November 19-Measuring Success
“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” -Thomas Wolfe
Success for a musician is often measured in numbers. Whether it’s draw at a venue, record sales and downloads, visits to a site or the number of friends we’re generating at myspace.com, numbers are the measure of our achievement. Numbers determine our ability to move forward, to be re-booked at a club, to generate enough income from one recording project to begin another.
The outward gauges of success are often elusive. Any great task, even when properly approached, thought of and worked upon does not always succeed. In the music business, more than perhaps any other arena, success is based on luck, timing, connections and the fickle support of a particular group of people for a certain amount of time. Our success in music will wane and waver and will leave us wondering about our significance, if measured only in money, publicity and compliments.
Instead of seeking fame for yourself as an artist, seek value. William Menninger, a turn of the century psychoanalyst, states there are six essential qualities that are key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, and charity.
As you go about your daily music round, consider these six attributes and incorporate them into your thoughts about success in your art. Be sincere in your craft. Have personal integrity when dealing with others. Be humble when accolades are aimed at you. Be courteous to everyone you meet as you travel. Adopt a student’s mindset and seek wisdom from others. Be charitable and truly give of your time, talents and spirit.