Mind Your Own F****!NG Business
By Justin Gray (Songwriter/Producer/Founder www.wearemdiio.com)
I mean it!
Mind your own business! Because… Nobody is going to mind your business for you.
I think it is an indisputable fact that creating music and writing songs is the fun part of our jobs. It is instant gratification coming from inspiration that hits us seemingly out of nowhere. Normies will never understand the intangible elation we music creators feel at the time we’ve completed writing an incredible song.
That adrenaline rush of listening to your creation playback from the speakers at an ungodly volume, and wanting to do it all over again the minute the last note fades. 99% of people don’t get it…and never will.
If you’ve never written the song, you cannot possibly appreciate this description. But also if you’ve never written a song, why are you reading a blog about songwriting?
So now what?
You’ve written another incredible song relegated to the hard drives and files on your computer or smartphone.
If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody’s there, does it make a sound?
Similarly, if you write an incredible song, but no one in the world hears it, did you write a song at all?
Here are five things you need to do to be the boss of your business, the catalyst of your career, and the maestro of your music media empire.
Writing the best songs - You will not succeed on the merits of mediocrity. Even good isn’t good enough. Most of the time, great and exceptional barely makes the grade. The likelihood of a song becoming a hit let alone even being recorded or synced is pretty low. I’m just trying to manage your expectations. What this means is that you need to always ensure that the caliber and quality of the work that you do is the best that you can do in that room, on that day. Keep in mind that it will not be the best ever, just the best up until now.
Self Admin - We’ve written the song, we’ve had fun in the studio, we laughed and enjoyed ourselves, maybe we even cried because we wrote something extremely emotional. That is the utter joy of being a songwriter and a creator of music. But once that’s done, too many songwriters minimize the importance of administration of their songs. Of course, they may not all get placed, but there are just certain steps that have to happen once this song is ostensibly complete. At the very least, at the end of every session you should be getting every collaborator's information, their PRO ID, acknowledge the title of the song, and one of you should be responsible for registering the song with your PRO directly. Not least of which is uploading your song to your www.MDIIO.com profile and tagging your collaborators.
Networking - Working is not only making the music in the studio. Working includes all of the socializing and non-musically creative initiatives that we also need to do to support our career. Literally the word “working“ is in the word “netWORKING.” Incredible collaborator relationships are born from socializing, and interacting in non creative environments. Parties, coffee hangs…whatever. Put yourself out there! Be bold! Make friends! Be social! (Note to self…please read that again).
Promotion - You would be surprised to know how many people are looking, even though you may not think they may be “looking.“ What does that mean? Be braggadocious on your social media without making other people feel bad. Shout out those that helped you get to the point where you can post about a career accomplishment. Shine your light on others around you. Creating some branding and promotion around your success even though it may be minimal will start to put a magnifying glass on what it is that you’re working on. No one likes a braggart. But everybody roots for humble and hard-working folks.
Leverage - We discussed the story of the red paperclip before. It’s the perfect analogy to leveraging one win into another opportunity, and then that opportunity into a bigger win, and then that bigger win into an even bigger opportunity, and then that even bigger opportunity into a huge win. I know that sounds like an oversimplified methodology of what “leveraging” your success means. In fact it’s really that simple. Learning how to take a small success and amplify it to create a new opportunity is key to minding your own business
The Coda: A few years ago there was a popular meme that said something like… What my parents think I do, What the world things I do, and what I actually do. Getting validated for your passion and self belief can be a lonely and challenging road. Every single person that has "made it" once sat in your chair, and walked in your shoes. The difference between them now, and you now, is that at some point they learned that everything they do is a building block for their career. So grab your shovel, put your concrete, and get to work!
See you next week, and keep writing them hits!