Are you sabotaging your music career?

December 14, 2012

I often wonder if artists are sabotaging their music career? Either on purpose or subconsciously?

You know, it’s that whole “fear of success” http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2004/12/fear-of-success-what-will-happen-if-you-succeed/

or “fear of failure” thing

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/fear-of-failure.htm – YOU MUST READ THIS!!!

What do I mean?

Here are some examples.

Let me know if any sound familiar:

1) You don’t respond to emails in a timely manner 

Every successful person I know responds to emails right away. Or as soon as humanly possible.

If you take days, weeks or months to get back to someone, how do you expect that person to a) take you seriously? b) have anything happen with your career?

Major label acts respond to their emails right away.

Do you?

2) You don’t listen to good advice 

I was talking to a music journalist friend last weekend and she said ALL her manager friends complain that their clients whine that they aren’t more successful – yet won’t listen to their manager’s advice.

I get it.

You don’t want to do the real work that it takes to “get to the next level” so you sit and complain and whine and do nothing – then blame your manager, the industry, the economy or someone else for your lack of success instead of looking at yourself.

3) You don’t play out 

How do you expect to make money if you don’t play live?

Unless you write the most film/tv/ad friendly songs in the world, touring and ticket sales/merch are really the bread and butter for most bands.

4) You don’t market your career every day 

You are in a competitive industry. Music is probably the most competitive industry on the planet except maybe acting.

Remember myspace and how many artists had music up there, hoping to “get discovered” and “make it big?”

You know who did?

The artists who were good AND who spent hours and hours EVERY SINGLE DAY emailing fans and strangers – asking them to check out their music.


5) You think your manager is going to do all the work 

Wow, do you REALLY think your manager, a “real” manager, that is, is going to do all the work?

Wrong again.

A good manager, or should I say, a SMART manager, will only work as hard as you’re working.

Why should someone else put in hours and hours a day of their own time, when they likely aren’t getting paid, to advance YOUR career unless you’re doing the same thing?

Answer is: they shouldn’t.

6) You don’t make your music BETTER 

Everyone needs help with songwriting. Everyone could be a better writer, myself included.

You need to write with other songwriters and artists to get better.

And the more you write, the better you get, right?

Take constructive feedback and criticism.

Don’t just listen to your friends and family who will always tell you, “it’s great man.”

Make people tell you the honest truth!

Otherwise, how are you going to get any better?

7) You don’t keep in regular contact with your manager / teamwork 

I’m amazed that artists will not be in touch for days, weeks or months at a time – and then be upset nothing has happened with their career.

Managing an artist is teamwork — and you’re part of the team!!!

Sure, a manager can do work for you on their own and should – but if you aren’t emailing or talking several times a day (or week), how are things going to move forward??

Think of management as a basketball team – and you’re part of the team.

Sure, your manager can go out on the court and shoot some balls and get lucky on their own.

But unless you’re out there on the court with them and help them shoot and block and pass the ball, how else can you expect to beat the other team?

How can you expect to go up against other bands that have every member working hard WITH their manager if your manager isn’t getting help from you?

Basketball is like music – it’s hard to win a game when you’re the only one on the team!!

8) You blame others for your lack of success and/or make up excuses 

You MUST MUST MUST read this! http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/05/excuse-112.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fsethsmainblog+%28Seth%27s+Blog%29

9) You don’t market yourself using social media 

You MUST MUST MUST be using twitter and facebook and youtube and instagram and other social media tools to grow your fan base!

10) You make poor choices / hire the wrong team members 

You hire the wrong manager or lawyer or publicist. You trust the shady characters instead of the good ones. I see this all the time – artists that are just clueless about people who are taking advantage of them, yet they don’t sign with someone who is honest and hard working who may tell them the truth instead of stroking their ego and telling them what they want to hear.

If you hire a company, did you research them before you hired them? Did you check their references? Did you Google them? But most of all, did you listen to your GUT instinct about them?

Do you have a good instinct about people or are you often wrong?

**If you don’t learn to choose the right people, the wrong people will certainly choose you!**


Those are the eight I could think of – can you add any others to the list?

(Please feel free to forward this email and this email alone to members of your band or other artists you know. But please do not post it on a web site or blog without asking permission from the author. Thanks!)

Copyright @2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without author’s prior consent.

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management ~ True Talent PR
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business


One comment

  1. Couldn’t agree more.

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