The idea that you must go to work at a job you dislike so that you can build a career as an Artist is an old and outdated one. That’s such a beautiful accomplishment hidden behind the meaning of the words i just typed isn’t it?
The Creative Revolution is now at it’s tipping point.
Artistry and Creativity are finally regaining their place in culture and our global society.
The part time “Starving Artist” waiting tables or busking in the subway station “waiting” for their big break… The substance-less, eye candy – luddite, autotuned to correct an entire generations lack of talent…
These stereotypes are dissolving as Artists are now finally starting to get the respect and recognition they deserve-as cultural leaders, creators, innovators and influencers-rather than night-time entertainment or the lazy hippie who needs to get a job…
The digital music/artists revolution has changed the way music is created, bought, sold, promoted, distributed, marketed and experienced. An Artist’s Job description has certainly evolved, and so has their societal and cultural value.
And o yea, there’s no shortage of talent and earnestness or entrepreneurial ambition either.
So what’s the problem now?
Well it comes down to either resources, or resourcefulness. Typically some combination of both.
Fact. Many Artistic talents will work their tails off this year without receiving the proper nutrients required to sustain and nourish their growth and expansion.
Much like a plant without oxygen, water, and sunlight, some Artists just won’t make it.
Doesn’t that suck to think about?
The unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of the brilliant, creative souls who walk among us will probably never receive the proper training and guidance they need, or will indeed allow the weight of life, the pressures and demands of their regular existence, the discomfort of taking a bigger leap, the risk of exiting mediocrity, the beliefs that limit their growth – to settle for missed opportunities and unpublished, unexpressed contributions that their music or artistic content could have had in the world and lives of their fans.
I mean, that’s exactly what we’re working to help eliminate…
But it’s a tough, cold, unfair world for a great many of us. Dare i say most of us. For at least, MOST of the time…
Even further, of the few who do leap out of their comfort zone and take the risks… only a very small percentage will get where they really wanted to go, to get their equation of success or failure just right-because fewer still will actually know what to do once they find themselves in that make or break transition period where they can go from good to great, or back down and sort of settle for something less.
This is a very real problem.
The Modern Musician Mindset
The hard part that we often skip or forget about is the fact that you gotta get your mind right first.
But their’s good news and bad news. While most Artists can’t recognize the essential nutrients required to grow a prosperous, strong and healthy career-doing what they love… The majority of these elements are in fact within their control. …And unlike the plant, once one human being understands something, we can communicate it to others so that they too can use that knowledge to solve their own problems. We can even do it via online training for free on a blog! God bless the modern music business!
We are not only just playing by new rules, we are playing an entirely new ballgame.
In the old world, the Traditional Music Industry, the massive amalgamation of manpower, tools, technology, touch points, and overhead now reduces down to little more than an internet connected home recording studio with a few web service accounts.
You Gotta Get Your Mind Right First!
Once you’ve understood and have begun to embrace the mastery mindset, the first breakthrough is the shift from a limited, everything is just stuck the way things are because “that’s how they’ve always been” – Starving Artist mentality… to an expansive thinking, innovative, solutions focused, MODERN Artist mentality.
Obviously, this doesn’t just happen on it’s own, it requires the active development of new skills, different ways of thinking, and the ability to see the world through new lenses. Noticing more perspectives, and eventually recognizing how to add more value in, with, and for your Content Business.
That’s the heart of what making these upgrades is all about. Developing your ability to add more value in, with, and for your Content Business.
If you’ve read the book you’ll remember that in order to embrace the additional opportunities available to Artists in the Modern World, Johnny needed to embrace the additional roles and responsibilities required to take advantage of them. Rule #3.
Namely the leadership roles and responsibilities as a leader of his tribe of fans and followers. A Major breakthrough Johnny made was that he consciously, and fully accepted responsibility for being the CEO of his content business. He was no longer just running a band, he was leading their content business. He was now the creator of his fate, the designer of his lifestyle, he became a self reliant professional.
In this ever more complicated environment, the fact remains that what we are talking about is now the Artists responsibility. In addition to the creation and production of your music, you are now responsible for the growth and development of your fan base. This is a key part of the Modern Musician Mindset.
It’s a New GAME, is your Business Model up to date?
Your job as an Artist in the Modern World is to use the tools, leverage what technology can and should be doing for you, and build your assets (skills, experience, fan-base and content) in order to create the lifestyle you choose, spending the majority of your time-doing what you love.
Independent careers, on our own terms.
You do not need to become the next Bieber or Beyonce to make a comfortable full-time living doing what you love, on your terms. There are thousands of Modern Artists all over the globe who at this very moment enjoy being the true creators of their content, their career, and their lifestyle. It takes work, but it is a realistic path that any Artist can now achieve if they dedicate themselves to doing the work necessary.
Nowadays, your career IS the development and production of your content. It IS the cultivation and growth of your Tribe. Full-or Part time, from anywhere in the world, an Artist’s job is to develop and create their content, and connect that content with the audience that will support them to continue to do it.
There are many new and exciting ways to do this today, and i’ve highlighted the story of an Artist named Johnny in the Music Business Manifesto, as a practical real-world example of what you’ll be applying in this lesson and mission.
You are like a Gold-Miner in the new economy. You mine those muse inspired golden nuggets and stories from your experience down into valuable little treasures and then you go and share them with the world.
But, if you were to go ask a professional Gold Miner, I’d bet they could tell you how to use every tool in their arsenal of testing, gold extraction, cultivation, all the way down the line to who they’d sell it to and for how much…
Are you making the effort to learn how to use and master your tools? Do you know how to use the Communication Formats and the Distribution Channels to create and share your stories? These are the Tools of the Modern Creator, and just like a Gold Miner, you really do have to know how to use them in order to connect the dots between the gold that is your ideas + content, and the loyal audience that would truly value and support your work.
You must learn how to use these tools to generate traffic, to build and engage your audience, and to create a community around your content.
I’ve spoke about this before, and my true intention isn’t to be coming down hard on you for not taking full advantage of the tools. There are many. You are busy. You are making progress. There is only so much time.
As an Artist myself… I do get it.
What concerns me most is the strategy, (or lack there-of) and the perspective I see Artists approaching the growth of their career from.
What puzzles me most boils down to the following:
- Many artists believe they need huge numbers to make a financially freeing income doing what they love… Which is just simply not true.
- Many artists believe they need more likes, plays, streams, shares, downloads or re-tweets.
- Or that they need to get on another new platform.
Some even think they need a new tool, gadget, or gizmo…
Now on the other side of the spectrum, some Artists believe that once they have followed the “checklists to complete their profiles to 100%,” that the traffic will automatically come streaming in…
Both are extremes of the same scale, but both are missing something. You do have to be proactive, but you probably don’t need much more traffic and attention than you already have, or have access to-given a little elbow grease.
There are lots of social platforms for you to discover and utilize if it’s right for you, but you don’t need to be on all of them. There is endless amounts of traffic and eyeballs across all three categories of traffic. Earned (Relationship Traffic) Owned (Content) and Paid (Advertising) Media.
A different way to look at your Music Business Operations
Artists now operate at the nucleus of their music business, and everything starts with the Artist and the Song.
What you need starts with a vision.
I want you to start to see your role as CEO of your Content Business as more like a general contractor than a specialist electrician for example…
There are a specific set of skills you need to develop (called the entrepreneurial skill-set) which you’ll do through targeted experiential learning, but the goal isn’t to overload you with having to know how to wire up the electrical or the plumbing like a dedicated professional, it is to manage and coordinate the project.
The house you are building, the resources and the skillsets involved in realizing and creating the artistic vision of your blueprints.
Are you tracking?
Modern Musicians need to know how the pieces fit together, what to do, or who to call, but very much enjoy the benefits and ease of upgrading from DIY to DIWM: You want to build the EXACT right team, of your choosing. You don’t have to do it all alone, but you do/delegate it yourself: And you will want to “cross train” so you know all the roles and responsibilities of each task and how each piece of the puzzle comes together to achieve your goals and targets.
In the traditional Music Industry the term Star was a nebulous concept that in many ways positioned Stars on an unreachable pedestal above their fans… I don’t mean to insinuate any negative undertones in regards to FAME, or getting famous, though I think there are inherent issues with the way some both interpret and also seek it-the traditional music business model was structured around an almost fantasy level disconnection between the Musicians and their Fans.
Rather than their engraved hollywood handprint, another shift modern musicians make is from developing and building up a glamorized or perfect “STAR” persona that no one really knows or can relate to, who communicates through a Politically correct publicist prompting every scripted word…
To a much more practical set of both outcome and performance based goals and milestones that builds your entire brand across all three dimensions as well as generates more value in the world.
One of the biggest Modern Artist Breakthroughs is making the shift from focusing on becoming a star, to the focus on developing your S.T.A.R.S.
By developing your stories, your team, your assets (such as your fan base, your platform your skills, your revenue streams) your resources and your systems – you take care of the growth and cultivation from all three perspectives of your musical empire.
In the modern music business we operate and grow our career in Projects and Campaigns.
In a completely connected world, everyone gets a voice. This is the beautiful opportunity AND responsibility for each and every artist on the planet.
The web is simply an extension of your brand across the global community.
Today, the marketplace, the platforms and communities where your potential fans hang out is the digital equivalent of your locale.
The good news is that now you are not limited to your own geographic location or budget to reach new fans…
Like-a-holism and The Myth of More
It can be overwhelming and sometimes seemingly hopeless when you think you need to generate huge numbers, have a massive hit, carry more than you can hold just to get in the game… So why try right!?
Well, let me tell you that you don’t need to give in to that myth. It’s a lie. It’s part of all the reasons your mind will come up with for why something won’t work, it’s designed to keep you right where you are at, and to disempower you from advancing and getting the fruits of what you truly deserve.
As you’ll recall from the Music Business Manifesto, (you should be able to download below) Johnny committed to mastering the tools of the modern creator, the modern toolset, (the communication formats, the distribution channels) starting with applying our Game Plan, and the prescribed regimen of Music Marketing strategies we had mapped out.
This is that will be required of you.
What you need is for someone to strip away all the fat, condense that sams-club-size vending machine selection of possible actions, goals, and priorities down into an intelligently designed roadmap for you to both LEARN exactly what you need to be spending your time doing, and then coaches you through actually doing it.
You’ll then begin, or continue to develop mastery at a few high leverage, core value activities that will propel you forward with ever increasing inspiration and momentum.
Modern Musicians Focus on our Main Moves. When you’re ready to continue, Danielson, go forth and learn about that now!
The problem fundamentally stems from an Attitude and subtle set of sabotaging beliefs that have probably taken root without conscious deliberation or approval. This is one of the most destructive and pervasive Growth Traps for Artists in the Modern World… Period.
You see, both the problem and the solution-all begin with our mindset.
The modern musician mentality understands that every impact point, every result, every phase and stage of our development as artists and content creators-from now until the end of time-adheres to the cycle of failure or success.
Part of my mission is to inspire and rejuvenate the fresh, expansive capacity to use your creative mind, your unique gifts and talents to develop and better utilize that unlimited value creation device that rests between your earlobes.