If you're just starting out in your music career, it can be hard to know where to start. One of the best ways to move forward is by finding a mentor. A mentor is someone who has been through the same things as you, and they can help guide you through those situations and give you advice based on their own experience. The good news is that there are lots of people out there who would love to help younger musicians like yourselves—just look around!
If you're not sure who you want to be your mentor, think about where you want to end up.
You may have never considered the idea of having a mentor in your career. But if you're serious about making it in music, becoming a mentor yourself might be the best way to get there. Mentors can help you avoid mistakes and find opportunities, to learn about new ideas and skills — all things that will benefit your music career.
I've been lucky enough to have had several mentors over the course of my career as a musician and podcaster—people who took me under their wing and showed me how to navigate the world at large while pursuing my passion. When I think back on this time period, I'm thankful for every single one of them (and if you're looking for some good examples, check out these resources).
Now that I'm working with artists who aspire to make their mark in the industry themselves — whether they're just starting out or are looking for new challenges — mentoring has become an important part of my work ethic as well. In fact, when we started our podcast series "How To Succeed In Music" last year, one goal was always clear: We wanted each episode's featured artist (or band) not only to benefit from advice from other successful musicians but also give back by sharing their own knowledge with us through interviews with their peers!
Look up what your role models have done on their career path, and who they learned from.
If you're looking for a mentor, start by looking at what your role models have done on their career paths and who they learned from.
Look at their career paths and see who they learned from. What are the common threads between them and their mentors? What are the differences between them and their mentors? How can you use this information to help you find a mentor for yourself?
Find local experts in your field within your community.
The best place to start is by identifying local experts in your field.
You’re going to want to look for someone who has been doing it for a long time and knows how the industry works, but also someone who is willing to teach you, help you grow, and share their knowledge with you.
You can have more than one mentor.
In addition to your primary mentor, you may also have a second mentor. This person can be in the same field as your primary mentor, or it could be in another area entirely. For example, if you're working with an engineer for a record release and he or she is also an amazing songwriter and producer, there's no reason why they couldn't serve as both of your mentors! In fact, having more than one mentor has many benefits.
Another advantage of having multiple mentors is that they can help fill each other in on what they know about you—and they will each have different ways of looking at how best to support you through your career. While the first person might want to talk shop over coffee once or twice per week (or via Skype), the other might prefer sending emails every few days with tips and suggestions on how best to manage to be on tour while still having time for family dinner dates back home. This helps ensure that everyone gets what they need out of this relationship without feeling like anything was left unsaid due to scheduling conflicts."
Your mentors don't necessarily have to be famous.
It's true that the most obvious mentors are likely to be those who have achieved what you want to achieve in music. But the more time you spend thinking about this, the more you realize that your definition of a mentor doesn't have to be confined by such narrow limits. You can find mentors anywhere if you're willing to look for them: in your own field, or another field entirely; famous or not so famous; past, present or future. You might even consider going out of your way to seek out someone who has never even considered being a mentor before—someone who truly doesn't know what they're doing but would benefit from your knowledge and experience as much as they might benefit from yours.
Social media is a great way to make connections with people who could become mentors.
Social media is a great way to make connections with people who could become mentors. You might find someone with the same career goals, or you might connect with someone in another field who has skills that complement your own. For example, if your goal is to become a music producer, look for other producers on social media and start following them. Asking questions about their work can also be a good way of getting feedback on different aspects of production or even building relationships with people who can help give feedback on projects in progress.
Ask around when you're looking for a mentor.
While it might feel awkward to be so direct with people and ask them if they'd like to serve as your mentor, people are usually flattered when asked this question. If they say yes, great! You've got yourself a new mentor! If they say no, they'll probably still be willing to share some advice or give you some guidance on the matter (and in this way, it's not a total loss). Because everyone wants to help others succeed and get ahead in life, most people will be happy to lend their expertise—it's just up to your ability as an individual whether or not you can successfully work with them.
Look for someone who has what it takes in terms of experience and knowledge about the industry that interests you most; if nothing else at least try talking about their general career path or how things worked out for them over time so far as well.
Make sure that the people you ask to see themselves as experts in the area you want help with, or at least willing to learn it.
Mentors are not the same as teachers. A teacher teaches you a skill, but a mentor helps you develop your own skills. If you want to learn how to play the piano or guitar, go ahead and ask your music teacher for help. If you want someone who will teach you how to develop your career as a musician, ask an established professional who's already been in the industry for many years.
The difference here is that mentors act more like coaches than instructors—they guide their students toward achieving their goals rather than giving them step-by-step instructions on how to get there (although they may provide advice along those lines). Mentors know what it takes for their students to succeed because they've been there themselves and seen things from both sides of the table: They're able to empathize with what it's like being an aspiring artist at all levels of skill, experience, and success—and can therefore offer advice on navigating obstacles without making assumptions about what those obstacles might be based solely on their own experiences (which might differ greatly from yours).
Don't assume that someone is too busy to talk to you because they are successful or well-known in their field.
Don't assume that someone is too busy to talk to you because they are successful or well-known in their field. They may be willing to help you because they want to give back to the community, or they may just think it's fun. Either way, if you're persistent, chances are good that someone will at least hear your pitch and possibly agree to meet with you.
If you can't get a personal meeting with a famous mentor (or anyone else), try sending them an email asking if there's anything specific about your project that interests them. If there is, ask if they'd be willing to give feedback on an early draft of your work or meet up for coffee so that you can talk more about it.
Be clear about what you're hoping for from the relationship, and don't assume that it's the same thing as everyone else does.
In addition to being clear about what you want from the relationship, it's important to be sure that what you're looking for is actually something that makes sense for your career. It might seem obvious, but not all mentors are the same. Some people have years and years of experience in their field; others simply have time on their hands and some good advice to give.
If you're looking for someone who will push you out of your comfort zone in terms of finding new opportunities or honing your skills, then go ahead and make that clear! On the other hand, if what you're really hoping for is just a friendly ear and some positive affirmation every now and again—well, that's fine too! But make sure both partners know what they're getting into before they begin their relationship together (and if one person doesn't understand how best to benefit from this new collaboration).
Pick someone who will challenge you but also support you when things get difficult.
When looking for mentors, there are a few things you should have in mind. First, make sure that the person is knowledgeable about your field. If you're looking for help getting started with graphic design, it probably isn't a good idea to ask an accountant or lawyer for advice. Second, make sure that they are willing to help you learn and grow as an artist. If one of their main qualities is being opinionated about what's best for other people, then they may not be someone who will be able to give sound advice on how to improve themselves professionally or personally. Thirdly—and most importantly—check if they are willing or able to motivate and inspire others when times get tough (and they inevitably will).
A mentor should be someone who can help push you out of your comfort zone while also providing guidance during difficult times; these two traits often go hand-in-hand with each other because people naturally tend towards doing things they enjoy instead of things that require more effort or sacrifice on their part! For example, I had recently signed up with a new therapist but hadn't made any progress yet due largely because I wasn't ready yet... so why didn't want? Because I had too much pride at stake! This was something that my therapist brought up during our very first meeting together after she noticed me being defensive about something silly (something which happens quite often these days)....
She explained how her role was similar but different from mine since she doesn't 'work' anywhere else besides where she lives so therefore there would never be any chance whatsoever for us ever running into each other accidentally anywhere else except maybe at school... but even then our paths would likely never cross unless there was some sort of emergency situation happening nearby which might require both parties' presence simultaneously."
There are lots of ways and reasons to seek out mentors for your music career.
When you're just starting out, it can be hard to know where to seek advice and feedback. Mentors are a great way to get support and guidance when you need it most—but there are lots of ways and reasons to seek out mentors for your music career.
Here are some examples:
If you're looking for feedback on your music, try sharing an early draft with someone who's knowledgeable about the industry. They might be able to tell you what needs work or suggest ways for improving upon what you've already done.
If you're planning on starting or growing a business, find someone who has experience running their own company (or knows someone who does). This person should be able to help guide your decisions as they relate to running a company (or offer advice from another perspective).
If you’re trying to build a sustainable music career, mentors can be an important part of your plan. They can help you find opportunities and build connections that will last for years. So don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone if they would like to mentor you!
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