Steven Blanton ~ Leaderocity

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Reframe a Bad Gig Thankfully

Often, the source of disappointment and discouragement is our own inability to find proper context. We sometimes get caught up in the ideals of someone else’s career. From the outside we look and seeing success, we imagine that their journey will be our journey as well. After trying to replicate that journey, we realize that things aren’t working out in the same way for us as it did for them. It can become “career envy.” This can be a source of struggle for the musician or other creative brains out there.

We should always capture as much knowledge as possible from those pros, but we must distill from that knowledge only the transferables. Transferables will be those concepts that work in a universal sense including work ethic, connectivity, networking, commitment, creativity, and longevity. Those are the things that will make for a successful career in any field. The biggest challenge for musicians and the creative community in general is to act on that belief. Success will be about the individual as much as it is about the music. In other words, healthy, long-term, success is built on doing the right things and abandoning those things that are not. When we are able to look at our careers from a bird’s eye view, we can see that some things seem to work and some things fail. If we learn early on what those things are, it will move the process forward, perhaps saving us years of “hard knocks.” We then can better appreciate the success of others to get a leg up on our own future.

It is a great time to reframe our failures; to see what good can come from them. Each failure is a real opportunity to replace it with something that works. Every bad gig gives us a chance to redesign the show. Maybe it is the order of songs or perhaps the wrong songs altogether. Maybe the band needs more rehearsal or the frontman needs a key change. Just don’t beat yourself up. No good can come from that. These are the pieces that come together as we choose to view “failures” as points for “course correction.” This is what reframing is all about. And when you see it that way, it’s something we can be thankful for.

And in the spirit of the last blog, here is a list of things we can glean from some tough exposure to reality in the music business.

10 Things You Can Learn From a Bad Gig

1. Never work for that promoter again.
2. Get clear directions to the venue.
3. Bring your own sound guy.
4. Get in-ear monitors.
5. What’s a “Rider?”
6. Rehearse more.
7. Do some cover tunes that people know.
8. You are also in marketing.
9. Use good gear.
10. When do we get paid for this show?

A lesson learned is a success earned. Flops and failures are the perfect opportunity to do it better the next time.

©2009 WalkWay Group, Steven Blanton, All Rights Reserved

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