“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
One key thing I have learned over all my years of attending workshops and conferences and garnering techniques from some of the world’s most successful people is:
Those people did not get there alone. Success takes support, and in this post I will show you how to create a support group that can help you stay on track and achieve your music career success. A Mastermind Group.
I hear it all of the time – musicians call me up and say: “If only I had a manager,” or a booking agent, or a record label, etc.
And I, in turn, say: “It’s hard to get a manager when you are just starting out.” However, it’s not hard to get some help!
For those of you in bands: Does this scenario sound familiar? One person is in charge of doing all of the business affairs, and the other members of the band just show up (sometimes not even on time). If you’ve got a band of hired guns, this sadly is your cross to bear. However, if your band is considered an equal team, I highly suggest that you include your band members in your mastermind group. If you are the only active member of your band on the business side, that’s OK – you can build yourself some great support with non-band members.
Everyone Wants A Music Mentor – It’s Not So Easy To Get One… However, Peer Mentoring Is Just As Powerful
One of the main complaints I hear about the music industry is that many artists and industry colleagues feel mentorless. And there is strong evidence that having a mentor absolutely gives you a leg up. Berklee College Of Music and Women In Music recently collaborated on a Women in the US Music Industry poll. One of the main takeaways was:
“2 percent of women who had been mentored felt like it had contributed to their career in a positive way. Women with mentors were more likely to earn over $40,000 annually, and felt more satisfied in their career growth, compared to women without mentors. “
So, if you are not at the stage where you can procure a mentor, I suggest peer mentoring by creating your very own mastermind group.
What a Music Mastermind Group is
A mastermind group is a small team of people that meets one to two times per month, sits down, and brainstorms together. They create goals, make lists, talk about objectives, and keep each other accountable so that you will move forward with your goals and achieve them faster. Plus, it gives you a solid sounding board and a community.
What a Music Mastermind Group is Not
A Mastermind is NOT a band bitch session where you air your dirty laundry and get angry at each other (we call that a band meeting?).
A mastermind meeting is a place for goals, and a place for action, and a place where you can really focus on yourself and your career.
Setting Up Your Peer Mentoring Mastermind Group
I suggest you create a group of four to six people – if you are married or part of a couple and you want to set and achieve goals with your spouse or significant other, I suggest a group of 3 couples (it’s OK to have different goals). If you are not part of a couple, I suggest a group of three to four others in addition to you. These people do not have to be in the music business, and it may actually be better if they are not. These people also do not have to be reaching for the same type of goals – they will, however, need your good input to achieve them, and you will need theirs.
Steps to Take
- Choose fellow masterminds to invite that you admire and look up to.
- Choose people who are strong self-starters and who know how to get the job done, who perhaps own their own businesses. Having someone in your mastermind group who runs a business will really help motivate you.
- Preset a scheduled date and time every month, or twice a month. The third Wednesday of each month, perhaps. Or a dinnertime every first and third Tuesday of the month – don’t break your commitment – you need to keep this set time to achieve results. How you handle this mastermind group is critical to your success.
Setting Achievable Music Career Goals Is Key
Be careful when setting your goals. Start with ones that you can achieve within the first month (redesigning your newsletter, re-writing your pitch, booking one gig, etc.) so you feel like you are accomplishing small victories along the way.
Please read my previous article on how to set goals and achieve them here.
At Your Music Mastermind Sessions
- Come to each meeting with an agenda.
- Don’t make this a social hour – you are getting together to work. Choose an hour to socialize before or when you are all done with your meeting.
- Choose a scribe. One person should be in charge of writing down the minutes – what happened with measurable goals, actions, and results with dates set for each one. The scribe will e-mail the notes after each and every meeting so that everybody can keep up-to-date with each other.
- Hold each other accountable – set check-in times to stay on track.
Between sessions, you should be in touch a few times online to make sure measures are being met.
Set up a group chat in WhatsApp, Slack, or a Google Group
This way everybody can stay in touch without losing track of e-mails.
Keep a Reading List
Have a reading list of books and links to articles that may be helpful to the group, and reasons why you are recommending these books on your group chat.
Books on time management or on small business or on how to tour – whatever you are trying to accomplish, there is probably already a book or an article out there.
Here are a few to get you started:
Community Is Fun
The last piece of advice I’ll give is: This process should be fun!
This is you creating your career as a musician, and it should feel like a joy, not a dreaded homework assignment. Go forth and mastermind!