ARTISTS: 8 Important Tips to stay on top of your Game

No one has ever set out to achieve mediocrity. Succeeding and staying on top of your game are equally important in the creative industry. With success, hard work is required but sometimes all we need to do is to work smart!

By Israel Sebenzo

To make it in the industry, talent alone is never enough. If you try to succeed, you might just try too hard and fail. Success is guaranteed when you utilise a set of skills, thought processes and values and these are some of them:


I cannot overemphasise the importance of working smart. Work a lot yes, but on the right things that will actually move your craft and brand forward. Work hard on the things that will help you meet your set-out objectives and goals as a creative. This also calls for patience and commitment in understanding that a lot of hard work goes in before returns can be realised. 

Winky D _ Pic _ Plot Mhako

Becoming a multi-dimensional creative through learning new skills is equally important in succeeding. There is a great deal to be benefited from learning skills such as knowing how to negotiate, communicating effectively and thinking strategically.

Zivanai Masango

As you work with different experts in different fields, make it a habit to always learn from them and trust your acquired knowledge will come in handy. 


If you don’t embrace risk taking, you might as well forget about success. Nothing great has ever come from comfort zones. Leave you comfort zone!

Freeman & Gemma Griffiths _ pic zash craft

Don’t be afraid to try new ideas.

Risks can be very uncomfortable and controversial, but the more calculated they are, the more likely they are to take you to greater heights in your career. This however does not mean going into business blindly and then expecting great results. Take calculated risks.


Communication skills are critical in the industry, effective ones at that. The whole business is hinged around people that need to be effectively communicated to/with frequently. Once the communication is defective, the end goal is compromised. If you are not a good communicator naturally, seek help and improve on this shortcoming.

You must confidently champion your ideas and products for them to be meaningful to the next person.


I have often heard people exclaiming how well they work under pressure; the question here is do all these people realise what this really means?

Stay calm in situations of high stress. 

Jah Prayzah

The nature of the industry is such that the ability to multitask is a must. As a creative, you will need to be able to work on several projects at a go. Time management in the business goes a long way, if you manage your time well, you will be able to avoid stress situations. Working with other creatives who are different from you, who think and do things differently will create a lot of tension.

To be successful in the industry, you will then need to be able to move projects forward without letting feelings of being overwhelmed get the best of you.


The industry comes with its fair share of opportunities and challenges. The biggest challenge perhaps is having to put in most of the work for a long time with no benefits in sight.

Garry Mapanzure

It is at these points that your vision should pull through. If your vision is not clear enough, you will stray from your objectives and at the end of the day lose focus of your set out goals. Always aim to align your actions with the desired end goal. This is a quick and effective way of achieving the goal. Remain steadfast in your vision; never be distracted by the small picture. Always see the bigger picture!


It does not necessarily have to be a competition with other players in the industry; you can alternatively get yourself an accountability partner you will be checking in with at certain intervals to give you that push to get things done and avoid procrastinating.

Create a culture of healthy competition with others and this will propel you to make significant progress.

Always be vigilant not to be consumed into unhealthy competition that is very counter-productive. Also, be careful not to lose your authenticity in the process.

Tocky Vibes

Compete but stay in your lane!


Lastly but definitely not least, never ever burn your bridges. Teamwork goes a long way in ensuring success; no creative has ever reached high levels of success alone. Relations will be built as you work with different experts and as a result, loyalty will be expected from both parties, they will be expected to be loyal to you and likewise, it will be expected of you. Inevitably, as relations are built, there will be some fall outs.


As this happens, never write off people, instead look for amicable ways to come up with solutions that will maintain relations and this will take you far as you may never know who you will need tomorrow.

The key is strategy. Be strategic and purposeful about how you work and this will yield results and guaranteed success for you. 

Israel Sebenzo is a Singer, Songwriter and Artist & Repertoire (A&R) Executive.

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