Today's post is a short pep talk about where your head is. As I have tried to take this amazing thing I get to do for a living and make a more serious, sustainable business out of it I have come across a few concepts about mindset in my journey which are just as applicable to you, the artist. It really can come down to your mind vs success sometimes!
Being an artist requires a certain level of overconfidence. We can all look back at the past and see if we are honest that at some point we weren’t so great, but it’s not entirely unhealthy to “bat out of your league” as the Americans say. Push yourself out of the comfortable place “where you belong” and you will grow. Stay still, and you won’t. Don't confuse this with "faking it till you make it" - nobody likes a bulls***er - accept who, what and where you are, but always strive for your end goal.
Sometimes the biggest breakthroughs are right around the corner. You have to TURN that corner to get to the breakthrough. When I worked with Mark Ronson he told me he was literally on the verge of quitting before he “made it”. “Nobody wanted to buy hip hop beats, it was impossible” and then look what happened after he made that covers album. He'd connected with a ton of high profile people through DJ-ing and being a party animal, got them to guest on a covers album and that sly move took him over the top. You have to be there for the opportunity even when it looks bleak.
You know why I don’t email artists I really like sometimes and ask them if they want me to mix them? Fear. I don’t want them to say no as that will hurt my little snowflake feelings. It might make me think that I am actually terrible at this and should quit immediately. Alright, that’s an exaggeration and when this happens - my ego just gives me a slap, points at the work that says otherwise, but that IS the general internal conversation. Fear is your enemy and a huge reason why a lot of people do not do things to further their careers or start a conversation with someone who could help. A common cause for fear is a fear of...
If you do not try, nothing happens except - nothing! If you try - you may very well succeed! And if you do fail, who cares? Worst case you might learn something you can change to affect the outcome and do better next time. Learning without failure as part of the process is pretty uncommon.
You want to build a bigger email list? Ask people to join it. At shows, online, and everywhere.
You want to work with someone? Ask them.
You want a DJ to play your music? Just ask them.
You want a blogger to write about you? Ask them.
If you do not ask, you will not receive.
Last thought - be grateful. Every day we get to this is a reward in itself, so be sure to be thankful for every part of your journey. It's the journey that matters most, so be awake for it.
If you need a record mixing, don't forget to reach out - it's what I do!
Want to read another article? Here's one about promoting yourself as an artist