Welcome Back + Setting SMART Goals

Episode 026 of The Indie Musician Secrets Podcast

Indie Musician Secrets
10 min readSep 28, 2023



INTRO: There are no secrets to success, just things you haven’t learned yet. And once you learn them, it’s up to you to apply them. I’m Jamaal, aka Boss Eagle, Billboard-charting hip hop artist and music business coach. Join me as we talk digital marketing, social media, technology and more, and share interviews with industry professionals to help you unlock the “secrets” and take control of your music career. Because we ARE the new music business, and this is the Indie Musician Secrets Podcast.

What’s up? What’s up? What’s up and welcome to the Indie Musician Secrets Podcast. I’m your host Jamaal aka Boss Eagle, Billboard-charting Hip-Hop artist and music business coach here at Business Minded Musicians. And I want to welcome you to today’s episode, or to welcome you back. It has actually been over a year since since my last episode, and so we’re gonna be talking a little bit about that today — where I’ve been, what’s been going on — and then talk about what’s on the horizon and looking at setting goals for our music career going forward.

But before we jump into that, again, just want to say thank you again for listening, wherever you’re listening from. And just to remind you that you can listen to the podcast on all of your favorite platforms. And don’t forget to rate and review the podcast as well. That would be so helpful in helping us continue to push the podcast forward.

Alright, so we’re gonna jump into today’s episode, which is actually kind of a “welcome back” and setting SMART goals.

I want to share a little bit about where I’ve been in the last year. I was actually working full time, you know, have bills to pay, a family to feed and everything, and so started in July of last year. My last podcast episode was in August, and during that time, like I said, I was just working for the most part and a lot of my music stuff kind of was on hiatus, so to speak.

I think the last thing that I was pursuing at the time, was going through the Open Act contest and I was trying to win that to do the opening act for that for that show at the Hollywood Bowl. And so really over the last year or so things were just kind of on hiatus, but there were some some highlights. There were some some bright spots in there as well.

I did join the Recording Academy. I joined as a Voting Member so I’m now GRAMMY voter, so that was really awesome. And actually got to go to my first Grammy Awards in February of this year! It was an amazing experience. It’s a long day. I’ll probably create a whole podcast episode just on my Grammy experience. I wanted to do it previously, but wasn’t able to get that done when I wanted to. But that was a lot of fun! I also got to play my first show in LA when I was out there as well.

And then I’ve also kind of started some new things in my music business and launched some things as well. A couple of things that I’m adding to my music business are adding keynote concerts, which I’ll probably be talking about more here in the coming weeks and months. And then also a custom songwriting aspect of my business as well — some things I learned about while at a conference in Austin, Texas last August. So there [are] new things that are kind of starting in my music business.

I’ve also launched a new company called Merch Tower. It’s been kind of in the works in the past, but I actually ended up launching that just within the last couple months. [I] just wrapped up with my first client. Merch Tower is an E-commerce and digital marketing agency for music related businesses. So if you want to check that out, you can visit: merchtower.com You can learn more about that.

Then most recently, I joined the Country Music Association. So yes, I accepted the invitation to join the CMA. I’m super excited about that, and looking forward to being involved. I do write outside of my genre. Actually I wrote my first country song back in 2017. I’ve got about a couple [songs] just kind of waiting in the wings, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some country songs out here in the near future. I’m looking forward to the networking and just being part of the community.

So that’s a little bit about where kind of things have been in the last year or so. And then kind of where I am now is I’ve actually written a song that’s going to be a standalone single called “Keep On Looking Up.” It’s been written for probably several months now, [and] I’m getting ready to probably launch kind of a modified crowdfunding. You know, to kind of ease back into it a little bit, kind of like what I’m doing here with the podcast as well. I lost a lot of momentum, so I’m trying to ramp things back up. So be on the lookout for that.

As far as my second album, I’m about 75% done with the writing the the album 2AB4TL (Two A’s Before The L). I was talking to my wife last night I was like, I have been performing songs from 2AB4TL (slated to be my second album, which I’ll talk about in a minute here) since 2019. So if you’re out there, and you’re worried like, “Man, I’ve been at this for a long time,” or, you’ve had some delays or whatever, trust me, I totally get it.

But with that being said, I’ve also had another project come up here in the last couple months — another album that would be specific to topic, or theme, or audience — that I may be looking at kind of writing here at the at the same time I’m recording 2AB4TL. I’m going to keep it a little bit of secret for now. [It] would actually probably be released before 2 A’s to use some of that leverage; kind of maybe ride some of that wave to lead up to 2AB4TL. So, 2AB4TL could actually end up being my third album out instead of my second album. We’ll see how all that goes. But I’m developing this other project; this idea kind of sparked up in the last couple of months. That’s what I’m looking at right now.

To transition a little bit, as we kind of look into heading into the final quarter of the year, What goals do you have?

I think sometimes it’s easy to overlook those things that might be familiar or that we’ve heard a bunch of times. But goal setting is really beneficial.

There [are] a lot of words that we can use to describe the act goal setting, but it is really beneficial. I think sometimes if you don’t set goals, we’re just kind of shooting aimlessly, or you know, that whole idea of throwing wet spaghetti noodles up against the wall and kind of seeing what sticks. Since I left my job back in May of this year, I got off track with my goals a little bit, and I think that caused some stress and pressure. I’m trying to get back on track with my goals, and setting specific goals. What I want to walk you through is probably something that, honestly, you’re probably already familiar with — you’ve probably already heard this before, and maybe you haven’t.


I want to talk about setting SMART goals. And that’s not to say that otherwise you’re dumb! No, SMART is just an acronym. SMART goals have five parts: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time- bound. What I want to do right now is go through those briefly and draw back on these. Again, maybe you’re already familiar with, but maybe it’s new to you. But look at this with fresh eyes, and with a new perspective.


The first part is: Specific. Our goal should be specific in nature, right? So we don’t want to just say, “I want to write some music.” That’s not really specific. We want to say something like, “I’m going to write one new song,” or, “I’m going to submit for three festivals,” or, “I’m going to identify two [music] grants that I might be eligible for.” (Or maybe just one grant, right?) Make sure it’s specific so that it’s not just out there in the ethos and all over the place.


The second part is: Measurable. You track it. Is it quantifiable? With the song example, completing a new song is measurable because it had an end, you’ll know when that end comes. Although we know as songwriters and artists, we can always be working on our songs! Sometimes you just have to get it in the can and be like, “Okay, it’s done.” You can’t put any more mixing and mastering on it. It is done. Just let it be done. It’s quantifiable because I know that here’s the song’s beginning here’s the end. It’s completed.


The third part of SMART goals is: Achievable. Is the goal achievable? Can you actually accomplish it? Writing a song is achievable. It’s not like saying, “I’m gonna go build a rocket in my backyard and go to Mars.” That’s probably not achievable. I’m not saying that you’re not smart or, not a capable person. But building a rocket ship in your backyard is not achievable. Can you actually accomplish it is the third part of the SMART goals.


The fourth part is: Relevant. Is the goal relevant to you or what you do? Again, going back to the writing a song goal, writing one new song that is relevant because we’re musicians and we want to write music. We want to create music. We want to release music. Writing a song is relevant. Finding a grant that would help you advance your music career is relevant. Identifying one new producer to work with is relevant. Think about your goal. Is it relevant to what you do and to who you are?


Lastly, the T is: Time-bound. We want to make sure that our goals have a start and an end time for completion. We don’t want to just say, “I’m going to write a new song.” [Instead] say, “I’m going to write one new song by this Friday. I’m going to complete the recording of my EP by November 1.” This is really important because if we don’t have a deadline, time will just continue to go by. There’s always going to be something to do — work, responsibilities to handle — life does not necessarily slow down. We want to make our SMART goals time-bound, so that we can work backwards — that whole idea of reverse engineering, right?

For me, knowing that I want to potentially put out two albums in the first quarter of next year. That’s crazy, right? But I have specific, time-bound aspects because of that first potential album that could come out. I’m timing it with something event-wise, so that’s going to naturally create that time bound aspect. I’m trying to capitalize on something that’s going on and then to use that wave of momentum to release to 2AB4TL. I could potentially have two albums out within a month of each other! Some people might say that’s probably not the smartest thing to do. I don’t really care. I know what my goals are and WHY I’m doing things the way I’m doing them.

If you want to create something for a specific reason or whatever, that time-bound aspect might come into play there. [Maybe] you just want to complete the song that you’ve been working on by next Tuesday. It doesn’t have to be bound by Black Friday or Cyber Monday or whatever it is. It could just be because you want to give yourself a deadline to complete it. Make sure SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.


The action item for today’s episode is to create a SMART goal, but not just to create a SMART goal. I want you to create one SMART goal for yourself today. That is specific — it’s one smart goal. It’s measurable, because we know that goal will be will be created. It’s achievable because I know you can do it. It’s relevant because you’re setting goals for your music career. And it’s time-bound [because] you’re going to do it today.

That goal could be immediate, like something coming up right away. It can be a short term goal — within the next one to three months. An intermediate goal — like three to six months, or three to nine months. Or it could be a long term goal.


I want to encourage you to write it down. Make sure you have it somewhere you can see it. You can put it on your phone, or write it on a piece of paper — something that’s tactile, that you can touch and come back to. And consider sharing it for accountability. You can tell me in the comments! The podcast episodes go on YouTube. You can leave a comment there. But consider sharing with someone and really make it feel real.

If you have any questions that you’d like to send or any topics that you’d like to have covered on the podcast, you can email me at: questions [at] indie musicians secrets {dot} com. Don’t forget to also rate review, and share the podcast. And please pass this episode along to anyone that you think it would be helpful for; to help them advance their music career. That would be great. Remember “there are no secrets to success, just things you haven’t learned yet.” Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll catch you on the next episode. God bless. See you when I see you. Peace

OUTRO: Thank you for listening. Don’t forget to follow the Indie Musician Secrets Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. And make sure to leave us a rating and review. Also share this episode with other indie musicians who you think it would be beneficial for. And for more helpful resources to help you grow your music business, visit us at: businessmindedmusicians.com. I hope this episode has served you we’ll talk to you on the next episode.

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Indie Musician Secrets

Jamaal “Boss Eagle” Curry is a Hip-Hop recording artist, music business coach, digital marketer and entrepreneur. Visit www.jamaalcurry.com for more.