The words below are written by Hisham Dahud in response to a conference he attended. One of my favorite websites Hypebot.com posted his great tips on career advancement and I just had to share them with you. You can read the full article here to get 5 more tips on career advancement.
Write it down - on a piece of paper. Studies have shown that physically writing things down not only helps in retaining the information better, but handwritten goals can bring clarity and focus. If you’ve already typed out your goals somewhere, rewrite them again on a piece of paper. You may come across new insights that can bring even more clarity and focus to your plan. Furthermore, you should be able to clearly articulate your goals so well that there isn’t the least bit of uncertainty or confusion when you’re out making progress towards your plan.
As music professionals, we’re all in the business of sales. For some, this can be a hard fact to swallow. After all, music is an art form - a transcendental language that breaks down language barriers across the world. However, it’s also a form of entertainment. In order to sustain ourselves as artists - as entertainers - we must be compensated for our time and effort. At the very least, the art needs to sustain itself. You must learn, understand, appreciate, execute, and learn to love sales. This applies whether you’re on stage, at a conference, or online - consider yourself always on the sales floor.
You’ve heard it time and time again: “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” This is certainly true, but only to a degree. Just as important as whom you know in this business is what you can do for them. You shouldn't be handing out business cards to every potential ally you encounter. You should first ensure that you have something of value to offer them. In a proper networking situation, a mutually beneficial exchange of resources occurs where both parties benefit from one another. If at first you seek to help others, and do so genuinely, you will gain leverage in earning what it is you’re after. Yes, while everything is sales as I mentioned above, it's important to remember the art of “sellling without selling” - to give in order to get.
In an ideal world, we’d all have large amounts of capital that we can allocate to pay top-quality help. This obviously is not the case, but sometimes money isn’t what is needed to gain the services we seek. If you can’t exchange dollars, exchange services. Either way, you’re building relationships and displaying a genuine desire to help the other person out.
Surround yourself with firelighters – people who recognize your passion (your flame) and encourage you to move forward, and try to avoid the firefighters – people who diminish your spirits by trying to bring you down - intentionally or unintentionally. You’re known by the company you keep, so affiliate and associate yourself wisely. Do some research on successful people and try to model their success. Also, if you haven’t had a mentor yet, consider seeking one out. Personalized and experienced professional guidance can work wonders for your career.