New Year, New Goals

This is one of my favorite times of the year- it's the one time that people universally are setting goals, dreaming big unreasonable dreams, and looking forward with hope to the new year. It's a new year, isn't it? Anything is possible.

The beginning of this year has been one of the most chaotic I can remember- we had a SUV blow out a transmission in northern Minnesota at the end of a tour I was on, and life has been a rush of trying to fix/sell it and get it back to St. Louis, and figure out the money side of that. I had planned on these few weeks after Christmas to be relaxing after a crazy December of non-stop shows. No luck.

So I haven't set my goals yet. Not one single goal. Which has given me some great insights into why I make goal setting such an important part of my routine in the first place. Here's three things that have happened since I haven't had goals set so far this year:

  1. I've watched a lot of late night television. When you don't have something to get up and work toward, it's hard to come up with good reasons to. . . well, get up and work.

  2. I've not made much headway at all in my career. You have to plan to improve your music career, and without goals and steps laid out to help you accomplish what you need to do to improve, you're not going to see yourself accomplish much.

  3. I find myself short of time every day. By not being focused on specific goals I want to accomplish, I've noticed that time-sucking meaningless tasks appear from thin air to occupy every minute of the day. It's crazy how easy it is to be very busy, and get absolutely nothing done.

Needless to say, one week of living this way is enough to motivate me to go get coffee, sit down, and spend some quality time prioritizing.


3 Ways To Stand Out From the Herd


In case you didn't know it, there's at least 1 million people who play music in the United States alone. That means you have a lot of competition.

Even if you're not crazy enough to be in the music business, there are literally tens of thousands of people in your field that almost as amazing at their work as you are. With so much stiff competition, you need every advantage you can get. Here are the 3 most effective tips I’ve found that can set you apart:

1. Look Like You Know What You’re Doing

People hire people who look successful. Even if you're not doing as well as you think you should be, dressing, acting, talking, and behaving the way that successful people do is often is enough to open up opportunities. I know this is may seem shallow, but that means if you're overweight, or you need to buy new clothes, you need to make it a high priority. People like to work with people who look successful.

2. Help More People

The more people you know, the more opportunities there are for you to connect with people who could help you, and you can help. Constantly be focused on acquiring new friends, and meeting new people that you can help. Focus on being an asset to them, and I’ve found most people will return the favor. Even if they don’t, you’ll have a lot of fun and gain experience you couldn’t get any other way.

3. Side Skill Land Main Skills Jobs

Any extra skill, even ones that you don't find particularly valuable, can be the difference between you getting a gig or not getting a gig. I've gotten many shows because I can sing backup harmony, when the only difference between me and another keyboard player was that particular skill. Make it a priority to develop strong secondary skills- the can often be the only thing that keeps you employed.