Do you want me to carry you too?

It’s nearly an old adage. If you treat a hobby with the seriousness of a career there’s a good chance the hobby will transform to just that, a career. Money isn’t everything. The only separation between amateur and professional is dedication and attitude. So why do so many musicians shoot themselves in the foot with pure laziness?

I guess it’s a question of self-motivation. Not all musicians are lazy asses. The vast majority of Pitchfork reviewed, college radio played, and touring bands obviously have it together. The rest? Well, they just ramble on about how all the other guy’s success is due to “hype” and all those “over-hyped” bands are “un-original no-talent hacks.”

News flash, talent means squat. Talent is akin to an idea, or some fantastic invention. An idea without execution is worth zilch, null, nothing. Derek Sivers’s hit the nail on the head in 2005 with his article Ideas Are Just A Multiplier of Execution. Sivers’s is the founder of CD Baby, he’s a smart guy. More importantly he’s a self-motivated guy.

Usually not every member of a band is plagued with the “I’ll get to it later” bug. But how can you tell if you’re the virus or host? Well, it should be pretty obvious. If not, here’s a fun little guide:

  1. Divide the amount of shows you booked by how many the band has played. Compare this number to your percentage of the band. Ex: “I booked 20 shows out of 50 (40%) and we’re a 4 piece [you're 25% of the band].” If the shows booked total is higher than your chunk, good job. If not, congrats’ you’re the anchor (not a good thing)…
  2. Do you ever initiate practices/rehearsals/writing sessions or does someone else? If “Yes, always.” Great keep it up. If “sometimes.” Keep carrying your weight. If “never.” Better get back to WoW, a troll might be eating your level 5 rogue.
  3. Do you handle communication? Maintain contacts? Check the MySpace? Respond to emails? If “Yes, always.” You’re the same one that booked all those shows and scheduled those practices aren’t you? If “sometimes.” Good job helping out where you can. If “never.” Seriously bro’, do you think those other guys like doing that stuff?
  4. How many posters have you stapled up/passed out? If “Too many to count.” Obviously, you’re not the problem. If “as many as I can.” OK, maintain. If “We have posters?” Alright jackass, let me guess, you have better things to do, right?

Read: The Perils of DIY