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Paying Your Dues Upfront

November 10, 2011

For 99% of independent artists part of the battle is just weathering the storm over the beginning of your career. Getting discouraged by things like unanswered emails from venues and promoters, performing shows for only the other bands and bar staff, etc. is all just part of the game.

Ask nearly any musician about their early days and they’ll paint you a very similar picture about that stage in their career. They’ll tell you it takes time, perseverance and hard work but what most people neglect to tell you is that how you choose to handle the bad situations will shape and possibly define your career.

Instead of being a diva when something doesn’t go right, you need to take it with a grain of salt and address the situation objectively and professionally. You also need to determine the cause of what went wrong and learn from any possible mistakes you might have contributed. *NOTE: it is very important not to dwell on past mistakes. Just take the lesson and move forth (for more thoughts on why putting too much emphasis on the past is bad please read Past, Present And Future: Where Is Your Band’s Focus?

As a young artist you need to realize that all the people you are dealing with on any level of the industry (other bands, venues, promoters etc.) are all possible future contacts and are likely better to have as allies than enemies. Running around burning bridges early in your career because of unreasonable expectations and a false sense of entitlement is one of the worst things you can do as industry people talk and bad news always spreads faster than good.

A good band can avoid or overcome an obstacle, But only a great band can turn an obstacle into an opportunity.


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