While my workstation’s churning out the audio file from the excellent IndieBiz Coaching Call we just wrapped up, I wanted to answer a question that folks have asked a lot in the last few days. Why did we change the positioning of our site from “…for the independent musician” to “…for the WORKING musician?”
Trade “musician” for “accountant,” and you get this story from Seth Godin, who notices two identically capable groups of individuals, sitting in adjacent hotel ballrooms. One group feasts on success, the other just gets by. Folks in the room where the snacks aren’t as good are only there because they have chosen to be there — they’ve limited themselves in some way.
I see that happening every day in music.
While I love the term “independent,” I fear that some folks have perverted it and its cousin, “unsigned,” to imply that the work you’re doing outside the major label system is somehow less than adequate, or Junior Varsity. In fact, you’re making music that’s just as compelling, if not more so, than what the majors are up to.
Even worse, by calling yourself “un-” anything, you’re focusing on what you don’t have rather than what you are, which is talented and deserving of success. (I just got an e-mail from an airline who told me I was “non-Elite.” Do you think I’ll fly on that plane anytime soon?)
Putting the “indie” politics aside, I’ve refocused my energy to make the distinction between “working” and “playing.” If you’re “playing” at being a professional musician, you’re still developing your craft and honing your skills. When you’re a “working” musician, every single seat you fill at a show means one more bill that you’re closer to paying off, one more night that you’re getting to live your best life.
If you’re “working,” or if you’re on the track to be “working” very soon, you’re the kind of musician I want to work with, no matter whether you have an indie record, a major label record, or no record at all. That’s why we invest so much energy in this site and all of our projects.
We just finally got around to changing the shingle, is all.