In the early 1980’s, Metallica was just another struggling band on the LA scene, playing shows on the Sunset Strip, starving and trying to break through. Their situation was doubly worse because, unlike the dozens of hair bands, Metallica is not doing glam rock, they are pioneering a new form of music called Thrash Metal.
Unfortunately, the kids are into Poison and Van Halen and the Crue, they’re into the makeup and the stage costumes and the big hair. They are not into thrash anything. The other bands don’t get it either – Metallica is isolated in the LA scene and stuck on the fringes.
So they do something else. They start playing shows in San Francisco and the Bay Area. And in the Bay Area they get traction. They sell out shows and build an audience and things start happening. Their tapes start making the rounds and lines start forming.
So what does Metallica do?
They pack up and leave LA and move to where their audience is. They move to San Francisco to where they are wanted and appreciated, to where they have support and the prospects of a career. Then they sell a hundred million records and probably half a billion dollars worth of concert tickets and merchandise.
Seems very simple, but stop and think about how many people you know who are struggling to catch fish in the wrong pond right now. How many people are just spinning their wheels in one place while they probably should be focused on a different place entirely?
Move to where your audience is – mentally, geographically, aesthetically. Go where you’re wanted.