Rob Carona's 3 Tips for Success in Music Business


Rob Carona’s 3 Tips For Success in Music Business

This week, we were lucky enough to speak with Rob Carona, a singer-songwriter originally from California who now resides in Nashville, TN. Rob opened up to us about his three tips to success in the music industry. Before we get into those tips, let’s find out a little bit more about Carona and the history that brought him here today.

Rob was born and raised in San Diego, CA yet states that he has “roots deep in the heart of Louisiana.” He states that “music is life” and has always been his thing. Rob now has a family of 3 daughters and so he discusses with us the balance he has with music and family. Rob states that the success of his EP is what led him to move to Nashville to further work on his songwriting and music. Rob speaks with us about the struggle of having to sell his guitar at one point to pay for rent and his sacrifice of working a commission job when his true passion was with music. Rob followed up by stating, “family first, then music.” Thankfully, Rob stated he was able to buy his guitar back! Without further ado, here are Rob’s three tips to success if you are hoping to make a living as a musician.

1. Treat it like a business:

Firstly, Rob states that you have to treat music like a business if you want to really go for it. This means “setting up shows consistently, setting up co-writes, which [based on my experience] aren’t a thing back out west… it is more of a personal thing out there.” He explains that if you really want to make music a lifestyle, you have to make sacrifices and treat it with the same diligence that a business would have. This means learning to say no to certain obligations and “doing it even if you don’t want to.” For Rob, he also combines his touring and playing shows along with teaching songwriting to supplement income. Rob is a part of “Nashville Christian Songwriters” and has his own gig where he teaches music lessons as well. To finish this idea, Rob states that you must have dedication, which leads into the next point;

2. Remain unjaded; if you’re going to do it – do it for a specific reason:

Rob states that it is “easy to become jaded” in this industry and that sometimes you must “remember why you are doing it.” Rob told us that he has changed his idea of “success” since he began and tailored it to his life once he started a family. Now that he has a family, Rob tells us that his focus is on his family first and on teaching songwriting to others as a means of income instead of focusing solely on touring and playing shows. He goes on to say that there are a lot of setbacks and things that can and will go wrong and that you need to be able to stay above all of those things if you want to succeed. We talked about how it may take years for you to make even a little progress and that is why being in the music industry is really a psychologically demanding job and not for everyone.

3. Craft and define your own version of success:

Lastly, Rob is saying here that it is important to set your own definition of success because if not, “you can just keep going and end up unhappy and unsatisfied.” He states that “if you want to be rich and famous, great, just understand how much work that takes.” We at EHS liken this to the “Burner Theory”. If you have four burners [on a stove], which are turned up the most out of; Family, Friends, Health, Work? Furthermore, Rob states, “If you just want to make a living by doing what you love creatively, great, then go for that.” Rob states that it is incredibly important to constantly be setting up clear goals, because “if you don’t know why you are doing it or what you want, you can get lost.” 

“Play it S.M.A.R.T”!  One way that EHS thinks about setting up goals is with the SMART method. This includes breaking down and defining goals in a way that they are;

  • Specific: Simple, sensible, significant
  • Measurable: Meaningful, motivating
  • Achievable: Agreed, Attainable
  • Relevant: Reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based
  • Time Bound: Time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive

            We just want to take the opportunity to thank Rob for speaking with us and sharing some of his industry insights! We are excited for the release of Rob Carona's new single "Down To The River" coming out soon! This new single speaks to overcoming life struggles and is truly an inspirational song with lyrics most if not all can relate to! Thanks Rob for continuing to reach into others hearts with your music and using your art to inspire connectedness! Stay tuned to EHS and for more details!