Goal Setting In 2019

So, it’s a new year, new you, all that bullshit, we are all going to die in a ditch anyway. But in the interim let’s maybe try to get your band somewhere hey? Such is the struggle and such is what we are hoping to tackle with this article by having a look see at some thoughts for goal setting in 2019. I have talked about a lot of this stuff before, and if you want to know more with this then I strongly STRONGLY suggest reading the Napoleon Hill classic Think And Grow Rich which continues to impact my life and approach to the music business every day. There are a few keys though that I have found really allow bands to grow in meaningful and sustainable ways rather than kind of stirring around in the sort of meaningless faff and doldrums that seem to get so many bands caught up in this day and age. It’s a struggle to be sure and one that we all need to sit down and think about as we grow.

First and foremost I want it to be very clear that it is good to have grandiose goals. It is good to say that you want to be the next KISS or to be the next Iron Maiden or whatever, as long as you specifically know what that is going to look like. You need to know specific numbers and have a clear idea of what ‘success’ is going to mean to you. Once you have that that is half the battle. It is always amazing to me how many bands have no more clear goal than to ‘make a living off music’ or ‘have this stop costing me so much goddamn money’. I mean those are fine goals, but how much do you need to be selling to achieve either of those? Where do you need to be targeting your project and what sort of changes do you need to make to your approach to ensure that you can achieve these goals? Just having a clear idea of what EXACTLY it is that you are looking for and having that in writing is going to be essential in growing your band.

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Once you know what your massive long term goal is then the next step you can take is to figure out what the incremental goals are for your band. This isn’t just a question of one, five and twenty year goals, this is a question of knowing how you want to be growing your band this month, next month and next quarter. It’s a question of having a quarterly breakdown of where you need to be creating content and the kind of content that you should be generating in order to maximize what your band is able to do and how it is able to grow. A lot of this might requite you to ask professionals and bands who are further ahead of you in their careers about what you should be doing. That’s fine. That’s exactly why one of the services I offer for bands is to build out detailed six month plans with 10-15 bullet points per month. It’s because you need to be able to sit down for your time to work on your band and have clear goals you are working towards that are easily achievable and which build towards your long term mission.

Now I think where a lot of bands get lost is in differentiating between action points and goals. I think that these things are both very important but they need to be equally respected and dealt with. Having good action points is important because it’s important to know when/where certain things should fall and what precisely you need to be working on, or at least have a general idea of these things. Having goals is a little bit trickier because they are the measurable things you want to be hitting. Sometimes a goal can be an action point like ‘record an album on this date’ but of course there are a ton of other steps so you need to sit down and figure those out. That can include things like deciding you want to have thee songs done by the end of the month. Well that means you need to set action items for yourself like that you need to finish a new song once every ten days. Having both clearly identified is key and is going to make sure that you don’t go completely crazy.

The final warning I want to leave you with is that things in the music industry take a lot longer than you expect. This can be for a variety of reasons. On the one hand its simply that we tend to be overoptimistic about how much we can get done in a specific amount of time and I think that this leads to a lot of tears over the long term. The other issue that people run into is that especially when you are a small DIY band and you are relying on other people you are not going to be the other persons priority and justly so. That’s just how things go and how people operate in the music world. It’s a brutal reality but one that we must all come to terms with unfortunately. This is the difficulty of band life and growing within this scene, it requires extreme patience and is going to be very frustrating to see that you aren’t going to be the priority and that at the end of the day musicians and people in this industry have their reputation as notoriously unreliable for a reason – it’s because they are notoriously unreliable.

So yeah, set up specific written goals, set up micro goals and then build action points around those goals. Practice radical patience and be self ware about where you fit in the scene. Once you are able to do those things your life becomes much easier and growth is going to happen. This is how any good small business is run and the way that people are able to see into a productive future for all of us. This is incredibly difficult and requires a lot of patience over the long term but this is the world you need to be in. So sit down, embrace it and grow. This is a lot of fun if done correctly and very frustrating if you let your goals be stale and too broad. Happy new year, don’t fuck up.

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