Episode #102: 7 Reasons Why Musicians Fail in Building an Online Business

OTHER WAYS TO ENJOY THIS EPISODE

C. J. has spent countless hours coaching musicians one-on-one on their marketing and out of it he shares seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online business.

What might be surprising to discover is that the main reasons for failure or quitting don’t have to do with marketing knowledge or proficiency in technology. It’s more mindset and attitude, and most students just need to get out of their own way!

Check out this week’s episode to find out not just what these seven things are but how to understand them and more importantly what to do about them!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The 7 reasons why musicians fail
  • Not following instructions
  • Standing in your own way/self-defeat
  • Getting stuck on technology
  • Not being resolved
  • Not being consistent
  • Not understanding the significance of social media
  • Being afraid of the future

Tweetables:

“By the middle of 2020, it should be clear that everybody needs an online business.”  – @metalmotivation [0:02:49]

“The best way to stay motivated is to know how to solve your most pressing problems.”  – @metalmotivation [0:08:28]

“Just do something every day, just show up every day, because if you stop and you let that go for a few days, not doing anything, it’s so much harder to start up again.”  – @metalmotivation [0:17:02]

“You don’t need to punish yourself. You just need to get right back at it as if you never faltered… Stop turning on yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy, be your best friend.”  – @metalmotivation [0:19:27]

“Social media is the answer to the music problem created by Napster at the end of the 20th century.”  – @metalmotivation [0:21:10]

“The key to being unafraid of the future is to strengthen yourself—to equip yourself because your best defense in life is to build a stronger you.”  – @metalmotivation [0:24:41]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This is CJ Ortiz. I’m the branding and mindset coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Thank you so much for being with me again today on this awesome podcast. If you are enjoying the episodes that we deliver here on The Savvy Musician Show, do me a favor and leave a review today on your podcast player: Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes, doesn’t matter where it is, please leave a comment, leave a good report, and as many stars as they’ll give you to click, because this helps other people like you, other musicians, to find this podcast. If it’s made a difference in your life, I’m sure you want it to help a fellow artist or musician, so do that for me today. It means a lot.

We also read all of your wonderful comments in our team meetings, so it’s a huge encouragement to us. On my motivational pages, which I do, people always ask me, “What motivates you, CJ?” I tell them this: “You want to motivate me? Tell me how much I motivate you.” It’s great to hear from you about how much the information being shared here is making a difference in your life and in your business.

Speaking of business, I want to talk to you today about seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online business, seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online business. Sometimes people are working on their online business and they don’t know that they’re doing things right now that are going to lead to failure, lead to discouragement, lead to poor results. If you can overcome these seven things, which is really not all that hard to do, but if you can overcome these seven things, it’s going to make a tremendous difference in your success. It’s going to make a tremendous difference in how far you go in your particular online business.

You see, not everybody is the same. Not everybody has the same determination. Not everybody has the same vision. Because of that, hey, they’ll make a little bit of money and that may be enough for them, but for you, and I’m speaking to you, I know you want to go further than that. I know you’re not just out here trying to make some gas money or a little money for food or a little money to pay an electric bill. I believe you want to make a living playing your music. I believe you want a thriving online music business. We all know now how important it is to build one, right? We’ve all seen it. By the middle of 2020, it should be clear that everybody needs an online business. You need an online music business.

What are the seven reasons why musicians fail in building that online music business? Well, I would say number one is they don’t follow instructions. That seems kind of funny, doesn’t it? They don’t follow instructions, or as I like to say to our elite students, “You’re not following the course.” I can’t tell you how many times I will read questions from elite students and they’re asking about something that is covered in the course, something that Leah covered in the course itself.

Number one is they’re not following the course, but attached to that is they don’t go over it again and again. One of our recent interviews with one of our students named Anna, she alluded to this. She said that she was going over her the elite course again, she’s going through our Online Musician 3.0, this new version, again, something she’s already done before, and she listens to every episode of this podcast.

In other words, she is going over this content again and again and again. Isn’t that the way it works, whether you’re watching a movie or you’ve read a book, or like in this case, taking a course, isn’t it true that you pick up little things more and more, that you better understand the importance of things more and more the more and more you go over them? Not just not following the course or following directions, but you fail to go over this information again.

I know it’s boring. I know you feel like you’ve heard it before. I know you think, “No, I got it,” but that’s not going to work. If you’re not following the course, I seen people skip certain portions: “Oh, I know that.” No, you don’t know that, right? You think you know that, but you don’t know that. It’s always good to go over the information. In fact, you would change things so much just with this alone, by making sure you are following the course and making sure you’re going over the information again and again, as much as you can. That’s why it’s good. Sometimes you just need to listen to it in the background, or if you’ve already gone through it once with your notepad, listen to it in the background while you’re doing something else. Just go over the information again and again.

Number two, number one two, outside of number one, is a psychological issue, which is people standing in their own way. People standing in their own way. It’s amazing to me how prevalent self-defeat is, right, how people can actually talk themselves out of success: They’re on the path, they spent the money on the course, and so here they go.

Then they literally talk themselves out of it. They’re still going to have the payments to make to pay for something, but they literally talk themselves out of following through. They’re standing in their own way. They have self-defeat, right? They talk themselves out of it. They believe that they don’t deserve success: It’s too good to be true or they engage in fatalism where they think, “Well, it’s just not meant to be. If it meant to be, it would be a lot easier than this. If it was meant to be, I’d be getting more results sooner,” and so they can’t press through the difficult seasons when they’re not getting results, when there’s those dark seasons where you just don’t feel like there’s answers when it’s dark outside and the wind is blowing and the wolves are howling and every temptation is for you to quit, to give in to frustration and anger and fear and reluctance and just stop.

You just want the ease of comfort, so you’re willing to compromise. You’re willing to settle for mediocrity because it’s just too hard. It’s another steep climb up that muddy slope where it just seems so difficult, so hard, but this is the crucible, this is the critical season for you. This is when you must push through. You felt good going through the first couple of courses or things, things seemed easy, picking a name for your page and getting a logo together or something like that, but then it gets more difficult, it gets more complicated.

That takes us to number three, which is getting stuck over questions about technology and marketing and social media and software and all of these things. You get stuck because it gets hard because you’re delving into areas you’ve never been before. You’ve not been this way before. You’re great at your music, you’re great when it comes to being creative, but now you’re into all the head stuff of technology and all the gory details of marketing and software and social media and now you’re getting bogged down because this is not your gifting, right? No, you’re an artist. You don’t want to talk about marketing. You don’t want to talk about writing copy. You don’t want to talk about apps and software and all of this stuff showing up every day on social media. You don’t want to talk about that stuff. You’re an artist. You just want to create, so you get stuck, stuck on these things, questions.

I’ll tell you what, this is a real key to motivation. I’m a motivational speaker and I’ll tell you that right now: You don’t need more and more cheerleaders. That’s not what you need. You don’t need more and more people telling you you can do it. The best way to stay motivated is to know how to solve your most pressing problems. That’s the best way to stay motivated: You got to know how to solve your most pressing problems.

In fact, this was the essential premise behind our new updated release of the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, which I am hosting. We had such a great success with our three-week mastermind last month, so people were like, “Well, where to from here?” because it was great. Instead of just following a course, per se, everything with all the teaching was based on a live stream video, and then answering questions right there.

Somebody had recently wrote in saying, “I don’t know what to do now because where can I go to get my questions answered like CJ was answering my questions?” I thought, “You know what? This is probably the best way to do our new version of the Inner Circle private Facebook group,” the reason being is because I knew that the key to motivation is to help people solve their pressing problems. With building an online business, you have those pressing problems or those questions every day and you want to get them answered, so I said, “This is the way I want to set up the Inner Circle,” if you understand that, because if you don’t, what you’re going to think is there’s something else wrong. No, the reason why you’re struggling with motivation is not anything because of you. It’s because you don’t know exactly what to do next, right? You have clouds, you have darkness, you can’t see things clearly.

But once you do, you could hit me up late at night when you’re about ready to go to sleep, when you’re dog-tired and you’ve been working on your music business all day long and you’re about to give in and you’re just: “I don’t have any more energy, CJ. I’m done. I feel like I’m burnt out,” then you tell me the most pressing problem you’re dealing with in your online music business and I help you get an answer, I help you get a way forward, guess what? All of that burnout, all of that tiredness, all of that stuff is going to immediately leave your body and guess who’s going to be staying up late tonight? You. That motivation and that power and that energy is inside you, it’s got nothing to do with anything else. The key to motivation is knowing how to solve your most pressing problems. That’s the key.

Number four, not being resolved, not being resolved. You say, “CJ, what in the world is that?” Resolution, man. You ever heard of the New Year’s resolution? What’s a New Year’s resolution, right? It is a determination, a goal, a determination that you have. The reason why people struggle so much with keeping New Year’s resolutions is simply because they’re not resolved about what it is they want. They’re not resolved, therefore, because they’re not resolved or resolute, they can’t fulfill a resolution. Being resolved means there’s no room for self-doubt. Being resolved means there’s no second-guessing of yourself.

11:53 CJ: Think of a lion charging out of the brush, surprising a zebra or an antelope and seizing it. Do you think that lion is second-guessing itself, questioning whether it deserves to have that zebra, questioning whether, “Is this the right time for it? How should I do it?” No. If we were to literally be there on a safari in a Jeep watching it happen, our breath would be taken away at the ferocity of the way that lion would seize its prey. We would be overwhelmed by how ferocious an event it would be. That is being resolved.

We can take it even in a more simple example. For the longest time, I had this little terrier who, if it saw a squirrel or a bird or a kid, man, that terrier would literally choke itself on the leash to go after what it wanted. I mean, literally choke itself. It would be panting to go after what it wanted. That is being resolved, right? With no concern of your own wellbeing, just absolutely ferocious going after what you want.

Well, why wouldn’t somebody who signs up to learn online marketing for their music business, not be resolved? Why would somebody, who’s obviously a very talented musician like yourself, not be resolved to go after what they want? Well, it’s because they don’t know who they are. They’re fine when it comes to playing music, they’re fine when it comes to recording music, playing live or something like that, but when it comes to online marketing, they feel like they’ve got to be somebody else. When it comes to online marketing, they think, “Man, I need to be more like Leah. I need to do things a different way. I’ve got to become something else. I’ve got to do a shtick. I’ve got to become a personality or whatever,” instead of just being truly who they are.

It’s just one of the main issues I see all the time when I’m coaching one-on-one with my elite students: They’re not just resolved about who they are as an artist, what their brand is, what their niche is and they overthink things too much, so they’re not abandoned to the mission, they’re not abandoned to what they need to do to show up every day on social media and email to deliver on who they are. They’re afraid. As long as they can stop themselves and second-guess and keep going over and over what their niche is, over and over what their brand is, over and over who they are, then they can busy themselves with other things on the backend of an online music business and not do the things on the front end that are going to connect with their ideal audience. They are not resolved because they don’t know who they are and they’re not being who they need to be.

You just need to be who you are every day, your true self. I mean, I had somebody we just talked to in my recent elite coaching call, a lovely lady from the UK who is a very talented vocalist, her husband, very talented keyboard player, they have this wonderful jazz act, great music, no reason to hold themselves back at all. Well, she’s struggling with showing up like this online and social media. Why? Because both her and her husband are very shy. They’re just very shy people and it’s difficult for shy people to go out on social media and have to be something other than shy.

I just basically told her, “Here’s my objective for you. I want you to be the most shy person on social media.” I know that sounds weird: “Be the most shy person on social media.” Well, what does that mean? That means start your post by saying “It’s so hard for me to write this post. I’m the shyest person on social media.”

In other words, she doesn’t have to act like she’s bold, act like she’s not shy. Share that part. Be vulnerable. Tell everybody, “Hey, man, I’m struggling. It’s hard for me to put myself out there.” Guess what your fans will do? Rally around you. They’ll rally around. You see, that’s the game-changer, and I’ll talk more about this in a second.

Number five would be not being consistent, not being consistent, consistent in all the things necessary to build an online business. Once you’ve done things like follow the course and you make sure you went over these things, you know what you should be doing, but you’re not doing these things every day because people think it’s a race sometimes. They think they have to get it all done in the 10 weeks allotted for the course or whatever.

No, you don’t have to get everything done within those 10 weeks. This is not a race, okay? You can go at your own pace if you need to. What they fail to do is be consistent because they feel like it has to be all or nothing, either they’re crushing it every day, so they don’t know how to deal with the downtimes, they don’t know how to deal with the times when it’s a struggle, when it’s boring, so they stop and they’re not being consistent.

It’s better for you to at least do a little bit every day. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, even if it’s just a half an hour, go through one of the courses, go through one of the modules again, listen to a podcast or whatever. Just do something every day, just show up every day, because if you stop and you let that go for a few days, not doing anything, it’s so much harder to start up again. It’s like when you go to start exercise and you go to the gym or whatever, you get going, and you’re there for a week or two and you’ve got a momentum, so it’s easy to do it.

Then something happens, you can’t make it that day and then you didn’t get enough sleep the next night, so you don’t show up that following day. Then within a couple more days, now you’re engaging in self-defeat you talk yourself out of it. Now we’ve gone a week without you exercising or going to the gym. Isn’t it that much harder to start up again? Isn’t it that much harder to start up again?

But you think, “Well, yeah, but I couldn’t get to the gym.” Okay, you couldn’t get to the gym that first day. What if you just did some pushups or sit ups or something, just take a little bit of time to do something that trains your mind to show up every day. Consistency truly is, as they say, a key to success, because it’s not just the physical stuff that you’re doing, it’s reassuring yourself that you can depend on yourself to show up every day.

That’s why it’s important, because if you don’t show up and you’re inconsistent, you’re going to start condemning yourself and then guilt is going to get in and then it gets all emotional and psychological now. Something that should be very mechanical, showing up every day, doing the things you need to do, very, very mechanical, this shouldn’t be emotional, but we make it emotional, we make it personal: “I didn’t show up. Woe is me. I’m so guilty. They should throw me in jail.” Nobody’s going to throw you in jail because you failed on your diet. Nobody’s going to throw you in jail because you didn’t show up to the gym and nobody’s going to throw you in jail because you didn’t show up to do something every day for your online business.

But that’s what we do: If we don’t show up, we’re not consistent, we make it personal and we start attacking ourselves. Let’s not do that. It has nothing to do with guilt or self-condemnation. Just get right back to work as if you never faltered. That’s the key. See, but people think, “Yeah, but I deserve punishment. I deserve it. I didn’t show up, so I need to punish myself.” No, you don’t need to punish yourself. You just need to get right back at it as if you never faltered. Isn’t that powerful? Isn’t that powerful? Man. You can keep yourself in this. You can keep yourself consistent. You can be your own coach, your own motivational speaker, just stop condemning yourself, stop turning on yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy, be your best friend.

20:21 CJ: Number six: The sixth reason why musicians fail to building an online business is they don’t understand that social media is the real game-changer here. Social media is the real game-changer. You see, when we say “internet marketing,” internet marketing is not the same thing as it’s always been.

There’s been internet marketing for years, right? Online marketing has been happening for years, but back in the old days, you had to rely upon Google ads, you had to rely upon search engine advertising. The whole way internet marketing was being driven was by trying to be available to people who were online searching about how to solve a problem, so somebody wanted to know how to make more money, you had to show up and put all those keywords in. If somebody wanted to learn how to cook something or recipes, you had to make sure that with your website, you were using all the keywords in your articles and blogs and you were doing your Google ads so that people would stumble on you, you were hoping to get on the first page of Google List. It was a very, very competitive space.

That’s great because you can still have an online business, but that ain’t even close to what social media can do. Social media is so much better than that, it’s unreal. Social media is the answer to the music problem created by Napster at the end of the 20th century. I’ve been telling this to Leah for a very long time. I said, “What you’ve done with Savvy Musician Academy is the single greatest thing on Napster, because it focuses on the power of social media.”

Now, we do get into email marketing and all of that, and that’s where you do a lot of your selling, but the front end of everything is social media because you can’t get people on the email list without it. You can’t get people to follow you without social media and social media is not waiting for people to stumble on you on YouTube or Google searches, social media is going to your ideal audience and showing up in front of them while they’re just visiting their Facebook app or their Instagram app everyday like they always do. They’re may not be looking for you, but suddenly, you show up and because they already liked your kind of music and you put that information in the Facebook ad manager, your ads, your promotions, your videos show up in front of them and they’re like, “How does the Internet know this is what I want? I wasn’t looking for it, but it shows up in front of me.”

That, my friend, is the power of social media. If you don’t understand that social media is the real game-changer, you’re going to keep hoping that someone stumbles upon you. You’re going to think that if you just build a website, that everybody’s going to come visit it, that if you just set up a Facebook page, everybody’s going to come visit it, that all your friends are going to rally behind you and be your street team and promote your music business. No, it’s not going to happen. You’re going to have to reach people, but you’re never going to do that until that coin drops and you understand that social media is the real game-changer, okay? Social media is it. You’re going to have to master this stuff.

Finally, the seventh reason why musicians fail in building an online business is because they are afraid of the future. They are scared to death of the future. You see, fear, we still have fear. Everybody has fears and most of our fears, like fear of success, fear of failure and all of these things are just a grownup versions of a child’s fear of the dark. Why? Why are kids afraid of the dark? Because they can’t see, right? You turn on a nightlight or something like that. They can see. If we can see what’s going on around us, if we can see what’s ahead of us, we’re not afraid. You’re still afraid for the same reason. You’re still afraid of the dark because you don’t see what lies ahead.

It’s amazing that people would be afraid of things like success, but success says responsibility, right? You’re going to have to be responsible for more because as business grows, you’re going to have more to do, more to be responsible for. Being afraid of success, it means putting yourself out there on social media and then getting negative comments from people, getting trolls and getting critical people who say the meanest things to you or criticize your music.

That’s a reason for people to be afraid of what the future will be: “The more successful I get, the more arrows are going to be shot at me, the more people are going to criticize me. How am I going to know what to do? What’s going to happen?” or “How long has this online music thing going to last?” or “How long before Facebook shuts down or things change?” and all of this, fearful of the future. No, you’re going to adapt and overcome just like you’re doing right now. You have to grow. The key to being unafraid of the future is to strengthen yourself, is to equip yourself because I always, as I love to preach, it’s your best defense in life is to build a stronger you.

I can’t write enough self-help books, I can’t write enough self-help articles, I can’t produce enough self-help podcasts or videos to cover everybody’s personal situation, but the one thing I can say that solves everybody’s problem, no matter what it is, psychological, emotional, financial, relational, you name it, the one thing I can say that covers everything is that your best defense is a stronger you. That’s the one thing I can say: Your best defense is a stronger you, because a stronger you means the circumstances don’t really matter because the stronger you will be resourceful, a stronger you will be confident, a stronger you will be more determined, a stronger you will work harder, a stronger you will be more consistent, a stronger you will persevere, a stronger you won’t procrastinate, a stronger you won’t hide and cower. A stronger you is going to attack every new season with determination. Even though you don’t know what to do next, you’d be like, “It doesn’t matter if I don’t know. I know that I can depend on me.”

Like I like to say, “If you tell me that it’s up to me…” You ever heard someone say, “Well, it’s up to you”? If you’re telling me it’s up to me, well, then you’re giving me good news. For a lot of people, they can’t depend on themselves, so you tell them it’s up to you and it scares the hell out of them. If you telling me it’s up to me, you’re giving me good news.

Let’s build you up. Let’s make you personally stronger, which is why we always have the motivational mindset component to our courses, especially in the elite group. In fact, when Leah first brought me into SMA a couple of years ago, that’s what she had me doing. She says, “CJ, I just want you to talk about mindset. You’re a motivational guy. I want you to talk to my students about mindset because that’s half the battle.” How much of this we talked about today in the seven reasons why musicians fail in building an online music business has to do with the psychology, your psychology. You’ve got to fix yourself. You’ve got to build yourself up. You’ve got to get stronger. Does that make sense?

Well, that’s the seven reasons why musicians fail in building their online music business. They’re not following the course, right? They’re not going over it again.

Number two: They’re standing in their own way with self-defeat, fatalistic thinking, thinking they don’t deserve success.

Number three: They’re getting stuck over questions about technology, marketing, all the gory details they’re artists, right, so they don’t want to deal with all the mucky-muck of technology, not understanding that the key to keeping themselves motivated every day is to know how to solve their most pressing problems. If you can get those questions answered, yes, you the artist will sail through all of these long seasons of learning, marketing, and technology.

Number four: They’re not resolved and they’re not resolved because they don’t know who they are. They’re not fully committed to just being themselves.

Number five: They’re not being consistent, they’re not showing up every day, doing a little bit every day.

Number six: They’re not understanding that social media is the real game-changer. Master the front end of your online marketing business. Master the front end and the front end is social media because now you can go direct to your ideal market and not wait for people to stumble upon you.

Lastly, number seven: Don’t be afraid of the future. The key and the secret to not being afraid of the future is to build a stronger version of yourself.

Man, I sure do hope this was helpful for you. I mentioned earlier that we have the Inner Circle program revamped, so check that out today. Go to savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle. If you feel like you’ve done things well and you just have plateaued, maybe you’ve done The Online Musician, TOM 2.0 or something like that before, and you feel like you need more questions answered. You need to go to your next level, well, then you might be ready for our elite program and you can learn more about that at callsma.com, callsma.com. Finally, we’ve just recently released TOM 3.0, so I want you to go to theonlinemusician.com and learn more about that.

But again, leave us a review. We’d love to hear from you today. Thank you for always supporting this show. We believe in you and we’re committed to your success. This is CJ, the mindset, marketing, and branding coach at the Savvy Musician Academy. I will be with you again soon.

Leah McHenry

Leah McHenry

It's become my absolute obsession to find out what will make musicians successful today. In the face of many obstacles, and in the vast sea of the internet, we have an opportunity that has NEVER been available to us in the history of the music business.