by J.P. Kallio
Success seems to be a word that bring most of us to the brink of anxiety from time to time. And it keeps appearing on my blog from time to time, as a musicians you need to redefine your idea of success as you go along. When we start that long journey as an artist, often our idea of success can be quite different from the reality. Our idea might be based on an image portrayed by the big artists on TV, as it is the only reference we have.
The reality can be very different, and this is why you really need to be in love with the music. If fame is what you are after, music might not be the easiest path. But there is a chance you will get to play music, if you are passionate and determinate enough.
In the beginning of my touring life I was very tribal, you could say. I loved spending time and doing stuff with the band mates. Then somewhere along the way I realised I was much more of an explorer than any of my band mates. I loved being up (reasonably) early and explore new cities or countryside. My band mates were big fans of getting as much sleep as possible. It took me a while to figure out that I had to do my own thing.
Now days one of the first things I hear my band mates ask is “do we have our own hotel rooms?” Things like these become important, where as years a go I was just happy to sleep on someone’s floor.
But it’s not just the traveling. I have learned that the idea of recording and even writing songs in the most expensive studio in town is actually a thing of the past and a big waste of money. Does this make me feel any less successful? No. I know now that I am successful because I was able to manage my (non-existent) budgets, and to produce professional albums on a shoestring budget. But not every one were so lucky. I have seen bands come and go, even getting signed to a record label and recording that “dream album” in the top studio, or even traveling somewhere exotic to do it, only never to even break even. Most of them never saw pennies from those albums, and that was back in the days when albums still were selling.
Today, my happiness takes priority over the success. Having said that, often they can go hand in hand. I have become to realise that I am happiest when I create. Whether it is songs, recordings, blog posts, vlogs or taking photos. I love connecting all of this things together. And I love connecting the world around me into all of these things. And the more I create and put out in the world, the better I get at it. And when I get better it all seem to resonate more with people. So by doing what makes me happy, I seem to have more success.
Yes I know I am lucky and it is easy for me as I have an audience… But you know what? I started all of this with no followers at all. I built it from ground up, one person at the time. And I built it by doing what ever felt right. I did it from my heart. I also did experiment going down more tactical route, writing the kind of blog posts that might drive more traffic to my website, but I put a stop to that very fast. You see as soon as I was not focused on what I wanted to do from my heart, it started sound fake. It did not feel right. I was not happy, and I did not bring any success.
Now, I am very focused in writing from my heart, writing what I believe, telling stories I would like to hear, making vlogs that help me to tell my story. It makes me happy and resonates with people.
So if you want to be successful at anything, pick something you like. If you look forward to getting up in the morning and start to work, the success will follow. It is rarely we see people who are extremely successful and hate what they do. Sure thing there are some, but most of success stories have a passionate person driving things.
Concentrate doing what makes you happy, and do lot of it. The success will follow.