Are you examining your problems or taking advantage of the opportunities?
You could be a famous songwriter and an in demand performer except that:
- Nobody knows who you are outside of your immediate circle
- Your YouTube views aren’t as high as you want
- Influencers don’t respond to your emails
- Record companies aren’t knocking on your door with recording contracts
- Music promoters aren’t lining up tour dates for you
It would be nice to blame someone else, but I’m not going to let you…
Because you’re thinking about the wrong things!
- I have a problem
- Things keep getting in the way
- I can’t do X because of Y…
- I don’t know how to….
I’m going to ask you to…
Focus on Opportunities Instead of Problems
Within every experience, whether it’s positive or negative, there are opportunities for you to learn and grow. It’s easy to miss them if you’re focused on the problem. Instead consider what you can learn and consider it an opportunity… for example:
I can’t get quality gigs!
Opportunity: Go to open mics and jam sessions and meet other musicians and practice playing 3 songs instead of trying to assemble enough material for 3 sets… build your way up there and stop trying to skip steps….
I don’t have enough time to write because I have a day job, a family and a life to live!
- Think of your job as a way to finance your part-time music obsession
- Be grateful you don’t have to scramble for gigs to afford your life the way most full-time musicians and singer-songwriters have to
- Learn to create time for yourself so you can learn to write consistently…
I don’t have the right gear to play professionally or to record professionally!
- Practice playing with the instruments you have… upgrade when you can
- Focus on the gear you have and learn how to get the most out of it
- Instead of wasting time trying to learn how to use 4 different microphones, learn to get the most out of the microphone you have now
- You can learn how to get the most out of the DAW you have, even if it’s an iPad version of GarageBand
I can’t afford to record my songs in a professional studio!
- Save some money from each paycheck
- Perform publicly, practice the songs you want to record in front of a live audience and save the money from you gigs for recording
- GoFundme and pre-sell your album
- Meet new people and find someone who is able to record you in their home studio
- Record your songs on video and post them on YouTube
Here’s a Real Life Example
Instead of waiting and wanting to record a song, Chris White devoted time during his lunch hour and recorded in his car. He used an old laptop, free software, a USB microphone and his own ingenuity and mixing skills to create an excellent mix.
He found the opportunity and used the story behind his recording process to get attention on the internet… 47k views on the video and his channel has 35k Subscribers now….
My Real Life Example:
My 9 year old laptop died last week. I only lost 3 days of work because I learned to backup my data. I spent some quality time not stuck to my computer in my “free” time for almost 2 weeks. Rather than worrying about the money, I talked to some people, got a recommendation and checked out a local computer repair shop. I bought a refurbished laptop with a bigger display, a solid state hard drive, a secondary 1 Terra-byte hard drive (now triple the hard drive space from the last one) and double the RAM of my last computer.
Going refurbished wasn’t my first choice but I got a tougher, stronger and faster computer than I had, for less than half the cost of a new consumer grade computer that would likely have a similar or shorter life.
The opportunity is I can:
- Reset my data more efficiently so I can find and access things more easily,
- Render huge audio and video files in less than half the time,
- Shoot video with my new webcam in HD instead of HalfD
- Boot up this new computer in under 45 seconds, instead of waiting… waiting… waiting….
Find the Opportunities In Every Situation
- What can you learn in this situation?
- Who do you know that’s confronted or dealt with this opportunity
- What can you do about it right now?
- What can you do with some help?
- What connections can you make with other musicians and songwriters?
1. Stop complaining…
Nobody wants to hear it and you’re driving opportunities (and other people) away. You can craft your problems into a compelling story later when you have it under control, but for now find a better way to frame it.
2. Think About Goals and Opportunities Instead Of Problems:
- What’s the opportunity hidden in this problem?
- What can you learn from this opportunity?
- What can you do about it, starting now?
- What do you need to learn
- What help do you need? Who could help?
3. Create a Plan for Big Projects
- Start creating a plan
- Do something, test and try it… adjust your plan and your strategies as you go
- Work with what you have
- Do what you can with what you have, don’t stress about what you don’t have and what you can’t do
- Don’t skip steps, fill in as many gaps as you can