Response Crafting

Why you should think of yourself as a music artist

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Originally posted on Brazen Careerist, June 2012

Many of us are caught up in the wrong mindset when it comes to success. We assume that the game is complicated, and that we have to play our cards exactly right to win.

The reality, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth: anybody can be successful.
And nobody (except the market) has to approve of you for you to do so, too.

Today’s music artists have it all figured out.
Here are five good reasons why you should model yourself – or your company – after their industry:

1. You don’t need anyone’s permission to be “real.”
Artists figured out several years ago that they didn’t have to be signed to be recognized. Long gone are the days when artists had to have a record deal to exist on the music scene. Now they are taking advantage of resources like myspace and youtube to broadcast themselves – rather than waiting for someone else’s validation to do so – and many are creating a following before anybody offers to lead them. With blogs, Linkedin, websites, and twitter at our disposal, we have the exact equivalent resources available to us. And yet we are eons behind artists.
Nobody needs to give you permission for you to exist, operate, and succeed in your chosen field. Make yourself what you see.

2. There is always room for more.
Just because you suspect that there plenty of players in your space doesn’t mean you can’t be one, too. As long as you do something slightly better or something slightly different, the market will find a slot for you. If you sense/suspect/feel/know that you can succeed in a particular field, and feel confident that you can fulfill the task of sufficiently differentiating yourself from it (regardless of how strong you fear your competitors may be), go for it.
A market will always accomodate something – or someone – that deserves a place in it.

3. Start small and start yourself.
Countless successful artists were “discovered” via youtube or myspace. If you have something “good,” you have something good – regardless of whether you initially spend $100 or $100 million. Artists have few qualms about starting small, and you shouldn’t either.
Take steps to getting yourself where you want to be, no matter how small they may be at first.

4. It’s not “winner takes all” anymore
Nowadays, few people play favorites. We love a variety of market offerings and personalities, and even those who swear by Starbucks or Selena Gomez will surely stray from time to time. We love to play the field.
Just because your target audience still likes loves your competitor doesn’t mean they aren’t (also) looking for someone like you. There is almost always more love to go around.

5. Incidentally, your competitors may in fact be your collaborators.
While we’re on the note of developing an “open-market” mentality and dropping our “scarcity” suspicions (which dictate there’s only so much(!) success to go around), it should be noted: stop regarding your peers – whether they be other folks or other firms – as the enemy, and start embracing them as co-creators. Artists have no qualms about working with others in the field, and we shouldn’t either. After all, who hasn’t been swept up in a good collaboration with two of our current favorite artists?
Collaborate with your competitors, especially those who are doing something similar and equally cool.


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