Commitment in the music business

It's one thing to dream about success in the music biz. It's quite another to actually make it happen. If you're going to be successful in the music business, it will require a monumental commitment of time and energy on your part. Success in the music business does not happen overnight. That's the fairy tale. More often than not, it takes years of work and dedication to make it happen. Some of the most recent huge overnight sensations in the music business took eight to 10 years to get to that point.

Artists like Fun, Bruno Mars, Florida Georgia Line, come to mind. If you're serious about success in the music business, whether you're an artist or a music professional, you'll need to ask yourself, do I have eight to 10 years of dedication in me to make this happen? You better be serious about it. Your commitment will be tested in a huge way. Along the way, you're going to hear a thousand no's. No, we don't want to book you at our club, no, I've not listened to your music yet, no, I don't want to be your manager, no, we don't want to write about your music in our blog.

You'll need to ask yourself, can you stomach a thousand no's to get to that one great yes that can make a huge difference in your career? If you're keeping score and every one of those no's was a loss and every yes was a win, you'd better love winning a lot more than you hate losing. There will be a million reasons for you to bail on your dream, so you'll need to hang your hat on all the reasons you have to continue. If you want to succeed in this business, your commitment will border on obsession.

Knowing that it will likely take years to develop a real career, the best time to start is when you're young. You just have more time to figure it out, more time to develop your skills to that world-class level that you'll need. When you're young, you have a lot less baggage, family, jobs, less commitments that will take time away from building your career. If you're starting a little later or perhaps you're revisiting your musical dreams, you already know that it's going to be more difficult.

Whether we like it or not, the music business has a bias toward youth. Particularly true, I think, if you're an artist. If you're getting into your late 20's or 30's and you've not had success, you are judged more harshly. That's the reality. I think it's true as well for music professionals. Most of the folks working in this business today, myself included, started as interns or in some low-paying job. I think it's easier for employers to believe a young kid will deal with that than someone who has a family to feed.

If you're looking to do something big in this music business, folks, it's not going to happen overnight. You need to get started right now. That clock. no matter how old you are, is ticking for all of us.