Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? Like your shows are not quite as fun for you as they used to be? Has your audience started to shrink and lose interest? Then now might be a good time to take a step back and reflect on where you are and what you can do to change.
If your audience has started to dwindle then chances are you’re feeling anxious, depressed, sad, etc. Not exactly the right frame of mind to put off an attractive energy that’s going to make people want to forget about whatever else is going on, get in their cars and pay to come see you play.
If you’re not excited about playing your next show then why would anyone else be? You can never really hide how you feel about what you do. Genuine enthusiasm is hard to fake, and if you’re not even bothering to fake it anymore then, well, you really can’t be surprised when fans aren’t flocking to come see you.
If you really are excited, then everyone you come in contact with will know it. People will sense it in the way that you talk about it and the way that you approach it in your online and offline promotion. If you’re not begging people to come to your show and you’re not just going through the motions, but you’re just genuinely excited about it and you want to share the awesomeness with everyone, then that attitude will shine through. People will be drawn in and attracted to that energy.
One way or another you’re going to have to drop the negativity you’re experiencing and start projecting some attractive energy. You need to be the spark that starts the fire. You can’t wait for your fans to turn it around for you. They won’t. It starts with you.
So how do you get excited again?
It starts with simply asking the question. I recommend you write down a list of everything you can think of that would get you excited about your music career. Maybe it would be working with an amazing producer, or doing a solo acoustic mini-tour in an area you’ve never been to, or playing a show with an artist that you admire. Chances are good that the things that would get you the most excited and make you feel the most alive would somehow require you to get out of your comfort zone. Get yourself psyched up to do something that you’re a little nervous about. Get OUT of your comfort zone. Nothing will inject new life into your career faster.
Another important factor is gratitude. A lot of negative energy can come from the feeling that you’re entitled to something or that you “should” be experiencing something more than you are. That whole idea is a made-up illusion. None of us are entitled to anything. There is no magic rule book that says what you “should” get in this life. Entitlement blocks us from seeing and experiencing the fundamental joy and beauty that we encounter every day. When you’re disappointed that the mass of people standing in front of you isn’t big enough then you’re missing the connection with the girl in front of the stage who is moved by your lyrics. You’re not putting on the best show you can for the guy who drove 140 miles to come see you. You’re losing site of the real people that make up your audience. Be honestly grateful for every single person who shows an interest in what you do, because you’re not entitled.
What you focus on grows stronger. Focus on what you lack and you’ll amplify that feeling of lack. Focus on what you have and what you CAN do and those things will grow and become stronger. I want to spend my time and money going to see artists who are making things happen, not waiting for things to happen to them. So don’t settle for mediocrity. Step up to the plate. If you get out of your comfort zone, go after what gets you excited, and hold within you a deep sense of gratitude then I guarantee good things will happen.
Article by Scott James of The Independent Rockstar Blog.