In a mentoring session the other day, I was helping a young songwriter who felt like she was really floundering around in pursuit of her dream. She talked about how frustrating it was to tell whether or not she was making progress and how difficult it is to tell what she should be doing differently to get ahead. I told her that 99% of the people I mentor have the same questions. Since it’s such a common ailment, I have spent a good amount of time applying my psychology degree to figure out why so many people feel this way and how I got out of that mentality earlier in my career.
Be specific in your planning. If I really wanted to go to Madagascar (an actual goal of mine), I understand that I’m going to have to do some very specific things in order to make that happen. I would:
Find out how much it’s going to cost me.
Begin saving my money.
Check with friends to find out the best places to go and stay.
Block out some dates on my calendar to go.
Make my reservations.
It would be easy to tell if I’m making progress. Have I researched the costs? Am I saving my money? Do I know where to go and stay? Have I cleared my calendar? Do I have reservations? In essence, I’ve turned my dream into a plan that is measurable with goals I can check off. I haven’t done any of those things, so my Madagascar dreams are not coming true. Songwriting is no different. If you want the dream to come true, you have to have a plan that is measurable and that gets you where you want to be.
So, as I’ve done many times in mentoring sessions, the young writer and I started working on her plan. She’s now got a list of things that she can measure that will keep her moving in the direction of her goal and she’s not mired down in the quicksand wondering what to do to make it happen. Turn your dream into a plan. That’s the only way it’s going to come true. And, if you need help, give us a shout.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with more than 15 years of experience in music production, mix and mastering, recording engineering, live sound designing/engineering, lyrics writing and music arrangement. He has produced more than 800 and written more than 2000 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.