Find what you’re good at.

As James Altucher says, “You just need to find what you’re OK at. Because if you are OK at one thing and OK at another thing then you can be the best in the world at the intersection.” Own it and go. This is how to create opportunities for yourself. It’s easy to get caught following others. It’s easy to do what you think others want you to do. Choose yourself and forge your own path. Here’s my list of possible music careers.

Become a social media guru.

Be active on the Big 3: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And be sure to reach out and engage your followers. Be human. Be personal. Write as if you’re sharing with your best friend. Know the audience of each platform and develop content specific content for each. Highlight your strengths. And don’t be afraid to give away free content to catch your followers’ eyes.

Ask the question. Create opportunities.

You never know if you don’t ask. Put yourself out there and ask. People like working with self-starters. Want to be the top of a business? Volunteer to take notes in the investors’ meeting. Want to teach at a school? Call the director and tell them exactly what you’d like to do.

Develop a sense for what people want.

You don’t need to please everyone with your content. Focus on Seth Godin‘s First Ten. “Find ten people. Ten people who trust you/respect you/need you/listen to you. Those ten people need what you have to sell, or want it. And if they love it, you win. If they love it, they’ll each find you ten more people (or a hundred or a thousand or, perhaps, just three). Repeat. If they don’t love it, you need a new product. Start over.” Also, seek out what voids you can fill and don’t be afraid to ask what people want to see.

Don’t be afraid to do things that pay the bills.

Being an professional in the music world can take time. Between your practice sessions, don’t be afraid to create random opportunities to perform instrument maintenance, teach lessons, write marching band books, record audition videos for friends, etc. Take what you know you can do well and create your own revenue streams. All you need are a couple of these random revenue streams and you’ll become known locally for it, quickly gaining traffic for yourself.

Get coffee with who you’d like to work with.

Surround yourself with the best people in the business, not the best people you know. Cold call or message the top five people in that area. Ask them to coffee. NOTE: how you handle coffee is the most delicate part. Be sure to focus on them. Get personal. Don’t talk much shop until after you get personal. Be sure to do a lot of listening. This is one of the most important steps to “getting yourself out there.”

Be prepared to fail.

You try something unique, you may fail. Learn from it. It’s how you make your next best move.

Return to the basics.

Don’t re-invent the wheel. Find successful people and model their lead. Discover how their path can inform yours. Being a musical Macgyver requires quality models.

Read books & listen to podcasts by people with a history of sniffing out future trends and get started.

Follow these guys. They’re the top marketing and economic minds right now. They’ll turn your perceptions of the world and entrepreneurship upside-down.

Seth Godin | Tim Ferriss | James Altucher | Stephen Dubner