ADN: 034 — Mission, Values, Principles, Traits

Artist Development
4 min readJul 16


Hey Friends -

Welcome to the Artist Development Newsletter.

Every Sunday, I send an email providing actionable tips for artists and industry on one area of the music business.

Last week’s letter was titled “Comparison Is A Killer.”

You can re-read it here if you want to refresh.

I’ve been thinking about Mission, Values, Principles, and Character Traits this week, so I wrote some thoughts.

Here they are.


We can make a new choice every second of every day.

We don’t have to make choices with every second of every day, but by not making choices, you are, in fact, making a choice.

The decision to do or not to do influences.

It influences opportunity, relationships, energy, focus, and the list goes on.

With this, I want to share 4 categories to consider for your career as an artist.

  • Mission
  • Values
  • Principles
  • Character Traits

Let’s dive into these and use them as a starting place to think about how to be intentional in your career (and life.)

#1 — Mission:

What is your mission?

Is it to “make a million dollars?”

Is it to “Put out a song a month?”

Or is it something even more specific, like, “I want to pursue a career of abundant artistic expression by connecting with my audience in the mutually beneficial pursuit of happiness?”

My recommendation is to get specific.

Even if your goal is to “make a million dollars,” plenty of ways exist to get specific with that mission.


$1,000,000.00 divided by 365 days = $2,739.72 per day

$2739.72 divided by 8 hours = $342.46 per hour (avg. 8-hour work day)

Ok, now you know that if you worked 7 days a week @ 8 hours per day, you’d need to earn $342.46 per hour to accomplish your goal.

Define your mission and then zoom in on what it will take to accomplish it.

Your mission can change, but it’s always helpful to have one.

You can have a broad overarching career or life mission and still have smaller mini-missions throughout your daily life.

A mission mindset allows you to focus on both the momentous and the moment.

#2 — Values:

What values do you want to represent throughout your career?

  • Focus?
  • Loyalty?
  • Connection?
  • Consistency?
  • Kindness?
  • Understanding?
  • Etc.

Make a list that reflects the artist and person you want to be.

Keep a copy on your phone (I like Apple Notes for this.)

When preparing for an interview, concert, songwriting session, or meeting, quickly review your list.

Let your values remind you of the person you want to be, and then carry those values into your interactions with the world.

#3 — Principles:

What principles are important to you?

Again, make a list.

  • Take care of myself
  • Take care of others
  • Take ownership
  • Move with purpose toward my mission
  • Positive mentality
  • Love or hate opportunity (avoid the middle)
  • Be a problem-solver
  • Long-term patience
  • Short-term expedience
  • Intentional action
  • Relentless enthusiasm

Let your principles act as your North Star.

The compass you look at when you’re asked to do something.

An interview, a tour, a meeting, a feature, a favor, etc.

Ask yourself if the ask fits within your principles.

If you are still unsure, you may have another principle to consider adding to your list, or the simple answer is no to the ask.

If it isn’t an obvious yes, make it a no with a thank you.

#4 — Character Traits:

Last but not least, what kind of character traits do you want to exude?

What kind of artist and person do you want to be?

  • Accountable
  • Disciplined
  • Relentless
  • Driven
  • Patient
  • Resolute
  • Empathetic
  • Honest
  • Kind
  • Thoughtful
  • Humble
  • Generous
  • Intentional
  • Adaptable
  • Present

As you work on your next album or tour, focus on bringing these traits with you along the way.

These traits are each a tool in your toolbox to help you live by your principles, represent your values, and accomplish your mission.


If you have a mission mindset that incorporates your values, principles, and character traits to their full potential, you’ll be better able to make the right choices for yourself every day for your career and life.

See you next Sunday -


Artist Development

PS — I’ve added a couple of mini E-Books to the website.

They are free, so grab them!

Artist Development Tips For Songwriters

How To Schedule 1 Month Of Social Media In 1 Day


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