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YMI Consulting

What to do when you’re about to give up.

Sunset in Seaside, OR

Sunset in Seaside, OR

Don’t. You can’t give up. However, we’ve all had those moments where you feel like it’s time to throw in the towel. And these are the times that separate the people who will be successful in the music business and those who will be hobbyists until they eventually put down the guitar, indefinitely. So what do you do when you feel like ditching your music endeavors? Well, everyone has their own way with coping with stress, the fear of failure, or lack of motivation, but we all can do these three things to start the process of regaining motivation.

Get away.

Take a day or two to get away from the daily grind. Some people are great at knowing when they are about to burn out and others are not. If you’re musician that also works a day job, you’re working 80 or more hours a week –that’s a lot of work. Yes, you enjoy working on your music career, so it does not seem like work, but it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. If you’re doing it right, you’re working long hours in order to sustain your career without the day job. This means you’re planning bigger gigs, promoting, playing smaller shows, networking, collaborating, and supporting other musicians, all while making time for your creative process.

You need to take a break. Personally, I’m guilty of going until I drop, which is not the best way to go about work. To combat this issue, keep people around you who will remind you to take a break. These can be people who care about your well-being, as well as people who are invested in you being capable and perform. While it seems obvious, taking a break will allow you to come back to your music career refreshed, with a sense of vigor.

Know your impact.

I worked with a CEO who defined accountability with these words:

“Accountability is a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances, and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.”

You impact your success more than anything else. While there will always be external stakeholders and forces beyond your control, you are either your own worst enemy or strongest catalyst. When you’re taking time off, it’s important to reflect on your motivations for pursuing a career in music, and if these motivations are not intrinsic, then there is nothing and no one that can help you be successful. Start with you and your accountability. You have more control over your success than you think.

Revisit the ‘Why.’

As much as I’d like to be able to think like a musician, I can only assume so much. Speaking with a musician about what motivates her to keep going, she says that she goes back to the reasons she began this journey in the first place. She revisits the ‘why.’ She continues by telling me that these reasons need to be easily accessible, for example, in a journal or posted on your wall. When revisiting your original motivations, think about whether or not they are still true to you and if the daily grind in the music business feels right with your sense of purpose. If the ‘why’ is still accurate, you know that you must keep moving forward and that you have what it takes to keep moving forward. If not, how have your reasons for pursuing a music career changed now that you’ve been working towards success? Get down into those feelings and communicate them to your team –talk it through, then write it down again.

So, are you a self-starter? Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and grow? We’re now into February of the year –what have you done this year to make an impact?

Written with input from Sarah Vitort – www.sarahvitortmusic.com

Questions, thoughts, & comments? Email me at yuriy@ycmsquared.com or hit me up on Twitter – @YuriyM

About the Author

I Get Things Done. Let's grow your business together!
I Get Things Done. Let's grow your business together!