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Mistakes You Have To Make

September 25, 2012

The ability to learn from one’s mistakes in practical and real life settings is an unbridled skill in its own rights. Often as an independent musician there are some lessons you almost have to earn and experience in a practical setting before you can learn from them. Whether it is a right of passage or just unfortunate luck, here are a list of common mistakes most bands seem to encounter.

Expecting someone else to promote your show.
A sad reality is that you can’t put all your trust in allowing a promoter, venue booker or another band who booked the show to promote it entirely. Each band performing needs to do their part to inform their fan base of their upcoming performances. Learning this lesson early on insures that your shows will always be promoted.

Only focusing on the money.
Yes, you should treat your band as small business BUT you should not have a singular focus on finances, at least not in the short term. Much like any entrepreneur has to market and invest in their project, an independent band will also have to spend time and money investing in their craft before they can expect to see a financial return. Too many bands let money cloud their decision making early on.

Letting one show get you down.
We have had those shows where things just didn’t go right. Whether it was something you were in control of or whether it was entirely out of your hands, you need to realize what’s done is done. One show, no matter how big, is still only one show.  As the weeks, months and years pass and dozens or hundreds of other shows pile up one mustn’t dwell on a few bad performances in the bigger picture.

Putting all your eggs in one basket.
Many young bands end up investing all their time and effort into one thing such as getting on one big show, winning a battle of the bands, putting out one album or booking a tour. Inevitably when they don’t achieve this task or it doesn’t go as well as planned, they end up disappointed when it is was only just one piece of the puzzle. Instead of focusing on a singular goal bands should focus their energy on achieving a series of different goals to grow and develop their career over time. The faster an artist learns to focus on multiple short and long term goals the faster they’ll see which angles are working and worth investing more time into.

With any scenario, the key is to determine what went wrong and adapt your mindset to avoid making these same mistakes again. There is no shame in making mistakes as long as you learn from them, plus at the end of day you’ll be a better band for it.

-Josh

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