Like any business or career, building a career as a singer takes a vision, a lot of hard work and a strategic plan. Over the years I’ve worked with many, many singers starting out
on their careers. They often ask me what key things they should know. Here’s what I tell them and what I’ll now share with you:

1. There is no “one-size fits all” career model. The ways to make a living making music are as varied as the singers and musicians themselves. The key is finding what’s
right for you.

2. Have multiple income streams.

3. Always play with musicians who are better than you.

4. Keep learning! Take constructive criticism and use it to make yourself a better singer and musician.

5. Find a mentor or mentors someone who’s already doing what you want to be doing and ask lots of questions

6. Stretch yourself beyond—way beyond— your comfort zone. If you don’t know how to do something, figure it out, or find someone to help you figure it out.

7. The more musicians you know, the better.

8. Always be true to yourself, but be willing to explore new things

9. Don’t burn bridges. If you choose to leave a gig, do it professionally. Also, don’t post negative comments about other musicians or bandleaders on Facebook or Tweet about
them. Remember that there really is no such thing as a “private internet” and you don’t want these negative comments to come back to haunt you.

10.  If it’s not fun, don’t do it. This doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work, but if you’re going to work hard at something, shouldn’t it be fun?

11. The hardest part is between start and begin. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to get started. For me, the stumbling block was often this idea that I had to have it all figured out, had to know how everything was going to go, before I started. The truth is, all you really have to do is start. Yes, you want to have a plan and a solid idea of what you want to accomplish, but you don’t have to have every single step figured out. A lot of it you’ll figure out as you go. Also, if you try to have everything figured out before you start, you won’t leave yourself open to unexpected opportunities. There will be obstacles along the way, things you need to learn, mistakes you’ll make. But in the beginning, all you really need to do is start!

(excerpted from Get Paid To Sing: The Singer’s Guide to Making a Living Making Music by Jennifer Truesdale)

 What do you think? Care to Comment?