How to Stay Inspired When You’re Just Starting Out

One reason why so many musicians give up on seriously pursuing Music Licensing is because they want immediate results. While Music Licensing gives you immediate bragging rights when your music is heard on a TV show, Film, or Commercial by millions of people all over the world, it doesn’t necessarily give you immediate financial results. So, if you're looking for a quick fix to pay next month's rent, this isn't it. 
 
What it does give you, however, are LONG TERM results. Let me say that again… Licensing your music for TV, Film and Commercial placements gives you LONG TERM RESULTS.
 
How many job opportunities allow you to still get paid for your work 5, 10, even 15 years later? Not many. But, like anything worth doing, it takes time and effort to get that ball rolling.  
 
If you were to get a song placed today, right at this very moment, it’ll take between 9 and 12 months before that placement starts showing up in your quarterly performance royalties. The upfront licensing fee will come sooner, but the point is, it will take time to get paid.  

TWO TYPES OF SUCCESS

One way to stay inspired is to consider the two types of success, and determine which path you're going to follow. 
 
An On-Purpose success is the result of following a proven system that delivers predictable results. This allows you to repeat that success.
 
An On-Accident success is the result of luck. Right place, right time, right opportunity. This success often can't be repeated.

On-Accident Success

Anyone can have an on-accident success. This happens all the time - someone played their song for a family member, who sent it to a friend, who forwarded it to their cousin, who played it for his girlfriend, who's brother knows a girl who knows a guy who works as a key grip on a tv show and could possibly get it to the assistant director, who might then be able to forward it along to the music supervisor...
 
That song gets a placement 'on-accident,' and that's it. Why? Because this situation is not easily repeatable. How many times can this particular show play that one specific song behind a scene? Once, maybe twice if you're lucky.
 
But what about all the other shows out there? Do those music supervisors or editors have any access to this song? Is it in their databases, with searchable metadata? Chances are it's not.
 
An on-accident success is not easily repeatable.

On-Purpose Success

On-purpose success is sustainable, and ultimately, creates a career. When you follow a proven system, you are able to implement the same strategy over and over, from song to song. This allows a broad market of end users to search and license your tracks repeatedly.  
 
So, what is a system? A System:
  1. is a process you can write down and hand to someone.
  2. gives predictable results. 
  3. works regardless of personality.
  4. works regardless of how competitive the market is.
When you have a proven system that gives you predictable results, you can be an On-Purpose Musician verses an on-accident musician.
 
Being On-Purpose with your music licensing career creates consistency. One placement becomes two. Two placements become three, three becomes four, etc. As you continue to follow the system, before you know it, you'll have 20, 30, 40 and 50 placements.  
  • Consistent Placements = Consistent Royalties  
  • Consistent Royalties = Consistent Income
  • Consistent Income = Long Term Financial Freedom

So, how do you stay inspired?

By focusing on the big picture and managing your expectations. Long-term success always trumps instant gratification.
 
Starting any business will always require work, and make no mistake, this is a business first and foremost. You are providing a musical service to end users (music supervisors, editors, directors, producers), and your music is helping them realize their vision for the show, film or commercial.  
 
When you take initiative, follow a proven system, invest the required time and effort, and believe in yourself, you WILL achieve On-Purpose Success.
 
If the prospect of long-term success doesn't inspire you, I don’t know what will.
What keeps you inspired?  Share your thoughts and experiences with the rest of us, and comment below.

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