Since I started the blog a little over six months ago I have had so much incredible feedback from everyone.
I need to say thank you.
Within this attention and affirmation I have been given, I have noticed that a lot of people think I have it all figured out or that I have a career that is made and set in stone.
I need to be transparent with you all in that,
I DO NOT HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT.
I am extremely grateful for those that have messaged me affirming what I am saying and coming to me for advice. I have loved getting to know all of you, but I have to be clear that every month is still a battle.
Every time a project gets done another one needs to come in. I have months that are terrific and I have months that are not great. There are times when I have abundance and times where I feel like no one even knows I do music. If I have learned anything, it's that this is normal.
Life is full of seasons, rotations, patterns.
While these things are always changing, there is some consistency in our lives and in the industries we work in. The music industry has cycles of recording, promoting, touring, breaking, etc. When this happens it can create down times. These down times can make you feel like everything you have done is just a waste.
Obviously there are some people who are "always booked" and that is terrific. But everyone eventually hits a point where the emails stop coming in and the phone stays silent. During these times you have to figure out what you're going to do. It's in these moments that you have to figure out if this is it or if you start hitting the pavement again to find work.
It can begin to eat away at you overtime if you're not secure in who you are as a person.
A lack of work or business can immediately make you think you're missing something, lack something, or have maybe taken a step backwards.
Usually this is not true. Usually what has happened is that the industry you're in has just slowed down, maybe your clients have changed, maybe your market has changed, maybe things are just different, maybe there's a competitor who actually is making a good product that competes with you. All of these things can be true.
While all these things can be true, it does not mean you have failed as a person.
A year ago this month I had an extremely slow 6-8 weeks. I had come off some of my most successful projects, some major label, some charting on Billboard. I had acquired a manager as it felt like the next positive step to help keep the momentum going and manage the growth. Instead of thriving everything came to a complete stand still. Luckily my wife and I survived by cutting back and also having an emergency fund for times like this. I can not stress the importance of having some emergency money if you're going to be self employed. I've been self employed for almost four years and each year has its slow times.
I began to get depressed. I went thru easily some of the darkest times in my life. I went to counseling, changed my whole life, gave up a lot of things, focused on a lot of positive things and had many days where I wondered if I would ever bounce back to "normal".
What lead up to all of this was lots of small compromises in my business and lifestyle. Without going into too much detail, I was becoming someone I didn't want to be. A lot of this was because I was not being transparent with those around me.
Success leads to stress. It leads to a new bar in which everything is measured. Anything that did not do as well as my previous projects became a reflection on myself personally. If I didn't make as much money, it became a personal reflection of me.
My value and worth was found in my work.
As history will show that never ends well.
So I made changes. I started getting help. I started asking for help. I started being honest and transparent in my life. I started to actually look at my music career and acknowledge that it is fully possible that it could end, that mastering could change, that it could get replaced by computer algorithms, that things could and most likely will change, shift, and I may at one point have to do something different. In the midst of all of this I learned that it does not have to be personally attached to me because those things are out of my control. We are so much more than our work!
I can't stop progress, I can't control the cycle of the music industry. I can't pick the next successful project. I can't guarantee that work will keep flowing in.
What I can guarantee is that everyone has a lot more lulls in their life then they let on.
For every success you see on Instagram there is a whole other layer to that person that is full of fear that someday this might all end. Keeping up the appearances online is exhausting. I use all social media for business purposes. Anything I post is to promote the business and connect with clients and potential clients to help them get the best end product.
I need you to know that it is not done to show off or be something to compare to. It is not there to make it look like I have it all together and that clients are just begging to work with me every month. I don't ever want any of my readers to think that I have cracked the code on self-employment and they have missed something. I can say that I have learned a lot of things, which does count for something. I try to share those things as much as possible to help, but I need you to known that I am right here wth you.
Working, dreaming, hoping, wishing, crying, thinking, worrying, and triumphing just like you.
Some days are mountains and others are valleys. This is normal. It's important to have people around you during both times. It's important to celebrate the smallest of victories and to also see the down times as down times.
It's all about finding balance in an industry that has no balance.
Finding people to lift you up when you're down and finding people to keep grounded when you feel like you're floating in the clouds is important. I have that now.
All the striving and working is good if it's rooted in a place that is not attached to who you are as a human. When it becomes attached to you, when it becomes your identity, then eventually you will fail and crumble. It's impossible to live up to everyone's standard. It's impossible to think you will be the best of all time at anything. It's unfair to think you should never have a bad day or month or even year. We live in a world that is always changing, always shifting and sometimes what we value and think others should value is just not there. In those times we can decide if we want to fight for it or move onto something different. Either choice is honorable.
So I wanted this blog to be transparent. I wanted to share with you today that whatever you see online, whatever you read in the blog, whatever you may project upon the "Moses Mastering" brand that you see me as a person who is like you, who has struggles, ups and downs, fears and insecurities, and still has to work hard everyday. The whole point of the Moses Mentoring blog is to shed light onto real things that happen in the industry and my life and that hopefully you can learn from them. If the blog ever feels like it's not going that way... call me out, I give you permission.
Peace, enjoy the weekend.