Category Archives: Muze

Musicians: 4 Key Areas to Invest Your Money

Last time I appeared on the Muze blog, I pointed out that time may be the most important asset of all to invest wisely. How you invest your time will dictate the outcome of your projects — however, so will the ways you invest your money.

A dollar well-spent can open new doors for your career, and there are talented professionals across the industry, offering services that can bolster your creative vision.

Ready to invest your money to advance your music career? Here are a few suggestions to help you on your way…

Musicians: 4 Key Areas to Invest Your Time

As a musician, what comes to mind when you hear the phrase “invest in yourself?”

Most people hear “invest,” and their minds immediately jump to finances. And, because the stereotypical “starving artist” doesn’t have much in the way of disposable income, hearing the “I” word can send shivers up the spines of independent musicians.

However, money is not the only asset available for creatives to invest. One could argue that time is even more valuable, and it’s an asset that we all have, regardless of our finances.

How you use your time will almost certainly determine how far you go in the music industry. If you’re looking for where to begin investing yours, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions.

Beginning Your Music Career? No More Procrastination!

Humans are masters at procrastination, especially when it comes to taking on a difficult task. As we all know, starting a music career – much like any creative endeavor – can be synonymous with the word “difficult.” You’re building a platform from zero, with no clear indication of how long it will take, or what challenges lie on the road ahead. Scary stuff!

Not only is procrastination a great way to not accomplish your goals; it’s harmfulA 2013 study from Psychological Science shows that procrastinators “end up suffering more and performing worse” than their counterparts. Indeed, those same fears that appear in place to protect us are actually hurting us in the long run.

The antidote to those fears – and the key to achieving your creative vision – is simple: Just start. Today, we’re going to take it a step further, and break down the excuses we make that often get in the way.

Why Risk Taking is Essential to Your Music Career

Taking risks is the only way to grow.

We’ve all heard that advice and perhaps we’ve even egged our fellow musicians and creatives on in such a way, as they’ve danced with their fears of the unknown.

However, in times of big decisions – of the choice between taking the leap, or playing it safe – we often find this advice most difficult to take ourselves.

Here’s why, even in the face of fear, risk taking not only worthwhile, but necessary to our creative journeys.

As a bonus, here’s a song about risk taking from our friend, Lord Goldie

Musicians: Here’s How to Make SMART New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time again! Time to say goodbye to one year, while welcoming in a brand-new 365-day sprint full of endless possibilities. You know what else that means? It’s time to make your New Year’s Resolutions!

I can hear the questions now: “What’s the point? Does anybody ever keep their New Year’s Resolutions?”

Well, sure. If you’re SMART about it…

The reason New Year’s Resolutions have a reputation of falling by the wayside somewhere around mid-January is because many people don’t build in parameters to ensure their success. Sure, we can resolve to “write more songs” and “play more shows,” but those vague proclamations don’t give us any true benchmarks.

That’s where the SMART goal setting philosophy comes in. The acronym SMART stands for:

Specific: Does your goal contain words that will inspire particular actions?
Measurable: Are there metrics/data benchmarks that signify success?
Achievable: Are the goals within your scope, and attainable within the established timeframe?
Relevant: Are your goals relevant to your overall mission?
Time-bound: Do your goals have a specific deadline?

There! Now you’re more empowered to set SMARTer goals than ever before. (See what we did there?)

If you’re looking for some ideas on how to put this philosophy into action, here are a few to get you started.

Identifying Your Fears (and Ways to Push Past Them)

My “Navigating the Creative Journey” series (which I’m officially titling for the first time, right now) continues at the Muze blog with an acknowledgement of something that all must face and address.


This idea was actually inspired in part by some of our previous work here at Muze. Back in January, my colleague Luke wrote an insightful piece – which included personal examples – about the fears that hold musicians back from performing their craft, and wrapped it up with a beautiful resolution that encourages aspiring and emerging artists to douse their apprehension by enjoying the creative process itself.

Now that 2022 is winding into its final stages, I thought now would be a good time to re-visit the topic of fear. Specifically, I’m interested in diving into the specific, existential fears creatives may encounter when stepping out into the professional wilderness, and ways that we can navigate through them.

If you find yourself held back by overarching fears, my hope is that this piece provides you with the antidote to overcome – or at least, manage – your fears.

Control Your Controllables: Remaining Focused on Your Musical Journey

Over the past several weeks, we’ve generously acknowledged the up and down nature of the creative journey. There will be triumphant highs alongside disheartening lows and, as we well know, the key to enduring is to ride the waves, stay level-headed and focused, and keep pushing forward with patience and persistence.

Today, I’m here to throw another variable into the equation: the notion of control.

Along your journey, you are virtually guaranteed to encounter circumstances beyond your control, and they just might throw a wrench into your plan.

  • Playing an outdoor gig? That gig – and many times, the number of people in attendance – is at the mercy of the weather.
  • Have a co-write scheduled? Sometimes, life happens, and people need to reschedule. You might even run into an unavoidable conflict once in a while.
  • Did you put your best foot forward when submitting to an opportunity? Well… it’s still up to somebody else to decide if you will receive that opportunity, and the music industry — much like life itself — offers us no guarantees.
  • Even if you’re the kindest person on Earth, you will encounter people who are not kind in return. You will have conflicts, and you will run into criticism from time to time.
  • Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the early 2020s have presented industry-wide challenges that were, in many ways, completely out of our hands. (Lookin’ at you, ‘rona…)

Even despite our best efforts and wishes, the fact is that countless factors exist outside of our own influence, and some of them can lead to disappointment. However, the more we focus on that disappointment, the more powerful it becomes.

What’s an emerging musician to do, then? Simple.

Control your controllables.

No matter what the world throws your way, you still have an opportunity every day to re-center and focus on what is within your own individual sphere of influence. As you’ll see in this article, the list of your controllables is not especially long. Nonetheless, it’s important to know where to direct your attention when everything around you seems to be going haywire.

What are these “controllables,” you ask?

4 Ways Your ‘Day Job’ Can Help Your Music Career

If you’ve been reading along at the Muze blog over the past several weeks, you may be noticing a pattern: we’ve been talking a lot about the creative process, and how success in the music industry is not a destination, but a journey.

We’ve covered ways to find joy in the process itself, and we’ve shared tips on how to keep yourself functioning at an optimal level as you move, step by step, toward greater artistic fulfillment. These ideas are great to keep in mind, no matter where you are on your road to success.

For many of us – especially those starting out – continuing down that road and keeping all aspects of our lives in balance can feel easier said than done. This is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of us who embark on a creative path do so without industry connections, and with finite resources (i.e. the cash necessary to feed the beast) to help us along the way. At one point or another, most of us will be employed outside of our passions in order to keep them going.

Although it can feel daunting to get up and go to a job – especially one you don’t like – when you’d rather be working on your vision, the good news is that there are still many positives to take forward from this leg of the journey. In fact, your seemingly unrelated “day job” might hold the keys to your success down the road.

Wellness and Creativity: 7 Tips for Top Performance

A couple weeks back, we examined the idea (i.e.; the absolute myth) of overnight success. Despite all superficial appearances, the sudden media darlings that we encounter in the world of entertainment have put in years – perhaps even decades – of work to have that one moment that, in the public’s purview, puts them on the map.

In case you haven’t read that piece (and would like a partial spoiler), we established that success is not a destination, but a journey; a continuous process marked by incremental steps that serve to bring us to a better version of our creative visions, every single time. We covered the ways to improve your mindset and your circle, so that you can find the inspiration to keep going – even when the going gets tough.

Those tactics are only a piece of the puzzle. The fact is that our creative journey is powered by the human being behind it, and that human being has undeniable physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that must not be ignored. Making sure these needs are met makes it more likely that we will be able to function at an optimal human level, making it just a tad easier to show up for our lofty goals and aspirations.

If we don’t show up for those needs? We’re only making our own journeys more difficult.

With that, let’s dive into some wellness practices that will help you maximize your human performance, while making your creative output a little more robust!

Overnight Success: The Music Industry’s Greatest Myth

It takes a long time to be able to fill rooms like this…

You’ve seen it in the news. You’ve heard it on the radio. Your friends and family have talked about it, whenever it apparently occurs. Somebody, previously unknown by the masses, has a big moment and quickly gains traction and relevance in the public eye. Opportunities begin pouring in, and suddenly, they’ve become a household name. Those unaware of the truth behind this individual’s creative journey gather ‘round, from near and far, and proclaim this individual…


However, appearances can be deceiving. This seemingly sudden rocket ship to fame and fortune may appear to have emerged out of thin air. However, rest assured that the ship most likely had many false starts where it struggled to get off the ground. Once it took off, its upward trajectory did not occur in a straight line; rather, the currents of life have tested the vessel’s integrity. Perhaps an emergency landing was necessary along its journey, in order to prevent a full-blown crash.

Indeed, anybody who has been a creative entrepreneur for long enough knows that the course of success – much like true love – never runs smooth. And, over time, we put in enough late nights (immediately followed by early mornings) to realize the truth…

Overnight success simply does not exist.

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