Keeping Your Drive When You’d Rather Be Napping

© 2010 jPaul Caianiello

In last month’s issue of Indie Connect Magazine, we discussed a basic mindset for preparing yourself for success. We talked a bit about the difficulty of maintaining your enthusiasm and focus over the long haul where days turn into weeks and months turn into years. The good news, as I have heard, is that it takes about 10 years to become an expert; so if you are working hard at reaching your goals, be reassured in knowing that you are building your musical expertise which will be the foundation for your longevity in the music business. More importantly, when the musical path that you are on becomes frustrating, discouraging, and/or disappointing, what you do to keep that flame alive and burning inside of you, will depend, in part, on how well you have prepared yourself both musically and professionally.

However, I believe it all begins with [private_member] a dream. Without a dream, you have little use for inspiration, determination, and perspiration (i.e., good old fashion hard work).

Right now, take a moment and clear your mind. Sit quietly and think back to when you first sensed that spark in your mind, body, and spirit. What was it that made you feel that music was a journey worth pursuing? What was the emotional connection that got you hooked? What was it that down deep in your heart and soul, made you realize this was something you wanted to do; no, if your life was to have real meaning, you knew this was something that you absolutely needed to do?

Personally, for me, that came at the age of thirteen. I knew what I wanted to do and was determined to give it my best shot. I did not want to look back one day and ask, “What if?” “What if I had given it my all?” “What might have been?” Maybe you feel that way yourself. Regardless of what your dream is, it is what will make your life meaningful. This is especially true on those cold, rainy, lonely days when the road seems too long and winding.

While it is your dream that is the source of your creativity, you cannot be a dreamer. When you are operating in the music business, the realities of life need to be dealt with and balanced by professionalism in thoughts, words, and actions. Can you be a dreamer and a realist at the same time? Sure you can; moreover, you will need to be. That is just the way it is. Life works that way. You live in that world. Trying to “do life” any other way, is not living in the “real world.” Each one of us must get up each and every day, day in and day out, and live either our dream, or the dream of someone else. What will you choose? How true to your dream will you be?

Your dream is what will get you up each morning. Rise and shine! It is a new day of opportunities; a chance to do what makes your life meaningful, purposeful, and engaging! Enjoy the journey.

jPaul’s website is

jPaul is a songwriter, musician, and educator with over 25 years in the music business. He is the author of JC’s Video Guitar, Guitaring, and the Literate Guitarist. Formerly the director of the California School of Music and booking agent for A Band For All Occasions talent agency, jPaul is currently living in the Washington, DC Metro area and forming a music collaborative called Music Artists Network. He is also the President of the Washington DC Chapter of Indie Connect. [/private_member]

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.