Are You Part of the Top 2.5%?

Smash your head through your drumheads?

This post is part of The Renegade Musician Series.

Music Times published an interesting piece in 2014 showing that 0.2% of artists are “mega” stars, 0.9% are mainstream, 1.4% are mid-sized, 6.8% are “developing,” and 90.7% are undiscovered or unknown.

0.2 + 0.9 + 1.4 = 2.5

There’s your top 2.5%.

I have been quite generous in adding mid-sized artists to the figure. If I wanted to be even more generous, I could have added developing artists to the category, making it the top 9.3%.

Either way, there’s a dynamic playing out here. The study Nightingale quoted isn’t too far off, even today. You could take poets, visual artists, dancers, whatever, and you will see the same dynamic at work. In any group of 100 people, only one will be wealthy, and only four will be financially independent.

Or, in author and marketing guru Dan Kennedy’s words:

… only 5 percent really are living and experiencing anything close to what most would consider a successful, prosperous kind of lifestyle.

Now, you’re probably wondering what it is you’re supposed to do with this. Go cry in a corner? Toss the Fender Stratocaster in a garbage can and call it a day? Smash your head through your drumheads?

No, you’re a Renegade Musician. You’re better than that.

What we need to take away from this is that 95% of people are doing it WRONG. That’s why I continually emphasize — if you see everyone moving in the same direction, turn and run the other way! It’s the ONLY way to save yourself and to create the life you desire through music.

The majority categorically do not have the life they want, and they can’t show you how to get the life you want either.

As KISS’ Gene Simmons says, you’re not going to make any friends going your own path. But there’s a greater chance you will earn a better income than them.

What do we do to get to where we want to go? We observe the 95% and act differently than them, because even if they are well meaning, they are clueless.

Resources (Well Worth a Look)

Take advantage of The Most Incredible Back to School Sale while you still can.

Originally published at on September 29, 2022.



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David Andrew Wiebe

David Andrew Wiebe


Award-winning composer, best-selling author, podcaster, musician coach. See what I’m up to now: