This applies to everyone.
I learned this the hard way.
If you're like me, you romanticize where you think you should be, verses preparing for the actual opportunity to get there.
In life we often find ourselves focusing on the destination of where we think we should be and we rarely put in the prep work to get there.
I have found that in the Music Industry, even when I give people a wide open door to move forward in their career, they seldom follow through. This is because they are not ready. This is because they have not spent time preparing, training, and educating themselves on what really is required if they want to get to a certain spot in life.
For years, I found myself longing to work with a Major Label. It was a selfish longing for being able to say a name that someone might recognize. To be able to feel like I "made it". I spent a lot of energy back then focusing on a destination and recognition over being ready for the opportunities that really give me life.
One day, the opportunity came up. A band that was on a Major Label wanted to use me for an album. It came up randomly. A friend of a friend tossed me a bone. When I started to talk to the label, they started saying things that I didn't understand. They started talking about things that their normal mastering engineer provided that left me feeling insecure and inadequate.
After quickly writing everything down that I needed to provide and saying things like, "of course, no problem" etc., I found myself dizzy. My head was spinning. This opportunity that I longed for, dreamt about, romanticized about, quickly showed me that....
I was not ready.
Maybe you can relate?
Have you ever found yourself longing to be somewhere and then the opportunity comes up and you literally have zero of the actual requirements or skills that are necessary for the task?
If you're like me, you answered with a resounding YES!
You see, most of you are not ready for what you want in life. It's way easier to talk about what you want to do then to put in the work that will prepare you to actually take on the task. Many people talk enviously about certain people getting lucky or just always having the right connections. If I have learned anything, its not luck or walking in the light... those people work hard. They train hard. They learn things beyond their scope of work so they are prepared for the opportunities that may arise, or better yet they create the opportunities because they have put in the work.
If you want to be CEO of a company one day, you better start researching every CEO you can find. You also should start researching every position underneath a CEO that you will have to obtain and also pass with flying colors to even have the chance to be CEO.
I offer mentoring within the music industry. I get a lot of people who reach out and describe where they want to be but are currently doing nothing to get there. When I talk with them and describe what it takes to run a business or become an artist who makes money off their music, usually three things happen.
First, they get really excited because they see that it is actually doable over time.
Second, the next day they realize how hard it is and see the thousands steps that are required to even be given the chance to become a "famous artist" and they return to the same routine.
Third, they come back to me a year later in the same spot, frustrated asking the same questions, and then we actually start the journey together and take step one.
For some reason, we as humans often have to learn things the hard way. I am equally guilty of this.
I have found that giving people what they want without them putting in the preparation is a lose lose for both people. When I first started in the industry, I tried to just meet the right people and then thought my skill and knowledge would just be there for the big opportunity. I thought if I could just be introduced to a certain person then everything would just be cotton candy. I was so naive. Don't be naive.
Here is how I get ready. I educate myself everyday on the industry I am in. I practice, research, and train in things that I currently know nothing about. I learn about things that have nothing to do with Mastering so I can have valuable conversations with other people in the Industry, as it takes an army to make an album typically. I spend time researching my competitors. I look at what I am doing and figure out where I want to go and make a plan of action. Some people say I am just disciplined and it must be nice to have that mindset. This mindset has come from spending years learning, reading, watching, and failing. It has come from asking for help, seeing a big picture, and doing the thousand small steps that finally lead me to the big door. When I get to that door, I freaking kick it open because I am prepared and ready. I have put in the work and now I get to do the work. It really is that simple. Train, prepare, and be ready to do the work.
That's all I got for today.
If you have any life hacks on how you get ready for things, let me know.