Breaking Into The Biz
"Breaking into the biz." It sounds like breaking into somewhere you’re not supposed to be. Like “Someone broke into my car.” Or, “Hey, looks like someone broke into the biz yesterday. They haven’t caught them yet.”
Then there is “Getting a break.” Which is a lot like, “Man, they’ve been at it a while, let’s cut them a break!"
These sayings, though they may be rattling bones of truth, are more like self-defeating voices from a faceless industry rather than inspirational anecdotes of opportunity. The mental game is so key in how we look at the music business. We create our own limitations so often by our perceptions, including how we view our own talent and path to success. Of course, there are challenging and competitive aspects to the journey, but when these challenges are understood clearly, they can become more like navigational realities rather than road blocks. How we perceive the creative process and the business that comes with it is one the most powerful tools we have in finding a more measured and productive path into the industry. We have the choice to see through healthier lenses as we look not only forward towards our goals, but inward at our own processes.
Here are 3 lenses I have found that illuminate reality in a way that will help you better see where to put your energy, and understand what the next step towards writing your best songs may look like.
Honesty. Looking fearlessly at our talent and work ethic is a must. Do we hold our songs up against the highest bar? We have to aim high. This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the process. We should celebrate our victories, do our best while we immerse in the joy of writing, and get on to the next song. The journey of songwriting will be one for a lifetime. The idea is to be continually growing, pushing ourselves, and learning more about the craft along the way.
Practice with purpose. Do we continue to do the same things we've always done?
We must put our focus on practicing and developing targeted aspects of songwriting in a way that can turn our weaknesses into strengths. Without this, we are stuck on the comfortable treadmill that keeps us right where we are. Examples of targeted aspects of songwriting to practice may be melody and phrasing, lyric writing, staying current with our themes, and vetting concepts and ideas in broader ways.
Optimism with a twist: I believe in the power of positive thinking. I also believe in believing in ourselves. I haven’t found a better option. The twist is the discipline it takes to think positive, believe in ourselves, but also add in the reality of the honest evaluation it takes to identify opportunities to grow. With this humble confidence we can remain coachable. Being coachable on the journey may be one of the most important attributes we have in finding our potential. Looking back on my career, I can clearly see the moments I learned something from someone that added valuable new skills to my tool set. I can also see the times I thought I already knew what I needed, only to look back and realize I didn’t, and fell short of my goals because of it. If you can balance positive thinking and belief in your talent with coachability and honest assessments of your craft, you will experience real momentum.
The point of this blog? We don't really break into the biz, we grow into it.