Unpopular Opinion

Here is a short list of things that it takes balls to do:
1. Working insanely hard and dedicating your life to an instrument (10,000 hours +) even though few musicians make a sustainable or comfortable living.

2. Making appearances in front of large (sometimes really large) audiences of people. All eyes and ears on you…better dance good monkey!

3. Functioning and making gains in a hate filled environment. Regular people look up to celebrity musicians, but down on all other musicians. That is enough to discourage thin skinned people. That is why there are no thin skinned successful musicians (they don’t exist).

4. Self Promotion. Canadian musicians in particular have a real hard time with self promotion. They don’t want to appear rude or aggressive or pushy. But real musicians who have that fire burning deep in their soles have no time for that brand of politeness. It takes balls to self promote unapologetically.

5. Leaving the comfort zone behind and diving head first into strange untested waters. This is the nature of the beast. Once a musicians profile increases all kinds of interesting (sometimes bizarre) opportunities present themselves. Many of these opportunities are things musicians never imagined they would be asked to do. There is a lot of fear in the unknown, but musicians with balls swallow that fear like it was apple juice.

6. Surviving negative PR. Musicians are public personalities. They are constantly putting themselves out there to be judged and criticized (that alone takes balls that could do some damage at the bowling alley). But they can’t always have a great day or show (although truly great musicians make it seem like they do). So when the inevitable happens and some whinny music journalist (read failed musician) gives them a bad review, weaker souls would be destroyed. A real musician takes the negative review and turns it into a positive experience (even a learning experience).

7. Lack of support. Mentioned in a previous post that most musicians don’t get very much support from the people who should be giving them the most, family and friends. It takes balls and some real persistence and determination to continue doing something when your own people don’t believe in you. The large balled musician has enough belief in themselves to do just fine in the music biz.

8. Settling for less. This one needs a little qualification. Less money, less status symbols (like luxury cars and country club memberships). Yes its true musicians can’t typically afford luxury items, however an important point has to be made right now….MUSICIANS DEFINE SUCCESS IN DIFFERENT TERMS THAN REGULAR PEOPLE. A musician feels success when they conquer a piece of music, or even just a lick, that they couldn’t play before. Or when another musician they admire takes notice of what they are doing and compliments them. Or when a fan writes them a letter telling them how important one of the musicians songs are to them. Or when they get to open up for another musician they admire. Or when people download and/or stream/view their songs and videos. This could go on and on. There are so many milestones and benchmarks of success in a musicians career that have nothing to do with financial reward. Its the musicians who value the non-financial career milestones with the biggest balls. While all of the other scarred little regular people are running around squirreling away as much money as possible, the musician doesn’t have those regular people fears so they spend their time running after things that matter (things they will remember and be remembered for).

Musicians are special. One reason they are is because their proverbial balls (meaning this extends to female musician just as much as the male ones) are huge. I admire this :)

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