What is the main factor that determines whether your music career will be a success or a failure?

The answer is: The type of mindset you have. How much success you have in music is entirely determined by the decisions you make and the specific actions you take in your life. Both your decisions and actions are based on the mindset you have.

The most successful musicians in the music industry were not born with amazing musical skills/talent or more potential than other musicians. Instead they built an empowering mindset for themselves that caused them to take better actions and get better results.

When you have an empowering mindset focused on success, you will take actions and make choices (for the most part) that lead to massive success in your music career. Even if you don’t know what things you need to do to succeed in music, this kind of mindset will help you find out.

With just an average mindset, you might see a bit of success, but it will be limited, and you will struggle for any long term gains.

When you have a pessimistic or cynical mindset, you will never make it in the music industry, and will struggle to make any progress in your music career at all.

I want you to visualize three different musicians who are all equal in every way (they all have the same goals, skills, etc.), except for the kind of mindset they have. Musician one has a pessimistic mindset. Musician two has an average mindset. Musician three has a positive, empowering mindset.

Study these real-world examples to get a better understanding of the difference your mindset can make for your music career success:

Music Industry Challenge One: Making Money From Music To Support Yourself

Musician #1 thinks: “I need a plan B in case my music career falls through.”

Based on a fundamental fear of failing, this mindset commonly causes musicians to get non-musical day jobs they aren’t interested in. Eventually, the get stuck working this job and have no way out. This is a perfect example of how fear can derail a music career.

Musician #2 thinks: “A backup plan will lead away from what I really want (a music career). I will now ONLY focus on music and think about nothing else until I accomplish my musical goals.”

This is a huge step above the previous approach, and will make it significantly more likely that one will achieve his/her musical goals. If you take a sink or swim approach like this, you’re either going to fail or succeed... and if you are focusing on succeeding, you are much more likely to actually do it.

On the other hand, this approach can also be very risky and unnecessarily reckless. It might make it more likely that you’ll succeed at reaching your goals, but it does just about nothing to help you lower your chances of failure. If you ignore any financial problems in the short term, you will have a hard time growing a successful career in music. Many musicians with this mindset end up quitting before they ever reach their goals.

Musician #3 thinks: “I don’t want to have a hard time making money while building my music career. I need to use an approach that: 1. Provides me with a lot of free time to work on music, 2. Supports my long term musical goals, 3. Doesn’t make me work endless hours every week just to get by. When I do this, I can work to reach my musical goals without significant struggles.”

Knowing the ins and outs of how to grow a music career like this is pretty simple (you can learn how by working with a mentor). The hard part is just avoiding the other two approaches above.

Test yourself right now to see how close you are to achieving financial freedom in your music career. Fill out this music business assessment and get my advice on how to improve your current music career situation.

Music Industry Challenge Two: Getting More, Better And Higher Paying Gigs

Musician #1 thinks: “I don’t get paid enough to perform, and I’m not making enough income from gigs because the booker/venue owner is selling me short.”

It is very unlikely that musicians with this mindset will ever get a lot of gigs. Bottom line, you’ve got to help the venue earn more money first if you want to do so yourself. You must do much more than simply show up and play your music.

Musician #2 thinks: “I need to figure out how to get more people to come see me play. This will help the venue make more money, and they’ll probably notice and pay me more too.”

This is the right thinking when it comes to getting more/better paying gigs. Grow the value that bookers/venue owners see in you, then it will increase the amount of money they will pay you to perform at their venue.

That said, this mindset can still be improved.

Musician #3 thinks: “I have to get more fans to come see me play AND get them to buy my music and merch at the show.”

This kind of thinking will get massively different results than the other two styles of thinking.

For example, this mindset will help you:

1. Attract lots of people to come to your shows, and help the venue earn more money as a result.

2. Earn more money from your gigs since you make money from the show and from your product sales.

3. Stop worrying about the amount of money you get paid to perform.

4. Make it more likely that you’ll get the gig, since you don’t care as much about the performance fee.

5. Build stronger relationships with venue owners and your fans, so you can get more gigs as time goes on.

To find out more about this subject, have a look at this instructional column about getting a lot more new gigs.

Music Industry Challenge Three: Finding Opportunities In The Music Industry:

Musician #1 thinks: “People who get opportunities in the music industry are just lucky, living in the right city or know inside connections.”

These musicians take away responsibility from themselves in exchange for hoping that someone will simply “give” them the opportunity to advance their music career. This kind of thinking is full of excuses and no one in the music industry hands out opportunities to people who think this way.

Musician #2 thinks: “If work really hard, someday I will achieve my musical goals.”

This mindset is positive, and showcases a solid work ethic and drive towards success. If you think like this, you have a ton of potential to go far in music.

However, hard work alone is not sufficient for achieving success in the music industry for the long term. Many musicians fail to reach success in their music careers, because they just don’t know what to do or how to do it.

Musician #3 thinks: “I’m not certain exactly how to get opportunities in music, but whatever I have to do, I’ll do it. I will get trained by someone who knows the answers. I won’t just make assumptions about how the music business functions based on what friends and family tell me.”

Regardless of much you currently know about the music business, having a positive, empowering mindset will help you learn what you need to know, and put you on the path to success.

Learn how to put your music career on the right path for success. Complete this free music business assessment and get my advice on how to become a more successful professional musician.


Author's Bio: 

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a recording artist, composer and a touring musician. Tom also mentors and coaches musicians worldwide to make it in the music industry. Go to his musician development site to get free music industry advice and learn more about the music industry.