Music Management Skills: Stop Searching for Perfection

“I have learned… that my present is perfect.”

That’s the first quote from Thomas Leonard‘s book, Simply Brilliant. In it, he boiled down the collective wisdom of decades of self-empowerment research into 1,800 quick learnings.

And that’s the one that made it to the top of the list.

What Thomas wrote about in his books and taught in his classes really came down to this: if you believe in God, and you believe that God made a perfect world, then the world’s perfect right now. That doesn’t mean we can’t grow and improve, but it also means that it’s okay to accept where we are right now, so we can move forward.

Beginning music management professionals agonize over so much. Is the headshot right? Are the right people on the guest list? Have we sent out enough press kits? Are there enough flyers?

The best music managers really do sweat the small stuff, but they know the difference between the small stuff and the big stuff. All that agony over how many flyers got hung won’t matter much if the sound gear gets lost on the way to the gig. The blurry headshot that got sent out won’t make a difference if the demo doesn’t sound good in the talent buyer’s car.

Waiting for perfection takes the wind out of an artist’s sails. You can be like Axl Rose, spending over a decade working on Chinese Democracy. Or you can be like Damon Albarn, growing and evolving through a series of releases so sporadic and groundbreaking that the only thing you know is that you don’t know what’s coming next.

I reference Brian and the Colonel a lot when speaking about the history of music management. They didn’t have “perfect” clients when they connected with The Beatles and with Elvis, but they took the time to cultivate what we now know as perfection.

Take the time. Get the artist development right. But don’t hide your clients from their audience. Get them out there and let them fail fast so they can grow and evolve.