Sometimes a curse, most times a blessing, I’ve always asked of myself of in any situation, “Why does it have to be done THAT way? What if I did it completely different?” We call ourselves creatives, and yet so often fall into the trap of traditional, expected, ways of thinking and doing things. The trick is in constantly having input from a wide variety of sources about ways other people do things. Not necessarily the same thing either. It’s the mindset and creative thinking that we learn from, not so much the method, although sometimes a method from one industry can be applied to another industry and work like a charm as well.
The main example off the top of my head has to do with The Silent Still, although I do this sort of thing in every aspect of my life. For TSS, we took ideas from the Real Estate and Startup investment world, from the old Steel Industry, from marketing “gurus”, from BIG business, and other, non-band-related performing arts businesses and productions. We asked, “Why do it like is expected? Why build up in local venues? Why go on tour when hardly anybody knows us? And more importantly, how can we hack the system, do it differently, and be wildly more effective, while still aching the same goals?”
So here we are at the beginning.
We’ve started a production company, firmly branded ourselves, and are planning events that include a type of rock concert. They’re not rock concerts, they are all out, engaging events. And all of them simply tests as we work towards a large touring production that includes theatrics, LARP, bands, carnies, and something best described as Cirque Du Soleil having a rock concert where the audience are the main characters of the night. We’re building it as a production on scale with Cirque, we’re promoting it like that as well, and yet, to us it’s still a way to go on tour as a rock band, not to mention a way to build an entire production company with lots of shows that continue long after our band is gone.
Another thing we’re doing is hacking the idea of income from merch. Crowd-funding allows a great way to do that, but what we’re doing goes far beyond that — Pre-sales with a monetary gal and deadline, a HUGE amount of value in the pre-sale packages, membership packages, fan involvement, and MUCH more. Also something so different and trail-blazing that the HUGE marketing campaign will happen along side it, instead of after an album release. “Trailblazing” as in very few have done it, and although successful, have never done it on this level; and we hope to set a great example to follow for other bands. 3 years in the works, trying different ways, hiring consultants, gathering experts from many different fields, adjusting, readying, firing, aiming, and firing again. Actually, over 10 years in the works if you consider my work coaching bands in Rockstar Mindset.
So now back to my point with this new perspective.
Why do things the expected way? In the music industry (honestly, in the smaller scale of most creative industries), the “expected way” has proven to NOT work, over and over and over again — what Pat O’Bryan called “Losers, losing by following losers. Not much of a plan, but it’s pretty popular.” Instead, be confident to pave your own path. Why do we so often fall into non-creative thinking when it comes to expanding, growing, and succeeding in our chosen CREATIVE career path?
Keep a constant influx of insight into the minds of creative thinkers from all paths of life. Stay informed about what has been tested and proven to work or fail. And always be asking yourself the question, “What if I did this completely different?” The creative answer you get may surprise you. Continue to feed yourself with the mindset and approach of extremely successful creative thinkers, from cultural icons, to highly successful entrepreneurs and more; and like the pic from Freelance Life at the top of this post, move your limited thinking out of your way and follow your heart. Or as Brendon Burchard puts it, “Share what you love, and the money will follow.” Or to follow an even older, proven mantra: