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It’s the difference between feeling alone and feeling supported. Between struggling in frustration and struggling to contain your excitement. Working with a coach or meeting with a mentor can change everything.
Look around you — all the successful people that you surround yourself with, that you hope to be like one day, that you admire and follow with such passion — do you think they reached this level of success trying to do it all alone? Never asking for help, or taking advice, or seeking out the expertise of others?
If they did, they’re either lying or extremely lucky. People help people reach their goals and dreams, doing so with a coach or a mentor can be one of the quickest and most effective ways to reach up closer to your dreams. Imagine having someone you could turn to when the going got tough who would help keep you on the right path, who could advise you based off their own experiences, successes, failures. It’s pretty powerful.
Let’s talk about how to make the most of your mentorship experience, whether you’re interested to connect with one of Soundfly’s incredible music and audio mentors, or to meet with a mentor in other creative fields such as video, graphic design, and social media marketing, or finding one on your own.
Ask yourself: what kind of mentor do I want?
The first thing you want to do is really focus in on what the most important areas for learning and coaching are for you. You can, and should, be interested to improve in a few areas over time (i.e: booking, management, lyric writing, arranging, etc.), but which is the main area for you?
Try to find someone who can at least advise you, or recommend resources, in those secondary extraneous areas as well, if not someone who specializes specifically in all of them. But for the most part, it’s essential to focus on a single outcome when working with a mentor.
When looking for someone to connect with, it’s also important that your mentor be someone who you trust on an emotional level, who can help you when you feel overwhelmed, or push you when you’re lagging behind in order to help you stay accountable to your improvements. It helps to think about what makes you frustrated, but a great mentor can also help you to identify those pain points in conversation with you.
Find someone who you vibe with.
Picking up where the last point left off, make sure you find a mentor who you actually get along with. If there’s a sour feeling associated with meeting your mentor, you’ll never improve. It’s not enough if they have a great track record or have perhaps helped hundreds of other artists, if they don’t inspire and motivate you, it might hinder your journey.
It’s ok to have multiple mentors, but don’t get overwhelmed.
It can a good idea to have different mentors for different things you want to improve on — like we talked about above. But what you don’t want is to completely overwhelm yourself by having 20 different goals at the same time. Make sure you have just one or two people you’re working with at any given time.
Don’t be afraid to reach out.
One of the ways I recommend opening up a line of communication, whether through social media or via a Craigslist post or someone’s website, is to briefly tell your story and make a request that is specific and leaves room for them to ask further questions.
Your mentor might be very busy. They may not even be a mentor, but a musician you like or someone you look up to. Clarity helps; so make sure you’re not offering any misleading information that could give them the wrong impression or waste their valuable time.
In any case, it might be a good idea to introduce yourself and explain why you admire them, and then follow with a simple request that shows you respect their time, like “I’d love to learn how I can work with you” or “Is there anything I can do for you?” This part isn’t about you yet—it’s about establishing a connection and showing them you respect their time.
Build that relationship as you go.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will this relationship be. While you can surely fast-track your goals working with new faces and networking your way through opportunities, the most long-lasting progress will come from relationships that develop alongside your career.
When you grow, your relationship to your mentor grows, and the two can inform each other for a while! Even if your session ends, make sure to stay in touch with your mentor and keep that door open for advice for as long as you can; or dive back into a follow-up session!
Find a supportive community.
There are so many incredible Facebook groups and in-person events out there, and I would highly recommend getting involved. At the end of the day, not only are these great places to connect with potential mentors, and get those introductions, but having a supportive community and mentor can truly be the difference between finding the motivation to keep going, and wanting to throw in the towel.
Alternatively, when looking to improve in music, you should feel compelled to activate your personal network of friends, family, collaborators, cohorts, and fans. Never underestimate the support of a community, wherever one can be found.
Ready to reach your musical goals?
Our one-on-one mentorship program is built on our belief that accountability and guidance can have a huge impact on students reaching their goals and developing their musical identities. Soundfly’s community of mentors will help you set the right goals, pave the right path toward success, and stick to schedules and routines that you develop together, so you improve every step of the way.
Tell us what you’re working on, and we’ll find the right mentor or course for you!