Speculating on Possibilities in Your Music Career

Speculating on Possibilities in Your Music Career

I know I’ve talked a lot about language, but this is another area where I feel like it has made a real difference for me.

What I’ve discovered is that “brainstorming” is weak compared to “speculating on possibilities.”

I remember a meeting I had with a team member only a few weeks ago. We were discussing the products we were planning to build out. When suddenly, the doors blew wide open on the conversation, all because we were speculating on possibilities.

“I’m seeing something! So, why don’t you create a new version of this product, I’ll help you create the ads, you have the technology to create an affiliate program, so we’ll develop an income opportunity, create an affiliate army, and soon the whole thing will be self-sustaining!”

Now, I wasn’t just excited about the new possibility. From that day forward, it became mission critical for me to focus on the work that would lead to those outcomes. Clarity and inspiration were present.

Now, these sudden realizations and new possibilities didn’t just bubble to the surface all on their own. If I wasn’t in conversation with my team, and if I wasn’t willing to include them in the conversation and speculate on possibilities, it wouldn’t have happened at all.

And the very guide you’re reading? This would not exist had we not reached those conclusions on that day.

There are going to be many opportunities to speculate on possibilities in your music career. Life is full of them.

So, start building this muscle. Next time you’re stuck, or you’re looking for alternatives, or you want to find other approaches, speculate on possibilities with your band or team.

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.

Having Fun in the Game of Music

Having Fun in the Game of Music

In the leadership program I’m currently in, we create everything as a “game.”

Even things that we might normally call “work” in daily life are created instead as games.

Since everything is created in language, this simple shift in terminology from “projects” and “goals” to “games” is more powerful than you might think.

Think about it…

What we know about the structure of a game is that:

  • They have rules
  • They have players
  • There’s a scoreboard
  • It’s clear when you’ve won, as well as when you’ve lost
  • You can’t always win
  • Games are fun!

What’s powerful about generating our tasks and projects as games is that this tends to eliminate a lot of fogginess and uncertainty about setting goals and managing projects in general.

Everything I’ve said about games is applicable to goals and projects. They have rules and players, there’s a scoreboard, it’s obvious when you’ve completed the project (or at least it should be), and you don’t always reach your goals.

But what about “fun” you ask?

That’s up to you. But the shift in terminology can help. The change from “I have three goals I’m working on” to “I’m playing three games” is more significant than you might think.

Now, practically speaking, this may sound or appear irresponsible to those around you.

“You’re playing games? I thought you had work to do. Don’t flaunt your privilege!”

Let them in on the secret you’ve discovered. That everything in life is a game. Because when you create your projects as games, the murkiness tends to go away. Plus, you have more fun on the journey to getting to where you want to go in your music career.

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.

Creating Simplicity in Your Music Career

Creating Simplicity in Your Music Career

In 2019, I decided to begin living nomadically. My adventures were ultimately cut short by the pandemic (I’d managed to explore some of western Canada and northwestern States), but I still ended up leaving Calgary, where I had lived for over 20 years, and ended up moving to Abbotsford, BC.

This move did not go smoothly. But if I wanted to live nomadically, I knew I needed to make certain sacrifices.

So, I bagged up the closet full of clothes I had collected over the years, keeping only what I considered “essential” and would fit in my suitcase.

To my surprise, I ended up filling five garbage bags with clothes I barely used or didn’t need anymore, and I donated them.

And I followed a similar process with all my belongings, some of which ended up in storage at my parent’s house.

I had already minimized my belongings during the previous move, but this time I had to be even more selective, because I knew would be driving to BC with only what would fit in my car.

And this is not merely about minimalism or optimization. The key is really that:

The less you have, the less encumbered you are.

Sounds obvious, I know. But we sometimes forget just how burdened we can become in the endless pursuit of stuff and all the trappings that are supposed to go along with success.

What I’m really pointing to is simplicity.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have complex systems, marketing strategies, or songs.

But when it comes to execution, optimizing our work environment, even setting up our workflow inside our Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), simplicity creates performance, performance creates traction, and traction creates momentum.

Simplicity creates performance, performance creates traction, and traction creates momentum. Click To Tweet

Simplicity minimizes confusion. It creates clarity, predictability, and consistency. It allows you to get to your desk at 8:01 AM and have your blog post done by 9:13 AM on the dot.

And when you’ve optimized to that point, you can bet that more opportunities will show up at your doorstep. Your phone will start ringing.

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.

Creating Structures for Everything in Your Music Career

Creating Structures for Everything in Your Music Career

My coach recently shared with me:

“You can have everything you want. You just need to put structures in place to get to where you want to go.”

And that really got me thinking…

I have structures in place for a lot of things I do, including the very guide you’re reading right now.

And then there are things that I don’t have structures for. Or, if I do have structures for them, but they’re not fully developed, or they’re too ambitious, or they’re not ambitious enough, or some combination thereof.

Obviously, there are limits to how much one person can do. But in a crisis situation, sometimes we are required to do considerably more than we ever thought we’d need to do.

What if one day you woke up to find you lost your primary source of income? This happened to me recently. And things like this can happen at any time.

What structures do you have in place for worst case scenarios?

Or, if you don’t have structures yet, what structures could you put in place?

Asking these questions helps us identify next actions. Working backwards from the result we want; we can determine the steps we’ll need to take to get there.

Things either don’t get done, or don’t get done efficiently when we aren’t present to the steps. We end up prolonging the journey unnecessarily or going down some rabbit trail that leads us far away from the path we originally wanted to be on.

“Ready, fire, aim” has its place. But when it comes to structures, it’s all about planning. So, plan your steps (daily or weekly actions). These steps form your structures.

And all steps should really be a hard “yes” or a hard “no.”

“Yes, these things are worth doing (because they get results).”

“No, these things aren’t worth doing (because they don’t get results).”

Put rules in place. These rules are also part of your structures.

You can have everything you want in life. You just need structures to make it a reality.

You can have everything you want in life. You just need structures to make it a reality. Click To Tweet

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.

Surrounding Yourself with Positive People in Your Music Career

Surrounding Yourself with Positive People in Your Music Career

Recently, I decided to take on a yearlong leadership program (technically, it’s two years, but that’s a whole other rabbit trail).

What were my best friends doing when I was about to join? Two were already in the program, and two more were about to join.

There wasn’t any peer pressure. There were three factors that ultimate got me in: 1) a competitive spirit, 2) feeling stuck in my career, and 3) the fact that one of my friends inspired me to join.

Of course, I can’t underestimate the influence of my friends, because, as you’ve surely heard before:

Birds of a feather flock together.

The truth is the influence of relationship is near impossible to overcome. If your friends are lazy, you’re lazy too. If your friends are broke and in debt, so are you. It almost always follows that you have the same traits and habits your friends have. You’re an average of those you hang around.

Looking at this with a sober mind is challenging because feelings always get in the way, but if you were to elevate your game, can you guarantee that those around you wouldn’t just pull you down like crabs in a bucket? Do you know that they’re not just going to come to you and ask, “What are you doing all that work for? Come be with us. Let’s hang out.” Because that’s usually what happens…

I’m not here to tell you what to do with your friends. I just want you to become conscious of the fact that, if you want more out of your career and life, you might need to take a cold, hard look at your association.

Artists often underestimate the influence of the people they’re surrounded by. They tend to care more about the optics of who they’re seen with versus what it might mean for their long-term success. I would encourage you to take a closer look at the people you’re surrounded by, their work ethic, and their mindset.

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.

Creating from a Space of Opportunity in Your Music Career

Creating from a Space of Opportunity in Your Music Career

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

So, we need to shift our thinking from how to get something, to how we can give and be of service to others. How can we contribute?

I’m not talking about being a doormat. I’m talking about being considerate.

You don’t know what people might be going through on a given day. Their pet could have died. They could have had caffeine-fueled insomnia the night before. Maybe a family member fell ill.

So, making requests of others should never be taken lightly. We should always be thinking about how to have requests show up as opportunities for others. Otherwise, we get stuck in a space of convincing and commanding, and generally there’s nothing inspiring about that type of communication.

Now, you might think that being considerate should be kind of obvious or commonsense, but in a world where we’ve basically been trained to be narcissistic consumers, we’ve got to interrupt the pattern and be more conscious about caring.

No matter someone else’s values or beliefs, they are never less or more important than you are. That type of thinking is exactly what leads to discrimination, and it can happen to anyone of any race at any time – not just the people who scream the loudest about it.

Do you want to be a victim, or do you want to make a difference in this world? It’s two very different vantage points, and I would suggest the latter is the more compassionate choice.

Frankly, we don’t care about others. We only care about ourselves and what we’re going to get. And I can tell you right now that type of communication isn’t considerate, helpful, or value-adding.

This might seem like an odd thing to talk about, and it gets weird headed when we try to force reciprocation through good behavior. But fundamentally we will get more of what we want out of this life if we create mutually beneficial opportunities instead of always trying to get what we want.

We will get more of what we want out of this life if we create mutually beneficial opportunities instead of always trying to get what we want. Click To Tweet

Remember… you never know what others are going through. And so, creating from a space of opportunity is considerate. Convincing, commanding, and coercing is not. That’s not showing empathy let alone sympathy to anyone.

And more than ever, we need to be a stand for unity and connection, not for division.

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.