Thoughts On Independence For Independent Musicians
Today is Independence Day in the United States, so I thought it would be a good chance to write a few things on the subject of being independent.
There is obviously an element of independence that is related to money. If you're not able to financially exist the way you want to without the help of somebody else, you don't have it. But I'm writing today about something more than that.
People who are independent think differently from those who are not. People who are independent may give a nod to what others think, but they don't let those things control them.
Was working with a very successful guy a couple of years back and he told me, "The biggest problem I've had since I've become 'successful' is that the friends I had before I was doing well can't enjoy it with me. For one, they don't have the money, but most of them also don't have the flexibility in their schedules because they're all working for somebody else and don't have the time available."
Did he care? Yes. Did he care enough so that it stopped him from doing what he needed to do? No.
I lived in Mississippi for a couple of years after college. It was a small town of about 15,000 people and what amazed me about it most was that almost everybody who lived there had been born there and almost none of them left.
Was this because they were stupid? No. In fact, some of the people I met while I was down there are among the smartest people I've ever met.
Was it because they didn't have the money? While I'm sure this has a role in why they stuck around, I don't think that it was the real issue. If somebody wants to do something, they'll do it regardless of their financial situation...people could find the money needed, if they really wanted to do something.
I think they never left Mississippi because of the relationships they had there.
People who are truly independent have no hang-ups about leaving behind people who don't share their same beliefs. And unless you're already in a community of successful people, this has to happen if you really want to progress.
Kathode Ray Music is 10 years old this month. In that time, I've worked with THOUSANDS of musicians and bands. The main thing keeping them back is that they let themselves be held back by what other people think. These guys may be ready as individuals, but they're hanging out with people who aren't ready...and those who are not ready will always pull down the ones who are.
That means that, when you're ready to move forward with your next level of music business success, you need to cut out the people who aren't.
If you're in a band with people who are comfortable where they are and you want to move forward with things, quit and go out on your own.
If you're married to somebody who feels your time is better spent in a job you hate than doing what you really love and know that you can do, get a divorce.
You see where I'm going...and yes, I'm deadly serious about getting a divorce, if needed. Serious business requires serious action. It takes intense effort EVERY DAY to get done what is needed and you can't have somebody holding you back...even if it's a spouse.
Hope you guys have a great Independence Day!
About the Author: David Hooper is the founder of Kathode Ray Music, an artist development organization specializing in promotion and marketing of independent musicians and bands. Visit http://WWW.FIND-A-MUSICIAN.COM for more tips and hints for musicians, bands, and songwriters.