I've seen a disturbing trend among many of my musician friends over the last few years- I heard a great number of people complaining about not getting enough work, not getting enough opportunities, and no one being willing to help them. I sympathize, and so I've tried to help.
In the past year alone I've attempted to start 3 different groups that would help musicians find gigs and other opportunities to further their career. I've had little to no interest in anything I've mentioned. I've offered free or super-low cost transportation to and from Nashville to just about anyone that needs it. Not one person has taken me up on it. I've given away free consultation for software, sent friends countless paying gig opportunities, and generally been available to help musicians whenever I can. Nothing.
It's baffled me as to why people haven't taken me up on any of these opportunities. I would kill to have someone extend the same benefits to me that I've given away for free. Why do musicians act this way?
The conclusion that I've come to is that most musicians have two warring thought processes going on in there heads. On one hand, they're telling themselves that they want to succeed, that they're amazing, that they're doing everything in their power to be successful as a musician.
On the other hand, they're secretly terrified of what it will mean if they are actually successful in the music industry- there's so much change involved, I'll be the first to admit it can be intimidating to think about. As a result, they unconsciously sabotage themselves by not taking opportunities that might help propel themselves to the next level in there career.
This creates a comfortable story musicians can tell themselves when they inevitably fail- I'm trying as hard as I can, I'm working so hard to do this for a living, but there are just no opportunities available. I just haven't been able to catch a break, but it's not my fault. It's the music industry. It's Spotify's fault and those lazy kids down the block downloading bootleg copies of One Direction.
Next time you're tempted to start telling yourself this lie, don't. There are dozens of opportunities around you every day that you can pursue- the only reason you may not see it is because maybe, just maybe, you've slipped into this this thought cycle.
Break out of it now, before it breaks your career.