It’s been a while since I’ve played a gig, especially one where I was tasked with providing background music.
It was a fun and pleasant experience, though, one where there was virtually no pressure. If there was any pressure, it was self-inflicted. I have a history of over-preparing and expecting great things of myself any time I’m called upon.
Fortunately, I am able to relax more nowadays, thanks to the considerable experience I have under my belt.
I remember watching a Christmas concert on TV with my family one year. For the life of me, I can’t remember who was performing. It may have been Celine Dion.
And I remember commenting out loud, “she’s singing like her career depended on it.”
In the moment, I don’t think I realized how true that was. In a time when TV was still the main channel through which information was relayed, and entertainment was programmed, performing at Christmastime would mean having all eyeballs on you. You’ve got to sing like your career depends on it.
And that’s the way I’ve approached most gigs. I know there won’t be any A&R reps there. I know there may not even be anyone to impress. I’m competing with the toughest competitor of all – myself.
I was recently re-reading my New Year content from last year, and I thought to myself, “this is probably the best I have ever written.”
I’m up against something if I want to surpass that level of writing this year.
That’s how I think about live performance as well. I’ve done a lot of cool stuff in the past, so one upping myself is not going to be easy.
But I realized something tonight.
Playing for your friends or strumming the guitar around the campfire is one thing. Strangely it feels so ordinary. But playing your heart out at stage volume? Suddenly, you realize your playing holds up. Maybe you’re not Guthrie Govan or Tosin Abasi. But you know you’ve got something.
I’m proud to announce a brand-new resource for all my favorite human beings out there – independent artists, creatives, creators, executives, and entrepreneurs – it’s called the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook.
Over the years, I’ve published 44 songs, seven books, dozens of eBooks, thousands of blog posts and articles, hundreds of podcast episodes, and hundreds of videos too. And somehow, I still have time left over for web and graphic design, artist coaching, book reading, and intensive leadership programs.
Nowadays, I easily write 15,000 to 20,000 words per week and I’m nowhere near done.
(And I’m not even all that old yet! At least, that’s what I like to tell myself…)
How the hell?!
Exactly. That’s what people ask me when they learn that keeping up with even half my schedule would feel like Navy SEALs training to them (in no way am I comparing myself to a Navy SEAL, just so we’re clear… 😉).
Well, I can tell you right now it didn’t happen in a vacuum. I used systems, mental models, processes, procedures, protocols, checklists, tools, automation, virtual assistants… virtually anything and everything I could get my hands on to squeeze the most out of my days, weeks, months, and years.
Not everything I’ve tried has worked let alone stuck. But that’s exactly what you should expect from anyone who’s created a resource like this – they have real world, applied knowledge and skill in setting themselves up to be as productive as they can possibly be. And they’ve personally produced a body of work that demonstrates their claims.
I’m not here to tell you how awesome I am or how much I can get done in a day, though. This new resource was created for you.
Over the years, I’ve written and shared extensively on the topics of productivity, performance, and profits. And to make this as high value a resource as it can possibly be, I’ve personally hand selected, reviewed, and edited all the content found in this must-have resource.
Wait… Isn’t This Supposed to be a “Blackbook?”
Right, by definition, blackbooks are supposed to contain everything one has ever created on a topic.
Trust me when I say, though, that you’re not missing anything. Some of the content I’ve published on the topic isn’t even that good, and I don’t even follow the methodologies espoused anymore.
If it’s value adding and has the potential to help you, I left it in. If it was just word salad masquerading as advice, I left it out.
I once booked a showcase at a local coffeehouse and invited one of Calgary’s most notorious singer-songwriters to perform (meaning he wasn’t necessarily known for all the right reasons).
Well, he was kind enough to oblige to my requests, he showed up on time, and conducted himself like a pro. Despite his average talent, his comfort level on stage and willingness to treat the opportunity with respect and professionalism left me feeling like I booked the right act for the occasion.
I got to talking with him while other acts were performing, and he shared something interesting with me.
He was known for putting out a new album each year, something most artists only aspire to, but never seem to get around to.
And he mentioned that a lot of people wondered how he was able to do it. After all, the cost of recording can be quite high.
What he shared with me was this:
“Most people think I have an outside source of funding, or my parents bankroll me. That’s not the case, although I do minimize costs whenever I can. The truth is, I save every penny I earn at every single performance. Then, I reinvest that money into my career.”
The simplicity and shrewdness of this strategy blew me away.
He’s right – most artists don’t do this. And it ends up shrinking the pool of opportunity available to them.
When you don’t have the funds for those rare moments when inspiration and opportunity strike, you can’t grab hold of the lightning. You end up having to pass up on it for another occasion because you don’t have the resources necessary to pursue it.
There’s a reason I teach artists how to manage their money. It’s not that you won’t go through difficult times financially. It’s that if you establish the right habits and direct your money intentionally, you’ll be ready for when lighting strikes. You’ll be able to take hold of compelling opportunities as they arise.
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.
The Leading Musician Coach
Hey! I’m author, entrepreneur, and musician David Andrew Wiebe. Learn more >