I’ve got a short and sweet post for you today. I’m super busy behind the scenes here, but I wanted to check in with what hopefully will be an inspiring post. At the moment, my team and I are in the middle of relaunching our new premium site. We’ve completely revamped the look and feel of our site and it looks amazing. Go check that out here.
I’m more optimistic about the music business, the music I make and really just music in general than I think I ever have been. I’ve been hard at work over the last couple years or so really making things happen in both my personal and professional life and I’m starting to really see the fruits of that labor. Things are falling in place.
I’m a big believer in that when you really want to make something happen AND you take consistent action towards realizing your goals and dreams, things happen. I don’t want to get to all “woo woo” and “new agey”, but I really feel that when you really want something badly AND you work hard towards making your goals happen, the universe responds. I’ve seen this play out in my own life and the lives of my friends, over and over. Like Paulo Coelho says in The Alchemist, “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
However, the key is that you really have to take action. You have to show both yourself and The Universe that you mean business. You can’t fake it and expect things to magically happen. You can’t just say you want something. It doesn’t work that way. You get back what you put out.
I’ve had a good friend who has expressed interest in helping him get started in licensing for years. My friend’s dream since he was a teenager was to be the next “Jan Hammer”. I’ve encouraged and mentored him a lot over the years and have shared as much as I can to help him get started. I’ve even placed several songs of mine that he’s performed on in tv shows. I’ve gone out of my way to try and help him with his own music career over the years. He talks very passionately about wanting to make a career in music. I’ve explained to him everything I’ve learned over the last decade in the music business and what the path to success looks like. He seems super inspired when I speak to him.
But yet, whenever I check in with him to see how things are going and how much progress he is making, I’m always met with a barrage of stories and explanations as to why now isn’t the right time for him to move forward. He seems to always set these arbitrary dates and times in the future when things will be aligned in his life in a way that will allow him to finally get serious about pursuing his dream of music. But things never seem to quite line up for him.
Last week we had another one of our motivating talks about music and agreed to start collaborating more frequently. It seemed like we were both on the same page and ready to really start making things happen together. We agreed to start recording one song a week together. I even agreed to advance my friend some money with the condition that he would record his parts and send me his stem files by the end of the week. We had a crystal-clear agreement and I was excited to start moving forward.
Sunday night about midnight I got the email that I was hoping I wouldn’t receive. His parts weren’t ready he said and probably wouldn’t be for at least another week or so. I received a three-paragraph email explaining all the reasons he couldn’t get his parts to me on our agreed upon time frame and how this was just “bad timing”. There was a noisy drunk neighbor, car trouble, a construction project, he had to move his equipment and so on. He even mentioned the “Polar Vortex” as a reason he wouldn’t be able to get the tracks done quickly.
I was disappointed, but not entirely surprised. You see, I really think we as humans our great at talking ourselves out of things we say we want to do. We’re great at rationalizing why we’re not further in life and why now isn’t the right time. I do this myself from time to time. It’s easy to play the victim and blame circumstances and things out of your control. And yes, sometimes life does get in the way of our dreams and goals. Sometimes life really does present challenges and obstacles.
But yet, after all these years of pursuing and creating a career in music and building my business over the last decade, I’m convinced the biggest obstacle we all face, is ourselves. For most of us, we are the thing that’s holding us back the most. Not our circumstances, or our individual lives, or where we live, or what we look like or how old we are. All of these things factor in of course. But the single biggest obstacle you will likely face in realizing your dreams and goals is YOU.
You are the one who decides to write a new song, you’re the one who decides to record it. You’re the one who decides to try and sell it. You’re the one who decides to make the necessary connections. You’re the one who decides to make things happen. No one else. You are the one who decides to keep going in the face of rejection and setbacks. You are the one who decides if your music is worth pursuing and cultivating.
You have the potential to either be your greatest ally, or your greatest obstacle. What's it going to be?