Something a lot of successful people talk about is the importance of making a clear step by step plan if you are trying to develop whatever project you are working on into something meaningful. This is one of the hardest aspects of a band trying to make it. Yet if you use planning and visualization the entire process of growing in the music industry can be made a lot easier. I wanted to talk about visualization on both a micro and a macro level, from day to day things you can do in order to conceive a better future for your career. This is one of those topics that sounds a little ‘woo woo’ but when it comes down to it it’s actually one of the most productive ways to grow what your band is about and to create a name for yourself that is both positive and growing. This is an odyssey for anyone trying to get involved but if you keep to a few tried and true rules you are going to be able to make it to a point where not everything is completely fucked.
Now this is going to sound hokey – but affirmations can be a great way to get your band tapped into something substantial and positive. Bands where one of the main people has a negative attitude and seems to think that you will never get anywhere do not usually see success, because again there is a negative attitude. It can be very valuable to make sure that the people in your band and on your team are using positive language to lift each other up. Think about it like a sports team, coaches are increasingly making players compliment each other and giving them a fist bump quota for each game. Obviously you don’t want to be corny or weird about it, but ensuring that your band maintains a positive general attitude is not only a great way to keep things flowing but also a way to impress those around you. If people see you are bringing the hustle and the love then they are going to want to be a part of what you do.
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If you want to visualize success though you of course need to do it by focusing on a serious and actionable plan. If you build up your vision with an approach that is not only gradual but also realistic you can’t help but to succeed. A lot of people see the end goal (More on that in a minute) but nothing in between. I personally have a very detailed plan for how I would like my life to go for the next ten years. A lot of the best band managers do the same for their acts. Sometimes they will have a detailed six month plan and then counterbalance it with a more general ten year plan. They run it by he artist, they make it clear and it gives them a vision. They don’t muck around with ‘trying to get big’ they have a clear idea of how they want to get big, what they can do to arrive there, and what pitfalls they should try and avoid.
I’ve spoken in the past about the importance of having the music marathon, which is to say the365 day, five year, ten year and twenty six year goals. You can use these things as a way to visualize your success. Talk about these goals regularly as a band. Show your passion for this music and continue to reflect on how you an tweak these goals and what they can mean for you This isn’t always straightforward ,but look at a abnd like Avenged Sevenfold. They always knew they wanted to be rock gods, they didn’t try ‘to get big’ they knew what they wanted and they went for it. Same with Code Orange Kids – do you think they got to where they are at their age without a clear plan? Sure there were a lot of outside forces but they made it clear they had the drive. When people see you have the drive and see that you are doing whatever you can to succeed with a distinct vision it will let them know that you take your music seriously.
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To circle back to the professional athletics metaphor something a lot of athletes do in precision sports is visualize a successful action. Be it an NBA star envisioning a three point shot, a baseball player taking a breath so he can hit a home run or a quarterback knowing exactly where he wants to place the ball this is a known phenomenon. There are numerous music teachers who believe in this same concept. If you go out and you visualize that you can indeed hit this gnarly shred run then the odds are you’re going to be more successful. Visualization is a great way to instill confidence and faith in yourself. While this isn’t always easy, once you start to lock it in then you are going to find that there is indeed hope for the future and hope that you will be able to play all these obscenely tricky parts that you wrote out for yourself. That’s just a key part of the game, it’s like Waynes World 2 says, “If you build it, they will come.”
So yeah, I get that this is kind of woo woo. I get that this is a tricky thing sometimes because you don’t want to come of as completely lost up your ass. You don’t want to be a pretentious ass either. Instead the goal, as I understand is simply to show people you have a clear vision and a clear goal. You want to move towards the future in an effective and meaningful way. Music is not always easy and engaging in best practices for life in general but applying them to your music career can be a great way to not just improve how your band is doing but how you live day to day. It certainly has worked for me and the power of affirmations, visualization and positive thought can also work wonders for you.