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Seven resolutions for musicians in 2014

January 1, 2014

Another year, another chance to re-commit yourself to life as a musician. Have you thought about your goals? Here’s a good place to start – vow now to make these resolutions going forward in 2014…

7) Be Grateful – yes, be thankful that you found this path as a musician and thank everyone that has supported you: fans, friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, babysitters, music teachers, venue owners, and more. PS: there is a direct correlation between the number of people you thank and your own personal success as a musician.

6) Reciprocate – what better way to express your gratitude, and also help build the local live music community, than to reach out to all of those generous fellow musicians that helped you get a gig or borrow an amp or give a reference. Give and you’ll receive…

5) CANI – Constant and Never-ending Improvement. Vow to practice your instrument more than ever. The best way to create an amazing music scene in Denver is to develop amazing musicians. Lessons, mentors, perhaps it’s time for new equipment(?) – keep evolving.

Communication skills can always be improved...

Communication skills can always be improved…

Also, think about everything you could improve within your band/business: booking process, marketing, accounting, brand awareness, set design and props, yada, yada. Yes, there’s a lot to cover. But the soul-searching is worth the effort, which leads us to…

4) Find the Way – are you making income as a musician? If not, did you take a vow of poverty somewhere along the way or something? To paraphrase Mark Twain: only blockheads play music for no compensation. There are three simple steps here: know there is a way. Find the way. Keep looking. Income is out there. Which brings us back to…

3) Work on your business, not in it – do you spend all of your time playing out (for peanuts)? Are you constantly rebuilding the band instead of motivating your players to stick around for sweet compensation? Are you stuck in the basement? Take a bigger view: decide what you want to achieve, convey the vision to your band mates, form a plan, prioritize the plan, and delegate.

2) Be Proactive and Follow Up – find one thing you can do, every day, to advance the future potential of your business (band). Is it an email to a venue owner? Submitting a song to an internet radio station or applying for a festival? Writing a press release? Revisiting your band’s brand? Choreographing your stage presence? Get busy!

1) Don’t be a flake! If you do nothing else this year, vow not to be just another flaky musician. This is a biggie, and it encompasses all of the other resolutions. No more half-a$$, vague or incomplete Craig’s List ads. Respond promptly when someone sends you an email. Under-promise and over-deliver. Dare I say it? Put the bong down and be responsible! Your future music career depends upon it…

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