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3 Reasons Why You're Still Not Where You Want to Be in Your Music Career

by Christine Occhino on August 25, 2015 via Sonicbids

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We all have dreams. Some dream bigger than others, but only a small percentage of those dreams are brought to life the way they've been envisioned. And even then, the once unattainable dream is sometimes not all it's cracked up to be once it's finally been realized. But all of that aside, we all have serious goals for our music careers. There are a lot of factors that go into understanding the differences between those who "make it" and those who don't. Sometimes it's not as cut and dried as "that guy worked harder," and sometimes it's literally the luck of the draw. Here are three of the biggest reasons that might help explain why you're not where you want to be in your music career… yet!


1. There's more learning to do

I'm sure we can all look back at our former selves from years past and agree that we really thought we "knew it all" many a time. More often than not, we do not know it all. In fact, many successful musicians will tell you that the learning process really never ends. No matter where you are in your experience level, you can always continue to hone those skills and work hard to be your own biggest competition. We should all strive to be just a little better than we were yesterday, through whichever avenues are available to us. Do you practice every day? Are your practices efficient? Do you seek higher education in your field? Do you study the greats who came before you and push to be ahead of the current industry trends as well? Do you have a plan in place and goals for the next year, five years, 10 years? These are just a few of the questions we should ask ourselves to ensure that we are being the very best we can be as musicians.

2. You haven't hustled hard enough

We all know plenty of people who complain about "how hard they work" when in reality, they're as lazy as can be. Everyone is different, but being a persistent and consistent self-starter is an essential quality for success in the music business. You can't just sit around and wait for opportunities to drop in your lap. It doesn't work that way. You've got to go out and get them, or you can bet your sweet behind someone else will! Be the first one to ready to go and the last one to leave. Work to develop the skills you're least confident with. Empower yourself by learning as much as you possibly can about the business of music. And most importantly, never give up!

3. Wrong place, wrong time

It's possible that we've done "all the right things" and still find ourselves wondering why the hell we're not seeing the results we want yet. It can be extremely frustrating and cause a real blow to our self-esteem. However, sometimes things don't go according to plan, and other times, we've just got to accept that things aren't always meant to be. That in no way, shape, or form means you give up when things get rough. It simply means that reworking the plan along the way is okay. There are plenty of well-known artists who thought they were going to go one place in life and found success somewhere entirely different. Maybe you're not meant to be Sam Smith's background singer. Maybe you aren't destined to be a touring guitarist or the world's most beloved songwriter. But maybe, just maybe, the bigger and better dream is hiding just over the hill, waiting for you to see it. You will always reap benefits from your hard work and dedication that will manifest in a variety of ways throughout your life. But just remember, it's about the journey, not the destination.


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Christine Occhino is the founder and artistic director of The Pop Music Academy and has experience working at Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, in addition to working as a performing artist for over a decade. She has a bachelor's degree in music business & management with a concentration in entrepreneurship and vocal performance from Berklee College of Music, where she was a vocal scholarship recipient and former editor-in-chief of The Berklee Groove. She is also the proud founder and CEO of Hope In Harmony, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings music to those in need.

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