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Today, I’m going to conclude the series on Essential qualities you need as a musician, with this very important advice; find the balance.

I started this series two weeks ago. In the first part of the series, I told you that you need to be patient, original and persistent as a musician in the 21st century. In the second part, I told you that you need genuine care for your audience, focus and consistency. However, I feel this last one is so important that it deserves to be a topic of its own and that’s why I saved it for last.

Passion is good

As musicians, we are usually very passionate about our art. And that is a good thing. You that passion to keep you going even when things aren’t going smoothly. It’s passion that makes you go hungry, or eat once a day so you could save money to buy that guitar. It’s passion that makes you walk for an hour to get to the venue you were invited to perform.

But you need to strike a balance

Sometimes, we could be so passionate about our music that we neglect family responsibilities. We feel succeeding in our music career is all that matters. This could be very dangerous. Many musicians have wrecked their families because of this. Some have had to quit music to save their family. Some others find they can’t cope with family so they divorce. I believe the main reason we find many musicians afraid to get married, is that they don’t know how to strike a balance between the time they give their music and loved ones.

You need to start now

I started learning this after I got married. In my case, both my wife and I are musicians. We had to consciously, though painfully, begin to adjust our lives so as to make time for family as well as music. But you don’t have to wait till you get married before you start finding a balance. In fact, I think it is best you do that before marriage. If you do, it wouldn’t be a big deal when you get married.

First, you have to recognize that family is as important as your music. And then, you need to consciously create time for family. Create time to visit, especially if you live somewhere else. Spend some time with your family together. Do some things around the house for them. Remember you are still a member of that family and so you have responsibilities. Join them for special occasions like weddings or burials, etc. If you have some money, no matter how little, contribute to the payment of bills in the house. Be responsible. You will find that gradually, this becomes a part of you. And when you eventually get married, maintaining such balance wouldn’t be a struggle.

It’s not too late

Even if you are already married, this is still something you can achieve. You can set rules for yourself so you could have time for your spouse and kids. For instance, you could set a rule that you have to home before family dinner every week day and that you all must eat together. And let everyone know about this rule, so they can keep you accountable. You could mark days in your calendar strictly for family and reject any invitations that fall on that day, no matter what. Learn to say “No” when it is necessary.

Success in your career as a musician is very important, but it doesn’t have to come at the detriment of your family. It’s possible to grow your music career and still keep up with your family responsibilities; find the balance.