The Plan of Action

As a do-it-yourself musician, defining motivation and desire is only the first step to reaching your goals. We (as musicians) are aware of what we want and we know why we want it, but how do we transform these aspects into results?

The first step toward reaching your goals is to implement a Plan of Action. For many, motivation alone may not be enough to propel you into action. Most people need more than just a plan on a piece of paper or an idea in their head. They need to give intent, by physically scheduling time to perform said action(s).

Recent research showed that people who explicitly state when and where their new behaviors/actions are going to happen are more likely to stick to their goals. Defining your plan of action and giving intent is a great combination for sticking with your goals, morphing your motivation and desire into action and can increase your likelihood of success.

Our plan of action for Retrolust was essentially two-fold; we had actions from a “production side” and a “marketing side” that had to come together into a final detailed timeline.

The “production side” is the actual production of the music for the album, from the creation of individuals songs, through to the distribution of the mastered album. We developed a clear schedule and due date for the album, artwork and final product.

What is Motivation? Learn how to define what motivates you as a DIY musician.

Most independent musicians have something in common; we’re all struggling. What we’re struggling with may differ; but whether it’s the music, the marketing, the management or the money aspects of being a musician, we are dead in the water without MOTIVATION.

When things get tough or seem unresolvable, when you are stretched to your limits both physically and financially, or when the critiques of your music aren’t in your favor, or your official fan list is starting at zero, what drives you to keep going?

Motivation

“What motivates you?”

This is the first question you should ask yourself as an independent musician. Many of us are uncertain of what motivates us, so some self-exploration is required. Once you realize what motivates you, you can then use that information to push through obstacles and reach your full potential.

The first step in defining your personal Motivation is to identify its two aspects: the Object and the Desire.

Be very specific; keep asking yourself what it is you want until you get the simplest answer, the root, the source, or what we’ll call the True Motivator.  “I want (X).”

For example: “I want a cookie.”

A 3 year old sees chocolate cookies in jar on counter. Mommy says no, and counter is high, but cookie is awesomely delicious. The 3 year old wants a cookie (Object) because it is delicious (True Motivator). Delicious is the True Motivator, the cookie is the Object of Desire.

If the cookie is the Object, the pleasure of it’s delicious taste is most likely the True Motivator.

If Money is the Object, the Pain of paying bills is probably the True Motivator. However, it’s often better to focus on the positive – the Pleasure of financial security is a better Motivator.

If Fame is the Object, the Pleasure of being liked and accepted is the True Motivator.

So once you’ve identified what it is you want, you need to ask yourself why you want it.

“I want to build a bigger fan base” …Really? Why?

“Because money is not the objective, I just want people to like and share my music.” Recognition is the True Motivator.

Or,

“I want a bigger fan base because I want to increase my passive revenue stream (i.e., financial security).”  Money is the True Motivator.

Of course, money and recognition (or, in a larger aspect, fame) are not mutually exclusive; in fact most of the time it goes hand in hand as a musician. But more often than not, one motivates you more than another. If both motivate you, then you have twice the work!

Once you have successfully identified your true motivator, you could just start planning out X, Y and Z to obtain the object of desire. But what you are lacking is the desire, or what most musicians would call their “passion”. What are you willing to do to meet this objective?

Desire

Desire is all about commitment. How bad do you want X? You have to want X so much that you are willing to sacrifice other things – time, money, effort, emotion, ego.

Again, how bad do you want X? Are the risks worth the reward?

You need to be able to tell yourself that you are willing to make sacrifices because you are committed to getting X. Desire is your willingness to do what ever it takes in order to get what you want. It is the integral part of motivation that pushes past risk in order to gain reward.

For example; “I am going to get that cookie”

3 year old resolves / commits to climb counter and covertly extract cookie from jar, despite risk of falling, or meeting mommy’s disapproving glare.

“I’m going to get that cookie, despite the fact I might fall or get in trouble with mommy.”

“I am going to earn that money, despite the fact I need to risk the money that I have, the time it takes to do this, all the effort that I have to put in, and the possibility that I may fail at any point.”

“I am going to earn fame, despite the fact that I might say something to offend someone, or might push some people away, or make a fool of myself, and possible hurt my reputation.”

Being honest about what motivates you is extremely important. If money or fame are the reason you are truly motivated, then embrace it because recognizing these objects of desire will allow you to target your goal and stay focused, despite adversity.

And we’re back…

We believe we had a great idea and we are not ready to put it to rest yet. We have decided to “reboot” Retrolust. Over the next several months, you will see our discography evaporate from the digital ether. Because to do things right, we need to start from scratch.

In September 2014, we will be releasing a brand-new full length album. This album will feature a few fan-favorite songs re-imagined bundled with brand new tracks. If you own one of the original 6 cds, consider it a collectors item and know that we greatly appreciate your support. It’s less about ignoring what we’ve done and more about using our past as stepping stones to a new place.

We’re currently in the studio and we have a lot to share with you soon. We’ll be using this blood to document our journey, our choices and our past mistakes. If you’re in a band, you might be interested in what we have to say about the state of music and the process of releasing an album. You could learn a thing or two.

It’s going to be an exciting year! In the meantime, check out our video for Faceless below or download the track for free from our soundcloud page.

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We have some exciting news for all retrolust fans out there.

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