Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Nobody's going to help you. Does that encourage you or discourage you?

Nobody's going to help you. It's all up to you.

Does hearing that discourage you or motivate you?

For example: are you hoping that a great world-class booking agent will find you and sign you?

I believe no great agents will want to take you on unless you're already earning $5000 a month gigging, so that their 10% cut (only $500) would be worth their time.

Or are you hoping to find a big investor for your music? Someone to invest $500k into your band for radio promotion, touring, recording, videos, publicity, payola, etc.

I believe there are no investors that would invest in a musician now. Even solid profitable businesses with customers and employees can't find investors these days, so just assume you will not.

So: No agent. No investor. No one's going to help you until you're already successful. So how do you get successful with no help from anyone?

How can you make $5000/month from gigging, so that an agent will be interested enough to take it to the next level? Only you know.

How can you call so much attention to your music online, that a company will gamble on you, and finance the expensive offline campaign?

Those are the healthy questions to ask.

Unfortunately that's not the answer he wanted.

To him, my answer was really discouraging.

To me, (if I was receiving that answer from someone else), it would be really encouraging.

I like being reminded that nobody's going to help me - that it's all up to me. It puts my focus back on the things I can control - not waiting for outside circumstances.

But it got me wondering: is that just me?

When you think that nobody's going to help you, does that encourage you or discourage you?

I'm really interested to hear everyone's honest answer. Please leave a reply in the comments here. Thanks!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eric_tank/2061351808/