45 – How do you describe yourself?
  • 03:51 – Closing thoughts


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Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe, and today I wanted to talk about something. I think this is a breakthrough that’s available in language. The concept is you are what you say you are.

Now, this could easily be misconstrued as some kind of woo-woo nonsense, but it’s not. It really is the power of words, and there is something to the power of words.

With remarkable frequency, we tend to talk about things through the lens of the past, so we start sentences with things like, “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.”

And so, we automatically limit what we think is going to happen based on some other experience we’ve already had. We impose the past onto the future.

We impose the past onto the future. Share on X

This could come up in a situation where, “well, we already played at that venue and last time we only 15 people came out.” Maybe if you did the same things in the same way, you’d end up with the same results. But if you’ve only played there once and you don’t have much experience with it yet, how do you know there’s only going to be 15 people coming out next time? You don’t. You’re trying to base it on something that already happened, but what happened is in the past, it has nothing to do with the present, and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the future.

What happened is in the past, and it has nothing to do with the present. Share on X

How Past-Based Thinking Is Limiting Your Opportunities

The point here is that you could arbitrarily limit your own opportunities based on the way things went. Usually, that’s an indicator of… not necessarily trauma, but a little bit of hurt, a little bit of pain about something that didn’t go right.

Whenever we encounter things like that, there is an opportunity to create completion with them. And oftentimes we’re not complete with anything, right? But if there was pain or hurt, we can acknowledge that pain or hurt. We can have conversations with the people who we feel may have offended us.

Of course, we still want to take ownership of it. We don’t want to show up in front of them and be like, “Hey, you know, you really made me mad.” No, that doesn’t work. It’s more like “When you said this, it made me feel this way,” and that’s taking ownership of your own feelings. But there is an opportunity to complete pains and hurts and move on and to create something new out of that.

So that’s how we can easily limit ourselves and our opportunities by basing everything on things that have already happened.

You will limit your opportunities by basing everything on things that have already happened. Share on X

You’re NOT an Aspiring or Amateur Musician

But another thing that we commonly see, and I don’t know where I stole this from, but I do remember seeing it out there. Many people call themselves amateurs or aspiring artists, aspiring photographers, or aspiring musicians. Stop calling yourself that. Begin calling yourself a professional today. You want to live into a possibility, not be talking about what you are today.

So today you could say, “I’m a professional musician and I get paid for my work.” You are what you say you are. Perception is pretty much everything. That doesn’t mean that we should lie. That doesn’t mean that we should take advantage of people. But some creative liberties should be taken in sharing your stories because they’re going to be far more interesting that way.

So let go of the idea that you’re aspiring or you’re an amateur today. Beginning today, you are a professional, and certainly do not put amateur or aspiring in your profile or your social media profile any longer. Create a future that you would want to live into, that would be inspiring to you.

Create a future that you would want to live into, that would be inspiring to you. Share on X

Closing Segment

If you enjoyed this insight, there are many more like it in my book, the Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide. For a limited time, you can get a free copy at davidandrewwiebe.com/FreeBook.

This has been episode 294 of The New Music Industry Podcast. I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

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