When you picture in your mind what it looks like to “make it”, what do you see? Do you see your name flashing in lights on the signs outside of huge venues? Do you see yourself playing on all of the coolest TV talk shows? Do you see yourself having a sold out international tour or gold records and Grammy awards? The face of music is changing and so is the definition of “making it.”
Rock stars that have made it to that point are slowly dying out. Financial matters are becoming more and more difficult for musicians every day. Most bands that go on tour actually only break even, if not lose money. We aren’t talking about huge arena tours, but your every day independent music tours.
For most bands, taking a financial loss causes serious problems. For some bands, just being on tour means that they “made it.” For others, they will see it as a failure and strive for more. Others see the investment as a step in the right direction.
Every band and every musician has a different business guideline as well as different business goal. You have to look at your indie-band as a business. If you can sell out every local venue your band has made it, in that area. You now need to evaluate your current success and see how that can be pushed on to different areas. The point is, your music is reaching more and more people. You may not be at Jay-Z status, but you are to the people in your area.
Even local bands that get signed to a major label, how many of them do you actually see blow up? Most of them record a CD, play a small tour and then they are back to playing pretty much the same shows they were before they even got signed. Is that making it?
It truly all depends on your mindset and what you want to achieve with your music career.