may be showing my age here….but do you remember what it used to be like when you were younger, and you got home from school or work to watch music videos on MTV?
I do. It used to be the only place you could watch them.
But for the most part, they’ve really been gone from there for a long time.
Matter of fact, the last time that MTV played a music video during prime-time in its entirety…was over 15 years ago. Times have changed…
MTV, VH1, even MTV2 (which was started as a pure music channel so that MTV wouldn’t have to play videos anymore) have entirely changed their programming to match.
Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find not only a music video played on a TV channel, but as a matter of fact, you’ll be equally challenged to find the audience that goes first to TV to view a music video. The online world has quickly become the de facto home of what remains of music videos.
Again, times have changed.
But there’s an important lesson here about musical success…
Let’s put this into more metaphorical terms:
I like to call this “The Difference Between Mice & Humans”. And it’s not what you think. And granted, you may have heard this in some other format, but bear with me as I go through this.
Let’s pretend you put a mouse in a maze with four tunnels. And you put some “cheese” in Tunnel #4.
Here’s what will end up happening:
- The mouse will check Tunnel #1…and find no cheese.
- Then he will check Tunnel #2…and find no cheese.
- Then he will check Tunnel #3…and find no cheese.
- Then he will check Tunnel #4…and get the cheese.
And if you do this over and over every day….eventually he will start ONLY going to Tunnel #4. He’ll ignore the other tunnels entirely.
Now, here’s the really crazy part: if you move the cheese, here’s what the mouse will do.
The mouse will immediately go to Tunnel #4…and find no cheese. And he will start looking in the other tunnels.
Well, duh! He still wants the cheese, right?
And then when he sees it’s no longer in that Tunnel #4…he’ll just go and start looking in the other tunnels.
OK, so here’s the difference between mice and humans…
When a human finds that there’s no more “cheese” in Tunnel #4…he’ll just keep running down that Tunnel #4 for the rest of his life.
And that’s because we humans, we musicians…like to develop beliefs.
A human will start to “BELIEVE” in Tunnel #4.
And after the “cheese” has gone, a human will go down Tunnel #4…find no “cheese”…and then do it over and over and over…even though he’s not getting any “cheese”.
Then usually, he’ll sit around complaining to everyone how he’s doing everything he was supposed to do…
…how he was doing everything he was taught…
…how the cheese is “supposed” to be there…
…how “lucky” the others are for getting the cheese…
And he will sit there in Tunnel #4 getting no “cheese” until he either dies, goes broke or quits his passion.
So here’s the Moral of the Story…
The “cheese” is whatever you want more of. In music, it’s recognition for the songs you write or play, fame, a large fanbase, a large media and online presence, and of course, just compensation. More related to the business side of music, or business in general, it’s usually sales, or money, or customers.
And the “cheese being moved” is the fact that things CHANGE.
A mouse…and a successful musician…will ADAPT TO CHANGE.
That’s the secret to success. Noticing when things are changing…and adapting.
Because by refusing to adapt to change, you are giving yourself a 100% guaranteed recipe for failure.
For instance, you might have a promotional strategy that your band has been working with that’s been running great…and then suddenly one day you notice that it’s not working as well. And then the results get a bit worse…and a bit worse.
At that point, you have two choices. Sit around and talk about how great your promotions used to be…or you can ADAPT to change and find a new outlet to promote your band for you.
Or maybe you have a record label that you got with a few years ago that had given your musical act some real clout. And it brought new fans through the door in droves. Album sales off the charts.
And then you start to notice that you’re not being given top priority like you used to. And then it gets a little worse. And then even worse…
What do you do?
Do you sit around and say, “Well, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I don’t understand why it’s not working better”? And just keep going without the “cheese” that you need?
Or do you adapt?
Hey, look everyone…I’ll be totally honest with you.
I recently made a change in my business (and as an effect, my music career) that you might not know about…
I’d been working with the same partners for about a year now. And during that time, I greatly enhanced my online presence, got my name out there, and oh yeah, made a REALLY good amount of income while I was at it.
But, as my own goals changed…and the culture of the company with which I partnered changed…
I realized that it was time for me to adapt.
And so I partnered with a new team in a different opportunity.
Did it surprise a lot of people? Yeah.
Did it royally piss some people off? OH yeah.
But, I could either continue to go down that same Tunnel #4. That tunnel which initially provided some great cheese, but after that cheese moved knowing it wasn’t going to satisfy me…
…or I could ADAPT.
And so, I chose to start a new, additional side of my business.
Now, the point of this blog post isn’t about telling you about my new business (although you’re welcome to find out about it if you want).
And it’s not to tell you that you need to be doing something different that what you’re already doing.
I’m simply giving you advice from a successful entrepreneur and musician:
Don’t stay in a rut.
If you’re not getting the “cheese” you want in your life, then adapt.
Whether it’s your music career.
Or your physical health.
Or a relationship.
Or a business.
Or your investments.
Or your parenting.
If you’re not getting what you want…ADAPT.
My fellow musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs…you’re not a tree. If you don’t like where you are…MOVE.
The biggest mistake that you can make is camping out at Tunnel #4 forever because you have a “belief” in Tunnel #4. Because that “cheese” won’t be there forever.
Your job….as a musician…is to adapt to change, and keep moving forward towards your goals.
And sometimes, that means giving up some of your ideas that are keeping you stuck….
…and GOING FOR THE CHEESE!
I love you guys, and I so appreciate and thank each and every one of my readers!
I’ll leave you with this: if you’d like to see the “new cheese” that I’m working on, it’s kicking ass amazingly well.
One of my new partners that I work closely with did over $90,000 in personal income in his first calendar month…
And my new team is out-producing me by 8-to-1. That is, for every person I partner with in my new business, the team as a whole is partnering with 8 new people.
I’ve NEVER seen duplication like this in a team that’s just 2 months old!
If you’d like some information on that, click here to watch our latest webinar.
Peace out, and more to come.
Feel free to reach back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Skype (ID is robcushing) or phone me personally at 508-744-3753.