Develop complimentary skills

If everyone’s doing the same thing, you’ll all be competing against each other. Take a look around your musical community – whether it be your town, your group of friends or an online forum. Is everyone doing the same thing? What if, for example, you’re a guitarist in a town full of guitarists? Or if you’re a singer and all your friends are also singers? Chances are, there’s more supply than demand – meaning your skills won’t be valued as highly as you’d like (because there are so many other hungry people with the same skills).

When you do the same thing as your peers, they devalue your work and you devalue theirs. You might not see it at first if you’ve grown up with it. Consider, however, why managers and promoters and labels are in high demand, yet instrumentalists and bands are a dime a dozen. A good instrumentalist may have spent a couple of decades honing their craft, a band might have some great songs… but if there’s one promoter for every 200 bands in town, whose work is going to in greater demand?

Rather than trying to compete, try to support and assist. Rather than doing the same thing as your peers, find out what they can’t do for themselves – and become the person who can do that. By developing complimentary skills, you can create bigger work and achieve more. People who would otherwise be your competitors will instead be your clients and partners.

For example:

– If your town is full of guitarists like you but no bassists, why not learn bass?

– If your online community is full of people hell-bent on conquering mixing and mastering but couldn’t write a song if their sex life depended on it, why not become the person who is good at songwriting?

– If all your friends can play instruments and have lots of bands but don’t know how to manage their online presence, why not figure it out and help them?

Find out what people need, and become the person who can help.

Or take it a step further – what if, instead of trying to take opportunities, you become the person who creates opportunities? In other words, don’t be lining up for the jobs – create the jobs that others line up for…


  1. Excellent point!

    • Kristin Brænne
    • April 11th, 2011

    • Fredhoven
    • April 12th, 2011

    dude, you’re a genius!
    you make excellent points every week. Propably the most useful addiction of mine :^)

  2. @Gregg Fine

    @Kristin Brænne

    Thanks so much!


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