Failure Is Your Friend (Part 3: 3 things We've Learned in 13 years)

 

This is the final segment of the blog series today: Three things we’ve learned in 13 years of being independent musicians.

Here is our #3:

3. Success will likely not look how you think it will look and failure doesn’t mean you’re finished.

 

Let’s start with the failure part. Failure is not a sexy word, but guys, WE HAVE FAILED SO MUCH (and we will continue to fail as we continue to grow.) You might remember our blog about how we went to law school and told a bunch of law students about our biggest epic fails. We had a long list of them! Failure exists and you will experience it. But, it’s not the end! It feels like it sometimes, but often it’s just the beginning.

Sometimes failure can be your greatest asset.

We look at our last year and in some ways we felt like we had failed along the way. Or that we were failures. Getting fired, wanting to give up, feeling adrift. But what we got out of those experiences went way beyond our expectations. We were able to share our experience with so many people, stand up against body shaming, and meet people along the way who have changed our trajectory in a big way. Don’t look at failure as the end. See it as the beginning of something new.

When it feels like you’ve failed, instead of focusing on what can’t be anymore, ask these 2 questions:

 

1. What can I learn from my failure?

2. What does this make possible?

 

Asking yourself these questions will change everything. It opens up a new world of possibilities. The only failure that you can’t recover from is giving up. Pretty crazy right? You can only be stopped, if you stop.

And now onto success...wow. When we started out, we thought success maybe looked like becoming the next Dixie Chicks or Destiny’s Child (who doesn’t secretly want to be #QueenBey?) Or having a huge smash hit on the radio? Or maybe having our own reality show? It hasn’t looked like that for us. We have had, and continue to have, our own unique story and our own unique successes. The amazing part is, we could have never dreamt them up.

We didn’t know that success would look like...

...traveling the world as backup singers. We NEVER even thought about being backup singers. Like, we didn’t consider it once. Ha! Then all of a sudden, there we were, at the Daytona 500 in front of 250,000 people singing backup for one of our favorite singers, which led to over 6 years of touring as backup singers. Didn’t see that one coming.

We didn’t know that success would look like...

...playing house shows in your living rooms and backyards that would be some of the most rewarding shows we could ever play. The connections we have made with so many people have been truly encouraging and enjoyable.

We never imagined success would mean...

...we’d be on tour opening for one of our favorite artists ever, Jann Arden, traveling around Canada singing our songs and then getting to listen to her sing her songs every night. We had “pinch me” moments all tour long. We still do when we think about it.

We didn’t know that success would mean...

...that in 13 years we’d have relationships in our lives that have kept us breathing when we’ve wanted to stop, filled us with hope and laughter, and given us our greatest memories. Nothing beats that kind of success.

If success had looked how we thought it would look, who knows if we would have ever had these incredible relationships and experiences or if we would have even made it 13 years at all.

You have your own story...it will likely not look like anyone else’s. Don’t limit your success to looking like someone else’s success. It can and will be so much more special and unique, because it’s yours.

So those are 3 things we’ve learned in our 13 years on this crazy journey. To recap:

 

1: Be thankful for small beginnings.

2: Never sacrifice a relationship for an opportunity.

3: Success will likely not look how you think it will look and failure doesn’t mean you’re finished.

Maybe you thought we’d write about how we learned to use ProTools or what kind of vehicle is the best to tour around in. Maybe you thought we’d write about how the internet has changed how we do business or what microphones our voices sound best on...how to record an album independently in your basement. Or what it was like performing on Ellen for the first time! How and what REALLY goes on behind the scenes at SNL. Not this time around. Yes, we have learned all of those things and will share them with you soon, but these are three of the most important things we’ve learned along the way.

Thanks for being part of our story..and if you’re reading this, count yourself as a part of our success. We are counting you with grateful hearts.

Let’s all get started on the next 13 years: thankful, holding relationships close and loving failure!

Much love,

j&k