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5 Mistakes Musicians Make

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

1. Undervaluing themselves When you have been doing something so long that it becomes second nature, you can take your skills for granted. Use this equation as a starting point: time × education + current market = value Remember, there are a lot of people who cannot do what you do and who are more than happy to pay you, the key is understanding your value and setting a standard accordingly.

2. Taking on too much My mother used to say "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." It seems we have become conditioned to think that you're not doing enough unless you're doing a lot. Remember "everything in moderation" also applies to responsibility. As musicians we tend to spread ourselves thin, chasing opportunity. (see blog: Opportunity or Not) it's important for musicians to understand you can do Different things, not All the things.

3. Not Creating Opportunities Saying "I'll do that when...," or "It's not going to work because.....," are excuses people use when they're waiting for the right time. Musicians can make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. You don't need to fit into a career, create one! Try this - ask questions - take notes - don't take no for an answer - know what you can offer - understand your limitations - fill a need

"If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door." ~Milton Berle

4. Comparing Comparing yourself to others is the quickest way to kill your happiness and your motivation. Remember everyone has blooper reel no matter how talented they seem to be. If you must compare, do it in a way that motivates and inspires you to be better. According to Dr. Leon Festinger, human beings have the drive to assess their opinions and to know more about their abilities, and when they are incapable of evaluating their opinions and abilities, they tend to compare themselves with others. One of his comparisons was the Self-enhancement comparison, which occurs when the person questions which aspects of himself need to be improved to reach the level of goodness of the person he is comparing himself with. Musicians should aspire to be better, not belittle themselves when they come into contact with someone they deem better.

"Try not to get lost in comparing yourself to others. Discover your gifts and let them shine!" — Jennie Finch

5. Airing Grievances Before you go on social media and rant (Unless you're giving a PSA or sincerely asking for help) Stop, Think of Solutions, then Try to keep it to yourself. Musicians ranting to others about their, clients and/or other musicians, either in person or via social media is a huge turn-off. It appears to be attention seeking and seems that they lack self-control, it's also unprofessional and a waste of time and energy. You never know who in your future will see or hear what you're saying. Follow this rule: If you're not going to say it to their face don't say it to someone else's.

What other mistakes do you think musicians make?

I would love to know your solutions and advice.

Your Happy Musician

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