By Sheena Metal
Every musician currently living on the Planet Earth would love nothing more than to wake up tomorrow in the midst of their glorious peak of superstardom. But, as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is the career of any one musician. A musical career is a long, sometimes arduous journey of tiny advances and minor setbacks filling the fragile shell of big breaks and huge disappointments. It’s up, it’s down, it’s all around and hopefully, as time passes, you can see the course of your career building up slowly through weeks and months and years of steady progress.
But how can you tell if your career is actually going somewhere? How do you know if you’re really getting closer to your musical dreams? How can you determine whether or not you’re on the right path? How do you know what to focus on in the immediacy and what paths can be left for another time when you are better equipped to tackle them creatively and concretely? While there is no one set way achieve rock superstardom, the clearest way to realize musical success is to simply set goals.
As mundane as it may seem, setting goals, both long and short-term, for your musical project lends the same kind of structure and discipline to your career that an athlete would use to train for the Olympics. Realistic goals enable you to build your band’s list of accomplishments the way a runner builds his muscles… pumping up your musical achievements as you lift off the weight of each entertainment roadblock. And the good news is that you can start today. At any time you may put into effect a list of goals, large or small, aimed at boosting your career in any given area.
The following are a few tips that will help you to set some goals so that you may get on your way to achieving all that you want from your music and the entertainment industry in general:
1.) Set Goals You Can Achieve---Nothing is more depressing for an artist than setting lofty goals for yourself and your music only to bottom out with hopelessness when none of the goals are achieved by the deadline. So, much of what keeps artists plugging away in the industry, against all odds, is the positive re-enforcement of feelings of accomplishment. Keep that upbeat mojo going by setting goals for your band that you can absolutely actualize with lots of elbow grease and some good creative flow. Take a minute to assess each potential achievement and put a realistic time allotment on it so that you’re setting yourself up to succeed and move onto the next musical goal.
2.) Keep Your Eyes On The Prize---It’s all well and good to set goals just to see if you can do them, but if you’re ultimate goal is to be a big ole humongous rockstar, then try and set goals that will help you on your way to a Rolls Royce, a Bentley and a 2,000 square foot infinity swimming pool. Set a goal to get one article of press each month, to book a decent gig every two weeks, or to update your website daily. Give yourself six months to finish your full-length album, three months to raise the money for your band’s t-shirts or a year to find a good manager to pitch you to labels. Each one of these goals is a great achievement on its own but also an important piece in getting your band where you eventually want it to be. So it’s a win/win for your career, any way you slice it, and the feelings of accomplishment will certainly empower you to keep pushing on in the ever-frustrating music business.
3.) One Goal At A Time---It’s okay to have twenty goals on the table but they should be lined up in order of immediacy and priority so that each one is given their own individual time. Trying to work too many angles at one time may jumble your ability and focus, and leave you at your deadline with six or seven goals only partially achieved. In an industry so dependant on "what have you done lately," it’s always a good thing to get a goal completed in a timely manner and move onto the next so that the outside world sees a band that is always accomplishing things, always achieving, and always succeeding.
4.) If At First You Don’t Succeed---No matter how hard you try, there will always be goals that elude you past your self-imposed deadline. While it’s good to discipline yourself into a regiment of goal-setting/achieving, don’t beat yourself up if circumstances beyond your control lead you to fall short on a deadline or two. The most important thing is that you realize your goal. Secondary to this, is for you to accomplish your goal in a timely fashion. So, put your emphasis on the success and the positive achievement and don’t give up on your music and your goal if the deadline rolls around prematurely.
Once you set a line of goals in front of you, it’s easy to focus on achieving rather than worrying about failing. As you begin to achieve goals, you can rely on the confidence of all you’ve done and dismiss the angst of worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. You’ll never be able to accomplish everything all at once, so why not relish the successes that you can manifest immediately whilst dreaming of the goals you still have yet to achieve. Don’t waste time. Sit down after you read this and scratch out a list of goals, each with its own timeline. Find something you can accomplish today for your music, something you can get done by tomorrow and something terrific you can nail down by the end of the week. Your band will look better to industry and fans alike and, most importantly, you’ll look and feel great to yourself and your music. RockSuperstardom awaits! Start knocking back those goals and kick the music biz in the butt, one positive achievement at a time!
Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter, music supervisor, consultant, columnist, journalist and musician. Her syndicated radio program, Music Highway Radio, airs on over 2,000 affiliates to more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians’ assistance program, Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members. She currently promotes numerous live shows weekly in the Los Angeles Area, where she resides. For more info: