It's very easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of your progress. You may have hit a slump or feel stuck in some way. Aside from all of the tools offered out there, sometimes you just need to sit down, focus, and figure out how to change positively.

What’s it take to truly get you to the next level?

The answer is a very simple concept, learning-by-doing. The concept of learning-by-doing is derived from an economic theory, but it can be applied to anything. It’s defined as:

“A concept where productivity is achieved through practice, self-perfection and minor innovations.”

The premise is closely tied to experiential learning. This is defined as

“The process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as "learning through reflection on doing".

You have to be able to deeply think to take advantage of these learning tools. So get yourself in a quiet place (or not), whatever works, and re-evaluate your progress. Ultimately, this will be tough because it requires self-reflection. We may be a little biased when it comes to our art.

1. Ask yourself a few questions:

What are the indicators you’re using to measure your success? Do you want to have a better understanding of songwriting skills? Do you want to evaluate your fan base? Is your music striking a chord with the right people? Figure out what those indicators are.

2. Ask other people for their opinion.

They might not exactly give you an answer you were looking for. This is good, though. Would you have changed if you didn’t know? They could bring something up you never even thought of.

3. Perform a show, launch a campaign, collaborate, or learn something new.

You need an arena to test the assumptions you have about your success. Will you be doing anything differently than you had before? To get more thorough results this may take a few runs, but keep at it.

4. Reflect on the outcome of the experiment!

Survey your results. How many people came? How many times did people play your new single? Did you brush up on your skills and get a little better?

5. Figure out what you can do to change and grow.

What can you do with the results? Know what resources to look for. Do your reading and your research on what you’d like to change. The only way to change something is by doing!

We hope this helps you track your progress a little better. For more tips for musicians, click here.