Don’t Underestimate Yourself
It hasn’t been a banner year for many people.
The economy has yet to make a significant recovery. People are struggling, even those with what I would consider to be extravagant incomes. This recession thing is something that we’re forced to participate in, whether we want to or not.
So, as we near the end of 2010, I consider it to be somewhat of a success just to be holding on…..keeping things status quo….as the new year approaches. I realize it will soon go one way or the other, because this holding pattern has only so much shelf life.
I program 5 radio stations in a state that has double digit employment, one of the highest on the West coast. And, unfortunately, our particular county is the second most impoverished county in the state. There are businesses closing. Former advertisers are either shutting their doors, or trying to make do with little or no budget to advertise.
The music industry is doing about the same. There are a few big names making big bank. Several others are holding their own, treading water, hoping that if they can’t sell units, they can fill seats with butts on tour.
And then, you have the new artists. Again, a handful are achieving their goals, financially and otherwise. But for the most part, it’s an uphill climb.
Part of that is unrealistic expectation. The way we’ve all been told and heard about as radio and records people is that sometimes, it’s being in the right place at the right time. Get to know somebody that knows somebody, and you may do well. That has been the storyline of many a music-based autobiography on television or in print.
The game has changed. Success has to be measured on a different level now. Today, being successful can’t be entirely based on sales if you’re a musician. And true musicians already know that, just like the radio industry, you’re not going to make big bucks unless you hit it big.
Many of us do what we do in this industry because we love it. Period.
You’re always better hiring a competent promoter, preferably one that has a track record of some success, because they’ll be honest with you. Believe me, most promoters won’t turn you away if you come to them with a project and a budget. Some will give your project a fair shot, but not work diligently enough to help you. There are those out there like that, and we’re thankful they are few and far between.
But make no mistake. If you’re good, they’ll go the extra mile to let that radio station PD or MD know more about you because they are legitimately excited about your music and want to see you succeed.
For most, success doesn’t happen overnight. Jewel and her mother slept in a car in San Diego after moving to Southern California from Alaska. Reality TV has helped artists become overnight sensations- until they’re voted off. Many won’t remember them in 2 years. Some are given enormous amounts of money so they can bring in top notch producers to help launch their careers.
Chances are, you’re a radio person that would love to making more money, in a bigger market, or a musician, that would love to be making more money, reaching more people if you’re reading this. The road is long. Bumpy. Not without pain and frustration and some blood and sweat, too.
But don’t sell yourself short. The game doesn’t end because you fail once or twice. You cannot know success completely and fully wihtout failing a few times. So, don’t underestimate your talents. And hope that as things improve on a national scale, entertainers will once again flourish.
Giving up early should never be an option.