Okay so here’s a throwback moment to a pivotal move… This was the first time, on home turf, that I did not take a guaranteed pay day from a venue… Instead, I negotiated a “door deal”; something that most musicians fear doing because they don’t want to work for their own audience. It finally paid off!!!
From the beginning, I’ve always known that I wanted to be a “hard ticket” selling artist. That’s when people pay ticket price in advance to see you perform… Growing up, I was always taught to have someone pay me to perform, fly me in, pay to house me, transport me and pay to feed me. While that sounds awesome, it sounds incredibly lazy and it sounds like having a boss at a job. I intrinsically felt that this was actually a position of weakness.
Yes, showing up to a festival where they pay me thousands to perform WILL be awesome. But that is what we call “soft ticket sales”. I actually rather not have a promoter to pay me to show up to a venue where they’ve brought the people. Because that means that they not only take the lions share of the profits, but they also keep the people. Instead, I want the people, my fans — to sustain me directly in exchange for giving them an experience. This is where the power is… this is independence.
The venue wasn’t sold out, but a solid 50 plus people showed up! From there I knew that I wanted to keep getting better and better as a marquee talent and independent artist… Today, off of the success of that night in Smyrna Delaware four or so years ago, I routinely perform one of the largest ticketed theaters in Dover Delaware to many of the same faces. In addition to that, we replicate it all over the country… next it’ll be all over the world…
I’m not telling you this to boast… I’m telling you this to let you know that it doesn’t JUST happen… NOTHING just “happens”. Nor does it happen all at once or as fast as you think it will. I can name 3 self-promoted events before this that totally flipped. The truth is, step-by-step you have to make it happen over time with refined persistence. But this will never happen if YOU don’t take the first step of crafting the opening scene to your huge blockbuster hit called “Your Life”.
That’s all it takes… you’ll fail many times… but that’s the road to winning. Take risks… some calculated… and some just plain ridiculous leaps of faith in yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail. You want the failures because they teach you how to win. I’ve failed too, trying to promote my own concerts across the country where only 5 people showed up! But I learn then I come back with a vengeance.
No mountain climber has reached a summit without acquiring some scratches and bruises. It’s only too late when you’ve convinced yourself to quit. Start now… right now… one small step then repeat until you’ve built your vision.