Like, Want & Need

Three little words that have a powerful meaning in your music career. In my opinion, they are the determining factors as to how far your career will go or how successful it will be.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

"I would like to sell more CDs or I would like to get a record deal."

"I want to sell more CDs or I want to get a record deal."

"I need to sell more CDs or I need to get a record deal."

Just using them individually in these phrases I hear so many times a day on the phone from artists like yourself really helps me determine how serious someone is about their music and their career. These very words bring forth your own belief in your music and what you are willing to do to move it forward.

When you use the word "like" you are really saying or communicating, I am really "hoping." I "hope" I can sell more CDs or get a record deal or I would like or hope to have more fans, have my music in film and TV, etc. It echoes the feeling of "I really don't have faith or belief in myself but I'm hoping you will just listen to my songs for a few minutes." Unfortunately it is the use of this word that gets your career into the most trouble.

"Want." Just the sound of this word has more promise than "like." Even little kids understand the power of the word. They don't calmly say to their Moms or Dads in a store, I would "like" some candy. They scream or carry on in begging or pleading or in temper tantrums, "I want some candy!" Usually to the point that you and I "want" to buy them the candy just to shut them up.

The same holds true for us as adults. "Want" expresses a "desire." Listen to it. I "want" to sell more CDs. I want a record deal. I want more fans or I want to play better clubs. It rings with a minor sense of urgency. Almost a "need." But "want" has its own problem that requires you to respond quickly. It begs the question "why?" I want to sell more CDs. Why? I want to make more money. I want a record deal. Why? Because...I need to believe by getting one that the misperceptions I have will some how be untrue. A good word but not the right one.

"Need" on the other hand is a powerful word for an artist to use. Probably one of the most powerful. It expresses not only belief, desire and urgency but a real sense that something is going to happen. I want to sell more CDs. It still begs the question why but the answers usually following the use of the word "need" echo determination and purpose like the word.

"I need to sell more CDs." Why? Because with more CD sales I can generate more money to promote my music, live off of it as my full time job or it will show record companies that I have a greater verifiable worth than other artists who would like or simply want a deal. It does have a sound of more resilience to it. It also poses some interesting questions to the owner of the word. "I need a record deal." Why? A real challenge. Do you really need what you are saying or are you just not thinking outside of the box?

Thousands of artists a year will send me their CDs in the mail or hand them to me in person at my workshops and tell me they would like me to work with them and help them reach their goals. While I am very different than the vast majority of people in the industry who will practically work with any artist because they have money, the greatest frustration for me is finding an artist I like and they want my initial belief in them to be the motivating factor that carries their career forward.

So be careful in the future how you express your music and your interest in taking your career to the next level. I'm sure you would "like" to see it farther down the road of success. I'm sure you "want" it to be your main job or focus. But when you get to the point that you "need" to take it to the next level call me at 909-303-9506. By the way, besides the fact that you "need" to use the materials in my books (Tim Sweeney Guide To Releasing Independent Records, Tim Sweeney's Guide To Successfully Playing Live and The Complete Guide To Internet Promotions For Artists, Musicians & Songwriters), you "need" to be at my workshops.

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