We all have wished we could find that "one person", that company, A&R, or publisher who would hear our songs or see our art, and recognize our genius. Then, like the magic beans that grew into a beanstalk, we could sit safely on the side while all our dreams came true and the songs/music/art got out there, and money flowed in. However, there is one big flaw in this plan: It almost never works like that.
I took magic beans with me to Nashville a dozen times in my teens and 20s. Even 30s. Hoping that the person I was going to meet, be it a songwriter, a producer, a person at a label, or whoever, would see and hear in my music what I did: that it needed to be shared with the world. But each time, I met rejection, disinterest, or a hearty slap on the back.
“I really can’t help you.”
“This really isn’t for us”
“Keep trying, kid!”
Beans planted. No beanstalk. No golden goose.
You probably know the story from here. I built my own beanstalk. I am the giant, but I’m a friendly giant. And everyone can have the golden goose, as long as they work as hard as I do.
Work, not Beans
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” – Calvin CoolidgeIt wasn’t the magic beans that made the story, it was Jack’s determination, talents, and attitude. That’s what also makes the difference for creatives trying to navigate through the music industry. It’s not a contest at IMMERSE or So You Think You Can Dance, it’s not a showcase or art show where the “right” person sees you. It’s a never quit mindset where you aren’t focused on today, or what someone says about you, but about what legacy you leave on this earth as an artist.
To establish a creative life that means something, that will leave a lasting impression on this earth long after you are gone, means going ahead and putting the magic beans in a nice chili one night. While that is cooking up, make a list of what needs to be done now, next week, next month, and next year to further your creative career
What are the steps, the work, you need to do to make your creative career go?
Use Evernote, or some program to keep on your phone and computers, and refer to that when you are bored or in your quiet time, instead of endlessly scrolling on Facebook or Instagram. Keeping your goals and action steps in front of you is paramount in getting them done. Doing this for a creative career can be the difference between someone who has talent and is never heard, to a career that is remembered and art that is cherished by others.
Finding Someone to Help You Get Work Done
"No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude." - Alfred North WhiteheadBuilding your team to accomplish your action steps is the next most important thing. In almost any artistic career, the first thing to be doing is finding the right people in the genre you plan to attack. Research producers who can help you make music. Find the right programs you can study with for your particular craft. Who does work you like? Who looks easy to work with? Can you find contact information for them? Research the companies or online sites that can help you market your art once you make it. Can you contact them? Is it even time to contact them? Do you have quality works, the right branding for your stuff to even approach those people yet? (If not go back to Work, not Beans)
Sometimes you can start these relationship at events in your industry. Sometimes it’s a reach out on Facebook, or LinkedIn. Sometimes you know someone who can introduce you.
The main thing to remember is don’t count on magic beans to work. We have come full circle now. If I had relied only on an introduction and then waiting for that person to make my career go, I would have no career, and you wouldn’t be reading this now.
It’s not about beans. Beans are for Mexican food and gas. It’s about hard work. It always is. In any business. The entertainment business is no different.
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is a composer, author, and other creative things that he does often times right before or after eating beans, since they are in his diet! If you’d like to get help with what you are trying to do creatively, check out all the creative things he does at cre8iv.com or his personal site at EricCopelandMusic.com