Don’t let the memory of a past experience hold you back or prevent you from trying again.
Everyone experiences failures. It’s a part of life.
The important thing is to learn from the things that didn’t work out for you. Take a step back from your failed attempts and try to remove your emotions from the situation. I realize how hard this is, but try to look at things analytically.
If the same thing were to happen to someone else, what advice would you give them? When you take a subjective look at the situation, be honest with yourself and ask, Why? What was missing? What could have been done differently?
For a developing artist, failed attempts are often the norm rather than the exception. In Canada, the first thing that jumps to mind is funding and grant application rejections from our government’s cultural organizations (FACTOR, BC Music, Alberta Music, SaskMusic, Manitoba Music, etc.). It can be a real drag to find out that your application was rejected. Especially after you spent so much time creating the “perfect” marketing plan… and you even printed it on pretty paper too!
There’s no lack of things to get you down when you live the life of an artist. Heartbreaking and frustrating things surround you (if you let them). Let downs such as your songs being rejected by radio programmers, promoters not accepting your band to play in their venue, being denied a slot on a festival, agents turning you down, managers saying you’re not ready for them, and of course… empty venues.
But… now you’re going to hate me for saying this, but it’s true: everything happens for a reason. Seriously. So what can you do about it? Well, here’s an idea, analyze that shit!
The world isn’t out to get you.
There’s a reason why each and every one of these things has happened, you owe it to yourself to figure out why.
Perhaps, now brace yourself, perhaps someone else’s song is better than yours. Or perhaps another song is more suitable to that radio station’s demographic? Or perhaps the production on your track isn’t up to par with commercial radio standards? Perhaps you don’t have enough touring experience to get that opening slot on that tour. Perhaps you haven’t done anything special to set yourself apart from the rest of the bands out there. Perhaps you have no fan base. Perhaps you’ve done zero marketing to grow your audience.
All of these potential reasons for your failed attempts should create an automatic Action Plan for you. Once you pinpoint what it is that’s holding you back, attack that shit and fix it! You owe it to your dreams to do everything you can to create the opportunities that await you.
Don’t let your past dictate your future.
Take control of your future, take control of Now. Throw away the tissue box, roll up your sleeves… and let’s get to work!
Need more inspiration on this topic? Here’s some of my favourite quotes on this subject:
“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”
“The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it: so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it.”
“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.”
—W. Clement Stone
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Now get out there and kick your past in the ass!