All right, so I want to quickly talk to you about laziness. This is a trait I've seen a lot of musicians have, and it's one that has killed music career after music career.
A lot of people seem to think that music is an easy way out of working a 9 to 5 job. In reality, however, working on your music career can be a full time job in itself. Furthermore, you're often required to put in even more hours if you're just starting out and are still in the process of building up your name.
I know it's easy to just lay about sometimes, playing computer games or hanging out with friends instead of working on your music. In reality, though, if you don't contact people for gigs or market your music when you're supposed to, it's only you that will suffer for it. Not that other musician that's putting the work in and reaping rewards, not your friends that have time to burn playing computer games all day.
Now I'm not saying that as a musician you shouldn't have a social life. It's important that you give yourself time to unwind, and a break from handling your business all the time. That said, you need to set a good amount of time out to work on your music career, and you need to take the necessary action to get where you want to be.
One of the byproducts of laziness is cutting corners. This could be in terms of your recordings, setting up your artwork or promotional material, or planning how a gig is supposed to go. Don't think, ” It's only a couple of small mistakes, ” or ” It'll be all right on the gig night.” Everything you do at all stages of your music career will reflect on your brand.
If it only takes a couple more takes and 10 minutes to get the perfect recording, why wouldn't you invest that extra time? If a couple more practice sessions means you will perform one of the best gigs of your life, why wouldn't you do that? Same with going out of your way to talk to and build up relationships with people that can get you gigs. Even if this is outside of your comfort zone or you ” can't be bothered, ” don't let that stop you from doing what you need to do to succeed.
So, why is laziness a career killer? Simple, because it'll stop you from doing everything you can to make things work. Let's say you have a really good voice, but so does “Bill, ” one of your competitors. You're both on an equal level in terms of talent, and both have a good look which people would respond well to.
While you only spend 2 hours a week practicing, though, Bill spends 6. While you can't be bothered to look for gigs to play, Bill is always chasing leads when he gets the chance. While you spend a few hours a week online talking to fans and seeing what's new, Bill spends double that amount of time building real connections and adding new things that will benefit his music career…
Ask yourself, who's got the better chance of succeeding out of these two people? Who do you think will have the biggest fan base after the first 6 months? Who will most likely be making more money from their music career?
I know I've said this before, but your music career is a business! That means you must treat it as such. If you aren't working a day job, you shouldn't have a problem spending at least 7 hours a day, 5 days a week working on your music. If you do have a job, you should still aim to dedicate at LEAST an hour a day to your music career – more if you can, and more on days where you need to record, rehearse, etc.
Remember, things like TV, computer games and even friends can be a distraction. As I said, don't fully cut these things out your life as we all need time to relax and unwind, but if you've got a full day to do something in the week, choose to work on your craft. Don't spend the full day flicking from channel to channel, and don't go out and spend the full day with a friend. Do your minimum seven hours of work, and then go and relax with your friends or in front of the TV afterward.
You are now self employed, and you only have yourself to keep your motivation going. If you slack, you're the one that's going to suffer for it. So keep on putting in the necessary work, and stay on top of what you need to do.