Even let’s move one step further, what are the odds for a guy who couldn’t speak more than 20 English words to leave Iran, and next year get his first English song that he wrote, recorded, and then more than 1,000 English songs later, he starts writing books and blogs all in English? Yet, you are reading his blog right now. So, please don’t ever tell me that there is such a thing as “impossible”. I am a living proof of my claim, and I personally know people who proof it even stronger by the things they’ve got done!
The longer I live, the more I realize that it’s really not about the odds unless you are playing the lottery. In that case, there really are odds that are stacked against you. Those odds are measurable and accurate. They are based on math. They are real! In any creative endeavor, however, the odds are not so fixed. You can figure out ways to cut them way down. How do you do that?
Focus on what you want. Keep your eyes on the prize. Set your goals, for short and long terms and know exactly what you want. Keep your goal in sight and the mountains in between you and the goal will diminish. If I want a Grammy badly enough, I can figure out what I have to do to get to that goal. I can study people who have them. I can figure out which categories are most and least competitive. I can steer my writing toward those categories with less entries. I can cut my odds significantly. Just the first thing to do is to know what you exactly want, and when you want it. The next step is to plan for reaching your goal and consider all the road bumps in your plan. Don’t let some little disappointments to take you down. Already know the possible disappointments and when they come up, you know how to deal with them. And always leave some room for “unpredicted” bumps along the way.
You can refuse to quit. The people who achieve their dreams are the people who don’t quit – 100% of the time. Think about that. It usually doesn’t happen immediately or in the first try. You will fail a lot. You will be rejected a lot. You will feel disappointed more than you can imagine, and you will reach to the point that you don’t care anymore and all you want is to stop trying because you can it is going nowhere. But this is exactly the moment you should remember this: No person ever achieved their dream by quitting. The winners are always the people who kept going even when it was tough. You won’t win a fight if you stop fighting. You will increase your odds immeasurably just by keeping on going. As time goes by, you’ll see many others falling by the wayside. Don’t join them and your odds of success go up.
Work hard. I run into lots of songwriters and artists who want all the success – which this type mostly describe the success only as being famous – but they don’t want to work very hard for it. Even some with songwriting deals. These writers never succeed long-term. Why? People who are willing to work harder pass them by and people who are supposed to work with them will just give up on them and go to the writers who actually get the job done, unless these lazy people find each other and decide to do the lazy work together. Perfect match! I can’t tell you the number of writers and producers whom I know and always admit they are much more talented than I am, but I have passed by them on the road to success. They wave from underneath their shade tree as I hustle down the road, but I gain so much ground that they can’t catch up when they hop back on the road. You can outwork most of the “competition” if you are willing to put in the hours.
Work smart. Writers who work hard and smart are a force to be dealt with. That’s a powerful combination. Learning how to work in smart ways and then outworking everyone you know can turn “odds against you” to “odds in your favour”. Don’t simply work hard – learn about the right things to do and work hard at those things. Hard work is extremely important but if it’s not without a plan and if it’s not smart, it will be just labour work. And always remember, a writer or a producer doesn’t get paid for their labour job. They get paid for their views and the mind set they have. And it’s best when this mind set is quite smart so everyone will want a piece of it.
All of that to say – don’t worry about the odds. Change the odds!