Let's talk expectations for a minute.
So I want to talk about why, in our industry of music, the expectations and the definition for success are so different than in so many other industries.
If I started a business as a plumber and graduated from working for someone else to owning my own truck and being self employed and making $50,000 a year, I personally would call that a huge win. I work for myself, and I earn enough to cover my bills. Go team.
Now, in music, it seems to be that people either want to reach platinum, Grammy, household-name status or they consider themselves a failure.
I think a lot of that is learned behavior, because the definition of success as presented to us in music was you get a record deal, you sell a million, you win a Grammy, and then you've made it.
But the internet's changed all that.
We can build a business based only on the merits of our own hard work and by creating a brand that connects with people. There's this thing called the long tail. Basically it says, in effect, that you have your rockstars, your Lebron James, and then you have the guy who, all the way down the line, like makes a living just coaching high school basketball.
Down this whole long tail, there are plenty of opportunities to earn a living doing the thing that you love to do.
Music is just like that. You can start a business doing something in music, anything in music, and earn enough to make your own way.
If you can get to a point where you can do only the thing that you love and you don't have to have a side hustle, you don't have to have a part time job, you don't have to drive for Lyft or Uber, and all you need to do is the one thing that you really want to be doing and that earns you enough money to live, that is a win. That's victory right there.
And so I think that we would all be in better shape if we would remind ourselves and each other that it doesn't take a million records, it doesn't take a platinum plaque, it doesn't take a Grammy, and it certainly doesn't take a million dollars to be successful as a musician.
To be successful as a musician means you are at a place where you are fulfilled by doing what you love as a career.
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