This article lands with a heavy heart on your screen but our inside data shows there are many people across the world with this very question in the back of their minds. So we’re here to help you gain some clarity on whether you’re cut for this rough business. Because at the end of the day, a business it is and one of the hardest ones to thrive in. Do keep in mind we’re specifically focusing on being a music artist and not a manager or A&R. You could very well decide to be an entertainment lawyer and that would be phenomenal for you and your future. They get to earn a percentage, usually around 5% from contracts they settle on behalf of their clients, or they get paid from $80 to $500 an hour. So in case you realize you’re not exactly a natural at being on stage, you may wanna consider getting into the behind-the-scenes work.
10. You Dislike Being Let Down.
We know, we’re all let down in life. Sometimes more, sometimes less. However, some people almost have an allergic reaction to things not going their way. Usually, they make great lawyers, scientists, mathematicians, engineers. Very analytical personalities, very realistic, very logical. But if you’re way too fixated on keeping things under control and understanding the whys and hows of everything happening around you, being a musician will cause you headaches and frustration. Play that guitar as a hobby and make your money doing what you do best, numbers.
9. You Like Seeing Immediate Results.
There are dreamers, there are achievers, then there are bartenders. Hear us out. A big chunk of the population loves the stability of a 9-to-5 and the monthly/bi-weekly paycheck. That’s almost everyone around you. Then we have a smaller portion of the population who doesn’t mind working for the long-term payout and is ready to put in blood, sweat, and tears even when not knowing the exact date of their reward. Think painters, musicians, sculptors. Then we have the NOW crowd. I serve you now, you pay me now. Generally, these people are a tad neurotic, a lot of fun, and almost always travel or change places. If you’re part of this third category, you may not be cut out to survive off your music talent alone.
8. You Don’t Like Having To Study All The Time.
The brutal news is that the music industry never stops evolving. You can’t unfortunately learn one formula and indefinitely reapply it and expect great results. Since society is fluid, time is relative, and the world is crazy, you have to be extremely adaptable and open-minded in order to have any relative success as a music artist. 10 years ago doing covers on YouTube would have gotten you tens of thousands of fans. Today, there are simply too many doing the exact same thing and you quite literally don’t stand a chance. Today is all about fusing content creation with storytelling and somehow throwing your song in the middle along with it. Yes, TikTok. So if in your heart of hearts you despise the idea of having to continuously upgrade your knowledge, it’s best if you pursue music as an amateur and not a professional.
7. You Daydream Of A World With No Social Media In It.
Back in the day going to audition for record labels and hitting up talent shows was a default move that came with trying to succeed as a music artist. Today it’s building a following via social media. So if you’re vehemently against the over-sharing era we live in, you’re not cut for being a music artist in the 2020s. Maybe 10 years from now?
6. You Didn’t Think Much Of The Entertainment Industry Being Unfairly Hit By The Pandemic.
If you can’t wrap your head around just how badly and unfairly the entertainment industry has been hit during the last two years, you need to stay away from it. How can you think of becoming a musician when you didn’t take the time to learn the business and logistics side of it? Or worse yet, you never openly support other artists and think that being a musician is a luxury job that the world could very well do without. Yes, we’ve heard that plenty since Cvd hit. Especially in Europe.
5. You Don’t Want To Do Much Except Writing Songs And Playing Music.
The amount of self-proclaimed indie artists who are actually hobbyists is ridiculous so don’t become one of them. Being a music artist is the same as starting your own print shop and you needing to fulfill the accountant, marketer, promoter, saleswoman role. You will have to step in the shoes of at least 10 different people to get things off the ground in a professional direction. Accordingly, if you dread the putting-in-the-work part, don’t even start. Save your time and money.
4. You Don’t Like The Idea Of Spending Money On Your Potential Career.
Being a musician is especially hard when you realize you have to pay for everything out of your own pocket. Photoshoot for the new cover artwork? You’ll pay for it. Video shoot for your new single? You gotta cover it. Social media campaigns? Every single month. Makeup and image costs? You gotta handle it. It just goes on and on. And this is all without ANY guaranteed return. If the thought of seeing money leave your bank account without knowing if it’ll ever come back makes your stomach turn, you are so not made for the music business.
3. You Hate Traveling Too Much.
While these historical times we’re living definitely altered the way music business is conducted, travel still remains an essential part of it. Especially with social media deciding who’s the hottest act or whatnot, you could be an English singer asked to perform at a festival in Denmark and follow right up with a special guest appearance at a TV show in France. Are you excited at the thought of dragging your travel bags around and not getting the best sleep? Because if you’re not, you’re better off staying at home and focusing on becoming a songwriter at best.
2. You Prioritize Family Time Over All Else.
If you’re a family man/woman, you may wanna reconsider becoming a music artist. This career involves A LOT of distance and alone time. And very often, musicians postpone starting families until the very last moment. So if you can’t imagine spending Christmas away from your family, remember that artists make their money and close their most lucrative deals when everyone else is on holiday.
1. You Don’t Concern Yourself With Budgeting.
Some very fortunate people have the financial freedom to quote Ariana Grande: “I see it/ I like it/ I want it/ I got it.” Many artists, however, don’t. You don’t need to be particularly great at calculus but you do require a keen sense of budgeting and sticking to the plan to make it in this current music industry. If you are appalled at the thought of counting your dollars and respecting a financial weekly/monthly limit, don’t do it. Don’t become a music artist because that’s not the right path for the fabric of your spending personality.
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