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Songwriting and The Entrepreneur Mindset.

By Justin Gray (Songwriter/Producer/Founder

When you break it down, there really are only two types of people. There are entrepreneurs, and there are employees. Every successful songwriter is an entrepreneur and the CEO of their own career. Being an entrepreneur requires a certain level of faith, stupidity, gumption, tenacity, and belief. Not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur. It can be risky, it can be scary and it is most certainly unstable. If you want stability, being an entrepreneur is not for you. If the concept of 99 "no’s" for every one "yes" feels emotionally draining, then songwriting is not for you. But that one "yes" can and will change your life. That one "yes" validates and confirms every single thing you have been thinking, chasing, and wanting. Your success as a songwriter is 100% dependent on your own initiative, and your ability to execute your vision. Are you prepared to sacrifice today’s comfort for tomorrow’s reward? Are you OK to take today’s flailing and turn it into tomorrow’s flying? Can you postpone instant gratification in exchange for a delayed payday? Here are five different ways to go from employee to entrepreneur, from worker bee to Queen bee, and start cutting your own checks.

Vision - What do you want? What do you see? How do you get there? Strategize from a professional point of view all of the steps that it takes to reach the top of your own personal mountain. What does your life look like two years from now? Build the steps that are going to get you there starting today. If you feel like your community of collaborators is small, or limited, how do you expand that community? Are you self-motivated and willing to take every step necessary to achieve your short, medium, and long-term goals? And what are those goals? Goals - Every successful entrepreneur and songwriter share the same common strategies. Short-term goals are goals that are meant to be easily achievable and satisfied. "I am going to write a song today." That is a short-term goal. "I am going to learn how to use logic." That is a medium-term goal. "I am going to get my song used in a major motion picture." That is a long-term goal. Each of these goals can be pursued co-terminus with each other. Small goals serve the bigger ones. "I am going to run a marathon" is a long-term goal. "I am going to run a mile" is a short-term goal. You can’t run a marathon without running the first mile. Can you? Execution - Having goals and creating a rule set for yourself is just the start of your journey. The next part is the execution. What are you going to do, and what steps are you going to take in order to achieve those goals? Is there a particular songwriter or artist that you want to collaborate with? How do you connect to those people? Or how do you connect to their people? Are you even ready creatively to put yourself into that situation? I’m a big fan of creating opportunities for people to be as successful as possible. Be realistic with yourself. Are you ready? If the answer is yes go for it! If the answer is "not yet" then wait until you are! You may only get one shot. Input - Inputting effort at 100% is truly the only thing that can and will move the needle. Are you willing to go for it with the very likely chance of ultimate failure? Speaking on this in the past, even the most successful songwriter will get that cut one out of every 10 times. The odds are remarkably low. The ability for you as a songwriter to accept those odds is paramount in pursuing and attaining your goals. Can you be told "No" almost every single time you pitch a song? Because that is reality. Wins are wins, and losses are lessons. It’s part of a songwriter and entrepreneur's DNA. Rolling with the punches. Output - Now that you’ve started to see success from the pursuit of your passion, what do you do next? How do you take that small victory and leverage it into another opportunity for an even bigger chance at more success? Learning how to compound small successes is a cornerstone to build in your career. Resting on your laurels is the biggest mistake that you can make. Input effort, output success. Get to the next level and input more effort in order to output more success. The CODA: Every successful entrepreneur knows intrinsically the strategies behind identifying an opportunity and creating the steps to achieve and bring to reality that elusive vision. Rome was not built in a day, but as an empire fell too quickly. Lose, learn, apply, and thrive. Then wake up and do it all again tomorrow. See you next week and keep writing them hits.


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