Most of us have the potential to be amazing at something in music, but we often waste time working on stuff that doesn’t let us express our potential genius. Here are 5 questions to help you find the area you’re brilliant in, and start developing it:
1. What do I get excited about?
The things that you’re most passionate about are usually close to the things you’ll be amazing at. To quote a friend, “brilliance is concentrated love”. What do you love? How can you leverage your life so you can do more of it?
2. What do other people say I’m amazing at?
Yes, people will lie to you trying to make you feel good. But most of us know when people genuinely like what we do. There’s a certain spark that happens when friends and co-workers pay you a genuine compliment. Look for these as mile markers when trying to find your strengths.
3. Where have I done the most work in the last year?
When you ship, when you release what you have into the world, it’s a sign that you’re passionate about what you’re doing. If you find yourself shipping a bunch of stuff in a particular area, you may have found your passion.
4. What have people paid me for in the last year?
It’s one thing to get a compliment, another to have someone hand you a wad of cash along with it. Business people are always preaching that you should “follow the money”, and when trying to figure out what you’re amazing at, you should, too.
5. What am I good at that everyone I know is only okay at?
If you can find a place where you rock and most of your colleagues are only marginally proficient, you may be able to leverage that into a long-term career. I focus on creating sounds and being the “synth guy” in Nashville, which few other keyboard players specialize in.