Have you ever heard of:
- That it is impossible to live off his music?
- That you really should find another job or have a backup plan?
- That “real” artists are doomed to never earn enough money?
- That the only ones who succeed are those who sell their souls and sacrifice their art?
As musicians, we hear this type of affirmation every day.
And for good reason, the vast majority of musicians are totally broke. And worse, they are proud of it.
A broke artist is an artist who believes that he must sacrifice his material well-being if he wants to produce works of art worthy of the name. Generally his income is very limited and he is inspired by more or less cursed artists to indulge in his mentality.
Of course, the broke artist secretly dreams of some success, but having trouble breaking through, he justifies his situation by invoking the fact that the music industry is reserved for the sold anyway and that his art is better than that.
In short, he blithely denigrates those who succeed and those who fight not to remain broke artists.
So, personally, I don’t try to reason with these people, because it’s very often lost in advance.
However, I have chosen to write this article so that you will not fall into the same trap because of a lack of patience. Because it is this fatalistic mentality that makes a large number of musicians abandon their dreams.
1. No entrepreneurial skills + bad mentality = Broke and frustrated artist
Broken artists refuse to acknowledge that their success depends above all on themselves and not on others.
Yes, it is difficult to succeed in music, but there are many ways to stay in control of your art, to be financially independent and not have to sacrifice anything.
As we have already seen, you don’t need to play in front of millions of people to earn a living, just 1000 can be enough.
But for that to happen, we must stop rejecting the commercial aspect of a musical career and take responsibility.
Becoming a professional musician requires talent, but also knowing how to perpetuate such a project.
The profession of musician has changed enormously in recent decades. Not everything is perfect, but absolutely nothing condemns an artist to remain broke, except his own mentality.
No, you don’t need to suffer or take a vow of poverty to be a true artist. Your art will not be better and I would even tell you that it is often the other way around.
We must stop considering the music industry as your enemy and stop seeing the world in black and white.
Today, almost all intermediaries have disappeared or been transferred. As a result, you no longer have any excuse not to sell your music directly to your fans. It is a method, actually, but there are many others for all types of musicians.
A broke artist is a bitter amateur musician who rejects professionalization, because he does not understand that the profession of musician is not innate.
Despite all the talent you can have, in 99% of cases, you don’t know how to develop yourself from A to Z and grow your musical career over time.
You certainly have a rather vague idea that came to you while observing other musical projects. But it is often far from reality or totally outdated, such as waiting to be noticed by a label or manager.
As a result, most emerging artists will work hard in one direction, without realizing that they are missing the most important elements of their development.
Without hindsight, they will focus on R, S and T rather than A, B and C, and then complain that the system is against them.
The truth is, you have every chance. Anything is possible. But have you really tried everything?
The music market does not lack opportunities contrary to what you might think. There are for you and there are for the others.
But to enter them, you must:
- Train you to be able to identify them
- Prepare yourself to give what is expected of you
- Have the mentality of a Musician-Entrepreneur and realize that you too have your chance
And this last point is crucial. Everything can change depending on your mentality. It all revolves around that.
Patience is necessary, but it is your way of seeing things over time that will allow you not to give up and move forward during periods of doubt.
2. Don’t listen to them, be flexible and positive
By filling your mind with negative thoughts about your career, you compromise all your chances of success.
The problem is that too many artists are complacent in pessimism, bitterness and fatalism.
They have failed after trying one (1) method, they are happy to be able to shout from the rooftops that music is not a viable vocation and… they persist in the same direction or give up.
The broke and frustrated artists:
- Wait and pray instead of acting with discernment
- Do not take care of themselves and their careers
- Complain that no one recognizes their talent
- Are not ready to do what they should really do
- Feel that they do not need to be trained
- Do not want to implement a long-term strategy
- Victimize themselves to justify their inability to aim higher
- Seek to delegate everything, when they cannot afford to pay someone
- Sabotage their musical project and remain forever amateur musicians
Maybe you recognized yourself in one or more of these points. This is normal, because we all go through it (or we all have) one day.
However, transformation in your career happens when you start to radically change your mentality and become aware of the bad habits you have taken that prevent you from moving to the next level.
Let’s take the very concrete example of the artist-fan relationship to illustrate bad habits and how your state of mind can change everything.
If you want to build a strong community, you need to be confident. No one wants to follow a depressed musician who begs and says he has no chance.
In the same way, as for sports teams, for example, fans want to support a winning musical project that demonstrates its full potential and has a plan to conquer the world.
They want to be part of an adventure and not follow an artist out of pity.
If the artist triumphs, so do the fans. But if you only talk about your failures and difficulties on a daily basis, your fans will lose all their enthusiasm, because they already have to deal with their own problems and don’t want yours.
Of course, you must be transparent and authentic with the public.
But highlighting that you are a broke artist is the best way to scare everyone away.
Your goal as an artist is to bring people together by sharing positive vibes and joy. If you just talk about how difficult your career is to manage, it can only be harder.
So stay positive, inspire and share your successes above all.
No one is interested in your moods, either on social networks or in real life. If you want to be a professional musician, act like one. Save your negative emotions for your next album.
By correcting such a bad habit, you can be sure that your relationship with your fans will experience an unprecedented leap and that your networking will be more effective.
The mentality of the broke artist takes you away from interesting opportunities, but also helps to drive away fans and professionals.
You CAN succeed. Anything is possible today, but you need to be patient, flexible and open-minded if you want to build a real musical career, rather than remain an amateur musician forever.
Do not be discouraged by those who have failed before you and understand that your mentality is above all else in your success.