12 Simple Ways to Be a Happier and More Productive Musician

Simple Ways to Be a Happier and More Productive Musician

This is a guest post by Bobby Borg, which originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog

Pursuing a career in the music business isn't easy, nor is it for the thin-skinned. In fact, with all the challenges one has to face to get noticed, it can actually be pretty darn depressing. Here are 12 quick, simple tips that can help keep your spirits high and your focus bright!

  1. Keep feeding your brain with knowledge and bettering yourself every day. It gives a feeling of growth and potential.
  2. Give knowledge back by volunteering, teaching, and helping others. It gives a feeling of purpose.
  3. Stay away from negativity (i.e., people who are unhappy with their lives, have a false sense of entitlement, envy, or try to manipulate and control). Negativity is an extremely infectious disease.
  4. Know how to party and when enough is enough (which could mean not at all). Restraint is power!
  5. Exercise and eat healthy. Your health is a gift, and the way you feel directly affects your mood. Try yoga – it's a great tool for relaxation.
  6. Keep your finances, bills, and receipts in order. Try not to owe anyone anything – just the idea of debt can hang over you like a black cloud – and make sure you save something.
  7. Keep your house clean and in order. Do your laundry, wash your dishes, and light nice candles. Peaceful surroundings make peaceful people.
  8. Enjoy time with old friends and close family. Hang with those who have no judgment or agenda for knowing you. There's nothing more empowering than unconditional love.  
  9. Be in the wilderness. Go to the beach or hike in the mountains. Somehow, it makes you appreciate the very fact that the world – and you, yourself – are miracles.
  10. Create a career and goal agenda. Don't wait for anyone or anything. If you want something done, then get it done now. Be proactive.
  11. Always maintain an element of independence in your work. Always ask, "Could I deal without this job? Do I have something else lined up?" Doing this brings a feeling of strength and control over your life.
  12. Don't be afraid to be by yourself. Go to a movie, take yourself out to dinner, or treat yourself to a massage. Remember that if there's one person you can always count on for company, it's you. So be good to that person. You deserve it.

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Bobby Borg is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack On A Limited Budget (September 2014). Find the book on Hal Leonard's website under "Trade Books" or on Amazon. Signed copies with a special offer are also available at bobbyborg.com.


Megan Zurkey
Posted by Megan Zurkey on Jun 17 2015 10:31 AM
I mix in the voluntary shows with the paid shows to remember why I do music.. for the love of it! My favorite is singing/playing guitar in my church's praise band. Brings me right back.
Posted by Solveig on Jun 17 2015 10:34 AM
These are great words to live by, Bobby. We all need these reminders that being a musician involves taking care of yourself first and foremost. You are the product, you are the source of the marketable goods. If you don't keep the factory in good order and running well, the product quality suffers. Don't sabotage your own business, because YOU are the business.
Posted by Missie on Jun 17 2015 3:51 PM
Stand up to the abuse of musicians. Keep pressure on the government to pass legislation that prevents Google, Apple, Microsoft, Pandora, Spotify and all the others who are making billions off artist's work but giving the creators and owners of those works nothing.
Greg Benoit
Posted by Greg Benoit on Mar 15 2016 4:32 PM
Please keep royalties & residuals accurate & current as they help defray expenses!
Posted by Kathy on Mar 17 2016 12:52 AM
I surround myself with awesome musicians, we all share the spotlight and while we take great pride in our music, we have a lot of fun and don't take ourselves too seriously. It translates to the fans and friends and clients and makes for a great time. Have a great St. Paddy's Day Gig tomorrow night :) Music is a gift I never stop being grateful for :)