#3 Music Industry Secret to Success: Have Humility

I have developed a set of music industry “secrets.” These “secrets” are designed to develop positive behavior, so do not expect a ton of tactical talk. Strategy will be the ultimate takeaway. In each shared “secret,” we are going to give ideas that should help you make the right changes toward a substantial music career. Be sure you check out the previous “secrets” of “Be Yourself”, “Reach Out” and “Listen” before reading this.

If there is one thing that is more annoying than a spammer, then it has to be the person that cannot tell when they are spamming or at least have too much ego to admit it. You either know people like this or you are one of these people. Today, we are going to focus on the egotistical person and hope by giving (an) unknowing spammer(s) an existential update will put a stop to the offenses. Hubris is more difficult to circumvent, as it can have lasting negative effects, even after correction.

humanity. love. respect. photo by B.S. Wise
Photo by B.S. Wise

The world is a noisy place. Billboards, television commercials, Facebook, Twitter, blah blah blah… we are vying for each other’s attention at every turn. As an artist, you are well aware that you are one of many. Many have come before you and many will come after you, so you do what you can to try to stand out from the crowd. Some of us just add some shine to our exterior; others try to look different. At the end of the day though, it is the content you provide that will really draw interest.

The issue is, the wait for others to notice you can be excruciatingly long. Everything else comes at us so quickly, why can we not speed up our success process?

Well, if we knew that answer, this blog may not exist.

What we can do is help you cope and get yourself ready for the successful connections that you are bound to attract.

As we are focused on those seem a bit too into themselves for their own good, it makes sense to repeat some things and iterate this – the world does not owe you anything. Stop acting like you are entitled to our attention, money and/or adulation. You are one of far too many! Get real!

We want to share this idea with you, brought to us by Amber Naslund of Radian 6 and Brass Tank Thinking, GET USED TO BEING IGNORED. It should be expected that it may take time for you to “get noticed.” You should see paying dues as a way to bide your time to getting what you want. It should all be in the effort to being ready for your opportunity when it comes. Forcing the issue will usually get you the opposite reaction that you want.

It takes patience. It also takes a humble understanding of your small place in the world. If you ever plan to have sustainable success in any facet of your life, then the virtues of patience and humility need to be critical tenets of your character.

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  • Completely agree with you. I think people are rewarded more when they are humble and gracious. And patience is definitely a virtue!

  • Hey Nikki, thanks for your comment! It is awesome that you posted your Betty LaVette story today (http://nikkistephan.com/index.php/2010/06/five-…). She is the perfect case study for this lesson!

    I know I have been rewarded for being patience and humble and the pay-out has been much sweeter than my premature, forced wins. A long life is what I hope is in the cards for me, so I do not worry about getting everything today. Whatever I do get, I make sure show appreciation and remind myself how awesome I have it.

  • Pingback: Have Humility | Noël()

  • Definitely true. Humility goes a long way with making people feel like they can identify with your music. I think Big Sean serves as a great example – he's cocky w/his music, but he's super hungry, humble and accessible because of his humility and thankfulness to his fans.

    • Hey Will, thanks for your comment. I need to keep my eye on Big Sean, because I never see the other side of him. I hear the braggadocio and I wonder if there’s anything more. Track record equals brand most of the time. Humility can help keep that in perspective. When one asks internally, “how do I want to be remembered?,” it can change the whole way you look at creating.

    • This is a late reply, but thanks for your comment, William.

      While I don’t know a ton about Big Sean, I know that he’s managed to maintain the buzz on his name without an official album and that has to be acknowledged. He has to be doing something right. Humility goes a long way, that’s for sure.

  • Hey there! I think it's high time for me to comment on your blog, especially since you've left so many fantastic comments on mine!

    First off, thanks for both the Radian6 shout-out AND the link to my blog post. I also work with Amber at Radian6 :).

    I really like the post series. I see tons of blog posts about the tactics (and write them myself!), and am always pleased when Isee perhaps more of the philosophical or esoteric posts being written. It's about the “why” as well as the “how”, which I think gets skipped over sometimes.

    Thanks again and have a great long weekend!

    Katie Morse
    Community Manager | Radian6

  • Ya-aaaaaaaaaay! I win! misskatiemo touched my blog! I am a happy guy, seriously.

    I’m glad you like the series. In my personal life, I find myself always helping artists find purpose to guide their actions. It is quite often never enough to tell them to give at least 3 months to build buzz for a big project release, because they never understand why exactly. For artists to become better equipped at conducting themselves in a fashion where they become highly marketable and easy to work with/for, they need to have goals and they should contemplate wins on a personal level before pondering more tangible successes.

    Thanks so much for your comment, Katie! You made my day!