If you’re in music or aspiring to be in the music biz and you’re not reading the “Lefsetz Letter,” you should. It’s free. Sign up at lefsetz.com to receive Bob’s posts in your inbox. After so many years writing about the music industry, Bob’s hooked up, and so many of observations are so spot-on, it’s a little scary.
For me, I don’t really have many aspirations on “making it” in the industry. I’m totally satisfied doing my 150-200 gigs a year (though it’ll be a lot less this year because of my hip replacement). As for the music that I write, it’s a work in progress. Some of it’s pretty good, most of it is mediocre, and I don’t really have a genre. I write what I write and that’s what I write. 🙂
But one thing Bob said in his most recent post really struck me. Here it is:
PERSEVERANCE IS KEY
And isn’t it interesting that the people who say they won’t quit do, and those who continue keepin’ on just do so silently. Perseverance is a skill, too often untaught in today’s instant gratification world. Greatness comes from frustration. If you haven’t lost sight of the destination, you’re on the wrong road.
Those last two lines sum it all up for me and my own life. As a musician, I’ve experienced some great success – albeit local. But where I’ve really experienced success is in my career as a software engineer. Somewhere along the line, while I didn’t lose my passion for making music, I developed a passion for creating great software.
Look, I think about music 24/7. I’ve always got tune ideas going through my head. But in a way, I’ve lost my way in my musical journey. I know that I could perhaps get lucky with one of my or maybe even some of my songs, but realistically, I don’t put enough time into getting my music out there so it can be discovered. I post it where I post it, and if people discover it, great. And I’m okay with that. On the other hand, I’ve built a solid career in software engineering, and to me, as far as that’s concerned, the sky’s the limit.
No, I haven’t settled with respect to my music. I just got sidetracked a bit. Moreover, doing music has never been about getting a record contract for me. It has always been about performing and playing. You see, I haven’t given up on music at all. I’ve just adjusted my delivery.
Admittedly, several years ago, I was frustrated that I couldn’t spend enough time honing my music writing skills. But I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’ve surrendered to the fact that the path I’ve chosen with my life has led me to where I’m at now. I’m happy to be able to gig as much as I do. I’m happy creating songs, even if I don’t “make it” in the industry. As I tell the young musicians and singers with whom I work in my church band, “You wanna be good at this? Play as much as you can, and keep on playing. That’s the only way you develop. You can’t get it from any books or any class. Music is all about application.”