My friend produces albums. (If you live in Nashville for longer than 19 minutes you too will be able to say that sentence.)

He often meets young musicians and noticed that their narrative is changing. The new thing that fresh off the bus musicians  tell him is, “If you produce my EP for free, I’ll split the licensing money when the songs get put into commercials and TV shows.”

At this point, my friend tries not to giggle, because saying that is akin to saying, “I’ll split my Grammy money with you.” He also knows that in 8 years of producing albums, the biggest check he got for licensing a song for a commercial was $5,000, split 6 ways. Granted, once you’ve netted a cool $833.33, you’ve got it made. You can now buy 1/74th of a Rolex President Watch.

When you move to Nashville it takes longer than an hour to get a song on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It could take a whole weekend to get a record deal. Headlining tours sometimes take an entire month for you to land.

It’s a real hassle and the worst part is that it’s not just the music industry. Turns out it takes a lot of hard work to accomplish anything lasting in any industry.

Short cuts are fun, but fictional.

Don’t lose hope when you don’t get one.

Don’t give up because a producer won’t cut your album for free.

Don’t feel like a failure because you failed to win the lottery.

Put your head down, work three part time jobs and sing your heart out. Save up to get one song recorded. Turn that into two. Work that into three.

It might take you years, but that’s OK.

Slow success turns into long success. Quick success enters and exits our lives at the same speed.