10-motivational-quotes-kick-start--large-msg-134307587259Why do you want to be a professional musician? Are you doing it for the right reasons? What if you spend 20 years honing your craft, gigging and building your fan base, and your reward is making a comfortable living that covers your bills but doesn’t make you rich?Still interested?

The idea that you will be a multimillionaire if you get involved in the music industry is popular one. Delusional, but popular. If you work like a dog and constantly strive to improve as an artist and an entrepreneur, you may be able to sustain yourself through music alone. The musicians who are making millions are very rare. It’s a fact, so embrace it while you reflect on the path you have chosen. If you are passionate about making music, driven to perform and interact with your fans and feel fulfilled by the journey, you are probably in the right profession. Don’t delude yourself with thoughts of crazy money and stardom. It could happen, or you could win the lottery. Too harsh?

It’s frustrating to work in an Industry where most people are completely out of touch with reality. Look at the REAL numbers and then think about it.  There are approximately 9-12 million independent artists, all trying to become famous. Do the math.

Interestingly, musicians seem to feel that they deserve millions for making art. Why? Do engineers deserve millions for designing bridges or helping to shore up infrastructure to make the nation safer? Do teachers deserve millions for educating our youth and setting them on a path to success?Why do artists deserve ridiculous fame and fortune more than other professionals for doing what they love throughout their lifetime?Well it’s art you say, and that is special and I should be treated differently because I create. OK, so does every visual artist deserve to have every painting they create sell for a million bucks?

Inspirational-And-Motivational-Quotes-Paulo-CoThe reality is that our engineers, teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc. are all grossly underpaid. They have very difficult and at times dangerous jobs but they will probably never get rich doing them.

All of this doesn’t mean that you can’t rise to the top. You have a greater chance of getting there if you have a plan. Let’s clarify that; if you have a realistic plan that is well thought out with details of how you will accomplish every goal on your list.

One of the best blogs I’ve read this year about the reality of the music business was written by Michael Trampe for Hip Hop DX magazine. Do yourself a favor and read every word no matter what your genre happens to be. This is a brilliant read and one that will give you a realistic perspective and 10 great Laws of Success. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to really know the game!


“Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty”~John Lennon

5 Responses to Motivation?

  1. Dennis says:

    This should have been called “De-Motivation”. My definition of success is to pay my bills while doing the thing I love most, and being able to just create music and still keep the lights on would make me rich beyond my wildest dreams. If I can touch a few lives in the process (and all creative people will, on some level) then that is icing on the cake. I don’t know anyone who has been making music for a while who still believes the “rock star” thing anymore. In my high school yearbook I said I wanted to make music and never retire, and that’s still the plan. I have to agree, though – if you are in it for the money, take up something else. Be in this business because it is what you must do, just like you need to breathe. Then learn to enjoy each tiny success, like the moments that make up your life.

    • Ghezzi says:

      90% of the artists out there believe the “Rock Star” thing, thus the post. They are everywhere. And alot of artists are into music for the wrong reasons which is why they aren’t willing to stick it out through the tough times. It’s great that you are a realist, but most aren’t. Part of it has been fueled by reality TV and the ridiculous model of instant fame like American Idol. None of that has anything to do with music but it sounds like a great short cut so people buy into it. I’ve dealt with thousands of artists, most are not realistic about what is possible for them. It doesn’t mean that you can’t make a great living, have a blast and live your passion. You most definitely can if you approach your career strategically and stay consistent. THAT is motivating!

      • Dennis says:

        I understand what you are saying. We live in an instant-everything culture, and people have short attention spans. I remember over-hearing a woman at gig saying she did not like Taylor Swift because she was “never even on American Idol or anything”, as if she became famous the wrong way. You see this face to face on a daily basis, so I believe you are 100% correct. I agree with your definition of success from the first paragraph. It would be welcome, since I have been working on this for more than 20 years and I still can’t pay my bills with music alone.

  2. Personally, when I really look at the possibilities of “success” as a musician, I don’t have much interest in being rich and famous. I think most people THINK that they want that life, but do they really think about it? Is that really the best way to get people to truly appreciate your art? Having a record label use you as their puppet doesn’t seem like it would be very rewarding and fulfilling. What I want, personally, is a respectable career with fans who are looking forward to new music, and that new music cannot be dictated by people at a record company. I want to be free to make my music the way I want to make it, and that means involving less people pulling my strings.

  3. Nikki says:

    Great post! Brings some people back from La La Land! lol I sometimes feel like all this time and energy that I put into music should be going towards a cause for the American Cancer Society or Rights for Gay marriage or even fighting against GMO’s or whatever…But I chose music. And there is no payoff besides the learning experience of it. I’m digging the 10 Laws of Success. It promises that you have to be in it for the music. And work hard to be in love with the music business. Not one successful artist can ever say they were handed success and fortune. They made it their lifestyle. They lived, eat, breathed, slept, and bathed in music business to get where they are today. And its all because they were in love with it.

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