I recently got this question from a reader who was wondering how he can spend his spare time to develop relationships in the music industry, he asked: “I have a little (not a ton) of time outside my job but I’m not really sure what to do with it: go push boxes with the local crews? Try to meet engineers at shows? Or online?”
It’s a great question and probably something we have all experienced, or are experiencing, whether you are trying to pursue live-sound or a music/studio career. However, there are so many options/tactics you can try that it can easily feel overwhelming, leaving you confused and passive.
In the case above, they are honestly all great tactics to pursue to further build your relationships within the live industry or any other industry for that matter.
But which one should you start with?
As stated above, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with thinking you need to do all of them, therefore, instead of looking at it as a big list of to-do’s, break it down to smaller tasks and spread them out. This will not only make your goals look easier to accomplish but it will also make you realise how you will accomplish them as well as reducing the stress that you have to do them all at once.
So, going back to the initial question, which ones should he do with his limited spare time?
All of them.
I say this because they can all offer an opportunity and you never really know where an opportunity can come from, especially in the music industry. Again, there’s no need to stress out about it, thinking that you have to do all of them at once, instead, dedicate a few weeks to try them all and start figuring out which one of these tactics works best for you.
Maybe you will find that all of them works, or if you do one or two really well they will yield a better return.
In my own experience, I have found that booking personal meetings with people in the industry and continually nurturing relationships with artists/engineers/producers have given me most of my opportunities. Therefore, I focus my energy on these two tactics.
Organisation Is Key
This is something that I talk more in the guide, How To Find Work And Become A Freelance Engineer, and this certainly applies to this.
For example, without you being organised, as in, scheduling in days to meet people, which shows to see, which people to talk to, it will be very hard for you to measure any success you might have, or not have, therefore allowing you to focus on the tactics that actually work.
So, do your homework beforehand and schedule in at least a few days for the next couple of weeks where you will try a few tactics and see which one works best.
Important note - even if you don’t have any success the first time doesn’t mean you should not try it again. It might take a few times before something happens.
The Power Of Asking Different Questions
This is a tactic I learned from Tony Robbins, the life coach, author, entrepreneur, etc., who has worked and helped people such as, Serena Williams, Hugh Jackman, Bill Clinton and many others.
In his teachings, Robbins encourage you to change the quality of your questions to get different results, for example, instead of asking yourself, “Why am I so unhealthy/fat?”, making your brain come up with all the various reasons as to why you are fat, instead, ask yourself, “What can I do to become more healthy?” This will give your brain completely new answers and better solutions to change the issue at hand.
The same applies to the very same question in the beginning, “I have a little (not a ton) of time outside my job but I’m not really sure what to do with it?”
This question will most likely give you some confusing answers, leaving you uncertain of what to do and what the best way forward is.
Instead, if you changed it to, “How can I make the most out of the little time I have left over to develop more relationships in the music industry?”
Notice how that change in question will give you a whole new set of answers and probably more answers that you can work with as well as answers that you can work with and put into action.
I can highly recommend that you try this out and please let me know the outcome!