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You want to become a successful producer, musician, rapper, or band? First you need to work out what that would look like. What is success? You need to define what it means to you.

It should be something tangible and achievable, preferably on a daily basis, so you can go to bed knowing you had a successful day and wake up for another one tomorrow. This is the best way to build momentum.

Ever-moving goal posts

It’s common to pin your definition of success to big goals. “If I get booked at THIS club, or sign to THIS label, then I’ll be successful.” There’s a few dangers with this approach – the first is ever-moving goal posts. It’s human nature to never be satisfied, so the second you achieve what was once a big goal, you instantly look further to what you can achieve next. It’s a recipe for constant stress, pressure, and very little sense of accomplishment.

Things out of your control

The second danger is the fact that these goals largely depend on other people. I’ve spoken previously about how getting signed, booked, or even streamed, depends on other people’s subjective opinions and personal tastes. Your ‘success’ can be hindered by things that are absolutely out of your control. You could become an amazing producer and feel like a failure.

The arts is a dangerous world when it comes to self esteem issues – depression and anxiety which often lead down dangerous roads. We put a lot of ourselves into our art. Basing our self-worth off the opinion of others and the public reception to our music can become too much to bare, so I believe we should be looking inward to measure things like ‘success’.

Improvement over time

If we define success as ‘improvement over time’, we can avoid the above pitfalls, feel accomplished each day, AND become better producers. If you’re better than you were last week – success!

Of course we can have big goals and aspirations. Most people do, but it’s handy to understand that these big goals are simply the culmination of many days/weeks/months/years of gradual improvement over time. Small wins, daily success.

‘Successful’ people in any walk of life can be seen to be walking examples of gradual improvement over time. They’re not successful because they got that lucky break, they’re successful because they improved themselves each day for many years before any opportunity came along.

Aim for gradual improvement, build that into momentum, and not only will you feel better about yourself but chances are – your big goals will start taking care of themselves.

The simple act of reframing how we look at things can have a huge impact.