Why do we devalue our selves? I mean we love to put other people on pedestal and worship them. We want to know all about them, try to copy them just in a hopes some of that greatness rubs off on us. Sure if we try really hard to copy them, we must become successful. After all, they did…
The path of well-traveled is the easy option and the rewards will never be as great as they would be if we had the courage to step off the path and make our own. But that takes courage, that takes vision, that requires us to do the things people don’t expect us to do.
We are slaves to so many things, some good, some bad. I could go on another rant here about how society expect us to be the puppets in the big game which makes rich richer at the expense of the rest of us, but not today (don’t worry, that one is on the way as well). But more than anything we are slaves to predetermined expectations of how things should be.
And here’s a small but important fact, if you want to succeed in music, you need to take risks. If you value things like financial security or material goods more than being privileged enough to follow your passion, then maybe career in music is not for you. But then again, neither would be starting your own company or being your own boss. Sure, music business is one of the hardest businesses to crack, but that does not mean it cannot be done. It just means you might need to work harder, longer and be willing to make more of those sacrifices.
But too often we think who we are, is not good enough… So we try to replace it with a copy of someone else. And that’s where we head for the failure. Why would someone want to buy a cheaper copy of their favourite act? Because it is cheaper? Hmm… let’s think about that for a second. Where do cover bands make most of their money? In bars. Why? Drunk people want to hear something familiar and in the moment the cheap substitute will do. But would you buy their album of cover songs, that they try to play as close to the originals as possible, and listen to it rather than the original?
The path to being able to sell YOUR music to them, because they want to hear YOU sing your own original songs is a long one. It is a path lined with people pointing out how you will not succeed, because you do not sound like so and so… People will try to stop you. Even friends who mean good, will try to stop you. “Sure, you’re only wasting your life. Imagine if you would have put the same effort in to having a real career?” Or even your fellow musicians might make your life difficult, sure if you succeed and they don’t, does it not point out how they did not work hard enough?
You see? The world is filled with people telling you what to do, or what not to do. Why do you listen to them? Have they done successfully what you are trying to do? Or have they even given it a damn good go? If not, then they are not the “experts”. And it is natural for us then to look up to our heroes and try to copy what they have done. But unless you know them personally, what you are trying to copy is an image portrayed by the press. Or if you read about their career path in a book, more than likely you get a glimpse in to how the business used to be, not how it is now.
We live in a time, where you need to make your own path. To me it is very exiting time. And the best music career advice I can give to you, is stop devaluing yourself. Only you can do the walking on your path, no one else. So get walking, stumble and fall, get up, learn and keep going. It is not going to be easy. From time to time you will feel lonely. You might even need to loose few of those people who try to drag you down along the way. But I’m guessing you will be better off without them anyway 😉
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE