If you feel stuck and don’t know what to do to grow your music career, let me help you out.
Hi, I’m Björgvin Benediktsson, author, audio engineer, and entrepreneur. I’m also running the Music Accelerator for TENWEST during SAACA’s Creative Day.
If you’re interested in being one of the 10 musicians in the Music Accelerator, please apply here.
As a “musicpreneur,” I wear a lot of hats.
The reason for the hats isn’t just to look cool, although I’m sure your Stetson slays on stage. The reason you need to wear many hats is that the music business has abandoned you and you need to fend for yourself.
There are no labels taking care of the marketing for you. You have to do it yourself, even if you’re lazy and would rather have a drink.
Focus on Strategy and Goals and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
What do you want to have achieved in 12 months?
- More shows? How many?
- A new single?
- Another album?
- X amount of Spotify followers?
Having an endpoint in mind makes everything easier to visualize. Imagine if you didn’t have a goal to reach, then you’d never know when you’re finished. You’d be constantly spinning your wheels without a destination in mind.
You’d end up like Forrest Gump, just running and running and running and running and running…
So before you do anything, you have to define what success looks like for you.
And make it LOOK BIG.
Which brings me to:
Your Big Hairy Audacious Goal
Your BHAG is a monster goal. Something almost unreachable. It’s the kind of thing that feels unachievable, but it also leaves you with this nagging feeling that if you just worked hard enough and focused on it as much as you could, you might be able to reach it.
Let’s not confuse this BHAG with a lifelong goal. Let’s focus on making it something you could reach in about a year.
A BHAG is going to be different for everybody. It all depends on your definition of success. It could be:
- Releasing a record
- Writing a musical
- Forming a band and playing your first show
- Writing a 10-song album
- Mixing/producing 100 beats in the next year
Think as big as you can. The bigger, the better. They can be crazy. They can be nuts. If they’re too simple and achievable, you’re not trying hard enough, or you’re afraid we’ll laugh at you. But you know who’s going to laugh at us when you reach that goal?
You. While you’re backstage basking in your success.
Imagine it Already Happened
At this time next year, in 12-months time, how will your life look like? Where do you want to be?
Imagine that it already happened and work your way backward from there.
What does successfully reaching your goal look like to you?
- More money?
- More clients?
- More music published?
- More shows performed?
- More records produced?
Define the endpoint so that you have a goal post to work toward. If you always keep moving the goal post further down, you’ll never feel like you’ve accomplished anything.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t constantly improve and create new goals, but to push forward, you have to move with a sense of accomplishment instead of a sense of insecurity. If you never allow yourself the chance to succeed because you keep moving the definition of success, you’ll always feel like a failure.
Take a minute right now to brainstorm your BHAG. Make it real by writing it down.
People daydream about “One Day” all the time. That magical day when they’ll accomplish their goals, but they never actually put them into action.
The first step is to put it out into the world and make it real. If you write it down, it’s going to annoy you. If you don’t write it down, you’ll ignore it.
What Does “Halfway” Look Like?
Now that you’ve written the endpoint down, what does your halfway point look like?
If you only accomplished half of what you set out to do, how would you feel? If you think big enough, even the halfway point will have drastically changed your world.
For example: Imagine that you wanted to produce 100 new beats next year. So you set out to strategize your entire career around mixing as many songs as possible.
One hundred beats/year is about eight beats/month, or two beats per week. If you carved out a few hours here and there every week, you should be able to reach this goal without a massive amount of effort.
And even if you only got halfway there, you’d have improved your skills by 50 new beats! That’s still impressive.
So think big and make sure your halfway point will also change your world.
Now that you have your BHAG and your halfway point, it’s time to think about now.
What is the bare minimum you can do now to get started?
Now you have:
- A roadmap of where you want to end up.
- How to know whether you’re staying on track (the halfway point).
- What you need to do right away to get started.
What can you do today that moves you closer to your goal?
Here’s a suggestion: Apply to be a part of the Music Accelerator at TENWEST.
There are only 10 spots available and the applications close September 27th, so make sure you apply now
Looking forward to reading your application.