How Is An Experiment Different From a Mistake?
What’s the difference between an experiment and a mistake or a failure?
A failed (I hate that word) experiment is a consequence that refines your process, it’s a step forward. A failed experiment is merely a necessary and (should be) anticipated speed bump.
A mistake is hitting the same speed bump repeatedly. The definition of crazy is making the same mistakes and expecting different results.
Remember when you were learning to tie your shoes? You didn’t perfect your performance right out of the box, (the bunny goes down the hole, then around the tree, etc.) you weathered many failed experiments to polish your steps. Now it’s like breathing and you don’t even remember the experimental stage of that activity.
I want you to win.
You are all going to participate in a mental exercise today. I want you to deeply ponder this question: What do you want your artist life to look like exactly?
There are no right or wrong answers here.
However, depending on your reply to the prior question, there will be right or wrong strategies to the solutions you seek.
You must ensure that your plan for success is not mismatched with the outcome you desire.
Your answers will have to come from outside because of the rapidly changing music industry. You’re going to need knowledge that you currently don’t have; thus, the source of your career frustration.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was extremely unsatisfied building muscle on his calves early in his career (this is evidently a common hindrance amongst body builders). In his mind, doing calf raises with over 250 lbs. on the bar, would result in serious injury. He sought a mentor in South Africa who told him he needed 1,000 lbs. on the bar, his body could handle it, and he would see the results he wanted.
He watched his mentor execute this particular part of the workout without harm and then Arnold’s goal became immediately possible. He learned a new plan of attack, witnessed the execution of said plan, and saw the amazing effect.
Arnold then applied this newly discovered knowledge and changed what was a mismatched strategy with one that was consonant to the outcome he sought and BOOM, his calves began to bulk up. Problem solved.
Arnold pursued the truth by seeking knowledge from outside to remedy a problematic part of his process. He was rewarded with educated answers and most importantly, RESULTS.
So what do you seek?
Make a living writing, recording, and touring?
Make a living just writing?
Make a living just recording and touring?
Be rich and famous as a writer?
Be rich and famous as a writer, recording and touring artist?
Be an iconic artist?
Just be famous?
Just be rich?
Once you determine exactly where you are headed you can reverse engineer the steps to make it happen and take APPROPRIATE causative action.
Then you’ll begin to initiate a set of experiments to help you pave the way to your goal.
Artists often ask me, “How can I succeed?”
The fact is all artist’s paths to success are unique so answering that question up front and with authority is a fool’s game.
Artists ask this question for several reasons:
- They’re lazy and haven’t researched anything
- They’re scared to experiment
- They don’t believe in themselves so they want to fast-track the inevitable (whatever that means).
We are all a little lazy.
We are all scared.
We artists are operating with an incompatible approach to our problem.
Let me explain.
Employment is essentially instantaneous reciprocal altruism. You sacrifice your time and a skill and in exchange, your employer sacrifices a scarce resource; money.
This is what we are used to and too many of you expect this kind of dynamic with your careers.
When you’re a venture capital company that invests in business startups you play on a higher level. There is a much deeper emotional quotient that must exist. You expect results in the form of momentum and progress but the payoff is not immediate. There is usually a 5 year exit plan for the investors. This is more akin to developing an artist.
- A market has to be articulated (what “widget” are we selling and to whom?)
- This takes research, experimentation, and is often refined and refined again.
- The “first draft” of the intellectual property is created.
- This takes research and experimentation.
- The intellectual property has to be advanced.
- This takes research and experimentation
- The intellectual property has to be prototyped into a tangible product.
- This takes experimentation to account for design flaws, optimal effectiveness, presentation, spatial restrictions, and ease of manufacturing.
- This is the “proof of concept” stage.
- The prototypes have to be assembled and tested for durability, workability, effectiveness, user friendliness, etc.
- The optimized prototypes are send to mass manufacturing and become the sellable product.
- This step requires research and experimentation, will the manufacturer play by our rules and within our budget?
- The product has to be packaged appropriately
- This takes research and experimentation. What packaging is more attractive and effective in the marketplace?
- The product has to be distributed
- This step requires research and experimentation as not all products belong in all markets.
- Not all distribution deals are in harmony with the product designer.
- The product has to be marketed.
- This step always requires research and experimentation as sometimes you “tap into” a market that is preexisting and sometimes you create a market that never existed before.
- Often the experimentation is in the form of assembling an effective team that understands the company credo and will execute the plan accordingly.
- The product has to be shipped/delivered.
- This sometimes requires research and experimentation.
Can you see the similarities with this list and a solid creative plan for an artistic effort?
Do you see how much research and experimentation takes place along each step of the way?
Most of you probably don’t experiment nearly as much as you need to in the artistic intellectual property creation stage (which is where you ALL feel you are the strongest)
FYI, sometimes I’ll write 25 headlines to an article before I settle on the one I use…that’s 24 failed experiments to get to the gold because all the obvious and cliché content is exhausted during the first 15-20 which causes me to really think…just sayin’.
Do you craft your songwriting this way?
If you’re a rapper and you freestyle (which I find absolutely fascinating when it’s done well) do you create your beats and your hooks this way?
Most of you have never even attempted to experiment in the marketing phase of the process because it’s unfamiliar so you’re afraid.
So you lie to yourself and say, “Good music will find its own audience” or you rely on the idea that once you get your “deal” the label will handle that part of it.
Here’s a scary fact from a study I heard about humans and experimentation recently.
50% of people quit after the first “failure”.
80% of people quit after the second “failure”.
95% of people quit after the third “failure”.
Is it no surprise that the two most common traits among self-made multi-millionaires (aka your favorite iconic artists) are leadership and tenacity?
Are you aware of the astonishing number of millionaires that went bankrupt 3 times before becoming millionaires?
Are you willing to go THAT FAR to achieve greatness?
Now, let’s think about the wealthiest 5% in this country. Many of you have been taught to hate them.
Many of you subscribe to societal social biases like “They made their money on the backs of the real people”, “They’re dishonest”, “They’re sharks”, or “They’re only in it for the money”.
Here’s a thought, what if you’re angry because the top 5% is doing what you won’t?
What if they’re the only ones willing to innovate and research their way out of career frustrations?
What if they’re willing to fail more than 3 times on all the experimental steps of whatever process turns them on?
How’s your tenacity these days?
What research are you doing?
When Thomas Edison died he was one of the wealthiest men in the country, he had over 1,100 patents (he started General Electric which [I think] is the only corporation still around that was on the ORIGINAL New York Stock Exchange.)
Edison stated that he did at least 1,000 experiments to obtain the intellectual property requirements necessary to receive each patent.
THAT’S OVER 1 MILLION EXPERIMENTS.
How many of you have this kind of experimental curiosity with your music?
How many experiments have you done with the MARKETING of your music?
When the labels who used to own and therefore control the market aren’t sure what to do, it’s up to US, the artists, to innovate our way out of the mess and into success.
If 95% of humans will quit after the 3rd failure, isn’t knowing this statistic your secret weapon?
Isn’t that David’s advantage over Goliath?
You are a product of the input you receive.
I’m going to butcher this analogy but Tai Lopez refers to this as a sort of intellectual “success” soup.
You can be the greatest chef in the world, but if you only have chicken and water your soup sucks.
You need more ingredients like salt, pepper, spices, onions, celery, carrots, etc.
EVERYTIME you learn, you add another ingredient to your artistic soup.
The more ingredients you have the more different combinations you can experiment with.
The more you research, the more curious and motivated you are to “play” with your newfound knowledge.
The more you experiment the more you refine the process
The more you refine your process the closer you get to whatever your goal initially was.
NOBODY is smart enough to sit in a room and think up ideas about making music or marketing music without some form of outside input.
Are you picking up what I am putting down?
Your mentors are not going to show up at your doorstep, a gig, or appear in your dreams. YOU will have to seek THEM out.
Yes, I paid a lot of money for access to this Tai Lopez program and it is worth EVERY PENNY.
I discovered validation on my old ways of thinking, new ways to apply the knowledge I have, new ways of thinking and concepts I wasn’t aware existed, and new resources to find the information I seek.
I’m excited! My creative juices are FLOWING!
Aren’t you tired of being frustrated?
How good does real momentum feel?
Too many of you think that you’ll dream up the answers on your own. NOT WITHOUT INPUT.
You’re born with an instinctual ability to suck (pun intended), after that you need input, direction, advice, mentoring, teaching, guidance, coaching, etc., to get ahead.
You never would’ve figured out how to tie your shoes without someone showing you the way.
How do you really expect to reach your goal of creating compelling artistry and finding a market for it by yourself?
You’d better rethink your plan and ensure that it matches your goal.
PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to GiftFromJohnny.com put in your name and tell us where to send it. It’ll teach you how to get 1,000 new targeted followers every month for just 15 minutes per day.
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