Important because technology continues to disrupt and change everything in our awesome industry with no corner untouched: music, publishing, distribution, management, television, gaming, theater, radio, etc.. Even the old dinosaur gatekeepers have left their post, leaving the rest of us to figure out for ourselves how to break through the invisible barriers to entry. That said, here are a few essentials that will never change, not like a rigid to-do list, more like a constantly evolving watch list:
— Revisit, redesign, reimagine and recommit to that which you say must be completed, resolved, manifested or begun. Do some personal soul searching and rediscover or reinvent what it is you really want. Remind yourself what truly matters. Remind yourself what your biggest most important dream/goal is. Then ask yourself, “What am I committed to?” Doing this process is really the very beginning and the most essential part of any successful endeavor.
— Review your support team & inner circle (staff, agents, managers, bandmates, sales team, coaches, consultants, techs, partners and toxic people). I know it can be a heavy scene to split with people you work with (and like). However, a heavier scene is continuously putting up with the pettiness and incompetence of others at such an emotional, physical and monetary cost to you and your goals. Don’t flinch or choke on this one. If issues need to be addressed or personnel changes need to be made, don’t be afraid to pull out Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Truth be told, YOU are the CEO of your world. And the goal is to work with the most talented people you can find, who are aligned with your vision and committed to the task at hand, not to wait around for people to change, improve or grow up.
— Assess Your Strategy if you continue to repeat the same tactics and schemes over and over, convincing yourself that you’re doing something different, your fans, customers and clients will move on to something new, your numbers will start to drop, your results will continue to decline, and that dream you have of making it will eventually begin to dwindle…just when you were expecting it to peak. Not budging from your tired old strategy is a lousy strategy.
— Practice Practice Practice! Our craft is everything. Doesn’t matter if it’s composing, performing, directing, acting, writing, consulting, teaching or running a business. We need to continue to improve and get great at the nuts & bolts of what we do, because the nuts & bolts are changing too! And the only way to get great is to lock ourselves in our studio, penthouse office, or creative space and do the work. The deliberate work, the committed work, the focused work, the repetitious boring work, the work that we resist doing, the work that scares the hell out of us, the work that allows us to maintain the awesome lifestyle of a crazy, genius, independent, artist/trep. Because each day we hunker down and do the work, is another day closer to achieving the personal greatness we so desire.
— Don’t Fake It! “TRUTH” is by far the most magnetic and attractive attribute, and we all crave it like a drug. Especially during these crazy “point-the-finger” days when everything is so transparent. If you express the truth in your art, music, business, marketing, writing, life, etc. your fans and customers will follow you, support your mission and join your tribe. If you try to “hype it” they’ll see through the ballyhoo like Superman sees through brick walls.
— Give it back! Giving and receiving are different aspects of the same energy. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep that energy circulating in our lives. Make sense?
Important because every choice we make, every step we take, and every bond we break triggers a series of extraordinary circumstances that will ultimately determine our destiny.