The greatest pain isn’t starting from square one in your search for your passion.
The greatest pain isn’t trying to figure out what your passion is.
The greatest pain isn’t even in choosing your passion.
The greatest pain is the purgatorial rut of “passion adjacent” – knowing you’re only 0.5 degrees misaligned with what you’re supposed to be doing with your life but can’t see what adjustment you need to make to have the puzzle pieces snap in place.
I wish I could say it was easy. That there was some kind of methodology or mental hack to trick yourself into seeing what’s probably under your nose. But there isn’t.
What my experience has shown is that the only rather poor solution to uncovering the small tweak that needs to be made is sticking with the process.
If you give up, you will never uncover the secret. You’ve got to keep digging until you find the gold.
Even more problematic, you will feel like giving up along the way. If you don’t, then you’re not in the game. And you’ve got to be in the game to score let alone win.
How will you ensure that you stay in the game when everything inside of you is screaming “Get out! It’s a waste of time! Stop sacrificing yourself! There’s no winning move!”
There is no strategy.
The only thing you can hope to depend on is your willingness to persevere.
Are you willing to persevere?
Our relationship with money is a byproduct of our association, especially with our parents and siblings.
There are two assumptions that can end up harming our chances of ever having a productive relationship with money:
- Whatever we were taught about money – our inherited beliefs – are correct.
- Questioning what we were taught is a moral and ethical dilemma.
Unless your parents are or were a five percenter, these beliefs will only hold you back.
Understand – out of 100 people, only four will be financially independent, and only one will be wealthy. This is a measurable fact.
Transforming your relationship with money begins with understanding that money moves for its own reasons. It doesn’t respond to desperation and begging. Ever notice how your friends who are hard up for money always seem to be hard up for money? Instead of creating a long-term financial strategy, they’re always scrambling at the last minute just to feed themselves. Is that what you want out of life?
Transforming your relationship to money will lead to very different results.
Read Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Wealth Attraction In The New Economy. This is essential reading.
Show gratitude for every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
One of the most powerful phrases in the English language is “Thank you.”
You don’t need to take my word for it. Study Ho’oponopono, which is a beautiful traditional Hawaiian practice centered on reconciliation and forgiveness.
In this practice, four simple phrases were identified as being the most healing:
- I love you
- I’m sorry
- Please forgive me
- Thank you
Get in the habit of saying these phrases more often – to yourself and to others.
More to the point, send “thank-you” notes to your mentors, event organizers, collaborators, and whoever connects you with new opportunities.
Giving and sending “thank-you” notes is good manners. It helps you focus on the positive in life. And while this is not the goal – it can also help you be remembered, which can lead to more opportunities in your music career.
Nothing is accomplished in a day.
We don’t go to the gym one day and expect to have six-pack abs tomorrow.
Yet, as artists, we still underestimate the value of consistency in achieving our goals.
Successful people track everything they do. So, they’re not deluded about the time, energy, or money they’ve put into anything. They know their numbers through and through. Because they understand one thing – consistency.
And in any area of life, you’re either on a positive upward exponential curve or a negative downward exponential curve. How do you know which you’re on? By looking at your journal, charts, or graphs… whatever you use to keep track of your activity, which plays right into consistency because tracking itself is an action requiring consistency.
That’s the long answer. The short answer is you’re on a negative downward exponential curve by default if you’re not in action.
There are two books you need to read to tattoo this on your mind:
Have you ever thought of yourself as too young, too old, too smart, too dumb, too tall, too short, too big, too small, too experienced, too inexperienced, too sick, too tired…?
Every artist has some version of this going on, even the most successful people you know.
Many artists disqualify themselves from the success they desire for reasons they think are very sound but are usually anything but.
The only difference between you and your more successful counterpart is they have developed self-awareness to know when they’re pulling back when they should be pushing ahead.
If you’re making excuses for yourself in any capacity, you need to look at why that is. Is it habit? Did you learn it from someone? What has you looking for an “out” when you should be “in?”
I’m not kidding – do the inner work. Journal. Think. Reflect. Ask questions. Converse with a trusted friend or mentor. Notice where your excuses are coming from. They are coming from somewhere. Be willing to dig deep to identify the reasons, whether it’s learned behavior or trauma. And once you know the source, notice it whenever it comes up, so you aren’t stuck in repeating habitual behaviors. Empower yourself with the ability to take new actions where you would normally back out.
Read David J. Schwartz’ The Magic of Thinking Big in full and cure the failure disease – Excusitis.
Do not hesitate in setting up a website using a custom domain name (preferably .com).
Your website isn’t just your electronic press kit, live performance calendar, or blog.
Used correctly, it’s a living, breathing, online organism that grows as you grow, with an array of multimedia content designed to attract, engage, convert, and sell to your target audience 24/7/365.
Remember – it’s supposed to be everything in one place. You should not have a blog with Blogger, a website with Wix, and a landing page with Mailchimp. You should not use social media as your website, either. You end up sacrificing SEO and usability. You need everything under one roof.
You need a self-hosted WordPress installation housing all your content, and barring that, a self-hosted installation of another content management system. There are several out there. The key word is “self-hosted.” You don’t want to build on a proprietary platform that makes it impossible for you to back up your website and move to another host should that website builder ever go out of service (and the need always arises).
Treat your website with the respect it deserves. Add bios and blog posts, high-quality photos and graphics, audio and music samples, podcast episodes and videos, show dates and tour schedules, contact and email signup forms, reviews and testimonials, all the essentials. Add often, add continually, add consistently. Keep up with new media and new technologies. Your website is your online storefront. Create the impression of constant activity and busyness. Never treat your website as a static brochure.