How to Be a Successful Independent Artist | Defining Success
How do you become a successful independent singer songwriter?
I’m not sure. I’m trying to figure that out myself.
But I believe the first step in getting there is determining what “success” means to you.
See, I tend the think that “making it” can seem so out of reach and distant from us because we are defining what “success” is by the opinions and views of the world, instead of seeking within our hearts.
See, I used to define musical success by looking at artists who are posted on picture perfect magazine covers, performing on Grammy stages, and signed to record labels… and it seemed so unattainable for me.
Where do I even start?
How do I get people to recognize me?
Do I have to look like, dress like and act like them to be successful?
Why isn’t me enough?
I used to think that in order to be successful, I had to be famous.
I thought fame a fortune was what I wanted, when in reality, I just wanted to be validated. I thought being rich and famous was the only way to be happy, to be respected, to make a good and creative life for myself.
Now that I’m older and a bit wiser, I know that I never want to be famous.
For one, my anxiety will not allow it.
I also don’t want anyone to worship or “Stan” for me. If anything, I want to inspire people to believe in, appreciate and grow their own gifts, talents and abilities.
I want to be joy-filled, content and successful, and encourage others through my life that it’s possible for them as well.
Now you may be asking, “What is success to you, Alecia?”
Well, I think that’s pretty simple.
I want to be full. I want to be content. I want to create music, writing and art that encourages and inspires people to love themselves, love others and intimately know the God who loves them unconditionally.
I want to be able to make a comfortable living off of my art. I want to get out of debt to live free enough to create what it is that I want to create and rest when I need to. I want to not be consumed in chasing clout, success, or people’s praise and approval.
I want to share my gift with anyone willing to listen and not allow fear to choke or hold me. I want to see the beauty in fear while creating in spite of it. I want to shed light on the beautiful and broken places of the world.
I want to be free of the high associated with any algorithm, like, follow or subscription. I want to remain a person of integrity. I want to be able to sleep with myself at night.
I don’t want to chase dollar signs. I don’t want to adopt hustling and grinding as a lifestyle.
I want to be able to embrace and welcome rest.
I want to tell authentic and heartbreaking and lovely stories belonging to me and those who have a voice but haven’t found it yet.
I want to know in my soul that I am a beautiful and good thing because my Father says so, and that’s all that matters.
I want to create beautiful art that I believe in, that I am proud of, that makes people feel loved and full. I want to spend time with my friends and family, and whenever possible, be a blessing to them.
That would be success to me.
If I meet any friends, travel the world, change someone’s life… that would be awesome.
But I think what I really want is contentment.
I don’t need to be the next Beyonce or Rihanna. You don’t either. We already have them. I need not compare myself to them. That would be unfair to myself and my Creator.
I am the only me there will ever be and I want, so badly, to be and love and cherish and protect and share her-- me.
So, that is what success is to me.
It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s what brings me joy.
What is success to you?