Dealing With Adversity As An Indie Artist

© 2009 Vinny Ribas

Have you ever had your back against the wall so tightly that you felt like part of the paint? Maybe your gigs dried up. Maybe you hit a prolonged songwriting dry spell. Maybe you just couldn’t get along with a hard-to-replace band member, manager or agent. Maybe the balance between living the road musician’s life and having a family started taking its toll. Whatever the reason was, or is, it can certainly cause an immense amount of stress. And that stress only compounds the situation.[private_freebie]

While adversity can cause extreme distress, it can also act as a catalyst for innovation and creation. Think of all of the times that something going wrong has caused you to come up with great new ideas. How about the times that it made you stop in your tracks and re-evaluate your path, often leading to profound but beneficial changes.

Stuff happens. Always has, always will. However, it is what you do at that point that will make or break you. Here are some ways that you can deal with and possibly even take advantage of whatever adversity you’re facing:

  • Write a song about it. Adversity is a source of deep emotions that everyone can relate to. That makes for great songwriting material! Plus, it makes you deal with the emotions you’re feeling.
  • Find a mentor to help you through the challenge, and keep them on as your mentor after you’ve resolved the issue. Wise men and women have mentors long before they need them. For instance, if your regular gigs stop booking you, find someone to teach you how to book yourself. It will open up a whole new world for you.
  • If it’s appropriate, ask your fans! Post a survey on your website or in your newsletter asking for opinions on various options that you have, as well as other creative ideas. This will accomplish 2 things. It will give you some honest and unbiased feedback and it will endear yourself to them because they feel like they are close to you and not just an email address on your list.
  • Consult experts. Maybe you have taken things as far as you can (or should) by yourself, and it’s time to graduate to the next level.
  • Evaluate the challenge and the causes, study them and then put systems in place that will prevent the situation from recurring. For example, if you have an issue with your publisher, do some research to find out what you can do to 1) resolve the conflict, and; 2) keep yourself from getting in that situation again.
  • Think ‘outside the box’ Apply your creativity to the problem to come up with a unique or unconventional yet effective solution.
  • Put a ‘mastermind group’ together (a group of people you trust who will come together to work on your challenge together) to help you come up with creative solutions. Then offer to be in other people’s mastermind groups. There is immense power in having this kind of brain trust to lean on.

Some people thrive on adversity. They do their best when they are given a deadline or are presented with a real challenge. If you learn to look at things that go wrong from an opportunistic angle, not letting bumps in the road slow you down, you just might find that your career will start accelerating.[/private_freebie]

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.