How To Make It In The Music (or any other) Industry in 11 Simple (but not easy) Steps

‘ve just returned from a fantastic weekend at the annual Eurosonic/Noorderslag weekend in Groningen. It was my 15th time and it gets better every year. It was wonderful to see my students, clients, colleagues and friends doing what they love and sharing their passion with me. (Oh, and dancing until 5 am was also fun too. Really, really fun. My god so much fun. Why don’t I do that more often?!?)

I love seeing young people find their way in the world. I love helping them on that journey. This weekend was a great reminder of how to stay hungry. I wrote a blog many years ago about this and I’d like to share it with you today. Feel free to share this with anyone you know who’s struggling with their career or finding their passion.


  1. Find out what you are deeply passionate about and make sure you become excellent at it.
  2. Give yourself time to connect the dots. I was in my 30’s before it all came together.
  3. Share your skills and your passion with others. Whenever you get the chance. If you don’t get the chance, create the chance. If you are not willing to create a chance, then you’re not passionate enough.
  4. Learn from others who do your skill or service really well. Take notes. Ask hard questions. Make them think. Leave them with an impression of you. Leave them curious.
  5. You need help? Ask for it, for fuck’s sake. If you want to get better, and someone can help you, and you DON’T ASK, then you don’t want it badly enough. Get it?
  6. Go up to people you (gasp) don’t know and talk to them. This is what ‘networking’ is. Maybe they are famous and you get scared (been there). Maybe they are busy and don’t have a lot of time (been there). Maybe they have huge egos and don’t see the value of what you can offer (been there). But get out and get in the game. No one ever scored a touchdown from the sidelines. Ever.
  7. If you can’t support yourself by doing what you love to do, do something that pays enough money so that you can do what you love when you’re not working at that shitty job. If you have a crap job to help pay for your studio time, your gear, your lessons, etc. be GRATEFUL that you are using the money to help finance your gift. So many of your colleagues are using that money for unimportant shit. They don’t have a gift or a dream to finance. And as a result, they’re going to be working at that shitty job a lot longer than you will be.
  8. If you have good news, spread it like wildfire. Be proud of what you have accomplished. If you’re not proud of it yourself, why should anyone else be? OWN YOUR TALENT. So many Dutchies have trouble with this. Stop making yourself small and start CELEBRATING what you got. Get OUT THERE and shake what your mama gave ya.
  9. Surround yourself with people who are better than you will ever be at the things you suck at. I have a brilliant team who teach me things I ‘m crap at. As a result, I will never arrange to do a workshop in Leeuwarden and Breda on the same day. (Well, you know, again.)
  10. Let me set the record straight. Normal gets you nowhere. Get me interested because you are different, special, hungry, curious, and willing to learn. If you have my favorite cocktail of passion, dedication, discipline, and talent, combined with not being afraid to take risks and talk to strangers, then there’s no stopping you.
  11. There is no 11. (I wanted to make a top 10.)

That’s all for how. Oh, and putting number 8 into practise: I am honored to have a 6-page spread in this month’s ZIN magazine. It’s a very honest profile about my disease, my childhood, my mission and my gratitude. You can get a sneak peek hier.

With a huge Duberman Death Grip hug (you need 12 hugs a day for emotional growth – you know that, right?),

X buffi

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