At ReverbNation, we give you a lot of concrete tips and tools on how to get ahead in your music career. Things like how to sell out your hometown show, how to make your mailing list stand out, or how to boost your career through community involvement.
But one thing that doesn’t get talked about, yet holds immense power in the outcome of your career is something that already resides within each and every one of us — our mindset.
Without the right tools in our arsenal, we’re bound to experience more failures, frustrations, and setbacks, and at the center of those tools is our mindset. Lucky for us, it’s one of the few tools that’s totally free and 100% under our control. Use it correctly, and it can transform the way people see you and the rate at which your career takes off. Pretty powerful stuff, right?
I’ve outlined 5 ways you can start changing the way you approach your career today, just by tweaking your mindset. Go into this with an open mind, employ these tactics, and watch as opportunities begin to show themselves to you, people begin to seek you out, and your career begins to transform.
Surround yourself with people that inspire and challenge you
Have you ever heard that saying “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?” That’s not just fluff. First spoken by motivational speaker Jim Rohn, it’s based on the law of averages and if you think about it, it’s a pretty solid theory. Surround yourself with Debbie Downers and people who do nothing but complain, and you’ll feel your energy start to slip. Surround yourself with people who believe in what they do, who go after their goals, who are full of energy and insight, and you’ll feel your own energy strengthen.
While it’s important to surround yourself with upbeat, positive people, there’s a lot of value in having critics as well. You need someone who is going to give it to you straight, who won’t baby you, or stroke your ego all the time, so there’s value in surrounding yourself with a mix of people you trust to lift you up and inspire you, as well as those you know will keep it real (while still believing in you.)
Envision your goal
Getting crystal clear on your goal and reminding yourself of why you’re working towards it every day is a powerful way to stay on track and keep your head in the game. This is why people tend to be drawn to vision boards as a way to consistently remind themselves of what’s at stake.
If you want to sign to a certain label, print out their logo, slap it on your wall, and look at it every day. Envision yourself signing to that label, what it feels like to sign the contract, to tell your friends, family, and fans, the feelings of elation that you’ll get from that. Really take yourself there. By envisioning and really feeling yourself in the place you want to be, you’ll stay inspired through the toughest times.
Develop a routine
By developing a solid routine you can follow every day, you’re practicing discipline and making sure things get done. Sounds simple enough, but by making consistent progress towards our goals, we put ourselves in a much healthier frame of mind than if we miss an entire day’s work here and there, and then spend the next week beating ourselves up, thinking we’re lazy because we missed some tasks.
This doesn’t have to be the same routine every day, either. Adjust according to your schedule. The goal is just to get something down at the beginning of each week that you can follow, and stick to it. For instance, maybe Tuesdays and Fridays you do nothing but song write from 5pm-8pm, Mondays you schedule out a week’s worth of social media posts, Thursdays you work on other misc tasks like new merch ideas, networking, press releases, etc, and Wednesdays you dedicate to nothing but a creative date with yourself. Which brings me to my next point…
Allow time for play
If we don’t allow ourselves any or enough “off” time to have fun, we’re going to burn out, and burn out quickly. It’s imperative to our own mental health, as well as the health of our career that we take the time we need to relax. For me, this is a daily requirement—if I don’t take a 15 min break every few hours, or stop working at least a few hours before bed and allow myself the downtime to watch TV, read, or otherwise relax, I get extremely burnt out. Trust me, nothing is worth that feeling of burnout. Hustle, but hustle wisely.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re on a roll in life, it’s usually because you’ve been putting out some seriously good vibes into the Universe? You’re happy, you celebrate every win, you’re meeting new people, things are just moving. On the opposite end, when you’re in a funk, you’re really in a funk. You can’t seem to get anything to stick, try as you might, no one is paying attention, you feel isolated, bored, and just downright grumpy.
When we practice gratitude and put more positivity out there, the more it comes back to us. (There is a science behind this, by the way, if you’re feeling this is too “woo woo”)
One of the more popular ways to practice gratitude is to write down 5 things you’re grateful for at the end of each day. This can be as small as gratitude for the great meal you ate, or the roof over your head, or as big as a new opportunity you just received. By taking time daily to recognize the good in your life, the more good you’ll attract.