I have a friend who is going through some tough times in legal sense but I feel like this person has been going through this battle for so long that their emotions are sometimes clouding their judgment as to what is important to the court and what isn’t.
I worry about this friend and their approach to this challenge lately. We have entertained many “spirited” exchanges in the interest of defining exactly how this person will be judged by the court, in other words, “What does the court see and not see”, and to get us both on the same page.
It’s easy to lose sight of the facts when your life and mental happiness are constantly under senseless attack. Especially when it’s been going on for years and years.
A never-ending battle.
It gets exhausting.
Like you’re in a losing boxing match and the only thing you can do is keep your gloves up to protect your face.
It’s demeaning no matter how strong you are.
Good offensive strategies give way to emotionally charged stories that we tell ourselves and these stories can be accurate, derived from real-life experiences; some bad, some good . But sometimes, often times in fact, these stories get skewed somewhere along the line and become inaccurate.
They become justifications explaining away the reasons that we feel like we can’t win.
I think this is a defense mechanism of sorts.
If it isn’t, people in this position, like my friend, certainly need one considering the onslaught of stupidity they’ve had to endure thus far.
My experience with lawyers (provided you have a good one) is that their brilliant technicians and can execute well, but without guidance, without leadership, they fall short; they’re not mind-readers.
Lawyers need to know exactly what you want and what you’re willing to do (or pay) to get there.
You must communicate exactly what you’re after and have the technician draw the map to get there.
I like to get a checklist. “If I wanted to do this, what would have to happen in the eyes of the court to ensure a positive outcome? Talk to me like a four-year-old and make sure you leave no stone unturned.”
Along with that checklist would come a price tag. Once you have ACCURATE information as to what can be accomplished and what it’s going to take to make it happen, then you can start strategizing with solid data and put together a plan of attack that will be effective for you.
Now, with a map created from accurate information, it’s the lawyer’s job to execute the plan within the legal limits and persuade a judge or judge and jury to believe what the client believes.
I feel like this concept is similar to artists who are trying to get their music out to the world.
You see, I know that if the art is well done and the artist is compelling, there is an audience that will connect with it.
But too many of you are understandably protective of your art like a momma bear to her cub, therefore you get in your own way.
This naturally leads to bad strategies based on inaccurate information derived from stories we tell ourselves.
Some of you, sadly, never get your music out there.
You trip yourself up because deep down the thought of rejection is too painful.
Often, these are compelling artists who just haven’t put the time in to learn marketing, thus, their babies never see the light of day because the market isn’t informed as to why they should care.
Remember, distribution is where consumers go to purchase or consume your music, marketing is why they go there.
It’s the artist’s job now to behave like a lawyer to the extent that they learn the law, draw the map, and persuade the market to believe what they believe.
It’s the artist’s job to control the judgment in the market.
I know it sounds crazy to think that artists fail after you consider the fact that they spend so much precious time and money to create the art and get it out of them, but they stop the process of emergence because of homemade excuses orbiting around their poor marketing execution.
Then they make up stories as to what outside forces were keeping them from reaching their goal of being a professional artist to buffer the pain of a lost dream and to feel better in front of their friends.
It’s called self-sabotage.
I see it every day in all businesses.
This phenomenon is not just relegated to artists, it’s total human nature. Deep down few of us really feel we’re worthy even though we may tell ourselves that we are.
This is fixable.
Some artists recover and move on to take a legitimate shot but others just move on in their lives and become bitter talking about the “glory days”.
Some artists courageously move forward in the face of fear and linger in the business, seemingly forever, without enough success to live a life above the poverty line.
All the courage to stay in but just enough doubt to keep them down.
They also tell stories to themselves and others as to why they can’t get ahead; always outside forces.
Here’s the deal. You will be judged by the market.
In fact, the market is the ultimate judge of any product.
Artists know this. When they avoid being judged they avoid the pain of possible rejection, don’t they?
You must learn marketing in the new music business so you can understand how to spread your gospel so-to-speak. Remember the part about asking for a checklist?
To avoid the bitterness and the stories about outside forces keeping you from your dream, you have to take responsibility for the marketing, learn it, execute it, and move forward.
You’re going to make mistakes, so what?
Dig in anyway.
Making mistakes and moving forward is better than telling stories and moving nowhere.
This process is called learning.
You may tell yourself that you’re an artist and artists shouldn’t have to market themselves, and I would agree with that to the extent that I prefer artists to be concentrating on their art.
But you earn that level of success by creating enough cash flow to outsource the marketing tasks.
More importantly, you have to be educated on the way it really works to get your business going on zero cash flow.
You’re going to be the one to do it.
If you haven’t done it yourself, you don’t have a keen understanding of the way it works, how can you can you blame some outside force for keeping you down?
In any business, and make no mistake you’re an entrepreneur trying to start a business, you need a working knowledge of every step to effectively lead.
I’ve got other news for you, when you do get your shot, your “at bat”, you’re going to need this information to hit the home run; even if it’s someone else’s money.
Don’t dip out on your calling because you’re afraid of marketing, it’s just foreign that’s all, it’s another form of communication that when mastered, is quite satisfying.
Don’t dip out just because you’re lazy.
“I don’t have enough time” is a crappy excuse. Every time someone tells me that I can find at least 3 activities that take up their time which can be traded for productivity in their small business.
The first one is usually sleep.
Y’all tell yourselves stories that you need your 8-12 hours of sleep.
You need 6.
Get up one hour earlier and read a marketing book. Then spend the next 30 minutes applying the knowledge from the book.
For the world to accept you, they must first become aware of you. Once they become aware of you, they’ll listen. If you’re compelling, they’ll buy your music.
Once you figure out how to squeeze in some repetition, so they hear the song at least 8 times, you’ll begin to gain serious momentum in your artist career.
If the market judges you too harshly, then you have work to do on your product.
My first shows in grade school and high school sucked.
So did yours.
We got better, didn’t we? Your first song isn’t going to be a hit but maybe your 100th will.
Are you willing to work that hard?
Do you want it that bad?
Don’t go down on this dream just because you didn’t work hard enough, you’ll never forgive yourself.
Make your art the way you want to make it, then understand what must happen for the court to accept you, and then deliver it.
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