Just looking at this past week’s Grammy awards and artist’s acceptance speeches you can tell they didn’t get on that stage by themselves. The music industry revolves around one thing that is not music-people. Multiple people collaborate to create the tracks that play in the backgrounds of our lives. Not only does an artist need all the people who can help create a hit track, an artist also needs the people with business skills to take it to the right people.
When you sit down and talk with successful people in this industry, they always start their stories with “Well, I had a friend who actually set me up with an interview for this job.” They don’t say they got the job from an ad online; it’s from the people they know and his or her individual work ethic.
In an article on Mashable.com, Elisha Hartwig states, “It is particularly important to maintain your weak-tie acquaintances — those people you met at that one networking event, or that friend of a friend who does marketing at a record label… You never know who is going to give you your next big opportunity.” You have to continue networking and expanding your social circle to get to where you want to go.
At this point you may be asking, “Well, how do I get there?”
Here are my 5 Tips on How to Work in a People Focused Industry
- Know Where You Want to Go
You can’t expect people to work with you or offer any advice if you talk to them without knowing what you want to achieve. Set some goals and don’t just have them in your mind write them down. Tom Hess on GuitarNoise, wrote about becoming a successful musician by saying, “Design a plan for organizing the actions you plan to take to grow your music career.” Without knowing what you want to achieve, it’s like driving in a car with no destination. Not every conversation has to involve your goals, but you don’t want to be stuck in a situation with an influential person and get asked a direct question about what you want to do and come up with no response.
- Know Yourself
Learn how you work and how you communicate well. Just think about how frustrating it would be to work with someone who didn’t know how they worked well when they are supposed to be leading a group of individuals. I suggest taking personalities tests, such as the Myers Briggs to just be able to communicate with others how you work well. I love being able to say to someone, “I am a verbal processor so sometimes I am just talking out loud to figure out my thoughts” rather than them get annoyed with me just rambling. Understanding yourself is the first step to be able to understand others.
- Set Your Limits
Again, this goes along with knowing what you want, but also think about what might go too far with your values and beliefs. There’s a reason that the stereotype of someone leaving the band to pursue a solo act is a thing. Figure out what you would be willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals because every action has a consequence, both good and bad.
- Go the Extra Mile
Yes, this may contribute to your lack of sleep or infringe on your time with your friends, but hard work will help you achieve what you want to. If you keep your head down and do your job will, others will notice your dedication to achieving your goals. Brian Tracey looks at this idea of success and states, “You will see that the successful individual did many little things, sometimes for years, which made the final success possible.”
- Play Nice with Others
This could seem like common sense, but when working with others become a team player. Each person has individual strengths that will help you achieve your goals. Learn about them. People thrive when asked about themselves and what they want to do (see why you have to know yourself?) This doesn’t have to be manipulative because we live in a culture that repays when you help each other.
It’s a people-run industry so the sooner you get on board and help each other out, it will launch your career in ways you couldn’t imagine. Get out there and make some friends and connections!