Nobody wants to hire the person that’s pretty good at what they do for the really important projects, the really big shows. It’s fine to be average on small stuff where there’s not a lot at stake, but when it really counts and there’s serious money on the line, people always go for the best.
Before you despair, there’s good news: you can be the very best at what you do.
You can be the most reliable musician in your town, or the quickest at returning phone calls, or the nicest guy anyone has ever worked with. You can be the only guy in your entire circle of musicians that keeps his word no matter how much it costs, the person that always over-delivers.
You could be the best rehearser in town, the guy that always shows up prepared for every gig. Or you better yet, you could be a combination of a bunch of these skills.
It’s surprisingly easy to become the best in most of these areas, and more often then not, this kind of stuff is more important than your raw talent, anyway (I know these qualities are super-important to me when I’m hiring).
Let’s face it: only a tiny few of us can truly be the best at the instrument we play. That’s why we simply can’t afford to not be the amazing at all the easy stuff.