A “Sound Matter Moment”
What often seems common in knowledge is uncommon in practice. Nowhere is this more evident than in what I call the “crock star” music business. I define “crock stars” as up-and-coming musicians who are basically full-of-it (i.e. shit), and full of themselves. The majority of what they tell you is a “crock.” They embellish, blow up, exaggerate, over-state, or outright lie about their actual progress. They can’t be told anything because (they believe) they already know everything. The truth is, they probably know quite a bit about music, but far less about the “business.” Many are often busier polluting themselves with booze and drugs, more than applying themselves to the craft they claim to be their calling. They’re shooting stars in their mind, but their overall attitude, outlook, and behavior is serving only to shoot themselves in the foot.
Bad Company’s classic track “Shooting Star” from their 2nd album, Straight Shooter, famously narrates the story of rock star excess gone bad, producing yet another music business casualty. But an often even more insidious casualty, in any business, is the casualty I call the common sense defense.
Don’t skip over the subtleties that produce real and lasting success as simply “common sense” – it turns out, common sense ain’t that common. Common sense principles are ideas, thoughts, and concepts that are known AND acted upon. Many people, hardly just musicians, “know” many things, but don’t “do” these same things in their daily lives. There’s little evidence of their claimed knowledge, actually showing up in their actions.
At times, I’ve had to defend the stuff that I write in my books, on my blog, and in my articles as simply “common sense.” Bullshit, I say… because if this stuff was so fucking common, more of the consumers of my content (or anyone’s content for that matter) would be more successful than they are.
Knowing and applying and doing are very different things.
Most artists, entreprenuers, and all types of trail-blazers want to know what to do, where to go, who to talk to, “so I can get my [insert product or service here] out there and get heard.” The problem is that they want a different response than what’s really required for success in any business. The honest answer isn’t sexy, it isn’t fast, and it isn’t easy or exciting… that’s why it’s fucking called WORK. And anything worth anything requires good old-fashioned hard work to achieve. This hard work includes the knowledge yes… the “sense”… but then goes far beyond that to include the intelligent and creative application of said “sense” to market yourself and your product effectively and consistently.
So what’s it gonna be? Are you willing to do what most others are unwilling to do? Are you willing to find out what it really takes to get to the next level? Are you willing to make the necessary sacrifices and endure the dips, peaks, valleys, ebbs and flows required to break on through? If so, then commence with more doing, and less talking. If not, then have the balls to shut the fuck up when you’re getting exactly what you’re earning based on your work ethic, or lack thereof.