You know what I really, really hate? Hearing the phrase "follow your dreams". It's such a lie! It's like the cotton candy of life advice. It's all fluff, no substance.
Today's gonna be a slight change of pace. This is a topic that I feel very strongly about, and have seen come up with all kinds of creatives, not just musicians. It's about mindset: stop following your dreams and get a job.
Stop treating your passion like a passion
What do I mean by that? Basically, if you keep treating your dream like a dream, it'll never come true. You'll remain a dreamer forever.
Dreamers aren't successful-- DOers are.
One of my biggest pet peeves is talking to people who just sit around and talk about how they just wanna follow their dreams, man, but the right door hasn't opened yet and why aren't they successful they have so much talent and passion. It's great that you have all this love for music or movies or whatever but if you're not getting out there and making anything? Then you're a hobbyist. Not a professional.
The world doesn't care about your passion. It cares about results. You could be the best musician in the world but if you don't but the work in exactly zero people are going to hear it.
And then what if you DO get that big break, or that door DOES magically open-- but who's going to be ready for it? The person who sat around talking about how much they want to be a musician one day or the person who has put the work in day in and day out, building a following and actually making stuff? Who do you really think is going to be prepared and able to make the most out of that opportunity?
Treat your passion like a job
The people I know who are successful in this business are the ones who treat it like a job. They're constantly working on their craft, networking, trying out new things, taking risks, playing shows, putting out song after song, engaging with their communities on social.
When I say job, I mean you have tasks, goals, deadlines...every day. Anytime it starts to feel like being a musician or a creative is easy, you're probably not working hard enough. Yes, you should still enjoy it, or get excited about it. If you start to resent it, take a vacation.
If you still hate it, then maybe this isn't the life for you. And that's okay--you need to have realistic expectations.
Change your mindset
So from this day on, change your mindset: stop thinking about pursuing music as a dream. If you want to make it a reality, you need to treat it like a job.
You are your own boss. So be ambitious, network, collaborate, engage, make stuff, fail, evaluate, and make stuff again. It'll be fun sometimes and suck the rest of the time.
It's a grind, and 99% of the time it's going to be ON TOP of your existing day job. BUT: You will never ever be successful in music if you don't do this.
Yes, it will be hard. But it will be so worth it.