Developing work ethic

If you want to do big work, you’ll need a good work ethic.

I’ve touched on work ethic previously. It’s your ability to get things done. Having a good idea is a start, having a plan is great, but the real difference is in doing the work. That’s what separates the dreamers from the achievers. I see motivation as the combination of three things:

  • Motivation. This is the willingness to do the work. It’s the bright light that drives you forward and fuels you.
  • Commitment. This is the promise to do the work. It’s more than just saying it – commitment is the belief you have in yourself and in you ability to do the work. It’s also the courage to allocate the time and money and mindspace to make it happen.
  • Discipline. This is what gives you the power to follow through on your commitments. It is the stamina and mental strength to keep doing what you said you’d do – even if you don’t feel like it on the day.

It can be pretty frightening to see it spelled out like that. It can be confronting to think about the necessity for work ethic. It can be discouraged to think that if you haven’t done big work yet, it’s probably because you don’t have what it takes in the work ethic department.


Work ethic is – like most productive activities – not a talent. It’s a skill (or actually, a set of skills) that can be learned and practiced and developed over time. If you want to get better at it, just simply have to do it. Put your mind towards practicing it and developing a body of experience.

There will be setbacks. There will be discouraging moments. There will be times that you feel like it too hard and it’s better to give up… Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep doing it. Keep the faith. Expect the setbacks. Expect the failures. Look forward to them as learning experiences.

You can have your dream come true, but you’ll work harder for it than you ever imagined. Work ethic is how you get there.


  1. YES! i make a lot of mistakes and i see every one of them as a learning experience. doesn’t mean it doesn’t depress the hell out of me sometimes, but i’m learning wether i feel good about it or not! that keeps me going in part. plus i just love doing music and recording!

  2. Excellent blog as usual. Keep em coming!

  3. @Mark Bodah
    The love for the music has to be the starting point. That’s where the motivation grows from.

    Thanks! Great to hear you like it!


  4. Nice reading as usual, thanks Kim!!!

    • rashidulkader
    • August 4th, 2011

    I really like this! I wasn’t sure what to expect when you recommended your blog, but so far, I am really liking it. Mainly because I am a Business Management major, and a lot of the stuff you talk about I can tie directly in with what I’ve been learning these past six years.
    Keep them coming, and I’ll keep reading!

  5. @Martin
    Thank you!

    Great to hear it resonates with you. Successful music production isn’t all EQs and compressors and reverbs. Strong project management skills are just as important.


    • CueJosh
    • October 8th, 2011

    Have you got any tip’s on the “Business” side of the big projects. I spend more time reading and learning then making music right now so taking time to also read about licensing, contracts and copyright would make it hard to keep my current work ethics.

  6. I’ve got a lot to say about business, but I think that’ll be a future blog…


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