How “Shiny Object Syndrome” Is Ruining Your Music Career
“Shiny object syndrome” is a common problem for musicians, and it can kill your music career if you’re not careful. This syndrome is when you get so excited by new ideas, opportunities, and gear that you lose focus on actually making music.
These activities are illusions that aren’t making strides towards your dreams.
But let’s face it, we all get tempted by Shiny Object Syndrome at some point in time, but it comes at us in different forms. It’s more important than ever to spot when you’re being taken off course by clever marketing.
This article will help you recognize Shiny Object Syndrome when it inevitably tries to take you off course. Once you know the different forms in which this syndrome tries and takes hold, you’ll be better at saying “no” to the things that aren’t helping you actually move the needle to your dreams.
You ready? Let’s begin!
Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS)
One of the most prominent forms of Shiny Object Syndrome is Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). GAS is when you chase buying new gear because it will be “the thing” that will inspire you and enable you to create a hit.
Gear Acquisition Syndrome often comes from a place of envy. You’ll find yourself scrolling through Instagram and get a peek at the guitar a person uses or the studio they work out of, and you start to feel like you’re not enough.
This feeling of Envy/FOMO is enough to get you spending more time looking at gear, forums, and reviews to figure out ways to acquire more gear “pros” use.
The problem with Gear Acquisition Syndrome is it feels like you’re doing something when you’re actually not. You enter into a consumption mindset instead of a creative mindset.
There’s a fascinating concept called The Tyranny of Choice. This theory is based around the idea that when people are presented with too many options, they actually take less action. That too many options at our disposal makes people lose their willpower.
When we are seduced by Gear Acquisition Syndrome, we begin the endless pursuit of thinking more gear will help us write more music. This is often the case, and we fall into the Tyranny of Choice.
One of the best things you can do for your creativity is to put limits around it. Stick with what you have and finish projects.
When you start to feel that desire for something because it will “make you a better musician,” pause and check yourself for a case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
Look, buying new things isn’t bad, and there will come a point in every music career when the musician needs to upgrade or purchase new equipment. But if you aren’t being held back from writing and finishing music in some form, then most likely, a gear purchase is the last thing you need to spend your money on.
Another way Shiny Object Syndrome can take hold of you is through education.
First, let’s be clear, educating yourself is an excellent thing, and everyone should pursue more knowledge around their craft.
However, particular “education” will become toxic for your creativity and music career.
These are the education scams.
I’m sure that you have seen those enticing advertisements scrolling through Facebook or Instagram that are showing you how to grow your Spotify Streams to 1,000,000 in 30 days. Maybe you saw a person sitting on a beach that grabbed your attention by saying they discovered the secret to passive income with their music.
Whatever it is, there will always be people trying to make money off of your desire for more in life.
The best thing to do with these offers and advertisements is to ignore them. These scams are Shiny Object Syndrome and will only leave you feeling frustrated, cynical, and broke.
There are good courses that genuinely will help you with your music and music career. You just have to be more mindful and careful with selecting the ones that will benefit you.
A good rule of thumb is if a course promises you significant results in a short time, then run the other way. If a course promotes a specific skill or framework (like how to master a song) that you can practice and repeat, that’s probably a good course to invest in.
Everything in life takes longer than you probably would like. And the only way to truly see success in an area of your life is to move past the excitement and adopt the routine.
Want better recordings? Record 100 songs.
Don’t know how to record a song? Buy a course from a reputable brand that shows you a framework for completing a song. Then follow that course until you record 100.
A great platform that to check out for this is Monthly.com
The key here is don’t course hop. Find one that will show you what you need to do, learn it, then get back to work until you reach your goals.
Social Media, Online Communities, and Forums
We have all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” when it comes to what makes people successful.
It’s easy to take this too far and get into a “networking” mindset and join every Facebook group, follow every Twitter feed, and waste all of your time.
This allure of networking from the comfort of your home is another form of Shiny Object Syndrome.
While you absolutely can make connections with people through the internet, it becomes toxic when you’re more focused on the “hustle” than actually making music.
If you want to stand out, then get lost in your craft. Keep making music and releasing it. As you grow in your art, you will build your value and eventually get opportunities with others doing similar things as you.
For example, say you want to get into music licensing because you saw an ad from someone talking about how easy it was.
You don’t need a course; you need to meet a music supervisor. What is a music supervisor looking for? Music. If you have a bunch of music you have written and recorded, you have something that the Music Supervisor is looking for.
Now, when you connect through social platforms, it has legs to stand on.
Don’t get wrapped up in the Shiny Object of networking. Become the person worth networking with, and opportunities will present themselves.
Becoming a One-Person Band
This is one of the most common mistakes that new and experienced artists make.
Here, the Shiny Object Syndrome is the false belief that you are so talented that you don’t need help from anyone else. That you can do everything on your own from writing, recording, marketing, promoting, etc.
Well, here’s the cold truth. You aren’t as unique as you think.
If you’re looking to take your music career seriously, you need to rely on other people. Just because you can play all the instruments on a recording doesn’t mean you should.
You will get more done with a team than you will on your own.
This doesn’t mean that you have to get a full band together. However, there is power in numbers, and it will help build momentum for both yourself and the people you work with.
It also opens you up to meeting new people and getting better opportunities down the road.
Don’t get complacent or caught up in feeling like you have to do everything yourself.
Find a good team who is passionate about your music and excited to help you make it as best as it can be.
To Wrap Up: Say “No” to Shiny Objects
The bottom line is that if you want to be a successful musician, you have to stay productive. This means not getting sucked into Shiny Object Syndrome in your music career and staying laser-focused on your work.
The best way to stay consistent for most musicians is to have a great team behind them who can help keep producing great music while avoiding burnout.
Supreme Tracks has different song production packages with vetted musicians and producers ready to help take your musical dreams and turn them into reality for all budgets.
There are no shiny objects, just real people who will help you into the end-zone every time.
Rinse, repeat, realize your dreams.
For more information on how we can help you, please click the link to get started!