I’ve recently really enjoyed watching and speaking to independent artists like Cub Sport running their careers as if they have full teams behind them when they don’t have a label or even management.

Other than the quality of the records or live show, there isn’t really anything I can think of more important for the the rise of a recording artist than their team. Nonetheless, I find it inspiring how much is possible to do completely on your own these days… Or even with just a few independent contractors.

When one of these artists inspire me, I enjoy calling or meeting them and offering connections or ideas.

On Friday, when I asked Skylar Stecker how she’s making so much happen for her business on her own at the age of only 16 and after parting ways with her major label last year, she mentioned, “The squeaky chair gets the most attention.” 

I looked it up, and I believe the metaphor she was referring to is the squeaky wheel. Google claims it goes something like this:

The squeaky wheel gets the grease is an American proverb used to convey the idea that the most noticeable (or loudest) problems are the ones most likely to get attention.

What Skylar meant is you have to be vocal about what you want and how you go about getting all of the things you need to be successful today as a recording artist.

Recording artist and crowdfunding expert Amanda Palmer calls it “an art” to ask people to help and join her mission as an artist.

Many opportunities come to artists organically. And many others come because they or their team had the vision, foresight and courage to ask for them.

While crowdfunding is definitely not for every artist, I do believe there is an art to asking and a great power in the willingness to receive which is impactful for artists of every level, even superstars.

You can’t make anybody do anything… But you can ask anybody to do anything.

As human beings, our lives are framed by contradiction:

Sometimes there is a power in being subliminal… In attracting what you want without asking for it directly…. But sometimes you just need to ask.

When in doubt, ask for the tour. Ask for the feature. Ask for the advice. Ask for the amount of money you need for the campaign. Ask and you shall receive… Or at least have a better chance of doing so 🙂

Amanda says asking makes you vulnerable… Vulnerability is strength. It gets people to like you. So maybe asking is the first step toward achieving your desired result.

“Through the very act of asking people, I’d connected with them, and when you connect with them, people want to help you.” -Amanda Palmer on how she crowdsourced $1.2MM from her fans

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