Anyone who has built a structure, business, career or entity knows how vitally important it is to build on a solid foundation. The foundation is the platform on which the structure/entity exists. Foundation, as it pertains to a creative career, is defined much in the same manner. In order to have a sustained and successful career, a creative must have a strong foundation to build upon. If there is no foundation, it will eventually collapse like a castle at the beach.
Skyscraper foundations are built with concrete reinforced with rebar, as shown in the picture above. Concrete alone is not strong enough to support a tall structure and without the rebar, the concrete would crumble under its own weight. The foundation is most times below ground level, and is the strongest part of the structure. It is most times never seen, but it is always there.
How does this relate to the career of the artist/songwriter? An artist’s career is more like a skyscraper that has 100+ stories than a suburban “bricks and sticks,” split level house. Every storey of the artist skyscraper is built upon the one that came previous, and represents accomplishments after establishing a strong foundation.
When we think of the word, “Foundation,” three words come to mind:
Content | Work | Relationships
Let’s take a closer look at these three equally important words.
We’re sure you have heard the statement, “Content is King.” That is 100% true! In the day of self publishing, everyone and we mean E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E publishes online. The ability to self publish has been a huge factor in the rise of independent success! The downside is that everyone and we mean E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E publishes online. It has made the decibels of the creativity noise floor approach that of a 747 jet engine!
This is why it is so important that all content produced is of excellence. The kiss of death for any entrepreneur is producing and promoting inferior content. We recently wrote an article about this topic, here.
Ahh yes, that dirty four letter word that ends in “k.” Nothing happens by luck or circumstance. All success is built on inconvenience. It takes an immense amount of work to launch anything, from an artist/songwriter career to a mission to Mars. Success does not just happen. It takes complete dedication to the craft of songwriting for someone to succeed in a songwriting career. The reason why more are not successful is because they are not willing to work at building their careers. This is a tough word, but it is necessary to understand that just because someone can write a song or sing a tune does not mean they will become professional at it. Anyone who has “made it” in the music business will tell you they worked extremely hard at it, and they continue to work hard at it. The work does not stop when success starts. The work intensifies.
Ask anyone who has relocated to Nashville how important it is to get out into the creative community and establish relationships. We’ve seen far too many come to Nashville and wait for their big break. Only thing that happens with that ethic is they end up being a professional waiter at one of the many eateries here in Music City. If you want to be known as a “mover and shaker,” you must shake and move. If you are not located in Nashville, you need to be the person people know of who is available to entertain or write a good song. Be the “whale in a fishbowl, not a minnow in the ocean.”
Hope this article turns the lights on for you! The key to seeing success in your musical aspirations is to be willing to learn and then implement what you have learned.
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Stay tuned and write tunes!