Derek Sivers

Ignore advice that drains you

2000-09-07

My music career was derailed when I took some advice from an expert.

When my own music was at its peak success, a famous lawyer said he wanted to work with me. He said I should start a label, sign a few other artists, make them successful too. Then instead of getting me a simple artist deal, he could help me get a deal for the entire label for over a million dollars.

I walked out of his office sad, but acknowledging that he was right. That was the smartest thing to do to be a big success. So that’s what I did. I stopped putting my full attention into my own music, and tried to sign and produce other artists.

But the whole time, I hated it! I only loved my own music. I only wanted to be an artist, not a label.

So, as you can imagine, it didn’t go well. My label was a failure, and now my own music career had lost momentum because I had lost focus.

I wish I had paid attention to my emotions, and not wasted years of my life following someone’s advice.

Point is: You’re going to hear a lot of advice. Listen to it all, but pay close attention to what it does to your energy and focus. If it makes you jump into action, it’s good advice. If it makes you feel drained, sad, or lost, then it’s not for you.