5 Reasons Why Artists Don’t Make it

Writtten By: Klass Jones Junior

I haven’t been this excited about hip-hop in a long time. Last week, Big Sean, one of Kanye West’s artists on his good music record label, dropped a song called “Control” two weeks ago, in promotion for his new album “Hall Of Fame”. The song featured rising stars Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica who are arguably hip-hop’s most talked about artists during the last couple of years. This was an amazing collaboration. In fact, Kendrick’s verse was so controversial, from calling out every rapper in the game and claiming to be “The King of NY”, it was the topic of discussion on a multitude of websites, blogs, twitter posts, and Facebook status’s last week. However, looking beyond the immediate wow factor that I received from hearing Kendrick’s verse, theirs a special line in Big Sean’s 16 that deserves to be highlighted. It’s where Big Sean talked about his deceased grandfather being able to see his success,

“…. So now I’m talking to the reaper to reverse death/Yep, so I can kick it with my granddad, take him for a ride/ Show him I made something out myself and not just tried”

This struck a cord with me as a fellow artist because Sean deems trying as not good enough. So I wonder, how many of you artist’s out there are trying? How many of you are reaching for the status quo, doing “good enough”, and as a result, missing the mark?

Here are 5 reasons artists don’t make it:

They Are Without Direction:

Its common knowledge that one must understand where they are headed before than can get walking in the proper direction. Don’t make the common mistake of day dreaming or living in your mind believing you’re going to accomplish something you haven’t planned for. First and foremost, is music just a hobby or is it actually something that you want to pursue a career in? Sometimes we can get confused what we like, with what our true mission in life is. Talk to anyone that worked for any fast food chain that they loved, shortly after working there, the fries don’t smell as fresh, and the burgers don’t taste the same. This business can be extremely demanding. You’re guaranteed your share of challenges. It takes true will power to see through the difficulties. So make sure it’s you’re purpose and not just something to do. Understanding your direction will help you save time – the most precious commodity.

They Have No Plan:

The successful one is the intentional one. The artists that mean it reap the best benefits. This doesn’t mean that you have to have every detail in your plan figured out. Put together the picture of what you see in your mind, but words on paper. Be very detailed. This is to help you understand what you need to do to get where you want to go. Make a decision on what you’re willing to invest into your art form? (Time and Money) Find people already in the industry that you believe are comparable to you, are at the level you want to be at. Be Realistic. It’s ok to pick the person at the top, as long as you also pick another person that is on a lower level that’s aligned with your overall vision. You want to put yourself right in the middle. Then from here it’s all evolution in reverse. Start from where you want to be and work backwards to where you are right now. That’s your plan! Please understand that this is subject to change, so it’s important to allow your self to make modifications as you go along.

They Don’t Take Action:

What good is information that isn’t acted upon! You can read every music business or self-help book in the world, but the only true way to obtain knowledge is through doing. Now that you know the direction your going in and your map (or Plan) to get there, its time to put all that preparation into action.

They Do Not Adapt:

So you’ve made it to the point where you’re acting on the plans that you’ve set in place and things still aren’t working in your favor. It’s at this point where most people give up. This is the place where most people start to subscribe to the idea that it wasn’t meant to be. Although, this could be the truth of the matter, 9 times out of 10 we aren’t seeing the success we want to see because we are doing the wrong things. Maybe there was something wrong with your direction or the plan in place. Access why things aren’t working and make the proper modifications. It’s said that we should look at success like scientists in the laboratory making cures for diseases. When the scientist starts off with his Formula, different chemicals are joined to bring about a certain reaction. If the formula doesn’t create the reaction the scientist wanted, he doesn’t simply give up. Instead he studies both the positives and negatives of each test, then searches for a different combination of chemicals that will create the formula that will give him give the desired results. In other words, find out what works and refine it. Do away what doesn’t work. Then find new methods.

They Never Make it to the Finish Line:

It’s important to remember that you should always finish what you started. As musicians, it’s easy for us to be sidetracked because we are always in our heads. Note: Procrastination is a killer. It’s literally like drinking poising and expecting your cough to go away. It’s necessary to remember that with life comes problems, issues will arise, all of which will give you reasons to lower your expectations, to stop, to give up. Adversity may come from many different places, your family, friends, partner, etc. Some even giving you good reasons to throw in the towel. However, they aren’t responsible for a vision that was given to you, you are. It’s your responsibility to take ownership over your dreams. Break your dreams down into attainable goals. Don’t allow others to bring you down, its not there fault they can’t see your vision. Take every obstacle in your way as a chance to become more, to be better. Albert Einstein said it best “Only those who can see the invisible can do the impossible.” Get out there and finish!

The realization of your goals will only happen if you know what you want, have a plan (a Map) to get there, put that plan into action, Adapt to the circumstances, then finish what you started. Lets follow in the footsteps of Big Sean and show are loved ones that we made something out of are selves and not just tried.

5 Must-reads:

The Dip by Seth Godin
Mastery by Robert Greene
All You Need To Know the Music Business by Donald s. Passman
Social Media Secrets for Musicians by Amy Houck
The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield, M. V. Hansen, L. Hewitt

- Klass Jones Junior / @KlassJonesMusic