Hey Abundant Musicians!
As we continue talking about the skills you have already acquired and achieved through your musical training that will also help you as you venture down the path of business success, I want to talk about something that I know without a doubt has been a driving force for my own success.
THE ART OF DETERMINATION.
Throughout my life, the one thing that has remained constant for me has been my music. For anyone who is unfamiliar with me, I grew up in Australia. And not just in one town in Australia. I think by the time I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I had been to 8 different schools across three states of Australia, and I also moved to the US to complete my masters degree in Iowa. I have moved a lot, have seen a lot, and have adapted a lot throughout my life. It's all been very positive, but as you can imagine, I love things that remain constant in my life. That has been music.
My love of music, and of the study of music has led me to achieve and experience extraordinary things, but as I’m sure you can all agree with, the opportunities didn’t come without effort.
THE COMMITMENT TO MUSIC STUDY IS NOT A SMALL ONE.
We all like to talk about how we live and breathe our music, how it takes over every part of our lives, and in reality it does. But, it will only really provide us the opportunities we dream of if we are determined to do the work, put in the hours and sacrifice a LOT!
I think being a musician is one of the best ways to develop that sense of determination and grit, and I also believe this determination, this grit, is the largest, most career defining skill set I have developed. Without my stubborn determination to achieve my goals, I would not be where I am today. Guaranteed.
I have so many personal stories about being determined and how much my life has been impacted by this one skill set, but rather than telling you all of them, let's talk about why this is a skill, and how it can set you up for success in your entrepreneurial endeavours. (and maybe I’ll give you another juicy story along the way).
When you set out to become a musician, it may not have been something you thought you would do forever (and it still might not be). Perhaps it was a hobby you picked up when you were really young, or it may have been something you’d always wanted to do as a kid, but didn’t have the opportunity until much later.
WHATEVER YOUR STORY WAS AT FIRST, IT'S LIKELY THAT YOU WERE EXCITED TO LEARN, AND THAT YOU WERE TOTALLY LIT UP BY THE *MOST LIKELY* LESS THAN MAJESTIC SOUNDS COMING OUT OF YOUR INSTRUMENT.
It didn’t matter to you though if you sounded horrible, you loved it and were excited, and wanted to get better and better until you were the best! Or at least, until you could play mary had a little lamb without stopping.
UNTIL YOU BECAME YOUR BEST.
Now, If and when you set out to become an entrepreneur, the start of your journey will be very similar. You’ll have an idea. You’ll be thrilled by it. Excited, lit up and ready to take on the world! You’ll work on your idea instead of sleeping. You’ll daydream about your idea, and you’ll likely imagine all the success you’re going to have! You’ll be so motivated to build something awesome that you’ll do anything you have to in order to get it started. Even if it's horrible.
You’ll set goals, achieve them, and learn to get better along the way.
BUT, WHAT HAPPENS IN MUSIC WHEN THAT ALLURE OF THE NEW AND EXCITING THING WEARS OFF?
Have you ever taught a student and seen the week in which things got harder for them and they realized that they needed to work hard to improve? Perhaps you’ve even experienced this yourself.
I have. SO MANY TIMES!
This is going to happen in your business journey also. You’re going to get tired, bored and sick of it. You’re going to feel like everything sucks and that no one is interested in what you do. You’re going to hit a wall and realise that you don’t yet have the skill or knowledge you need to overcome that hurdle. You might decide that you need to take time away from Instagram and hash-tagging everything and building your platform.. no? Just me?
FORTUNATELY, WE ARE ALL TRAINED TO DEAL WITH THIS.
If you didn’t have this skill, you wouldn’t have found this blog, or have reached your current level of musical ability. You would have given up long ago.
Determination is a coveted personality skill that people actually study to learn! Middle Schools now try to teach their students the art of determination and grit as a means for success. There are countless numbers of books on this topic available for purchase on amazon and in book stores, and if you google “learn to be determined”, there are so many blogs and articles on it it's hard to believe.
IN THIS, YOU’RE ACTUALLY AHEAD OF THE AVERAGE PERSON BECAUSE OF YOUR MUSICAL TRAINING.
Determination is so highly regarded as a skill because it shows you are motivated to succeed, and likely to work hard and get things done. You have an inner drive for success, and will achieve both short term and long term goals effectively.
Sound familiar yet?
When you set out to become an entrepreneur it will require you to set very clear goals along the way. You will have to set large goals, then have little sub-goals within these, which is so similar to what you’ve done as you’ve learned to play your instrument.
Having the ability to keep going when things get tough or uncomfortable is not something that the majority of people develop through their lives, and for the average college-level musician (let's say they started playing music in 6th grade and are now sophomore in college), that’s 8 years of developing this skill.
Have you thought about how much you’ve achieved in the years you’ve been a musician because you pushed yourself to do it?
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU ALMOST QUIT, BUT THEN KEPT GOING BECAUSE YOU WERE DETERMINED TO SUCCEED NO MATTER WHAT?
It happens to all of us for sure, but those of us who have developed the ability to keep pushing through the struggles, and keep striving to succeed have an incredibly special ability that sets us ahead in the business world.
Being an entrepreneur is not always an easy path. While you get the incredible opportunity to set your own goals, schedules and share what you have to offer with people in your own way, you will also have to overcome many challenges and obstacles.
YOUR (NOW) INNATE ABILITY TO KEEP PUSHING AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD REGARDLESS OF THE FRUSTRATION AND FEAR IS WHAT IS GOING TO DRIVE YOUR SUCCESS IN YOUR BUSINESS, AND KEEP YOU ON TASK.
We’re all so familiar with the struggle, but you should definitely give yourself credit for your ability to overcome and conquer your challenges. It's going to be your superpower in business.