The season of the music conferences has started again. Right now it’s Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany, next month Womex, Amsterdam Dance Event and many more will follow. Most of them have several keynote speakers, highly successful and established people from within the music business to share their story and hopefully their secrets.
Often you can hear really entertaining stories about the life of those successful people. Still, when talking about business, many of them try to convince you that you can become just as successful as they are, if you copy what they did in the past.
I’ve always been a bit suspicious to that kind of messages. This video I spotted last week fully confirmed me in my suspicion: “Why you shouldn’t trust successful people’s advice”. It takes only 4,5 minutes.
The video shows you how much being successful or failing is depending on pure luck. Often, the same behavior will result in winners and losers. If you only listen to the story of the winners, you will never discover that the same behavior results in losers too.
Following the advise of many famous musicians, you might think getting signed by a major record company will automatically result in worldwide success and over 5 years you will sell out arenas. That is, if you haven’t have talked to the countless musicians who have been signed by a major record company, and who have been dumped again. They are worse off than before they were signed, because they signed away the rights to their own songs.
There are similar stories regarding booking agencies and too high expectations. I know of many starting musicians, who think that once they have a booking agent, an endless amount of shows will appear. As if the booking agent has a pile of shows to hand out to the bands he/she is working for. Well, as booking agent I wished it would work like that! In the end, all is depending on the audience and on how to create an audience.
“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on somebody else’s.” (Joseph Campbell)
Keynote speeches are entertaining and can be inspiring. They can help you to learn more about the speaker and about the circumstances the speaker had to deal with. Still, nobody can tell you how your road to success will look like. You have to sort out your own path, not knowing if it will lead you to success or failure. And as long as you don’t have a guarantee, why not just do what you like to do most 🙂
If you need a compass to find your own path, I’m happy to coach you. Find more information here.