Are You Adamant or Ignorant About Your Path?
We humans are super stubborn especially when it comes to certain paths we take, we’re truly wired up that way.
You’ve heard the expression “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, right?
Think about this for a second:
We’re adamant about being a Democrat or Republican.
We’re adamant about being a vegan or a meat eater.
We’re obstinate about Ford vs. Chevrolet
Some of us have deep loyalties about Fender vs Gibson.
We’re adamant about the manner in which we handle our relationships (most if not all of us need consistent improvement on that, present company INCLUDED).
Quite often we are unwavering on these ideals and we don’t even know why. We don’t have an opinion that is based on any kind of facts or accurate information, we just do what our parents did.
We follow the crowd we hang out with.
We staunchly support an ideal and we have done exactly ZERO research for ourselves.
I saw it on Facebook, so it must be true.
WAY too many artists are adamant about the path they are taking to climb the ladder of success in their careers.
They’re understandably resolute in their approach because they’ve experienced and seen the manner in which all their favorite, life-changing, iconic artists have come into their awareness.
But, when does adamant turn into ignorance?
It’s GOOD to be inflexible with regards to achieving your goals. This creates perseverance. When I was an artist there was no musician, girl, business deal, booking agent, tragedy, manager, label suit, sickness, injury, or excuse that I would give permission to stand in my way. No plan B. Only forward motion.
If you’re stubborn about achieving the goal, that’s awesome. If you’re unyielding on the path you’ve chosen to get there, you’re ignorant.
The path constantly changes in real life.
The path gets refined as you become more aware of what is really going on.
Many of you think you’re determined to succeed but really, as Don Henley says, “That’s just some people talking”.
Too many of you are blissfully clueless when it comes to any kind of discernible business plan to bring your amazing music to market.
Sadly, most of you that have any semblance of a process or business plan to expand the awareness of your music in a market are working with outdated and inaccurate information.
You’re refusing to recognize this fact.
You’re sticking to your current path.
How’s that working for you?
What metrics are you using to measure your forward progress?
Did you sell more CD’s this year than last year?
Are you selling more tickets this year as opposed to 2014?
If you can measure it, you can manage it.
Do you have a reasonable, credible plan in place for 2016?
How is your song going to become my jam?
My father says that journeys like life or a business plan are living, breathing, entities in constant need of cultivation and reevaluation. John Sr. says a journey is similar to the flight path of a butterfly in that it’s never in a straight line.
The butterfly that embarks on a voyage across a field of flowers will fly here, then fly there, fly forward, then backward, zigzagging, advancing and retreating until finally it reaches the other side.
A butterfly is never steadfast about the path. Untiring towards the goal, but open for suggestion and often unwillingly relocated by the winds of change along the way.
I’ve mentioned this in past blogs, but a great example of this was an experiment done in the 1940’s designed to gather information on what makes a person really lucky or really unlucky.
The results were astounding.
Generally speaking, unlucky people are firmly entrenched in their pathway, blind to any outside anomalies or fluctuations happening around them.
Lucky people were more prone to take it all in, pay attention to everything, and learn.
Open for suggestion.
The experiment asked people to respond to a newspaper ad requesting people reply if they felt they were generally lucky or generally unlucky. The respondents would be paid handsomely.
In the experiment, the whole group was given a newspaper and asked to count the number of images that were printed in the paper. They were instructed to hand in their answers once they finished and they would be paid $250 (again, this was in the 1940’s, I think, so that was big money).
The people who felt they were generally unlucky took an average of 2 minutes to complete the task.
The people who were generally lucky took an average of 15 seconds.
What was the reason for the disparity in the length of time required to complete the task?
In the newspaper, on page 2, was a black and white ad in huge block letters that read, “THERE ARE 48 IMAGES IN THIS NEWSPAPER, THERE IS NO NEED TO KEEP COUNTING. PLEASE WRITE THIS DOWN, HAND YOUR PAPER INTO THE INSTRUCTOR AND COLLECT YOUR $250 CHECK.”
See my point?
The people that were ignorantly resolute on the guidelines (A.K.A. the path) continued to count all the images never seeing the ad with the answer because it wasn’t an image.
The answer wasn’t what they were looking for, rather, they were looking for images. Opportunities don’t always come looking like what you’d thought they should.
What’s your plan of attack to make a living at your artistry?
While I’m quite sure you’re determined to never quit until you reach your goal, how resolute are you to the tactics you’re using to get there?
Don’t be a moron.
Don’t be naïve.
Plain and simple.
Don’t mistake technologies that offer new ways for artists to connect with fans as the grand solution that will save the failing music industry and thus, your lot in life.
Consumers need reasons to like and stand behind an artist, not a new technological platform. When they have the reason, believe me the platform will not matter, they will find what they want.
How are all these artist platforms working for you?
Are they getting you paid?
Do you know anybody that knows anybody who BROKE on Pandora, Spotify, Bandzoogle, Reverbnation, iTunes, etc.?
If you’re #1 in Kalamazoo for alternative country on Reverbnation how does that translate with regards to your bank account?
Now you may say, “Johnny, we make art for the sake of art so the sales don’t matter, the recognition is what matters.”
Well, somehow, at this moment, you’re paying your bills with something.
Where did those funds come from?
What if your current bosses decided to stop paying you in exchange for blue ribbon each pay period?
YOU’RE #1 IN OUR BOOK, THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS!
Can you imagine?
What would you do if this happened?
YOU’D CHANGE YOUR PATH AND FIND ANOTHER JOB.
You’d have to, wouldn’t you?
My point is that somehow, some way, you found out how to get paid for a job that you’d probably rather not do if you don’t straight up hate it.
Why on earth wouldn’t you want to find a way to get paid to be an artist?
If you’re struggling that means you aren’t getting paid or you aren’t getting paid enough to survive.
If you’re just getting paid with some BS form of technological praise, I submit to you that the praise you receive PLUS $2.52 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Change your path.
Change it often.
It took Edison an average of 1,000 experiments to obtain the successes he needed for EACH of his 2,332 patents.
How may experiments have you tried to get paid for your music?
My guess is the first one, perhaps the only one, the one you’re on now, isn’t working well enough.
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