Vancouver 2010 Frank Horvat

9 Reasons How I Survive as a Professional Musician

Last Fall, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music invited me to give a talk to first year students about my career as a professional musician. While I have never been rich or famous (and most likely never will), I have always somehow survived as a musician. So in preparation for that presentation, I sat down and made a list of the reasons why. I’d like to share this list with you too and get your thoughts.

Last week’s blog was devoted to WHAT I do as a musician, so here’s the list of HOW I do it…

1. I Work Hard

2. I’m Versatile and Flexible

3. I Plan Everything and Sacrifice Anything

4. I’m a People Person

5. I Give Back

6. I’m Creative and Seek My Own Path

7. I Deal with Rejection

8. I Take Care of Myself

9. I Will Promote Anywhere Anytime

You might notice that I left off talent. While I’ve probably lasted many years with some level of talent, I don’t consider it worthy to be placed on the list because even with it, I would not survive without the 9 things listed above. There are many people out their in the music biz who are doing great but probably don’t have much talent, but definitely follow the list above.

It was also about year ago that I attended a conference in NYC and came to some major epiphanies about what I had to do to improve myself as a pro musician. Click here to read. I’m happy to report that I still think about those 5 things a lot and work at it everyday.

Let me know your thoughts. Did I miss anything on my list? Do you think other things are more important than any of my points in achieving your goals?


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