One of the many perks and blessings of a successful career in music is that you get to pursue something you love. And not only that, your unique voice and personality are a vital part of the gift that you shake up, unwrap, and take out to play for others on a regular basis.
Sadly for many the values and goals that drive many to pursue their singing success are not always positive and in fact can be destructive. Far too often the focus in our culture tends to be more on self-service for the sake of becoming a star.
Think about it. If you were to ask a random group of people to describe the character traits of successful singers, performers, musicians and others in the entertainment industry, the list would likely not be very flattering.
Granted you might hear terms such as gifted or talented or wealthy. However the terms that would probably come up with greater frequency might be things like: self-centered, flaky, spacey, spoiled, impulsive, weird, insecure, scattered or different.
For whatever reasons, there is a generally accepted perception of artists as being irresponsible or out of touch with reality. A lot of this is perpetuated by people that either donâ€™t see themselves as being artistic or find the arts intimidating or even frivolous.
There are some creative types that feel called to break rules for the sake of drawing attention. But even if things like shock value or being the center of attention appeal as driving forces for your career, they must be thoughtfully and carefully orchestrated in order to be effective.
You have the power to make a positive impact on others with your gifts. There are a number of qualities that can be turned into daily practices to help enhance and engage the full potential of your unique talent. These practices will help you achieve, enjoy and maintain a successful, healthy, affirming career for the long haul. Itâ€™s all up to you.
One area that separates those that flicker and sputter or flash and crash from those that rise and shine or heat up and shed light is having a clear sense of purpose outside of wanting fame, fortune and power.
Lifestyles Past the Rich + Famous
If you sing because you want to be rich, famous, and powerful, youâ€™ll place yourself at the mercy of emotional and mental instability as well as physical exhaustion from frustration and disappointment. It sets you up to gauge your self-worth and joy in singing by popularity and sales numbers.
You ideally should love to sing and want to do it whether or not you’re pursuing a career. That love for singing or the joy it brings will help you get through the lean and mean times that can be hard to handle.
What Your Audience Needs
Itâ€™s not to say that the numbers donâ€™t matter. But the numbers you generate with your fan base and product should come as the result of something greater than wanting to be rich, famous, or a power player. Instead of a focus on profits or making money, your focus needs to be on what you bring to your audience.
Once you place your focus on a defined image, a unique sound, a clear sense of purpose in what you represent as a singer and artist, you then have a healthy, positive career track to strive for, drive daily, and arrive in style.
Purpose Not Profits
The quality of your work and what you stand for are what give you value and will be a part of what attracts your audience. So, instead of focusing on profits and how much you can amass, focus on your purpose in singing, performing, and entertaining and what you can do to build on that.
But instead of getting too focused on packaging, boxing in, framing, marketing, and delivering a product, think more in terms of feelings you wish to evoke. Think about information or enlightenment you want your singing to provide in terms of subject matter or style. Think about content for connecting or communicating with your audience not about delivering a neatly boxed or bundled product.
Serve to Give
Thatâ€™s not to say that product and marketing don’t matter. But in order to have lasting success, your focus and commitment must be on how you can serve your audience and those you work with. Always focus on what you need to give your audience and those you work with on stage or in the studio. How much you make financially will come as a result of the quality and generosity of what you give.
Rely On Your Strengths
People that are successful in any field confront their fears and learn from mistakes. They focus on their strengths and draw from them to help fight through fears and disappointments. They use their strengths to recover from injury and to help process any times where they have fallen short or messed up.
Grow Your Fan Base
Successful singers not only know their audience, but they grow their audience, and by not just filling a need or singing requests. They grow their audience by pulling them in with occasional surprises such as new material that often triggers to need for fans to hear more.
The Power to Give Back
Many artists choose to support community-minded or social-conscious projects they believe in to help make a positive difference. They take what’s perceived as the power they have as a popular public figure and turn it into responsibility. They give back to their communities. They support life-affirming causes or environmental issues. A sense of giving back will help to keep your values positive, your focus on others, and can serve to keep your ego in check.
Cheers for Peers
Successful singers also learn from their peers. There is a true sense of community among healthy artists. You should be open to sharing ideas. Learn from each other. Donâ€™t tear each other down; but instead, be supportive and encouraging.
Use the forums, products, clips, and other resources at SSTV to help you refine your purpose and focus as a singer, singer-songwriter, singing musician, or other music industry professional.
Share your ideas on how to use your gifts to encourage others as you grow your fan base and widen your circles of connection.