Being a musician is not for everyone. It's a hectic business where only a few will end up making it, (whatever the term, "Making It" specifically means to you). The big question is whether you've got the right personality for this business...
Not every musician's goals are alike and this means day-to-day efforts will vary greatly from person to person. Since being a musician in 2015 is a 100% "do it yourself career," the road will not be easy, and due to this fact, most young musicians will fail on this career path.
Read the points below. If you identify with any of them, consider trying to adapt to their opposite – or accept their detrimental effect on your progress. Overall, realize that the path to being a professional musician in today's world is long and winding road. If you don't feel that you would ever be able to permanently change any of the points outlined below... You may need to re-think the idea of "professional musician" as a career path.
1. You don't take rejection or criticism well
"No" is something you will undoubtedly hear many, many times as an independent musician. You're going to be turned down by record labels. Venues and booking agents will pass when you try setting up a show. Music writers will give you bad reviews – or may not even give you the time of day in the first place. Handling it all gracefully and constructively is paramount. Don't let it diminish your ambition. Keep trying, and think about how good it'll feel when you finally see positive feedback or hear, "yes."
2. Multitasking is difficult for you
"Do it yourself" means exactly that. Unless you're lucky enough that people volunteer to help you out or you can afford to hire a team right off the bat, you're going to have to handle every aspect of your career. That means booking your own shows, making your own promo, hitting up writers and outlets for press, running your social media pages, and more. If you can't juggle all of that and keep your personal life intact, you're probably not cut out for this.
3. You're an extreme perfectionist
Mistakes are bound to happen. If you're the type of person who internalizes mistakes, you're going to hate yourself within the first six months of your career.
You could order 150 T-shirts without noticing a glaring typo in your band name. You might accidentally offend your followers on social media. At your biggest show yet, you might fall off the stage. And all of that is okay. It might help to remind yourself that you're not the only imperfect one – everybody fumbles from time to time. Learn to bounce back and keep moving ahead. very few things will work out perfectly in your day to day musical life. Learn to take things in stride and move on.
4. You dislike networking
Making connections with promoters, booking agents, other bands, writers, and basically anybody operating in today's independent musical realm is crucial. You never know if someone might be able to help your career; networking with everyone you possibly can should be your goal. If you aren't good at making friends, chit-chatting, putting people at ease quickly, (plus able to do this both online and in person), you'll stunt your progress significantly.Being a musician today, means getting people to like you very quickly. A bright, positive naturally out-going personality is a huge factor to your success.
5. You don't like hard work
Being an independent musician is extremely time consuming (we're talking seven days a week time consuming), and it is often very difficult to stay positive as you push ahead. You have to perpetually push forward – sometimes literally, like all your gear up a flight of stairs into a venue. Only those with amazing work ethics will tend to survive!
You don't have to be excited about the physical labor part, but for everything else, you should be enthusiastic. Making music is what you love to do, right? Then, spending hours emailing writers about your band, giving up an entire weekend to practice ahead of next week's big show, and pinching pennies to save for your tour shouldn't discourage you. Instead, those efforts should serve to further fuel your ambition.