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Some artists over-plan. But I would contend that the vast majority of artists under-plan.
And what happens when we under-plan is that we get drawn into a flurry of urgent activity that may well be important, but probably won’t cause the results or breakthroughs we’re looking for in our music careers.
No matter who you are, you’re going to have fires to put out. But if you don’t set aside as least 60 to 120 minutes per day for your core activities, you’re not going to be as effective as you could be.
The reason you have access to this resource now is because I set aside time to work on it first thing in the morning. Depending on the day, I checked Slack, or sent off an invoice, or answered a couple of emails before getting started. But the number one thing I saw to do was get this work done, even if it wasn’t perfect. I prioritized it.
If you treat your work like professionals approach theirs, and you show up to practice daily, you’re going to get to a point in your music career where you can do most things in your sleep.
It’s honestly one of the reasons I took a bit of a break from music in the mid-2010s – I was getting so good at it; it wasn’t presenting much of a challenge for me!
My point is that you can really let go of perfectionism at that point. I would urge you to. Free and clear of that burden, you’re going to start getting your life work done instead of worrying about that guitar track with too much finger noise. Unless it’s grating to the ear, no big deal! That’s real guitar playing!
J-Rock band B’z recently released their music on streaming services (which came as a surprise to me and my sister, who’ve been keeping a close watch on this development). Just for reference, they are one of the best-selling artists in the world and have 49 consecutive No. 1 singles to their name.
Recently, I’ve been going back and listening to their catalog (starting at the beginning), and it’s been quite instructive for me.
What I’ve been seeing is that, in their early days, they released two albums per year! They were incredibly prolific and relied heavily on drawing from music that already had a proven track record (Hall & Oates, Jimi Hendrix, Dan Reed Network, Aerosmith, Van Halen, etc.). They weren’t afraid to recycle their own chord progressions and ideas either. I’m not saying there was no quality control – what I am saying is they did everything in their power to ensure they were landing those hits!
Despite their immense success, the members of B’z have never taken extended breaks since their inception in 1988. They keep blazing a trail, and it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
How you prioritize today will be how you prioritize the next 30 years. Don’t wait to get started on your life work. Get to work today and keep moving forward. Let go of perfectionism, because 30 years from now you will have added that precious polish to your performance.
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.