How To Become A Successful Artist By Defining Your #1 Goal

This may seem like a silly question…
Would you ever build a house without a set of blueprints?

Hopefully not!

Listen to the last lesson in this series: How to Build A Fan Base Starting With 100 True Fans

Yet the #1 mistake you are making is not clearly articulating WHAT you want to achieve and WHY you want to achieve it BEFORE you start.
Once you decide what you want to achieve, you can discover how to become a successful artist by working backwards to come up with a plan to get there – how to become a successful artist.
You know, reverse engineering.

I told you my “why” in our last lesson: How To Sell Songs & Albums Without A Record Label – Listen to that first so you have the proper context.

Do you think clarifying my why increased or decreased the likelihood of reaching my goal?

Huge increase, right!

Once I knew WHAT I was working towards, I was able to plot out the shortest path to get there.

If you feel like I did, don’t worry. We’re going to work together to create a plan to fix that.

How to Become a Successful Artist And Reach Your Goals

Now you’re super clear on what you want…

The big question now is how can you get there? How can you achieve the goal that you’ve set?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received on reaching massive life-changing goals is “Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. Just don’t make a crippling mistake.”

The reason you haven’t achieved your #1 goal yet is because it’s super hard to do. If it were easy you’d have done it already, and everyone would be doing it.

It’s going to take time. Sweat. Tears. And a lot of mistakes. Mistakes are great. They tell you what not to do next time.

But there are some big mistakes that can cripple the whole process, tearing down your progress. You know, the domino effect

Mistake #1 Not Clearly Articulating Your “Why”

The first as I mentioned in the last lesson is not clearly articulating your “why”.

Now I’m going to tell you about 4 more crippling mistakes that I’ve made along the way and how to avoid them. Thankfully, I recognized these mistakes in time and eradicated them before all the dominos fell and I completely gave up on my music career.

So if you are familiar with these mistakes, or living them right now, never fear! There’s still time to do away with them and put them to bed forever.

Mistake #2: Asking people what they THINK about your desire for a music career.

This is how it typically goes…

You’re feeling alone and isolated in your pursuit of a music career.
You share your desires and dreams with family members or your BFF.
You ask them “Well, what do you THINK?”
They respond half-heartedly (or worse, they say it’s ridiculous or call it a pipe dream) and you become dejected.

Then you lose motivation, your dream dies and it takes you months (or years) to recover. I can’t tell you how many of my students have been discouraged by friends and family, so they sweep their dreams under the rug, only to wake up at 50 and wonder why they feel empty. It’s because they’ve tried to ignore an important part of themselves – their passion, talents, their important contribution to the world.


What they THINK doesn’t matter.

The only questions that matter are…

“Is there an audience for your music?” Are there people out there who want to buy your music and support your projects?

Instead of asking your friends what they think, do this…

Ask them to give to your next crowdfunding campaign and get some cool rewards.
Ask them to share your music with their friends, come to a concert or buy your CD.

Every friend who gives you a “vote of confidence” with their wallet will boost your motivation, increase your resolve and get you one step closer to living your dream.

Mistake #3: Using the right strategies but in the wrong order.

One of the hardest parts of the process when you’re starting out is knowing what to do and when to do it.
It’s typical to read a blog post, listen to a podcast or watch a free class and then get really excited about the strategies you hear and jump in and try to do them.
It’s great to have that initiative, but it can cripple you.

If you want to grow your audience, there’s a specific order in which you need to do things. If you try to use advanced strategies when you’re a beginner, they won’t work. You’ll become dejected and you’ll quit because you’ll get bogged down in the details of that specific thing.
Let me give you an example.

Facebook ads.

Facebook ads work great. They’re a great way to grow your audience and to grow your email list. But if you use Facebook ads when you’re just getting started, your chances of success are very low. And your chances of losing a lot of money are very high. Setting up Facebook ads, managing ads and scaling ads is hard and it’s time consuming.
It isn’t a strategy you should use in the beginning.

In fact, I’ve had students ask me to teach it to them and I tell them they’re not ready.

That’s why in this series, I’m going to share with you a framework that shows you the order in which you should do things.

  • You don’t need to do Facebook ads when you first start.
  • You don’t need to be advertising when you don’t yet have a website.
  • You shouldn’t try to get email subscribers until you have something to offer them – a freebie – to draw them in.

If you use the right strategies in the right order, the speed at which your audience grows increases greatly.

Mistake #4: Trying to do everything by yourself

I know from experience.
Reading blog posts…
Listening to podcasts…
Reverse-engineering what other people are doing…
That is very time-consuming. And it will only take you so far.
You need more.

You need accountability and direction from someone who has been where you are trying to go.

When I finally got serious about my music career, I had a group of ladies that I talked with almost daily who gave me encouragement, helped me when I got stuck, and kept me on task. Many of them were further along in their careers than I was so they were able to give me very timely advice.

Who is helping you? Who is holding you accountable?

If your answer is “no one”, then stop and go get someone right now.

Before I found that group of ladies, I spent 10 years trying to figure it out on my own. Think of how much time and frustration I could have saved myself!

And I see the same thing with my students. I watch them encourage each other, push each other and teach each other everyday.

So go get involved in a mastermind group. If you’re looking for one, I’ve got some info on that in the next class.

And what about hiring a coach? I played really small for several years…until I hired my first coach. And boy was it a leap of faith for me. I wondered if it made sense to spend money on a coach when I wasn’t making much money at that point.

Boy, did I discover it was WELL worth it. Once I hired my first coach, I doubled my income in the first month. And every time I’ve scaled up my coaching experience, I’ve scaled up my income.

So I encourage you to hire a coach. Get a mentor. It’s VITAL to you reaching your goal.

Mistake #5: Not setting an easily tracked #1 goal

Most of us aren’t very good at setting goals. We set vague and unmeasurable goals like…

“I wanna make enough money so I can quit my job” or “I want to finance my new album.”

The problem with goals like that is you never know if you achieve them because they are so broad and impossible to track. And you wind up with this pit in your stomach that makes you work more and more and more to get more. You never know if you ever actually achieve the thing you set out to achieve in the first place.

Let’s cure your crappy goal-setting problem right now.

Determine your 5 goals for the next 90 days and decide if your goals are “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) or just vague desires. Write them down.

I want that #1 goal you came up with to be the homing beacon for everything that you do. Every time you see it, every time you sit down, every time you get up, every time you go to the bathroom, every time you open up Twitter or Facebook, that goal is going to be staring you in the face.

You’re going to have to answer this question: “Is what I’m about to do the quickest way to get to that goal? Is it the most efficient and effective way to get to that goal?”
If not, then stop doing it. If so, then you need to do more it.

How To Become A Successful Artist by Avoiding These 5 Crippling Mistakes (Recap)

Let’s review the 5 crippling mistakes you have to avoid if you’re going to grow your music business .

  • Mistake 1: Not clearly articulating your “why”.
  • Mistake 2: Asking people what they think about your dream of a music career.
  • Mistake 3: Using the right strategies, but in the wrong order.
  • Mistake 4: Trying to do everything by yourself.
  • Mistake 5: Not setting an easily trackable #1 goal.

Avoid these crippling mistakes and do this instead.
Most people believe they have to get lucky or get the attention of Industry “decision makers” in order to create a successful music career that brings in a steady income.

Instead, I’ve discovered that building a platform to attract and engage an email list of fans who love your music and are eager to support your projects is far more important.

  • A solid fan base gives you the ability to get booking referrals instead of you constantly having to do cold calls.
  • A fan base allows you to launch a crowdfunding campaign to a group of people who will support your next project.
  • Having an email list of fans gives you the ability to generate income by simply sending an email.
  • Coming Up In Lesson #3

In our final class I’m going to give you the steps, from building your platform, to attracting new fans, to engaging your fans to finally monetizing those fans.

It’s called the Indie Music Profit Plan and I’ll explain it all in a few days.


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Music by Stella Ronson


Bree Noble Female Entrepreneur MusicianBree Noble is an entrepreneur, musician and speaker. She founded Women of Substance Radio, an online radio station that promotes quality female artists in all genres, in 2007.  She launched the Women of Substance Music Podcast in November 2014, a 5 day per week show which promotes Independent female artists. Her podcast has hit #1 in New & Noteworthy for the Music, Arts and Society & Culture categories and #4 Audio Podcast on all of iTunes. She draws on her extensive experience running her own music business, both as a solo musician and as an Industry professional, to train and mentor other female musicians. Learn more about the station, the show and the artists Connect with Bree on Twitter @BreeNoble or on Facebook or on Instagram @breenoblemusic