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6 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Help Launch Your Career in Music

6 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Help Launch Your Career in Music

A career in music isn’t for everyone. It’s demanding, highly competitive, and the odds are it might not pay well enough for you to keep up with the bills. But if playing music is something you love — and you have enough talent — then you can make it happen.

1. Set the Right Goals

Setting goals is crucial if you hope to launch a career in music. Often, the problem is that most people set safe goals in order to avoid failing. This is a totally backward way of approaching the matter.

“Although your goals in the music industry may be completely unrelated to recording/performing music, the point is this: don’t settle for less than you truly want in your music career in attempt to be realistic,” music instructor Tom Hess advises.

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“Life is too short to hold yourself back by setting small and insignificant goals. Setting uninspiring goals and lacking ambition will only do one thing: ensure that you never reach what you truly want in your music career.”

2. Find an Experienced Mentor

Though it’s technically possible to navigate your way through the music industry and achieve success on your own, some help will usually raise your chances. What you really need is an experienced mentor who knows the ins and outs of the industry and can coach you.

Find an experienced mentor as soon as you can and soak up every bit of wisdom he or she can give you.

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3. Never Turn Down a Gig

In general, you should never turn down a potential gig. There will be days (and nights) when all you want to do is relax, but ignoring an opportunity to play in front of an audience is never a wise choice.

For one thing, you never know who will be in the crowd. It could be your next fan who has a connection to a music producer. It could be a world-class musician who’s looking for someone to fill in a hole in a new band.

The more you play, the higher your chances of rubbing shoulders with someone who could make a huge difference in your career.

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4. Build an Online and Offline Presence

“Crafting and managing your personal brand as a musician can seem complex,” musician Daniel Leeman admits.

“Technology continues to play a major shaping force in the evolution of music careers. With any innovation comes the fear of change, but also the opportunity to excel in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.”

In the music field today, there’s more to marketing yourself than mere word of mouth. You need to have a brand presence: both online and offline. Build a website, tinker with social media, and network all you can — in person — with other musicians, venues, and producers.

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5. Work Harder Than the Rest

Talent, looks, and branding will certainly come into play, but sometimes success comes down to nothing more than hard work. Rarely will you see a successful musician who doesn’t work hard. Conversely, it’s rare to come across a hard-working musician who’s a total failure.

Working harder than the rest of the pack can be draining — both emotionally and physically — but it’s something that everyone notices. From producers to fans, hard work is impressive and contagious.

Show people that you’re committed and good things will happen.

6. Patience is Most Definitely a Virtue

The music industry often feels like a rat race. New artists are constantly emerging and styles come and go. If you let it, the industry can push you too fast for your own good.

The key is to slow things down and have patience. You never know when your big break will come, but you won’t find it if you’re blindly pressing forward and ignoring your surroundings at the expense of “progress.”

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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