Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vocal Careers: How To Find Success

Do you want a vocal career? Do you want a bigger or more prosperous music business? There is no substitute for planning for success. You can't plan for every contingency, as the pandemic era has proven, but without a morphable plan, success is a pipedream - not a real one with legs and not just wings. 

Too many people are depressed or defeated in their music careers because they don't do what it takes to be successful at it. They worry, try, hope, gripe, give up or stay in a perpetual state of failing but they don't do the following:
  1. Research what it takes to be successful in the chosen vocal career.
  2. Assess what vocal and music business assets they have going at this point in time.
  3. Get to work on acquiring those assets they are missing.
I strongly advise long term and short term planning:
  • Create a 5 year plan, where do you want to be and what do you want to have accomplished by then? 
  • Work back... what do you have to in year 1, 2, 3, 4 to reach your goals in year 5?
  • Work back further... what do you have to do in each month to work towards your 1 year goal?
  • Work back further still... what do you need to do for the next 4 weeks? for the next week? for the next 7 days? Today???
  • Create a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly agenda. Know that it will be a plan on rollerskates; revise as necessary but keep moving towards your goals.
I used to counsel people in women's prisons and juvenile detention centers, in a trained volunteer program called "Better Decisions". The funny thing is, I learned as much as my subjects did about getting to better places in life. We use 5 steps to get there:
  1. Assess the situation ( where you are right now)
  2. Know what you want (where you want to be)
  3. Brainstorm the possibilities (and get other sources to help you do this)
  4. Evaluate and decide (choose your strategies and tactics according to your life values)
  5. ACT! (without this step, the others are useless) You may need to do something, face something about yourself, learn something, network with someone, make some calls, try some experiments. Schedule these into your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly plans.
So how do you know you've become 'successful'? Well, there's an old joke that goes 'how do you make a million dollars in the music business? By starting with 2 million!' I don't recommend that strategy. Truthfully, success must be an ongoing term defined by you. Factors in your personal picture of success can include some of the following...
  1. You are happy doing your art. You are personally satisfied that you are creating something beautiful, meaningful. Don't underestimate the value of creativity in your life!!
  2. You can afford your investment in your music, and don't consistently go over budget.
  3. Your music income is at least what your music expenses are (breaking even).
  4. Your audience gives you the response you need to tell they are deeply impacted by your music
  5. You win some kind of award or talent show you've entered. 
  6. You have a hit on the radio, the internet, other media.
  7. You can quit your day job because you're making enough to live on.
If you create a plan for reaching the moon you may not hit the moon, but you may hit a star. Get help; read books and blogs, find a music biz coach, check out the information Indie Connect, Rick Barker Wendy Parr, Bree Noble, and PCG  can offer. For females only, check out the training at New Roots and Bree Noble. Meet and network with other people who have successful vocal careers. You can also listen to interviews I've done with Barker, Parr, Noble and PCG founder Bernard Porter

A successful career in music demands good business acumen, too. Search out good training for general business operation and strategy - including doing business online! You can listen to my interviews with business coaches Denise Wakeman and Sue Painter.

Don't ever stop dreaming, but do put legs under your wings. Don't waste any more time; do something proactive and get to work, today! 

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