It turns out, life as a musician isn’t just treacherous when it comes to making a living– it can also take a toll on your physical and mental health. Pursuing a career in the music business is not for the thin-skinned. With all of the challenges a musician faces in order to get noticed, it’s easy to feel defeated on a regular basis. Here are 10 simple tips that can help you to focus on the bright side of your music career and enjoy the journey while you are striving for the destination.
Careers In Music Production & Industry
1) Make A Goal To Better Yourself Every Day By Feeding Your Mind, Body And Spirit
This could include working out, praying and meditating, reading actual books- not just social media updates and news that your friends post. Take on a new hobby you have always wanted to try: like pottery, a new instrument, or yoga. And eat a healthy diet, with one cheat day a week (I didn’t say BINGE DAY, so eat responsibly).
2) Pay It Forward
Volunteer at your local mission to feed the homeless or build a house with Habitat for Humanity. Teach at the Boys and Girls club or at your church. Take on a protégé- be a mentor to someone that aspires to be like you. Giving back is the greatest way to find a purpose in life and to leave a positive legacy on this earth.
3) Avoid Negative Neds And Nancys
Remember the old saying, “Misery loves company”? Well, there is usually a reason why “sayings” exist, and in this case, it is true: negative people can bring out the worst in you and positive people will leave you feeling happy and motivated. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through. Negativity can spread like a wild fire in any gig environment, especially a tour camp. You can either take the approach of walking away from negativity or call it out, but don’t join in.
4) Take A Mind-Cation
It’s okay to take breaks from pursuing your dream, or your touring career. The music industry will be there when you get back. In fact, time away means a fresher approach and a higher likelihood of success. The Boston Consulting Group found that high-level professionals who were required to take time off were significantly more productive overall than those who spent more time working. If you don’t have time to take a vacation, go to a movie, take yourself out to dinner, or treat yourself to a massage. Just make sure you take breaks.
5) Mind Your Business
Be a good steward of your money and credit. The idea of debt can hang over you like Pig Pen’s dust cloud (if you don’t know what that means, it’s time to take a well deserved break and watch or read some Peanuts cartoons). Bottom line, if you don’t have it, don’t spend it. If you want it, SAVE and pay cash. Your ulcer free stomach will thank you. If you already have an ulcer, check out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. This guy is the real deal and his program, based out of Brentwood, TN, has helped millions
6) Keep Your Living Space In Order- At Home And On The Tour Bus
Make a schedule to do your laundry at least once a week and wash your dishes at least every other day at home: every day on the tour bus. And make your living quarters fill up with Zen by burning incense or nice smelling candles. If you’re on a tour bus, make sure everyone agrees on the scent. “Nose blindness” is a real thing. You may not even know your stuff staynks at this point. Not only will cleaning up your act help with your positive outlook and confidence, but it will make others want to be around you, which is important in the music biz- and your personal life.
7) Get Your Priorities Straight
If you haven’t noticed yet, you will notice in the near future- TIME FLIES! And if you’re ‘pounding the pavement’ with your head down, day in and day out, you will lose life moments that you can never get back. Literally STOP, and take your parents to lunch or your nephew to the park. It is so important to have a firm priority list and stick to it. Mine, for example, looks like this- God first, then spouse and/or close family, then my work endeavors. I had this ordered completely backwards for years: as do most people, and I paid the price of lost time with a precious loved one who passed away. Remember, there’s nothing more empowering than unconditional love. So, if you make the effort- not only will you NOT lose out on time with those who matter to you, but you will feel stronger and be more successful because of your efforts to spend time with them. If you’ve moved out of state to pursue your music career- FACE TIME, and have meaningful conversations.
8) Take A Breath Of Fresh Air, Literally
Go to the beach or take a hike in the mountains. Filling your eyes with the awesome creation of this world can give you a priceless gift called PERSPECTIVE. When we are reminded exactly how small we really are, in the grand scheme of things, it makes our monumental pursuits seem trivial. You won’t get upset as easily when things don’t go your way. And more people will want to be around you if you don’t have an attitude that the world revolves around YOU.
9) Make Lists
Whether it’s your “to dos” for the day or for your overall career goals- lists will help you to get out of your head and focus on a linear path. Instead of tossing and turning at night, while your mind races- grab your phone to make notes or have a notepad near your bed to jot down your thoughts. There. Now you won’t forget and let your mind rest. You can add these new “to dos” to your proper list in the morning. Go ahead and treat yourself throughout the day for checking things off of your list. Treating yourself often with special things that you like, offers a nice incentive to keep up the productivity without splurging and losing your productive state of mind.
10) Be Yourself
Most people “code switch” in different environments. Very often, people code-switch — both consciously and unconsciously — to act or talk more like those around them. While this can be effective, it can also be perilous. You begin to lose yourself and any awareness of your own identity. In the music industry, YOU WILL be surrounded by multiple personalities, sometimes in just one person. But as long as you are able to hang on to who you are, in any environment and around any person, you will find yourself on a more enjoyable path to your goals.