In the performing industry, success can be defined in many different ways. For the hobbyist, success might mean a positive reaction from the crowd towards your performance. But for the professional, I think it would be safe to say that success is measured in the ability to earn an income from what you love.
There are a magnitude of factors that contribute towards achieving success. A lot of people argue that the formula is hard work coupled with a bit of luck. However, this formula is abstract at best. For example, how do you know that the work you are doing is focused on what is actually going to please an audience? And what about the people that didn’t get lucky, but achieved success through their own efforts?
With this in mind, I would like to suggest a different formula:
(χ%)Ability + (χ%)Marketing = 100%
The values to the left side of the equation do not need a set value. All that matters is that in total, the 2 values equal 100%
This formula has always been applicable to the music industry, but it is more prevalent now than ever before. The reason is that record companies no longer invest in artists (or bands) like they used to. If you’re extremely commercial a record company may see potential in you, but even this is wishful thinking in a lot of circumstances. At the end of the day, musicians who want to succeed in today’s industry do need to have a sense of business acumen themselves with ability to have no reliance on 3’rd parties.