“No” holds a lot of power.
By saying no, you are setting boundaries, showing that you know what you want, and saying yes to something else. All at the same time.
But sometimes, as an independent musician, it’s hard to say no.
We see other musicians succeeding at something, so we think we should give it a try.
We see an artist kill it on tour, so we think we have shoot for a living.
We see an artist making and selling beats, so we wonder if it is the key to “succeeding” as a musician.
But the truth is, you can’t do it all at once.
You are a human with only so much time and energy in a day.
It is therefore imperative that you find what you are good at and make it your main focus. After consistently working on this skill, you can become excellent at it.
Avoid the temptation to to add lawsuits. It’s better to to delete unnecessary.
Most of us have an additive cognitive bias
If you feel the need to add activities to your music career, things you think you’re “supposed” to do, you’re not alone.
This is called additive cognitive bias.
Researchers at the University of Virginia looked at this and hypothesized something.
Faced with a problem, people prefer to add items to try to solve a problem instead of removing items.
But sometimes adding something doesn’t solve the problem. It only makes him more confused.
A good example of removing something to get a better result is the balance bike.
Learning to ride a bike with training wheels only to remove those training wheels is difficult. You learned to spin the front wheel instead of leaning side to side.
But for kids learning on balance bikes, they can transition more easily to a two-wheeled bike with pedals.
So how can you apply this idea of ”removing something” to your music career?
How to Succeed in Music by Removing Things
There are so many examples of successful artists who only focus on a few things.
For example, so many lo-fi producers rack up millions of streams and millions of monthly listeners on Spotify. Artists like Jinsang, won two, [bsd.u]and Knxwledge.
Artists like Reggie Watts and Marc Rebillet compose music on site.
A handful of songwriters-producers create most of the pop music you know, like Max Martin, RedOne (Nadir Khayat), and Tricky (Christopher Stewart).
Or there are artists who mostly live off sync licensing, like Sleeping At Last and Aaron Espe.
The thing is, picking 1-3 things to focus on as a musician is the way to go.
Here’s how to do it…
Pay attention to what you like (and what you hate)
I used to play live, but that didn’t really take my music career anywhere. After years of performing, I realized that I didn’t like it. So I stopped. I took concerts out of my activities in order to solve the problem of my music career going nowhere.
Now I focus on writing, producing and submitting the music I create for sync licensing. Since then my music has been featured on ABC, NBC and in hundreds of independent film projects.
So how do you know what to pursue and what to ignore?
As you try to figure out which few things to focus on, pay attention to how you feel when you do them. Pay attention to what part of the music you get lost in.
What do you do when you enter this state of flow?
Either “hell yes” or “no”
One way to help you find your way is to use the “yes” or “no” method.
Basically, if you can’t say “hell yes” to something, it’s a no.
And if it’s a no, if you don’t like doing it, ignore it. It’s not your path.
Are you hesitant to do certain aspects of music? Likewise, to what part of the music do you happen to say yes without any hesitation?
Success is subjective
The whole point of this article is this: success is subjective, so you need to define your own.
Just because you see another artist succeed at something doesn’t mean you should try to succeed that way too.
You must pursue the type of music career you would like to have. Because if you enjoy doing something, it will be easier to do it consistently.
And doing something consistently means you will improve. And at some point, people will have no choice but to pay attention to you. And this will lead to a successful musical career.
So find your way. So ignore everything else.