Independent Rockstar

Insight for Independent Musicians

The Number One Secret To Success

What’s the one most important thing you need to do in order to become successful?

Have talent?

Be well-connected?

Work really hard?

All the above are definitely needed but none of the above matters if you don’t make a clear mental decision first. And that is commitment.

Without commitment your talent never has the chance to fully blossom. You probably won’t stick around for long enough to make the connections and you’re certainly not going to have the stamina to work hard and see through the hard times.  Commitment is the big secret behind every success story. Whether it was to your art, your career or your relationship.

Dreams are only dreams before you start to take action to make them come true. What kind of a dream can be achieved without commitment? Not a very big one. Once you’ve made a commitment you instantly gain two other advantages: priorities, and perseverance.

Prioritize Your Dreams

So you’ve got a great band of amazingly talented people, some killer tunes, and really positive feedback from your gigs. You’re on your way to the stars, baby, and one day you will rock the Stadium! So you plan to rehearse like crazy and book as many gigs as possible. Sweet!

Tuesdays and Thursdays are not good for the drummer, cause he’s working late. Sundays are not cool, cause you’ve promised your girlfriend to spend the day with her or she’ll get grumpy. And that gig you got offered next month is not going to work, because you’ve already made plans to travel out of town. Then the guitarist leaves the band and after a few months of not finding a replacement, the band starts to dissolve.

Sound familiar?

Life is the biggest obstacle between you and your dreams. There are a thousand things that get in the way. It’s not great to juggle work, upset your girlfriend or keep the band together. But if you have made a commitment to your band, you make it your top priority. Then you arrange the rest of your life around it. Prioritising is tough, and people outside the band don’t always understand it. But if you’re going to do it, then you’ll have to stick with it.

What Doesn’t Kill You…

People who are successful have usually worked very hard for a very long time to make it happen. Michael Jackson’s first solo album was not “Off the Wall”. He had released four solo albums on Motown before that. No Doubt had been together for 10 years before “Don’t Speak” broke to mainstream. During those ten years the band had gone through the suicide of their first lead vocalist, Tony and Gwen’s split up and two unsuccessful album releases. Kid Rock was signed and dropped by three labels and funded the fourth album himself before finding success with “Devil Without a Cause”. Lady Gaga was signed and dropped by Def Jam before she had the chance to release anything. And don’t forget The Beatles…

If you’ve made a commitment to your music, you will make time and you will see through the tough times. Committed artists work hard, which in turn makes them better at their art. They will cease every opportunity to bring their work to an audience. And they won’t give up.

What has been the biggest obstacle for you so far?


About Jessi Frey

Jessi fronted the band Velcra who was signed to EMI. She then went on to set up her own company and release their music independently. Recently she launched her blog at
Jessi Frey

One Response to “The Number One Secret To Success”

  1. Dean Francart says:

    Never give up!