We do not live in a vacuum. In general, we need others. As a self employed musician, that part of ourselves can be the difference between making it or not. Being on your own imposes a lot of stress from the decisions you make and the consequences that ensues.  Although it is possible to white-knuckle that pressure and go through it with pure nerves, it is important to keep in mind that our perspective is just that: our perspective. Another person’s opinion, some encouragements, some tough love, some understanding as well as some criticisms can bring a lot of fresh air to a mind crowded with the problems of surviving in a precarious business.

I have always been lucky to have precisely that kind of support. More often than not, I shared my troubles and strife with a few chosen people to get some feedback. Often, the ones I was talking to were not musicians, and that actually helped me out a lot. They used a bed rock common sense, an impeccable logic that gave me a fresh insight.

I still rely on a network of closed allies when a problem comes up. Oh, don’t worry, I am not a pest as I try to lend my ear to their troubles as much as they lend one for mine. That interconnection, that flow back and forth is healthy. We are all humans here, we’re all walking towards our goals, sometimes with ease, sometimes stumbling.

I encourage the ones who want to become pros to reach out to their friends or family. They will need to develop and cultivate a trusting relationship with someone else. That bound, in difficult times, can become that proverbial hand rail in a dark stair case. Plus, because of the amount of time a musician has to spend alone practicing, I know it is good to maintain a social network that will keep her connected to the rest of the planet.