Everyone has a well of creativity deep inside of them. This article will begin by discussing some inspiring music success stories.
Did you know Puff Daddy once turned down DMX?
It all happened in the early 1990s when DMX auditioned for Puff Daddy. Diddy told DMX he sounded “too rough.” So he had to turn him down. A few while later, DMX was picked up by Def Jam Records, and the rest is, as they say … is history.
Did you know Jay-Z started Roc-A-Fella because no label was impressed with his sounds?
After shopping his demo records to almost every label out there at the time and getting turned down by all, Jay-Z and his buddies had no choice but to launch their own label.
What are the lessons in these stories, you wonder?
Well, it is simple — that every music artist needs to stay hungry and motivated to reach the top.
It doesn’t matter how many hip-hop dance classes you’ve taken or the number of recording studios that have turned you down; as long as you haven’t reached where you’d like to be, you just have to keep grinding.
This post will teach you a few tips that can help you oil your creativity well and stay motivated throughout the journey.
How To Stay Motivated as a Musician
1. Continually remind yourself great things don’t come easy
Look, the road to stardom is always long and unpredictable. Since you’ve decided to ride this ride, there’s really no going back. The least you can do is wake up every morning and remind yourself that “great things don’t come easy.”
Look in the mirror and say it repeatedly until you feel convinced within yourself.
You’re probably wondering how that’s going to help you. Well, the way the human mind works is quite funny. We are what we project. If you keep reassuring yourself with the right words, you’ll finally make peace with the fact that the grind, the hustle and the sacrifices are part of the game.
2. Remind yourself why you chose this path
No one takes acting classes if they don’t plan to one day become professional actors. The fact you’ve chosen to be a music artist means you wanted this path. You chose it. As such, when the road seems to be winding down and doubts start to creep in, remind yourself why you chose this path.
Just a quick reminder of what your purpose is can give you something to hang on to.
For example, you may have chosen to be a music artist in honor of your mother, father or mentor. When you seem to lose motivation, flash back to the day you made the decision and remember why you’re doing this.
That will help you stay motivated no matter what.
3. Consume motivational stories of other artists
The beautiful thing about the music game is no one gets into the limelight served to them on a gold platter. Everybody you see on the top today has a story to tell.
The Jay-Z’s, the Eminem’s, the Rihanna’s, and even BTS — everybody got their fame after numerous sacrifices.
When in need of motivation, find inspiring quotes and stories from colleagues that have made it in the industry.
Sometimes, when you read the story of how someone got into the limelight, you could learn a trick or two on how to get there yourself. And even if you don’t find anything to learn, there’s the motivation you get from their success story.
By and large, always find motivational stories from other artists to consume.
4. Always go for the small steps instead of going for nothing
As a musician, it’s easy to pressure yourself when you don’t have your project out there or when it seems like the world isn’t even listening to you.
For example, you could be planning to release an EP, but due to some factors beyond your control, you couldn’t achieve that. You need not be too hard on yourself. Small steps are better than nothing. If you can’t afford the cost of publishing and promoting an EP, why not try releasing a single instead? Three singles released over a span of six months is better than zero EPs released in six months.
In a nutshell, go for the small steps if you can’t or aren’t yet ready for the big steps. Remember, small steps are better than no steps.
5. Always be around like-minded people
Of course, every musician has their group of friends they vibe with – people you chill and hang out with. But you know what’s wrong with these kinds of groups? They don’t actually help you stay on the ground when the road gets bumpy.
They’re there for the vibe, glamour, fame and noise.
The real people you need, however, are those who share the same goals, dreams and pursuits as you. In other words, like-minded people — artists, musicians or other creators.
They could be senior colleagues or people you’re on the same level as. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is you’re close to those who understand the struggle — people who have been there and done it.
Take a Break
Finally, if all seems to fail, simply take a break from music.
Taking a break doesn’t mean you’re calling it quits.
It simply means you’re being human. And for the time being, you need to focus your mind on something other than music. There are other aspects of life to pursue. So, for now, go after those things that make your heart tick.
In due time, you’ll feel motivated to return to your music. And maybe this time, you might be better equipped to go harder and better.
Never think it’s going to be easy. If that’s your expectation, then don’t make music. It’s probably going to be rough and tough. But when you seem to lack motivation, reflect on the points made in this post.