Stay Open-Minded To Options


© 2009 Vinny Ribas

Many artists have a very clear vision of what they want to achieve in their music careers. They may have known since childhood that they belong on the stage. They have seen the spotlight in their dreams for many years, and for as long as they can remember, they have been striving to reach the top!

Motivation, dedication and determination like that are certainly admirable, and have been the engine for many of our most enduring stars. However, tunnel vision like that can sometimes blind us to other possibilities that are just as rewarding, just as lucrative and often much easier to attain. Sometimes we become so focused for so long on one thing that we can’t see ourselves in any other role.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you to give up on your dream. What I am saying is that there is often more than one way to achieve the benefits that come with our lifelong dream. Here are just a few made-up examples that might illustrate this point better:

  • Let’s say your goal is to become a full-time songwriter. Your dream may be to have a big hit someday. However, would it be so bad if, instead, you had (or made) the chance to write songs for a CD for a nonprofit organization (e.g. the Red Cross) that was sold all around the world as a fundraiser? The royalties could be substantial. The satisfaction might be the same as having a hit. It might also give you the credibility you seek as a writer. It is just a different path to achieve the same benefits.
  • Let’s say your goal is to be a full time singer or musician. Your dream may be to land a lucrative recording contract and tour worldwide. Would it be so bad if instead you landed the same kind of ‘house gig’ that Paul Schaefer has with David Letterman, or Kevin Eubanks had (and may still have) with Jay Leno? What about producing your own ‘show’ that lands a multi-year run in a Las Vegas showroom? In either case you can get sizeable notoriety, a very steady and respectable paycheck, and you get to play music for a living.
  • Maybe your goal is to influence the world by writing and singing songs about some facet(s) of social change. Would it be so bad if another like-minded and passionate artist with his or her foot already in the door recorded your songs and made them famous? You would then become known as the architect of the movement, while the artist became the messenger (e.g. Bob Dylan). You might even become a speaker as well as a singer-songwriter for your cause. Then there would be 2 people trying to affect your desired social change instead of just one!

The bottom line is that it is never a good idea to be so driven in one direction that we miss opportunities to achieve the same goals through different but effective means. Put your creative thinking cap on. Are there things that you can do that would satisfactorily provide the same benefits that you’ve always dreamed of? Is there an opportunity knocking on your door that you’ve ignored because it might distract you from your ultimate goal? If you at least explore all options, you might even find out that your new direction speaks more to your heart than what you’d strived to achieve for so long.


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.