BIG NEWS!!! LET'S DO THIS!!!
So I’m ready to share some big news with you all.
WARNING This is a long post
2 months ago, after a period of extreme depression, I decided to “go back to school” (in a manner of speaking) and enroll in a music marketing program.
After self-releasing my recent album (Mix Tape Summer), I realized there was a lot I didn’t understand about the “new music industry”. I spent a few months trying to market the album myself, but by July, I felt completely lost.
I found myself treading water and not having a clue what I was trying to do - not only with the album, but in the “big picture” of my entire life.
July and August found me in a very dark place. The “old Daniel” - that version of myself that’s filled with self destructive tendencies - started showing up on a daily basis and telling me stuff - like my music was stupid, my dreams were dumb, I was annoying people when I asked them to listen to my songs… and that I should just give up.
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this kind of self-doubt. If you’re reading this, I’d wager you’ve had moments where you doubted yourself too. I see you! I get it.
Getting to that point of hopelessness - especially when it concerns dreams we care deeply about - is painful.
I hit bottom in August. I had a day where I spent hours scrolling eBay, seeing how much my guitars were worth. I was actually contemplating selling all my music equipment. That’s how much pain I was in.
I know… that’s freaking crazy, but pain can make us do crazy things. I’m not immune to that.
Luckily I have an amazing partner in Corey, and some incredible friends who allowed me to talk openly about my feelings.
Having people in our camp who believe in us is crucial. If you’re surrounded by people who seem intent on putting your ideas down, and making you feel bad for wanting to live your best life - make “finding better people” a top priority.
After much talking, and reflection, it became clear to me that I needed professional guidance in order to better serve my music - and the people who appreciate what I do.
So… I took a leap of faith and enrolled in two amazing music courses that are both geared towards helping independent musicians find ways to carve successful paths for themselves in today’s new world.
It was a huge investment - both financially and time-wise.
In addition, making an investment of this magnitude (I’m not a rich man) brought up intense fear in me.
What if this didn’t work?
What if this was just another failure?
In spite of those fears, I plowed ahead. I was in too much pain not to. I clearly needed help.
I plunked down some hard earned money, opened my mind and took a leap faith to see what was possible.
Maybe… just maybe… I could learn something new.
I’m so grateful I did. Showing up for myself this way has left me feeling more ALIVE than I’ve felt in years - and EXCITED in way I’ve never felt before. I’m learning SO MUCH, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this journey.
The people overseeing these courses are all musicians themselves, and they’re teaching me so much. I’m on video conference calls with coaches almost every day, and I have “assignments” I’m working on that are opening my mind to a ton of possibilities. I have numerous people coaching me - giving me valuable insight into what’s worked for them.
The result? This is probably the most excited I’ve been about my music in years. I’m learning so much!
I think my favorite lesson though - and it’s a lesson I’m learning every day, is this very simple truth…
IT’S OK TO BELIEVE IN OURSELVES.
Heck… if we expect to get anywhere in life, the fire fueling our passion needs to start from within us! If I don’t believe in what I’m doing, how can I expect others to?
Sure, we can get encouragement from the outside world, but our ability to succeed must have some fire within us to shine bright.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to show up for myself and learn new things. I’m also grateful for the connection my music allows me to make with others. At the end of the day - that connection when something we create helps to brighten another person’s day is an amazing feeling. I’m grateful to be feeling that feeling again. At my age (54) it’s a gift to still care so deeply about something.
Fear made me run away from my music for so long. I know I’m not the only one who’s run away from a passion. I have a theory that the things we run away from are often the things we care the most about. The more we love something, the more we might repeatedly run from it, because the path to success seems so impossible and the thought of failing seems so painful.
Some people run from their dreams for their entire lives. That’s heartbreaking to think about. The world is full of “what ifs” and regrets. That will always be a reality of humanity’s existence.
The break in that cycle needs to come from within. When we’re finally ready to stop running, and embrace what we love - regardless of the outcome- we have a responsibility to. If we choose to keep running, we can’t really blame anyone else when we have nothing to show for ourselves.
So we stop running - and we turn to face our dreams head on. That’s when life gets really interesting. A world of possibilities opens up.
The investments we make in ourselves (and our dreams) is one way we do this. It’s very real, very tangible proof that we value our dreams - and ourselves. If WE are not willing to invest in ourselves - why should we expect others to?
I’d apologize for writing such a long post, but I don’t apologize for my honesty anymore. Life’s too short, and plus… I’m sharing from the heart, which is the only thing I’m interested in doing with you.
Instead I’ll just say that I hope this post has helped someone who might feel stuck. I can’t tell you specifically how to get “unstuck” on whatever path you’re walking, but I do know it helps to talk to others.
Don’t shy away from sharing your feelings with friends. Remember what Michael Stipe said… “Everybody hurts”.
You sharing openly about your frustration might be helping someone else who’s feeling the same way.
We suffer alone. We recover together.
I’ll have more news about this journey I’ve undertaken so check back, because a lot of wonderful things are about to happen and I want to have you with me on this journey. Sharing my music with you will always be more enjoyable than singing to myself - so thank you for listening. It means the world to me.
Feel free to share your own experiences with “showing up for yourself” in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Your friend, Daniel