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Missing Opportunites

August 14, 2012

At least half of the people out there who claim to be musicians wouldn’t know an opportunity if it hit them upside the head. This is not only because they aren’t paying attention but more so because they don’t know what they are looking for. If I asked at random what was an opportunity to a band many would say something along the lines of:  “Getting to open a high profile show for a headliner”. Although this answer is itself correct that it is an opportunity of sorts, the real answer lies deeper. The opportunity first began when the band came up on to that promoter or headliner’s radar. This could have been from a previous show, word of mouth, an EPK or one of many other things that led the band to getting this chance, but more likely than not, it wasn’t blind luck. If a band continues to take each small opportunity as a another piece to the puzzle of success and uses it as leverage or a stepping stone each small opportunity continues to lead to bigger things.

Opportunities are about growing your career forward piece by piece not “instant wins” that propel you into stardom, fame and fortune. Although many people don’t (or won’t) see the smaller things as real opportunities these are exactly what add up and amount to what most perceive as “big breaks”.  The truth is that if you spend all your time daydreaming of success you don’t focus on the present, and if you aren’t focused in the present you won’t be aware of what is going on, and when you aren’t aware you are going to miss suitable and fortuitous situations.

With all the variables involved the music business is still more strategic than a game of chance so your GO FISH “do you have any gigs we can get on?” tactics likely won’t find you much success. This business is complex and much like a game of chess any move you make and  every move anyone else makes, changes the playing field and with it the dynamics of the game.  Additionally in the current climate it seems as though the board’s shape is in a constant state of change and in addition they are adding and removing new playing pieces to the game at any given time just to keep you on your toes.

To hope to survive in this game you need to study what is going on around you, what is affecting you and your band but also what is affecting the scene, other bands, local promoters, venues, music industry organizations etc.  Without a thorough grasp on what is going on around you and on the playing field you will not have the insight to to be able to take advantage of presented opportunities as they come. And remember each chance is just a piece of the bigger puzzle of your success so treat it is as such, never put all your eggs in one basket and leverage every opportunity you receive to continue growing and gaining more ground.

-Josh

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