My Story:  Rejection - Failing fast and the TSN turning point

Turning Road Blocks Into Hurdles - The AHA Moment

Failing, rejection and imposter syndrome are things we ALL feel and face as musicians pursuing our goals and dreams in the music industry.  It will never be easy when someone rejects your music, whether it's too slow, too fast, samples dated, not contemporary enough, not enough of a "development arc" and so on.  Believe me, I have received them all (and recently).  Putting your music in front of the best ears in the business is not an easy process, but to understand the importance of receiving honest subjective feedback to improve your music is not a roadblock, but a hurdle to get over, one of many that will help to get you to the next stages of your journey. (While still enjoying it of course!) 

The TSN Turning point or AHA Moment that helped me to break through and sustain into the sync licensing industry and start getting over more hurdles was to learn to FAIL FAST.  It sounds simple but this really changed the game for me forever and it can for you too. 

I first heard this from another passenger sitting next to me on a flight to LA for a major music conference back in 2014 (TAXI ROAD RALLY). He was in a completely different field than the music industry but he was clearly a well off and very intelligent (and very kind no less) businessman and just happened to be in the seat beside me.  Coincidence?  Those of you that know me know I don't believe that.  As I mentioned in a previous email it's important to enjoy the journey but just as important to pay attention to what the universe is putting right in front of you. We had a great conversation and then he went on to explain how failing fast has got him more deals faster in his industry via sales than any other tactics.  He talked about taking failure as a learning experience and the rejection as education and moving on to the next thing. Brilliant! It was exactly what I needed to hear and I was grateful for our short time together and conversation.  I was ready to fail fast going into the conference that year.  The timing was perfect. 

To that point in my journey, I was very precious about my music and sometimes it would take weeks for me to get over a rejection or take feedback as rejection when I thought my music was ready. This sometimes was crippling for me and some of those pieces I never went back to because I was looking at things the wrong way.  It didn't mean there was anything wrong with my music it just meant that I needed to find the right opportunities or more importantly stop pitching my music to opportunities I had no business pitching to (road blocks) and start giving people in the business what they were asking for by writing and composing to the listings and briefs.  Needless to say it worked and has helped me reach the success I have today.  (Check out my recent samples here CREDITS

See I figured out that most of the time I was actually getting in my own way and taking things too personally and once I figured that out and broke up with my ego, I just put my head down and just started doing the work every day towards my goals.  I had help from my mentors as well and with the right one on one coaching I was able to get that regular honest feedback I needed to continue to move forward.  Having someone that is a bit further down the road (That has actually done it and had success) that you can check in with and run your music by is priceless which is why I eventually got into consulting and coaching for others.  It is a full circle thing for me to be able to give back and pay it forward in this way, not only one on one through consulting and music life coach mentoring but also through the Sync or Swim Music community on a larger scale through events and membership.  It's a wonderful growing community of sync focused songwriters, composers and artists, led by kindness and empathy, networking and educating in a safe diverse environment online, helping one another grow together.  Join the free Facebook public group HERE

Robbie Hancock  


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