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How to Be a Nice Guy in Music and Not Finish Last

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We've all heard the phrase "nice guys finish last," the basis being that "nice guys" lack the confidence and aggression needed to succeed in life, thus being trampled by their "mean" cohorts. Fortunately for all the inherently considerate folk out there, this is a myth.

It's entirely possible to be nice and successful at the same time. There are, however, some finer details to keep in mind. So put a smile on your face, get those mean insults out of your head, and start down your path to success.

What Kind of Musical Genius Are You? Take This Quick Quiz to Find Out

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Musicians: How to Take No for an Answer

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It wasn't my first meeting with a publisher, but it was my biggest meeting at that point. I was 16 at the time, and although I'd had many “good” meetings, I hadn't as yet had any big yeses. The gold records that lined the wall were impressive – especially for a teenager – and I was feeling a little lightheaded about even being in an office so nice. I handed him the cassette, feeling confident about my songs – it was my best writing to date.

The tape screeched as he fast-forwarded to the chorus.

“No. Next.”

7 Rock Biographies You've Never Read, But Definitely Should

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As humans, we often look to others for inspiration and guidance (hence why YouTube hair and makeup tutorials are so popular). The same goes for the indie musician, possibly even more so because there's such a brilliant array of sources from which to glean wisdom, marketing tactics, stage presence ideas, and even songwriting hacks. But one of the most popular, straight-forward, and easily accessible ways is to pick up a book (or download an e-book, whatever).

The Unexpected Ways These 5 Famous Artists Were Discovered

They're out there somewhere: tastemakers. Talent buyers. Record label CEOs. They probably look like you and me, but they have the ability to hand you an opportunity to step onto a larger stage, taking a huge step forward in your career. If you're lucky, you're only one degree of separation away from someone who show you a path to fame or, at the very least, doing music full time. These opportunities can arrive at absolutely any time, and often in the most unlikely ways. These five stars prove how important it is to be practiced, committed, and prepared for when those opportunities come knocking.