Pick a target

If you want to do something great in the music business, it's important that you have as clear a target in mind as possible. Now, if you're an artist and you told me I just want to be able to write music for a living, that's a good start, but it does not tell me enough. You need to be more precise. There are plenty of folks that write songs and make a living at it. Some of those folks write songs for other people to sing, some folks write songs for TV or movies, or jingles in commercials, and they make a good living at it.

I want to write hit songs, play huge venues, and win Grammy's is a much clearer target and that gives me a much better idea of what you want. It would require a whole different level of talent, resources, and commitment. The more precisely and tightly you can identify your target, the more it can guide your plan and efforts. While winning a Grammy might be your big target, that won't be your only target. You'll have some smaller targets along the way to hit as well.

Let me explain. Succeeding in the music business, we know, is a huge undertaking and can be overwhelming to think about in total. It's like eating a big steak. If you try to swallow it all at once in one bite, you'll likely choke on it. So, it's best to cut that big steak into smaller pieces that you'll eat one piece at a time. When you're done, you'll have eaten the whole steak. The same is true when you're trying to succeed in the music business. If winning a Grammy is that steak, you can't eat it all in one bite.

You'll need to cut it into smaller bites and eat 'em one at a time. Think of each bite as an intermediate target that you'll need to hit along the way on your journey. If you can hit all those intermediate targets along the way, you will reach your ultimate goal. The more precisely and tightly that you can identify your target, the more it can guide your plan and your efforts. Having a clearly defined target is important because it helps focus your efforts, it helps you understand whether you're making progress or not, and that feedback is hugely important.

If you're throwing a ball to home plate in baseball and then you throw it in the dugout, you miss the target, and you're going to need to adjust. In the music business, if your goal is to play big concerts, but you're not selling out clubs in your hometown, you'll know you're not there yet. Once you've determined your target, you need to commit to that target, and build your plan around it. Moving targets are hard to hit. So pick your targets thoughtfully, as precisely as possible.

Focus your efforts on hitting that target and pay attention to the feedback. If you do that, you'll have a much better chance of hitting it.