I was throwing away old paperwork and found this pamphlet from Mark Northam from around 20 years ago. I didn’t bother scanning the whole thing but even just the table contents is a trove of timeless advice that every composer should heed.

  1. Fail to market themselves properly and effectively
  2.  Fail to realize the critical importance of people and relationship
  3. Fail due to narrow-minded musical view
  4. Fail to compete effectively in the composer marketplace
  5. Fail to realize that talent alone is not enough – not nearly enough
  6. Failure to keep up with musical tastes
  7. Fail to stay current with gear, sounds and computer technology
  8. Fail to plan financially; expect big money too soon
  9. Fail to make preparations for the “ramp-up” period
  10. Fail because of a lack of social skills
  11. Fail to obtain education to make smart decisions about the business
  12. Fail because of a belief that years spent in the business means success is “owed”
  13. Fail to realize that success in related fields doesn’t necessarily mean success in film & television music
  14. Fail to effectively deal with geographic limitations
  15. Fail to realize how your music really stacks up to competition
  16. Fail to realize their role in the filmmaking process and how it relates to others
  17. Fail to be able to deal with constant rejection
  18. Fail to focus on making music; too much attention on studio, gear, and technical considerations
  19. Fail to be unique and stand out from the crowd
  20. Fail to properly plan for success