There’s nothing worse than a bullshitter. They constantly speak about where they’re going to go or what they’re going to do. They talk about it to all their friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who will listen. “I’m going to make it in the music industry!” Sadly, these people are the worst. They’re a virus which can infect your work flow worse than anything else. These people are to be avoided at all costs! Even worse are people that say they’re going to do something and never end up doing it. They make excuses, and they waste everyone’s time.
To believe anyone who talks a big game is to get sucked into a downward spiral. If you can find people who put their head down and work, then you’ve found the right people to align yourself with. The best thing to do in this world when you’re trying to make your way in the music industry is to just do the work. Talk for a moment, get your ideas out, and begin execution. If you spend all your time talking about what you’re going to do, then you’re using your time in a counterproductive fashion.
Don’t get me wrong, brainstorming is great! It’s the place where you’re going to get the best ideas. After you make your plan of attack, you must not think or talk about it again unless you find a better way. You must do. There is nothing worse than wasting your time with people who constantly bombard you with talk. Where are the people on your team that are all about action?
Let’s take a band culture for example. If there are only a couple of people executing, then you’re going to fail. You’re going to lose. Your band is just a hobby at this point. You need everyone in the band to be creating actionable items they can accomplish. If there’s only a couple of people actually getting things done, then you’re going to lose. You have to spread the work around and make it happen. Everyone needs to have a function in the group. All hands on deck! Your main focus is to take a part of the business and make it yours. Be the champion of your part of the business!
Here are some things people in bands think is doing work: going to practice, writing songs, playing shows, going to other shows, posting on social media, and talking to other people about their music. These things are items that even terrible, local bands are doing. These things are just the basics. If you’re doing these things and think you’re making your way, then you are basic. Basic is losing. If you want to win, then you must create a strategy. You must have everyone on board. Everyone must execute at high levels. This is the music business. Run your band as such.
You need people to be running full steam ahead. Merchandising, live performances, online promotion, offline promotion, tour promotion, digital marketing, video creation, photo creation, songwriting, sync licensing, booking, radio, and press are all things that need to be taken care of. There are even more areas of opportunity you need to take care of! Each person in your band or project needs to be on point. All of these functions (and more) need to be split between members until you become profitable enough to bring on a team member. If you’re not doing these things, then you’re losing. You’re a hobbyist, and you need to stop wasting other people’s time (if you have people working for you).
The biggest thing you can take away from this is that you’re a loser if you’re not participating in business functions of your band or solo project. You’re a loser if you’re wasting people’s time because you’re talking about what you’re going to do or who you’re going to be. You’re a loser if you’re only thinking one week ahead. You’re a loser if you can’t get back to people’s phone calls or emails. Don’t be a loser. Truly, take a hard look at what you’re doing and see if you’re a winner.
Start taking strides in the right direction and begin doing. There is no other way around it. The worst thing you can do is talk. The best thing you can do is start working on the business functions of your band. Writing phenomenal songs is not enough. Perseverance and hard work will win. Strategy will win. See it through to the end. Onward and upward!
Originally published for ENDER Press. Written by Jan Powers.