Imagine for a second, you’re an up and coming artist or music producer who wants to get discovered.
You sign up to play your music in front of a panel of talent scouts in a room full of people who want the same thing you want. To get discovered and grab your ticket to the good life.
Sounds like a good opportunity for the Haters to come out of the wood work and cut you down right?
It’s not the ocean of haters sitting behind you that you should be worried about though. Those keyboard warriors, hecklers, and loud mouth idiots can actually help you along your journey.
There’s something much more sinister lurking around right in front of your face that can crush your dreams. It’s far worse than any hater!
I’ll explain what that is in a minute. Let me share a quick story with you first.
I attended a listening panel at the ASCAP convention recently, ASCAP is a worldwide performance rights organization. If you’re not familiar with them, they can help you get paid for your music!
I was sitting in a room full of music industry peeps, waiting for the listening panel of talent managers, talent scouts, and record label representatives to get started.
They would play a track from a new artist and then the people on the panel would give that person feedback on his or her music.
The first person showed up via Face Time which made for a pretty awkward and entertaining experience. The panel members had to pass the phone to one another while struggling to know when to talk due to the delay in the audio through the phone. Probably not the best first impression but it’s better then no impression at all!
After that things rolled along pretty smoothly. The panelists would listen to the songs and then give their feedback to each person who played their song.
While I was listening to the feedback, something happened that blew me away. I don’t know if anyone else in the room was aware of it but I could see it clear as day.
A business mentor of mine gave me some advice once and I didn’t realize exactly what he meant until this moment!
He said “Beware of death by faint praise.”
I was listening to the half hearted praises and generic constructive criticism the so called “experts” on the panel were giving these bright up and comers.
I use the quotations with the word experts because I know how these events are run and how people who don’t spend their time in the studio producing music get put on these panels to give feedback.
I’ve also been to panels where actual producers and artists are on the panel. But none of those people are going to give you the feedback you truly need.
You’re panel of experts should be your audience.
They will be your biggest critics but they will also be your biggest supporters.
If you don’t have an audience yet, then you’re not making music worth talking about and that should tell you a lot about how to advance your career!
Make Better Music!
If you’re playing your music for friends and family, you have a good chance of not improving due to faint praise.
Your friends and family often times don’t want to hurt your feelings so they say nice things to help support you in your journey. Which is good, we all need support but if you want to earn your stripes and make advances in your career, you’ve got to be able to take the good with the bad!
When You get rewarded for something or you feel a sense of accomplishment, it’s easy to set yourself on cruise control for a bit and ride the wave of good vibes. However, one critical comment or one disbeliever can ignite a flame that burns inside of you for a long time to come.
Faint praise can keep you resting in a valley of perceived success when you should be pushing yourself to go farther up the mountain.
So what’s worse then a Hater?
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below!