Work. Something that everyone claims to do, but very little actually do! Common phrases such as “We Puttin In Work” are stated while doing what the guy in the picture above is doing lol! To really “put in work”, it takes an eat/breath/sleep type of grind and mentality. Of course balance is key, but you really have to be motivated, impeccably inspired, and fully invested into something to make it successful. This my friends is work! Nothing happens over night. For my fellow creative people doing music, here is something to get your motor running! Caution: This blog post may hurt a little bit but it’s good for you! Trust, I’m the first partaker of my own advice!
What are you thinking about?
How often do you think about your craft? Your wheels should be turning constantly about it. You should be constantly thinking of ways to innovate your sound, marketing strategies, branding strategies, etc. If you don’t have a physical notepad or a note pad app on your phone FULL of ideas and strategies, then you’re probably not thinking about your craft enough! Turn Up! Success is not a destination but rather a constant journey consisting of proactively planning and executing goals. As my homie Sherrod White says in “One In A Million”, it’s not a sprint baby it’s a marathon!
Write down your goals and read them often. When you wake up, read them. During the day, read them. Before you go to sleep, read them. If you’re married or in relationship, get the love of your life involved! Basically the more your goals become a part of your daily life, the more you will think about them and naturally desire to achieve them. Don’t be the person that says “This is My Year” every year and nothing ever changes lol! Don’t get stuck in the “We About to Blow Up” or “I Can’t Wait Until We Blow Up” mentality. Don’t wait for somebody else to come along and grab your hand and “put you on”! We’re in the 21st century folks! You can do almost EVERYTHING on your own now so there is no excuse! Make up your mind today that TODAY is the day your future begins. Your journey of success begins right now! NOTHING is holding you back but yourself! Just Do it!
What are you doing?
One thing that I have noticed is that when a person doesn’t have much talent, they will work relentlessly and achieve major success while a person with a lot of talent is most times lazy. They figure their talent alone will carry them to success when in reality that is NOT true! Or either the person is just plain lazy all around lol! They put all their hope in making it big but don’t have a “right now” plan. Especially with producers. Cats will make a couple of beats and expect to sell them to regular people with jobs for an arm and a leg lol! The common statement is “People will pay for what they want.” But how often will that happen? If most of your target demographic doesn’t have a major situation, what would be their logical justification for spending so much of their hard earned money for your beats? Don’t forget you have bills to pay! Stop being lazy and WORK! Price correctly for your target demographic and get your desired income via a volume sales strategy. Until you get to the point where you can command high amounts per track from established full-time artists(totally different demographic), make more beats, drop your pride, and drop your price so you can build some clientele and be profitable NOW! Especially if you have a family! Your spouse doesn’t need to keep hearing how you’re going to make it big. They need some kind of results NOW.
Whether you are super talented or minimally talented, WORK ETHIC levels the playing field! In fact, I believe you need to work even HARDER if you’re highly talented! You have to show people that you are not lazy and that you are serious about your craft PERIOD. This is how you gain respect for your craft.
I’ve touched on marketing/branding in other posts but if you’re trying to get your stuff out there, content is key! You have to be putting out some type of content regularly. It doesn’t always have to be music. Get creative! Blog, Vlog, do live chats, make memes, grind on twitter, grind on Facebook, grind on linked in, send out a newsletter, DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY! Connect with the people that support you. Again, connect with the people that support you. Again, CONNECT WITH THE PEOPLE THAT SUPPORT YOU! I had to say that three times because that is the most important thing I can tell you in this whole post. Your work ethic should be 90% business(which includes engaging your supporters) and 10% music. No connection, no support. Genuinely engage your supporter base everyday in some way! People will appreciate that you care about them and in return they will care about you.
Are you working in the right area?
If you like something but find yourself not really being motivated to do it consistently, that may not be your passion. I think sometimes people get into music because of the money. They see the artists and producers ballin out and want the same lifestyle when in reality, although there are some that do live it, a lot of the imagery is false! You see LAVISH rented cars and mansions while a lot of these people go home to nice but a lot more MODEST vehicles and houses. It’s designed to sell you a dream! There are a lot of major artists and producers that aren’t doing so great. Some people are going through great lengths doing very bad things just to stay afloat in the music business right now. Don’t throw your life away for this stuff folks lol! It’s not that serious. You can’t just be in this thing for the money. If so, the minute profits sink you’ll want to quit or do something stupid out of desperation. You have to LOVE what you do in order to have that eat, breath, sleep, breakfast, lunch, and dinner kind of work ethic. You have to have true passion for your craft. When you truly love it, you will do it whether you make a million or nothing. I’m going to keep it 100% with you. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, don’t waste another minute of your time doing it. Re-focus your energy into finding what you’re truly passionate about. You’ll be much happier and fulfilled! It’s ok not to be a top selling rapper lol! It’s ok not to be a top selling producer! You don’t have to be in the limelight to be successful. Trust, there are many people behind the scenes that are VERY successful and fulfilled and you’d never know it. Some of these people stand beside you in line at walmart with a gallon of milk and you’d never know it lol!
I hope these words put a little fire under you to get to work and at the same time cause you to evaluate if you’re really doing what you’re meant to be doing. Work hard but work smart. You can do this fam! Be blessed. -Tone Jonez