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Why Most Indie Music Groups and Labels Fail (Part 2)



6.)Taking Everything Personally

I heard a great piece of advice that has stuck with me for a long time-

“Once you stop taking anything personally, can you truly start to live.”

When you take things personally, you see everything as a personal attack on you. Most of the time, this is merely in your head- But by doing so, you anticipate and expect people to attack you personally … as a result you begin to see everything as a personal attack and react aggressively- attacking others personally. This is a vision cycle and a self fulfilling prophecy- Break the cycle and make a pledge to take absolutely NOTHING personally- Only you can decide who offends you! Make the choice! 

7.)Not taking Responsibility aka The Blame Game
We’ve all seen it before- the ball is dropped and everyone’s looking around, pointing fingers. Like #6 above, this is a vicious cycle that must be broken. If it is a team/collective unit/label you are trying to form, everyone is responsible for the success of the group- From the leader to the interns. Make a commitment to not allow for any excuses or complaining or blaming! It will only spread negative energy and infect everyone!

8.)Poor Communication

Just as in any personal relationship, Communication is essential in any business. For whatever reason communication breakdowns occur and small issues easily blow up into monstrous problems. Key people in the group are left in the dark on basic issues/ideas/goals. Everyone must be on the same ‘bus’- if they are not on the right bus, STOP and kick them off FIRST before you continue moving forward. Do not compromise on communication- make things clear, concise, and so easy even a 6 year old can understand it without confusion. Make sure open lines of communication are kept so any issues can be heard about early and dealt with before they grow.


Oftentimes in new ventures, there is a very tight budget – both in the business and personally for those committed to making the startup work. DO NOT allow your financial state, no matter how meager, to force your hand in making irrational, dangerous, stupid decisions (see #10 below). Stay committed to the bigger picture. If you have to eat rice and beans for 5 years to make it – commit to eating them and take pride. Pay your dues without resorting to begging, needless borrowing, or stealing.  There is no Honor among thieves and if you steal with a thief expect him to steal from you very soon.

10.) Not Encouraging Creativity and Embracing Change

David Foster spoke at the BMI songwriter Awards, giving a speech on advice for Songwriters ( He said to make every decision as if you have $1 million in the bank already.  Do not allow money or the desire of money or fame or sex to blind you from making great art. Learn to be schizophrenic – separate your mind into art and money. When art is being made, money is no object and a non-issue. When it’s time to make money, do worry about selling out – that’s the point ! You want to be sold out of your art/music/t shirts etc. Furthermore, do not hold on to the past and what may or may not have worked in the past – Change and uncertainty are the only constants in this universe and when you embrace that truth you will not only destroy fear but achieve greatness.

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