The end-of-year slowdown. If you’ve been in the music industry for a while, you recognize late October through the end of the year as a slow time for all things industry-related. Albums aren’t getting released, tours are winding down, publicists have less to promote, journalists have less to write about, promoters aren’t running as many shows — the whole industry feels it.
In truth, it’s a convenient time, since it allows us to focus on our loved ones during the holidays and gives us a well-needed break from the chaos that ensues the rest of the year. It’s also a great time to plan your next steps and start off the following year stronger than ever. So how do you do that? Start with these five ways.
1. Take stock of the past year
You can’t move forward if you don’t acknowledge the past. Take a moment to look over the last year and assess what went well, what could have gone better, and what didn’t work. Make a plan to incorporate more of went well but also take time to evaluate why certain things didn’t work.
Was it because you didn’t have the resources? If so, how do you make sure that doesn’t happen again next year? Was it because what you were doing wasn’t really aligned with your brand and your heart wasn’t in it? If so, scrap it. By getting crystal clear on what worked and what didn’t, you can cut out the things that don’t serve you and pour your energy into what has.
2. Make monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals
One of the most important steps you can take at any point in your career is to ask yourself what it is you’re really chasing. It can be easy to get stuck saying, “I want to be famous,” or, “I want to make enough money to support myself through music alone,” but what do those things really mean to you? How much is enough money? How many revenue streams in the music industry would you need to have to make that work? What does being famous really mean?
By writing out two or three solid goals for each month, quarter, and year, you not only force yourself to get clear on what you’re chasing and why but you have something to refer to when you start to feel lost or unfocused.