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School Of Rocky: Family Boundaries

3/22/22 - 3:25pm

Artist Boundaries

Have you ever driven by a neighborhood and saw some stakes in the ground mapping the area in which a new home will be built? This boundary shows the people who are building the house what area the home will be built within.

For the sake of this write-up, let’s think of your music career as a house and boundaries as a fence around your house. One of the first things you need to do in your life once you decide to pursue a career in the music industry is make sure that you have boundaries in place. There are different rules depending on the type of fence you need.

You have a family fence, a friend fence, work fence, and a leisure fence.

Let’s first discuss the family fence.

You might not think that you need to set up boundaries between your family and your career choice, but trust me. You DO!

Ask yourself the following questions when determining the type of boundaries you need to set in place:

  1. Does your partner “approve” of your pursuit of your music career?

  2. What does support from your family look like while you pursue a career in music?

  3. Are you able to be open and honest when speaking about the pursuit of this career path?

  4. What are some of the responsibilities that you must uphold while you are a music artist?

  5. Has any of your family expressed interest in assisting you with your career and do you feel comfortable with allowing that person to assist you?

Be real with yourself about the answers to these questions.

Just because your family doesn’t “support” you in the way you want to be supported, doesn’t mean that they don't approve of your pursuit of being an artist. They just either might not be able to meet what your version of support looks like or maybe you haven’t expressed what support from them looks like.

Based on your answers, you should have a real conversation about what you need from your family. Be sure to include your understanding of your role and responsibility as a family member as well. You can’t just ask them to understand and sacrifice while simply doing whatever it is you want to do and not have some type of pushback of friction within this arrangement.

It’s got to be some give and take.

Also expect that this conversation may not be an easy one to have based on issues you’ve had in the past surrounding this subject and your partner’s feelings about the music industry. Try to allow your family members to be open and honest about any concerns they have and be willing to come to some types of agreement or understanding so that you don’t have issues later on.

Running from this subject is not an option if you have made a decision to pursue a career in this industry. It’s hard work and your entire family does not need to be onboard, but they do need their fence in place so they can understand some of what they can expect from you while you work on your craft.

Once you answer the questions, you can now establish boundaries accordingly. If you have family time on Sundays, don’t schedule studio time during that time. There may be times when you need to request some flexibility as your career grows, but don’t abuse this allowance. Abusing the boundaries you and your family agreed upon might later cause an ultimatum.

Trust me.

You don’t want the ultimatum.

With all that said, honesty in conversations with your immediate family or partner is absolutely necessary in order to keep stability at home while you are pursuing your career path in a sometimes unstable industry.

Set yourself up for success.

Communicate and plan ahead.

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