I first stumbled across Seth Godin's work when I was 19, bored, and having major career anxiety. I was in the marketing section of a Borders Books, and stumbled across "Permission Marketing". Flash forward a decade later, and I've read almost everything Seth's written and he's had a profound impact on my life.
I love productivity books. I really do. But most books miss something really basic.
I’m still on tour this week, and one of the things I tackled that I’ve long been putting off was cleaning out my phone.
Want advice on how to develop your career as a musician? Don’t ask me. I’m still trying to figure out how to cram practicing, touring, and all the other stuff into an average week, while occasionally sleeping.
My friend Steve Grossman is the man I go to when I need career advice. With a 30+ year career as a session and touring musician, he’s been wildly successful with a number of bands, and even got a Grammy Award along the way for his work.
Last week a reader and pianist Ken wrote me some great tips about how to improve my rhythm, including using a DAW to check for timing errors. It really worked- I messed around with it in the studio, and noticed some areas I could improve. I told a few other musicians about it, and they’re all using the method now, too (don’t worry, I’ll share my thoughts on it in a blog when I get better at it).
There’s a fine line between stealing and sharing. Good (and bad) ideas are sticky, and we tend to share them easily. We’d never charge for them, because they’re not ours.
Insecure musicians are obsessed with people stealing their ideas. They’re worried that if they share their tricks, techniques, and contacts with others, we’ll figure out what the secret is and leave them behind.
What insecure musicians miss is that almost all ideas are really, really hard to actually steal.
It’s not the idea itself that makes something possible, it’s the massive amount of work, grit, and practice that creates something beautiful and marketable from a theory. Ideas lend themselves well to sharing because the more ideas you give, the more likely you are to receive ideas.
If you are worried about someone stealing your trade secrets, perhaps you should give them all away. You might be surprised what amazing things people will give back.
(Note: I am not advocating that you shouldn’t charge for your work, time, or teaching. Part of giving away your ideas may include you making a lot of money through educating others. The important part is not how you give away your ideas, but that you share them and practice receiving ideas from others).
I’m thinking about redesigning my website and I’ve been pondering: why should a musician we have a website? Here’s some of the things I think are perfectly good reasons to have a website:
Most of us are really, really close to becoming elite in some area in our lives (I consider elite as the top 5%-10% of the performers in a field, your definition may differ). Most of us do a great job 80%- 90% of the time at what we do, and there’s only a few small things we miss.
That’s really the only thing you need to do. And I’ve struggled with it my whole career.
When I show up for something, I struggle to relax. Whether it’s a conversation or a gig, I tend to want to push forward. No time for chit chat- we’re on a mission here.