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GoalSetting for Musicians

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

Flashback: It's mid-September 2014 and I wanted to achieve a few things with my music. All I kept telling myself was "it's time to give my music career a chance." My situation at the time was I had just got a job that required 40 hours a week and I'm single with no major expenses. Knowing what I had at the time and what I wanted, vaguely, was good enough to set me on my way to try achieve my music aspirations.

However, I had no plan of action. This made everything haphazard! My hustle and drive was like a sine wave, which was the downfall of the “plan”. Everything that was done was done with little or no order.

The answer to my woes was setting GOALS! To be more specific, the answer was setting attainable goals and mapping my goals in as much detail as possible. Organise the chaos into bite-sized pieces. Below are some ways that may aid you in setting up for your musical goals.

1. Establish Focus Areas


Before we set off, I recommend that everything you do from here on be written down or typed.

Music and the business of music has numerous aspects to it. Knowing which ones you'd like to tackle or focus on will help point your hustle in a specific direction. Below are some examples of areas which you could add to your areas of focus. Add the ones that only apply to you and the ones that you'd like to focus on.

  • Branding – This is all about your feel, your image and what you're “selling”. For more on branding, click here.

  • Marketing – What will you be doing in terms of marketing this year? How often, how much, when, costs, why?

  • Website – Is it time to have your own URL? Time to re-brand your site? Diversify what your site already has?

  • Newsletter – Sending a concise, easy to read newsletter once or twice a month while continuously working on increasing your mailing list and scrapping the “dead” email addresses.

  • Social Media – Do you have a “dead” twitter account? Lifeless FB presence? It's time to schedule or prepare for your posts in advance.

  • Booked – Is it time to get a local gig or perhaps tour? Maybe both?

  • PR – Are the radio waves calling or is it printed media or maybe online? Perhaps it's the blog kingdom that has something to say about you?

  • Instrument Your 25-key midi-controller no longer the one? Time for lessons? Is it time to learn a new instrument?

  • Downloads & CD sales – What are your download targets? How many CDs are you planning on selling?

  • Money – How much money do you want to make off of music this year, realistically? What are you going to be doing with it? How are you going to get it? If you're looking for budgeting tips, click here.

  • Team – Is it time to have a manager, personal assistant or a booking agent? Is it time to realign your current team?

  • Writing & Recording – Tired of mixtapes and Eps? Maybe it's time for an album?

  • Film & TV placements – Are you going to be working on getting your songs on a movie?

  • Fanbase – In what way are you going to maintain & expand your current following?

  • Time – Do you have a way of managing your time so that you use you time effectively and attain your music goals?

  • Working Out – You're energetic on stage but are bushed after 10 minutes? You know what to do.

  • 2. Zone In

  • Once you've highlighted your focus areas, it's time to zone in and expand those focus areas.

  • Write done the goals: that have happened, currently happening and are going to happen.

  • Date: Set goals for what you want to achieve and when. For each one and try interlinking

  • Be Real: The goals that you're setting yourself must be within your grasp.

  • Snowball Effect: Set yourself up for the easier goals so that you can get the ball rolling and get your confidence going.

3. Daily Review

Having your goals staring at you everyday is a good way to keep them in mind. The more creative you are at displaying them the better. Putting some effort in them by making them colourful, using pens, highlighters and markers the better or print them in A3 if you don't trust you're "artsy" side.

4. Use techniques to help get those goals done.

It's time to get those goals done. Here are some ways to getting them done.

  • No Goal is too small: I highly recommend getting goals that are “easy” to get done out the way first. This will help get that snowball effect going. Even if it's small, set a date so that you can get the ticks going. One day tasks will become easy and before you know it a week long goal or even a monthly or even a yearly task seems easy.

  • Daily To-Do-Lists: Making a daily list will help you keep on track to achieve those long term goals. Setting them up the day before will help save time tomorrow. Be as specific as possible with the daily list.

  • Don't Be a Hero: We all like to think we can do anything and everything but realistically, it's not possible. Set 4-6 tasks a day and get those down. Reward yourself with some rest.

  • Keep Them To Yourself: Achieve your goals and keep them to yourself unless they serve a purpose other than showing off your intentions or your achievements.

  • Call A Friend: Getting help from a friend to help you with something that they can do quicker and possibly better is not a shame. They'll also add their flavour to your hustle.

  • Make Time To Achieve Them: If you're working between 7am- 4pm, those hours are not for your goals. Allocate the left over hours to achieve those goals. Be realistic with allocating time an hour task is usually an hour and a half.

  • Modify them as you go along: Setting goals isn't written in stone. You're current living situation and circumstances will change. View the goals as the lighthouse to keep you heading in the right direction. I'm not saying that you must change them daily or weekly but reviewing them once a month is a good idea.

  • Jot down the successes: Give yourself a pat on the back for five mini-victories each day. You're brainwashing yourself to look at the positive. Anything that you see as a good thing.

5. You're only human, go easy on yourself!

The hustle of a musician is a race full of hares and tortoises. Being the tortoise is key. There will be days where you think that you're not getting anywhere and beat yourself up for it. Keep on keeping on. Having a group of like-minded people help get the steam back. A serious mentor with similar interests is a sure way to inspire growth.

Some time for yourself is a good thing. So having a girlfriend isn't an excuse, if anything she should be your biggest critic and support system. This could be your way of rewarding yourself.

Keep those goals in mind and you're sure to get where you want to be in a year. Let's talk about ways of keeping the goals on point via whatsapp @ 0835709602 or email me


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