There’s a difference between spending and investing.
Many players spend a lot of time playing the guitar but don’t invest enough time in developing themselves.
A while back, I was reading a collection of interviews with graphic designers and one of them said something to the effect of,
“When people bring me portfolios of their work I often find myself saying, ‘I don’t want to see what you did 2 years ago…I want to see what you did 2 weeks ago, or better yet 2 days ago!”
At different points in one’s journey investing might mean:
- Buying a guitar to learn how to play
- Perhaps investing money and/or time into lessons
- Investing in yourself by practicing
- Investing in your gear maybe by getting your guitar set up or getting better gear
- Booking gigs
- Performing in front of people
- Recording your music
- Releasing your music
- Improving your skills / your tones / your sound
- Developing your brand
- Cultivating an audience via social media
- Developing media relations and contacts
- Developing products and services for sale
As a whole trying to take all of these things on can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In an interview with Lewis Howes, Chris and Heidi Powell talked about how they work with clients. I’ve paraphrased one important thread from about the 59 minute mark or so:
- So often people see the change they want to make as a huge mountain. They go to extremes to try to tackle the whole thing at once and convince themselves that the fun ends here. Over the course of a day a week a month… they try, and they try and they fail and try and then fail (again). They continue to fail (by trying to take on something too large to tackle) and before you know it they don’t believe in themselves anymore at all.
- They then try to convince themselves and everyone around them that they’re happy with who they are and where they’re at – because they don’t believe that they have what it takes to (make the change they want to make). They make excuses for other people’s success and say, “well that’s just my limitation. I’m different.”
The reality for most people is not that other people are different – but the approach is different for the people who are successful. The people who are successful start so incredibly small…transformation doesn’t happen by committing to 20 things at one time. It’s about making one unbreakable promise at at time.But you have to do it every freaking day. You can’t miss a day and it has to be so incredibly simple that you will never miss a day. Guess what? By the end of that week you start to believe in yourself and you keep up momentum.
“Because we take people who have lost hope in themselves, because they’re looking at me and they say, I’ve tried and failed so many times that I’m never going to get there. … That’s exactly how we grow it – one simple promise at a time and by doing that you keep yourself winning. If you can keep yourself winning you start to believe in yourself again and there is nothing more powerful than belief.”
So here’s a question to consider,
“Are you investing in your goals / yourself in some way every single day?”
Not: “what did you do a week ago?”
Not: still reveling in that big gig you played a year ago.
Not: the 5 books you wrote 6 years ago ; )
What is your goal? (and what did you do yesterday / today / tomorrow to reach it?)
Not one epic Herculean accomplishment.
One small significant decision.
One small significant action.
For myself this means a lot of changes by the end of the year. In addition to being 30 lbs lighter (and counting), two new bands, new releases, a re-branding and all new live content. None of these things came from doing anything really radical. They came from putting consistent work in.
Follow up and Follow through.
Change comes one decision at a time.
One action at a time.
Every. Single. Day.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are looking to make a change in something you’re doing.
- Try making a commitment to making one promise that you will do consistently. Even if it’s only for 30-60 or 90 days.
- Build off of small successes.
- See what happens after your trial period and adjust as necessary.
Here’s hoping this is your best year yet!
I’m at a music business conference next week. Regular posts should resume soon.
I hope this helps and, as always, thanks for reading.