Rejection And Praise

Over the years, I have written a few articles on rejection and done
several workshops including ones at about it. In
continuing the philosophy of what you have been learning in my previous
articles, "Wait! Before You Write Your New Marketing Plan..." and "Learn
From Your Fans Regarding CD Sales", I want to take a few minutes to
remind you of some important points.

Artists often interpret rejection as a personal attack. Since we usually
view it as that to start with, we get emotional about it. But we need to
stop and be analytical about it.

Rejection is easy for others to give. All they have to do to generate it
is simply not listen to your music, not pay attention to what you are
saying or merely offer some worthless comment. For example, someone may
say, "I don't want your CD sampler because I don't like your genre of
music." But we interpreted it, as they didn't like "our" music. Instead
we should find out which artists they like and if we are similar.
Someone may leave the club after the previous group is done and when you
ask them to stay, they state they were only there to see the other
artist. We see that as rejection. Maybe their not staying because the
last few times they did stay after their friend's band, the other people
weren't very good and they assumed it would be the same thing again. (We
have all had that experience. The one where we wondered how the booking
guy ever came up with that line up!)

We are all susceptible to rejection. Most of the time the person
offering it doesn't have any valid reason other than trying to draw
attention to themselves by offering it. Recently I had someone say, "I
don't think sample CDs work." I said, "If you have found something
better I would love to learn about it from you." They just stood there
and said, "I just don't think they work." When I asked him if he had
experiences making "proper" ones and handing them out he stated, he had
never made one or ever given any out. Again some people love to draw
attention to themselves without offering any viable or valid
alternatives or input.

That's the whole point. As I brought up in the previous article, if
someone doesn't want to buy your CD at your next show ask them why. What
didn't they like about your show. Listen carefully and closely to what
they say. Is there something of value there? Can you learn something
from what they are saying? Can you make changes that will be beneficial
to you, your music, your show?

This should be your strategy when it comes to receiving praise. While
you are thankful for receiving it, be analytical. Understand what people
love about your songs. What are they connecting to? How can you use what
you have learned to connect with even more people?

While I will cover this subject in much greater detail at Music
Strategies ( in June, remember this
point. People are at different points in their journey through life.
Sometimes they can't hear what you are saying because they are lost in
their momentary problems. This can be frustrating to artists like you
and I because part of "our calling" in music is to educate and refocus
people with our lyrics and music. But sometimes you can't. They're in a
place where they can't hear you.

So the next time someone rejects you or says they love your music,
listen to what they are really trying to say and determine for yourself
how valuable they are to you.

Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."

Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".

Tim Sweeney