Do I love what I do? “Yes!” Am I happy? “Yes.” Do I wish I made more money? “Of course!” Do I think I deserve to be where I’m currently at in my career? “Hell yeah!” Do I think I deserve more? “Definitely.” What am I doing about it? “I’m actively patient. I work for it, to earn it and own it.”
Like I shared in my earlier blogs; my career started with an accident, and since that night I’ve just been managing to survive. All I wanted to do was to stay as close as possible to the music and do what I love. I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to be or do. Meanwhile songwriting was a process of remodeling my life, from a ‘self-awareness’ standpoint.
So in each and every new chapter of my life, I went ‘all in’ seeking the highest level, but always being my own biggest critic. Not just for the sake of criticizing myself, but because I believe that something really big was yet to come and that the only thing that could stand in the way, was myself. So this was a way to improve myself during my journey.
I always wrote. Songwriting keeps my head above water in terms of my state of mind. I started writing gospel music, but I quickly realized that I was wired for something more than the “comfort” of religious beliefs.
After my first (and very shitty) paid gig with the band, I decided that if this is going to be my source of income; it should make me a living and be fulfilling at the same time.
Didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do or what direction I wanted to go yet, and I figured that the only crazy person willing to be patient enough to back me up was me. So I started my own label & management company together with friends and family.
My Dutch sucked. That’s why we ran the whole business in English; not because the language is universal, but because I knew that it would make a bold statement and raise interest. Apparently it worked; we got booked for better paid gigs, but we sucked extremely.
I hated playing the guitar, but it was the closest thing to ‘staying as close as possible to the music’ that I had. I was really passionate about making it work so I had high expectations for my own band. The first band was with friends and family; we were extremely talented, chaotic and undisciplined. So I broke it off, went searching for professional musicians, and made a new band.
I went for the best quality I could get in terms of music production. “Why?” — I believe you get what you give. So I wanted the music we brought out to be of the highest quality we could reach at that moment. But quality has it’s price, so I had to earn more.
Used to be (and to a certain extend still am) really shy and awkward — a bit of a introvert, but I needed to teach myself to sell, network and get the money in.
I was always fascinated about how the influence of music impact our lives, and I wanted my music to make a positive impact on anyone exposed to it. So I educated myself on human behavior, which allowed me to better understand myself, improve myself and improve my work. And in doing so create something that anyone can relate to that could leave them motivated, inspired and feeling good.
I always knew that I didn’t want to limit myself to only the places and faces I know. So I spend lots of time devoted to understand how the internet works, especially Social Media using it to get my music across the world, for business and leaving a mark. Even though I’m far from what I want to achieve, I made sure that my name is extensively discoverable on the net — “google it”.
Looking back, it seems like the past 10 years has been a preparation for what is yet to come. Basically I’ve been indirectly “managing” my own career but most importantly defining what I wanted to do and how I wanna do it.
Of course like anything else, it’s a process. And in the process, there are ups and downs. Those ups and downs bring you opportunities that will allow you to review, reshape, reroute, improve and progress — if you really want to.
In my own process I noticed that my priorities were messed up; bad habits of not setting goals, spending too much money, and allowing bills to pile up became my own way of sabotaging the progress. I wanted too many things at the same time, and I was extremely fancy about it. I fell flat on my face last year, waking up to the reality that I was dead broke, owing people I love lot of money, not because I’m a bad person, but because I can’t do it all by myself and expect it to be successful.
August 2016 when I decided to hit the road challenging myself to go “all solo” for one year, I thought it was a challenge only to face my fear of standing on stage by myself. It was also an opportunity to put things in perspective. To be able to reach my goal, I would need to step up my game bringing my musicality to the highest level. And to do so I would need to focus all my energy and effort on improving myself as an artist, musician, songwriter, producer, and storyteller. So that brought another challenge; let go and believe that there might be another crazy person willing to back me up.
I always knew something big is bound to happen, but I’m in no rush. I’ve been actively practicing patience, cause I’m in it for the long game. So for this coming year, I’m gonna finally focus on developing myself as the artist and let my manager do the rest. ;)
“Up and away”
Thanks for being here and taking the time to read this blog post; it’s a real motivation. I look forward to taking you on this journey, and I’m excited to share the ups and downs with you, on my daily Instagram stories, weekly #voicenote releases on SoundCloud, the vlogs on my YouTube Channel and my blogs here on Medium. Don’t be shy to say “Hi” — I encourage you to share your thoughts, subscribe, leave a comment and pass it on… this content is for everyone.
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