Motivation is one of the most prominent challenges artists in the music industry face. An artist’s career is full of ups and downs, which has a significant impact on their career. Whether you’re an artist that’s just starting out or a seasoned veteran, this is a challenge you know all too well.
While it may seem like a very daunting task, staying motivated is pretty easy if you approach your career with the right attitude. To help you stay motivated and achieve your dreams, we’ve put together our top 10 tips on staying motivated!
1. Keep the big picture in mind
Being an artist is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. It sounds cheesy, but the sooner you apply this principle to your artist career, the better you’ll feel. It’s essential to stay consistent and remember that good things take time.
It’s important to take time to rest and evaluate where you are as an artist, and not get wrapped up in what will happen tomorrow.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
This one is tough, but it’s also one of the most important and useful principles you can apply to yourself as an artist. When you’re looking at other artists, you have to keep in mind that you only see their results and not what went into them.
Don’t get discouraged when you see people succeed quickly - there’s often a lot more at play than is on the surface. Focus on yourself first and foremost!
3. Keep yourself fit physically and mentally
Making your health a priority is critical, even when you’re not an artist. There’s a lot you can do to keep your mind and body healthy beyond going to the gym, which isn’t possible for many people right now. Home workouts, keeping a well-rounded diet, and meditation are just some of the choices that you have that you can make to keep yourself fit and happy.
Check out stuff like the Wim Hof Method to add some consistency and mindfulness into your life, and you’ll see an immediate difference.
4. Listen to music outside of your genre
It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of your genre and forget that other music exists. If you want to be a well-rounded artist, it’s important to remember what it’s like to be a fan of something you’re not involved in.
Take time to listen to music you loved as a kid and take time to discover new music to keep your mind open. There’s a lot more great music out there than the stuff you’re involved with!
5. Avoid negative groups
In the music world, it’s easy to get involved in groups of people that spend most of their time trash-talking others and bringing them down to compensate for their shortcomings. Don’t get involved! Involving yourself with people who have this attitude will only hurt you in the long run, as you’ll start to produce excuses for your weaknesses and reprogram your brain to assume things are impossible.
If you’re already involved with people like this, begin to politely distance yourself and find people who you look up to who have happy and helpful attitudes towards the music industry.
6. Don’t burn yourself out
Nothing kills motivation like a burnout. It’s very easy to get burnt out, even if you don’t have any gigs yet. Make a schedule for yourself, and don’t overwork yourself for the sake of reaching your goals.
Forced songs tend not to sound good anyway. If inspiration isn’t flowing, take some time to get inspired and don’t overwork yourself by listening to your track for 10 hours until everything sounds awful, no matter how good it actually is.
7. Don’t get disappointed when you hear back
Many artists tie their success to approval from the external world. Don’t get disappointed if you don’t hear back from your favorite artist or record label, even if you see that they listened to your music.
Their job is to find the most quality stuff out there, so it’s never anything personal against you if your music doesn’t get supported. Just take it as a hint to work on your quality and seek out others who can help until you get the response you want!
8. Don’t be desperate
Being desperate never helps anyone. If you’re desperate to reach success, this will come across very clearly. Don’t worry if you see this in yourself though - it’s totally alright and part of the learning process.
The most important thing is to be able to recognize things within yourself and focus on growth, instead of getting stuck in the same loops over and over. The path to artist success is a long one, and you need serious self-awareness to make your dreams come true.
9. Be careful with your spending
Just because you own the latest equipment and spend money on a lot of services doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. It’s essential to be wise with your spending to make sure you don’t end up spending a ton with minimal results. Being an artist is fun, but if you want to be a professional, you’ll need to earn money, which means you need to treat your career like a business.
Lots of artists work with barebones technology they have at hand. They can achieve amazing results with it, so don’t get sucked into marketing for the latest software or equipment, and instead focus on learning how everything works so you can make the most of what you have.
10. Be nice to yourself
It’s no secret that artists often are very hard on themselves. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t work. Being an artist is a hard thing to do and requires a lot of patience and dedication. The best thing you can do for yourself is to approach yourself with compassion.
Things won’t work out most of the time, and this isn’t always your fault. Of course, you have to be aware of your weaknesses and shortcomings to improve yourself, but every mistake is an opportunity to improve yourself, and not a blow that will destroy your career. Things change quickly, and those that know how to withstand the storm are the ones that will ultimately succeed.
By keeping these 10 tips in mind, you’ll be able to approach the artist life head-on with motivation and drive. Keep pushing - this isn’t easy, but if you really want it, you have it within yourself to succeed and make your dreams come true!