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Being a musician can be fun, and if you’re good, it can lead to a lucrative career. However, being a musician comes with, especially when just starting out.
But, if you know how to set proper goals, overcoming these obstacles becomes easier. This article will discuss SMART goals—specific goal types that follow five principles.
We will look at five different SMART goals for musicians, but first, we will discuss what SMART goals are and why they are essential for musicians. Then, we’ll look at 5 examples of what these SMART goals might look like.
What You Will Learn
What Are SMART Goals?
Before discussing musical career SMART goal examples, we need to know what they are. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.
This is a specific goal-setting method. When you set a goal for yourself, it needs to adhere to all five letters of that acronym. Now, we'll explain what those 5 letters mean and how to create a goal based on them.
If you want to learn more about SMART goals, check out this Ultimate Guide to SMART Goals.
Why Are SMART Goals Important for Your Musician Career?
Now, we’ll discuss why setting SMART goals might be beneficial for your career as a musician. Musicians face a large number of obstacles, especially when first starting out.
It might be a little different if you are a solo musician, but if you want to create a group act, one of the biggest challenges is finding the right groupmates. First, you need to find musically talented bandmates willing to work as a team.
Another challenge in the beginning stages is finding gigs or venues that will pay you a decent amount of money for your services. When you first start out without any experience or notoriety, finding people who will hire you to perform is more challenging than if you’re already an established musician.
Then, there’s the issue of funding, first for purchasing the musical equipment you will need to perform and then regularly to earn a living wage. Therefore, having enough money to survive is always a challenge, especially initially.
Moreover, promoting your music and getting the word out can also be a challenge. There is a need for marketing and community outreach.
Moreover, musicians also face other issues, including mental health, being discriminated against, publishing delays, and even having the right connections. Finally, the music world is very competitive, so you’ll face competition.
However, if you use SMART goals, you can overcome most or even all of these obstacles. But, of course, simply following the SMART goal methodology will not automatically overcome the goals because you still have to put in the work.
However, using SMART goals will create a path to success that is easy to follow and monitor. By setting specific and measurable goals, you can monitor your progress along the way to success. In addition, adhering to all five tenants of the SMART methodology will make achieving any goal much easier.
Examples of SMART Goals for Musicians
1. “My goal is to set aside at least $1,000 a month or a minimum of $12,000 per year from my musical earnings to cover my living expenses if I cannot find paying gigs for a prolonged period. “
S: This goal is specific—to set aside at least $12,000 per year for a rainy day.
M: This goal is easy to measure by examining your income and expenses and monitoring how much you put into savings.
A: Even if $1,000 per month is too much, this goal is still attainable because you should be able to save at least a few hundred dollars per month.
R: This goal is relevant as a musician because you might not always find paying gigs for weeks or months, so having funds set aside for a rainy day is prudent.
T: This goal is technically timebound because the aim is to set aside a certain amount of money by the end of each month.
2. “My goal is to find 4 new bandmates within the next 2 months. I aim to create a full band in the next 8 weeks. I will find new band members by posting flyers, advertising on social media, and by word of mouth.”
S: This goal is to find 4 new bandmates within two months by using various advertising methods.
M: This goal is easy to measure simply by monitoring how many bandmates you have.
A: This goal should be relatively easy to attain because you should be able to reach many people by using various marketing methods.
R: This goal is relevant if you want to put together a band.
T: This goal is timebound, as the aim is to put together a fully functional band within the next 2 months.
3. “My goal is to reach out to at least 5 promoters and venues each week to secure at least one show per week. In addition, I will call, email, and physically contact any possible locations.”
S: This goal is specific—to reach out to a certain number of venues or promoters each week to play at least 1 show per week.
M: This goal is easy to measure because you can easily track how many promoters and venues you contact and how many shows you play per week.
A: This goal should be relatively easy to attain because there are many means of communication, promoters, and venues.
R: This goal is relevant to your musical career because you need to play shows to make money and get the word out.
T: This goal is timebound—to contact a certain number of venues every week.
4. “My goal is to spend at least 1 hour each day not playing music or doing anything related to it but instead spend that time meditating to clear my head and reflect on myself. I will also monitor how happy I am and how stressed I feel from one meditation session to the next.”
S: this goal is specific—maintaining mental health via meditation for at least one hour each day while not focusing on music.
M: This goal is measurable because you can easily track how long you spend meditating each day. It is also measurable in a subjective manner because you can judge your mental health.
A: This goal should be attainable because you should be able to find at least 1 hour each day for meditation.
R: This goal is relevant because musicians often have mental health issues, so being able to decompress and relax is vital.
T: This goal is timebound because the aim is to meditate for 1 hour every day.
5. “My goal is to purchase a new Fender guitar within two months, the guitar that I will use to play shows. I will set aside $20 each day that I earn from my current day job to pay for this guitar.”
S: This goal is precise—to purchase a new guitar within the next few months by setting aside money earned from your current day job.
M: This goal is easy to measure because you can easily monitor how much money you are setting aside per day and keep track of when you will be able to buy that guitar based on cost vs. savings.
A: This goal is attainable because setting aside $20 per day should be doable if you are not having current financial difficulties.
R: This goal is relevant because you need to have the proper equipment to further your career as a musician.
T: This goal is timebound—to purchase a new guitar within the next 2 months.
Final Thoughts on SMART Goals for Your Musician Career
A musician who is just starting their career faces many challenges. However, if you follow the SMART goal-setting methodology we discussed, overcoming these challenges should be easier.
Therefore, we recommend making a list of the biggest challenges you face and then creating some well-thought-out SMART goals to overcome these obstacles. Create your SMART goals and set your musical career on the right track!
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.