Plenty of Room: Why artists should avoid a competitive mindset

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” ~ Neil Gaiman

“There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven.” – Ludwig von Beethoven


It’s crowded in here.

You’re an artist and you’re trying to find your place in the entertainment world, but it seems there’s a mass of artists that are in the same space. Everyone you know has a social media presence, a song on iTunes or a video on YouTube. You find yourself vying with other artists for performance opportunities among an ever shrinking number of clubs and venues. It’s like you’re living in a house where there aren’t enough rooms for the occupants.

It can seem like the only way to get ahead is to become ultra competitive; to assume that there’s only enough space in the market for a few selected artists. Thinking this way will cause you to view another artist’s success as a threat to your own. Unhealthy competition among artists breeds bitterness, and bitterness never leads to greatness.

There’s a better way.

Instead of viewing the creative marketplace from a scarcity mindset (there’s not enough to go around), adopt an abundance mindset (there’s more than enough for all of us).

While there are many creative people making wonderful music and art, there is only one you. Your story and your creativity are your most valuable assets, and there are people waiting for you to share them. You aren’t in competition for those eyes and ears. They already belong to you. You just have to create the space that they will enter.

As you embrace your unique view and create from an abundance perspective, allow the creative community to inspire you. Take note of those that are working hard and cheer them on. Rather than competing, find ways to collaborate with artists that share your vision. You’ll find your artistic world expanding, and opportunities will grow, not shrink, as you celebrate the success of those around you.

You’ll find more room for yourself when you help to expand the house.

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