Executing Your Ideas


10 out of Tenn

10 out of Tenn

All “talk”, and no “do” makes Jack an interesting boy…but just a talker.  The problem with people who have great ideas and no execution is that their ideas either get stolen by others who hear them, or their ideas get dusty on top of a metaphorical shelf full of past ideas.

Everyone’s got dreams they want to make happen…but often times artists feel their dreams are too big and don’t know how to even start. The key is to scratch the surface and allow yourself to act “irrationally” every once in a while.  Here’s what I mean…

What’s the Worst that can Happen?
If you read the “What’s the Worst That Can Happen?” post from January, you’ll realize that every possibility has two answers – either yes or no. But that’s about it.  It seriously can’t get any worse. You won’t be black-listed for asking to open for John Mayer. If anything you’ll probably just be ignored.  That email or phone call will most likely not be returned 🙂  That’s a “NO” just in case you were wondering.

But it doesn’t hurt to ask. Lets say John Mayer is playing at your college.  It really isn’t that bad of an idea to ask if your band can open up for him since you’re students at the school (assuming you don’t suck).  The University of Pittsburgh does that every semester for “Bigelow Bash”.  They have a local band (that has a least one Pitt student) open up for the featured performer.  Pitt has welcomed Jason Mraz, Ben Folds, Lifehouse, Gavin DeGraw, and others to their semi-annual event.

Time & Fear – the two great inhibitors
Most people use the excuse of having time, but if things were to pick up with your music, would you make the time to accomodate the success? Heck ya!  But how can they pick up if you don’t take the time to make them grow?  There’s always a way to find balance between what you love to do and what you have to do.

Fear. It’s a bigger problem than time. You and I both run into people all the time who are afraid to do anything with their music. The problem is, most people don’t realize that it’s fear holding them back.  Fear of not being able to make money. Fear of getting rejected. Fear of failing. Fear of succeeding.

Learning to act big
If thinking big isn’t hard, why is acting big such a huge problem? I recently came across a group called Ten out of Tenn (TOT) that is doing just that. What it if you could tour without forking out so much $ for gas, promotion, sleep arrangements…etc.  TOT is doing this in the most clever of ways. They’re 10 singer/songwriters out of Nashville who have rented a huge tour bus, and travel around sharing each others’ fanbases and communities. They act as each others’ band on stage too. They’re at the point now where they’ve got Corporate sponsors like Toms Shoes, and American SongSpace (a branch of American Songwriter Magazine).  And they also have a compilation CD.  With sponsors, ticket sales at shows (which is usually around$10) and sales from their CD, they’re trip is easily  funded and everything else is pure profit. Just like that!

Imagine if you had all the money in the world to pursue your dreams. What would you do?  Check this past post called “Thinking Outside the Box” and follow the lead of  TOT. Thinking outside the box isn’t hard. Doing outside the box shouldn’t be either.  And…if you act on your ideas, they’ll be mimicked instead of stolen. Check out “4 on Tour“. Its a new group following the lead of TOT.

“I don’t want to hear people’s ideas. I’m not interested until I see their execution.”

-Derek Sivers
(“Ideas are just a multiplier of execution“)

 

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