004 – If You’re Not Okay, Your Artistic Career is Not Okay

004 – If You’re Not Okay, Your Artistic Career is Not Okay

Life may be a wild roller-coaster ride, but that doesn’t mean you want to stall out due to poor management of health, addictions, or lack of self-confidence.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David explains why your well-being is the personal foundation you need to build upon, especially if you have lofty ambitions.


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00:17 – If you’re not okay, your music career is not okay
00:43 – Scarcity mindset
01:19 – Low self-image
02:05 – Mental health issues
02:51 – When you’re not well, it will impact your ability to make forward progress
03:42 – What can you do to ensure you’re in good health?


If you’re not okay, your music career isn’t okay either. It sounds obvious, right? Like, if you’re sick, or if you’re burnt out, you can’t keep churning out the hits, and you can’t show up to your next gig, naturally that is going to affect your music career.

But there are some further-reaching consequences that you might not be mindful of. Let’s say, for example, that you’re stuck in a scarcity mindset.

This is something that happens to everyone. You can’t see the possibilities. So, you’re stuck playing the same gigs. Or you’re playing even fewer gigs because you are so constrained in how you’re thinking about things. You’re not seeing the opportunities outside your city. You’re not seeing opportunities for alternative venues. You’re not seeing opportunities to open for other bands.

And because you’re in such a scarcity mindset, those opportunities may exist, but for you, they don’t exist because you’re not in abundance thinking.

Another area where it could impact your career. Let’s say that your self-confidence or your self-image is low, again, this is something that happens to everybody.

Even the most talented, confident, good-looking, funny people out there sometimes don’t feel that good about themselves. That unfortunately is going to be reflected in your music career as well. So, you’re not going to go for bigger gigs. You’re not going to go for bigger opportunities. You’re going to cut yourself short.

Even the most talented, confident, good-looking, funny people out there sometimes don't feel that good about themselves. Share on X

You’re not going to give yourself the full credit that you deserve as a player, as a musician, or as a touring artist, whatever it is that you’re up to. You’re probably not going to see yourself taking chances you should be taking if you’re suffering from low self-esteem.

Let’s say you’re working through some mental health issues. Again, this is something that can affect just about anyone, really without warning, or without really knowing what’s going on. This is another one of those things that can certainly affect anyone at any time. Many people out there either present stable or are pretty stable most of the time.

But we are artists, and especially when events like the COVID pandemic happened, a lot of people were not feeling very well about that situation. Weirdly, some people kind of loved it, loved that alone time, loved that time of being able to think, of being able to work on projects they enjoyed. But that wasn’t everyone, right? We know that because there were people who took their own lives during that time.

If you’re not well, naturally it’s going to impact your ability to do things that you would normally be able to do. I know this well. I’ve gone through adrenal fatigue. I’ve gotten through something resembling depression. We’ll call it sadness because I don’t think I have clinical depression, and my naturopath would not call it that. So, we’ll call it sadness, but I’ve been through that. I’ve been through anxiety as well. It did impact my ability to be able to do things that I wanted to do to further my career or business.

With adrenal fatigue, you’re almost like waking up in a haze every single day. Unless you know the right steps to take, of course. Then you’re able to get out of it relatively quickly. But otherwise, you’re waking up in a haze every day and not feeling motivated or energetic. You can still get things done, but it feels that much harder to be able to go and do them.

So, if you’re not okay, your music career is not okay, it’s just as simple as that. What could you be doing proactively to ensure that you’re in good health? Not just physically, but mentally. What could you be doing to ensure that you’re well-prepared for opportunities that count? That you’re well rested for when you film a video, or you’re energetic for when you need to hit the stage.

What could you be doing to ensure that you're well-prepared for opportunities that count? Share on X

If we don’t plan these things, and we don’t prepare for these things, then we’re just hoping that by chance, somehow, we’re going to be feeling great on the date of the show and it doesn’t always happen like that.

So, think ahead. What do you need to do to make sure that you’re at your best for the moments that count?

Weekly Digest: December 25, 2021

Weekly Digest: December 25, 2021

David Andrew Wiebe, October 2021Hey creator!

And there’s always more where this came from

Must-Have Resource

The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition Kindle and paperback editions are now available. The hardcover edition is coming soon.

The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition

Final Thoughts

Thank you for your creativity and generosity. I’m rooting for you.

What is Your Value Proposition as a Musician?

What is Your Value Proposition as a Musician?

The primary reason to create a value proposition is so that others can benefit from your musical efforts.

If you can make mutual benefit the goal for every negotiation, you will find decision makers responding more favorably towards you.

If your mindset does not allow for others to win, what I’m about to share won’t be of much benefit to you. But if you’re ready to take your eyes off yourself and look at the bigger picture, read on.

Value Proposition: What is it?

Consider how you could create a value proposition in the realm of live performance.

Musicians often talk about how music venues and events aren’t paying as much as they used to. Some aren’t paying at all. Worse yet, some are asking musicians to pay for the “privilege” of performing at their venue.

I think the message here is that musicians don’t feel like they’re in control.

When a venue or an organizer dictates how much you get paid for your performance, you are at their mercy. They can hire you and fire you at will.

That drives a musicpreneur nuts, because they don’t want to put their opportunities into someone else’s hands. I know it drove me nuts when I played a gig the day after St. Patty’s Day at a local bar.

A proper proposal will allow you to be in control again. By creating terms that are value-adding, both for you and for the event coordinator or music venue, you can begin dictating your own provisions again.

A value proposition is a proposal that entices music venues to want to book you. And, simultaneously, if you think this way, you will stand out from the crowd.

Of course, value propositions don’t just apply to live performance. You can create them in any area of your career.

Creating a Value Proposition

There are plenty of musicians out there that are willing to play for free. Perhaps they simply want to take any opportunity they can get. Maybe they don’t care about the money. Maybe they don’t understand why that might be bad for other musicians.

For the following example, I’m going to assume you are an experienced musician. Fair warning: if you aren’t there yet, you might find it challenging to create the type of proposal I’m talking about here.

So, assuming that you’ve had considerable experience under your belt, you need to affirm the fact that you’re not just starting out. You need to see yourself as a professional. You are worth paying for, because you’ve put in the time and effort to be the best you can be.

Then, you need to figure out what a venue owner or event coordinator might consider added value. Here are several ideas worth considering.

When they book you:

  • They book an entire night of music, courtesy of two other acts you’ve made an agreement with.
  • You agree to create and distribute a press release so that the event gets media coverage.
  • You bring your own volunteers or team to handle the little things: door, merch, sound, cleanup, teardown, etc.
  • You agree to display a graphical banner on your website promoting their business.
  • You send them a promo pack (posters, pamphlets, cards, etc.) that includes a few extra goodies for the staff.
  • You give them a handwritten “Thank You” note at the end of the night.

These are just a few examples of what you could do. You can mix and match to your heart’s content.

Just remember: the greater the value you create, the more demands you can make. The above examples are small gestures; you can go bigger if you want. Just remember – small things can make a big difference.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

You don’t have to take every opportunity that is offered you just because you can. When you are first getting started, there may be value in exposure. But as you gain more and more traction, you should begin selling yourself at incrementally higher prices.

It’s the way inflation works, and no amount of complaining is going to stop it from happening. Every year, on average, the cost of goods increases in price by 3%.

Don’t let organizers get away with murder. I know that’s kind of a graphic thing to say, but you know as well as I do how much time and effort goes into preparing for a performance. You don’t have to prostitute yourself out to get a gig.

You could just as soon approach a local business about performing and set your own terms. You could book a show in a community centre and set the ticket prices at a fair value.

Don’t act as though you don’t have options, because people who are good at negotiating can smell it when you can’t walk away from a bad deal.

The biggest hurdle to seeing yourself as worthy is self-image, and the only way to improve your self-image is to work on your mindset.


Oftentimes, there is a solution to the problem you are facing. I’m not saying that a value proposition is a cure-all, but it is an entrepreneurial way of looking at things.

Entrepreneurs train themselves to problem-solve, and in the competitive world of music, any edge you can gain is helpful.

Don’t be a jerk, but at the same time, know your value. Don’t give in to unfavorable terms just because others are.