Defining 'success' and 'failure'
June 15, 2011
Rich Gordon in Independent artist advice, failure, music advice, music success

I’ve been reading a lot of articles recently written from a variety of industry-specific perspectives, each of which has the same concept at its core - the concept of embracing your failures as a means to promote your successes. In essence, it’s learn by doing.

Fundamentally, I wholeheartedly agree with this concept. It’s important to get something wrong in order to know how get it right, and this is applicable across the board. This makes absolutely perfect sense whether in business, relationships, carpentry, etc. Whilst no one wants to consider that they’ve gone wrong somehow, it’s all part of the learning curve, and in the music world, it’s no different.

However, there is one thing that makes this concept difficult for me to fully accept, particularly in the music industry.

The assumption that success and failure can be clearly defined and quantified.

Success and failure are not just as clean-cut as people make them out to be. What is success to one person is another’s failure, and vice-versa.

Just because something didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped or planned, doesn’t make it a failure, it simply means that it hasn’t gone the way you’d hoped. The chances are, however, that you have gained something valuable from that negative experience.

Read more on RG Musicom’s blog…

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
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