As artists/musicians, we often think about why the audience is not taking our work seriously. This can include people not spreading the word about our work or willing to pay for our work. We tend to get frustrated and eventually, we would feel self-doubt and become ashamed of our own talents and skills.
In moments of shame, we often look for instances to assign blame. We would start finding faults with the world and why the world is not recognizing our work. However, more often than not, the problem is us and not the world. It's highly likely that we haven't been working right.
In his interview with Chase Jarvis, Seth Godin offers two possible reasons your art isn't recognized by the world yet: 1. People don’t know what your art is for. 2. Maybe you aren’t that good at your art.
I will be addressing the second point in this blog post.
So, how can we offer something valuable to the society?
Seth Godin in his book, The Dip talks about the lie of diversification, which validates the tip #2.
One reason I love the Indian Carnatic Music concerts is the lack of assistance using technology to make the concert experience better. Most of the Carnatic Concerts do not have any sound engineers, or big mixing consoles or any major technology that replaces the human effort by covering up the flaws. Technology can push things down to mediocrity by making people fall into the trap of perfectionism to escape shame. Therefore, if you want to make it big as a Carnatic Music artist, you need to be really really good.
Another strategy some of us would choose to get recognized for our work is doing something 'different' than what the others in the same field have been doing. I have heard many of my friends, who had taken an unconventional career path, convincing their parents and peers of their decision saying, 'Sachin Tendulkar didn’t complete his schooling and went the unconventional way of becoming a cricketer and he is famous and rich. Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg was a Harvard dropout and yet he made it.'
While these are true they are also, superficial reasons. What my friends couldn’t see is how Sachin and Mark became what they became. The how is more important than the what. They were so good at what they did and that’s the reason they made it big, not simply because they chose to go against the status quo.
Clearly, what this requires is embracing a growth mindset.