5 Reasons Why You’re Struggling To Make It In The Music Business

by Tom Hess
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Why is it that only a very small number of people ever get anywhere in the music industry?

After all...

There are so many musicians who claim to be 'passionate' about music.

And yet most people's passion doesn't translate into actual results in the music business.

Instead - most keep working dead-end day jobs and watching 'other' people leave their dreams. 

Fact is:

Simply wanting a music career is not going to help you if you don’t do all of the other things needed to achieve your goals. 

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Many musicians wrongly assume that simply “having good musical skills” will ensure their success in the music business.

Because there are plenty of “good musicians” in the world…

...but only a small number of those go pro.

There are 5 main reasons why you haven’t made it in the music business yet:

5 reasons why you haven't made it in the music business

Reason #1 You Struggle And Haven't Made It In The Music Business: You Aren’t DEMANDING Music Career Success (From Yourself)

Before other companies will invest their money and resources into you and before other successful bands and musicians decide to work with you...

... they spend time “watching” you and observing what kind of a person you are. 

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If they see you complaining about “lack of opportunities” in the music business, sitting around and “waiting/expecting” for things to happen TO you...

... you will be crossed off the list of potential partners, investments or band members considered for the next big opportunity. 

As a result, those who complain about lack of opportunities in the music business almost always end up with ZERO opportunities - a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the other hand...
...if you proactively DEMAND greatness “from yourself” and take the ultimate responsibility for your music career success...

... you quickly go to the top of the list of musicians that the music business wants to work with. 

Demanding greatness from yourself does NOT mean “building your music career on your own”. 

Instead, it means CONSISTENTLY doing everything that is within YOUR total control to make your music career success increase and add more value to the music business (such as getting music career success training).

When you take BIG actions that show initiative, ambition, drive and self-reliance...

... you become the prime candidate for even BIGGER music career opportunities with other companies in the music business.

Question: “But Tom Hess, you don’t understand! There are indeed too few opportunities for music career success where I live! For one thing, I live in the middle of nowhere and there are no successful professional musicians around here! Plus, I work a busy day job that makes it impossible to have enough time to work on building my career in the music business! What should I do?”

Answer: Just because you ‘think’ there are no successful musicians where you live, doesn't mean you couldn't be first to become one. 

Case in point:

Arnold Schwarzenegger used to say that he loved being the first one to do something nobody else has done. I think this is a more empowering mindset to have if you want to make it in the music business.


... if you have access to the internet, your location virtually doesn't matter. 

You can build contacts (and nurture music career relationships) with just about anyone anywhere in the world. 

I’ve joined every major band I’ve toured with without ever meeting the other musicians face-to-face until shortly before the first tour. 

(Some lived on the other side of the USA and others lived in Europe.)

Where each of us lived didn’t matter at all, because each of was able to contribute to recording the album and prepare for the tour on own.

(That is what professional musicians do.)

Third, if your day job is getting in the way of your ambition to make it in the music business...

... it’s time to look for another way to make money in your music career. 

One of the best ways to phase out a stressful day job is to start teaching music.

You can build up your schedule of music students on nights and weekends and save all the money you are earning. 

Then, when you have enough saved to cover 3-6 months of your expenses – quit your day job and support yourself entirely from teaching music.

And because you will be making quite a bit of money per hour – you’ll have more time left over to focus on achieving music career success.

Reason #2 You Struggle And Haven't Made It In The Music Business: You Haven’t Defined What Success In The Music Business MEANS To You

Before you achieve music career success...

... you need to DEFINE the success you want for yourself in the music business. 

Until/unless you do this, you won’t be able to design any plan of action for getting yourself where you want to go.

As obvious as this advice sounds, most musicians do NOT do this. 

The main reason why is the false belief that there exist only 2 levels of “music career success”: 

- you either “make it” as a professional musician (become a rock star making millions of dollars), 

- or you don’t (and are forced to play at dumpy bars/street corners to pay the rent). 

This could not be further from the truth. 

Fact is, there is a huge “middle class” of musicians. These professionals are not the most famous, but they earn a great, stable living in music. 

This is GREAT news for you for 2 reasons:

1. It's not actually that hard to earn good money & achieve music career success. 

Once you realize this (and take the necessary transitional steps for this to happen), you can kiss your day job goodbye and start making a living as a professional musician.

2. There are MANY ways to make money in the music business (especially in the music business of today), so there are many possibilities to map out for yourself the exact blueprint towards the music career you really want.

To learn how to do this, read this music career success article.

Reason #3 You Struggle And Haven't Made It In The Music Business: You Aren’t 100% Committed To Your Music Career Success…Even If You Think You Are

After you defined exactly WHAT your true goals are in the music business, you must pursue them with nothing less than 100% commitment and a HUGE sense of urgency. 


...  you must be able to stay 100% committed to your goals, even when challenges arise and the “fumes of short-term excitement” of starting a new project have worn off.

Hint: actions speak much louder than words. 

Don’t waste time trying to “convince” record companies, bands or other musicians with your words about your music career success - show them PROOF of it through your “actions” and reputation.

Here is where the VAST majority of musicians get this point WAY wrong.

They assume that merely “trying” or “working hard” will get them noticed in the music business and help them achieve great music career success. 

Although “working hard” is important, it is equally important to “work smart”. 

Before record companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into you, they need to see that you are actually “on track” towards music career success… vs. relying on guesswork and trial and error to navigate the music business.

One of the surest ways to display proof of your commitment is by investing into mentoring on how to build your music career. This shows companies that you are actually pursuing your goal in an intelligent and strategic way - making them excited about working with you.

Find out if you are truly prepared to pursue a successful music career.

Reason #4 You Struggle And Haven't Made It In The Music Business: You Don’t Know What The Music Business Looks For In You

Too many musicians make the mistake of believing that the music business is only looking for them to possess “good musical skills”.

This mindset is one of the reasons why so many of these musicians never reach any level of music career success. 

While being a great musician is definitely something record companies are looking for, they are actually looking for so much more than merely your musical skills! 

Your good musical skills are only 1 out of 22 things that record companies are looking for in you. Watch the video below to find out the other 21 things the record industry is looking for in you:

Learn how to become the right person that people in the music business want to work with by reading this article on how to become a professional musician.

Reason #5 You Struggle And Haven't Made It In The Music Business: You Aren’t Directly Working On Developing The Skills, Mindsets And Attitudes That The Music Business Wants From You

While understanding the things the music business wants from you is a good start, it will not help you if you aren’t actively working to develop these things within yourself.

Taking action and putting in a ton of ass-kicking, hard work to develop these elements will act as PROOF of your commitment, perseverance and potential to the gate keepers in the music business.

To make yourself irresistible to the music business, start working with a music career mentor who has reached high levels of music career success and helps hundreds of other musicians make it.

Free eGuide

Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains musicians how to leave their day jobs and build successful full-time careers in the music industry.

Accelerate your music career by working with me in my music careers mentoring program.

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