Over the last several months, I’ve been releasing a series of videos on YouTube called “What I Learned.” I basically research famous artists and bands and then give my two cents worth on, wait for it: what I learned.

While a major factor in the creation process is entertainment, I couldn’t help but learn some very practical bits of information as I went along.  What I’ve come to realize is that all though each artist/band has had his/her/their own trials and tribulations, they’ve all had a few key elements in common with each other:


  1. Hard Work.  From the Beatles to Britney Spears, I’ve found that everyone who truly achieved success in the music industry put in hard work, and a lot of it!  As musicians, most of us instinctively realize that it takes practice (work) to get good at our respective instruments.  No one starts out great.  The Beatles were not that great when they first started playing, and neither were Michael Jackson or Eminem.  But they each worked hard enough that they got good.  Really good in some cases!  Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers makes a compelling argument that it takes 10,000 hours of hard work to become a master in any field.  If that’s true, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be a master your self.  If you’re not willing to put in the hard work necessary for success, don’t expect it.
  2. Smart Work.  Someone once told me that most people who have worked for 30 years will say they have 30 years experience, when what they probably have is 1 years experience 30 times.  Hard work will only get you so far if you’re not intentionally working hard to improve.  The best of the best never allow themselves to become complacent in what they do.  They strive to figure out new and better ways of doing things.  They put themselves in a position where they can learn, grow and get better.  How do they do that?  They put themselves in a position where they can  fail. They fail and learn from the failure and then they do it all over again until they learn the way that works.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  It is the only way to learn.
  3. Perseverance.  The opposite of success is not failure.  As I said before, you have to fail in order to succeed.  The opposite of success is quitting.  All the artists and bands that make it to the top never quit along the way, even though they were given plenty of opportunities to do so.  The Beatles were rejected several times before they got their big break, so was Britney Spears.  Eminem was told that a white rapper could never make it big.  They all had setbacks along the way, but persevered in spite of the obstacles.  Remember quitters never win and winners never quit.

I highly encourage you to check out the What I Learned videos on YouTube.  Even better, take some time to learn more about the bands and artists you respect and see what you can learn from them.  What did they do to get where they are?  What obstacles did they face?  How can you apply the lessons in your own life?  Then work hard and never quit!

Cary Crichlow, Senior Producer and Engineer
RCR Recording Studios