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When you reach the top of the Mountain, you’re alone. No one is there to be impressed by you, give you a medal, or ask you to pose for a picture - if you had those moments at all, they won't last the entirety of the rest of your life. No one watched you during the entire climb so no one will completely understand how much effort you put in, except you. This was always just about you and your Mountain - your life, no one else’s. 

At the same time though, you're not alone at all. No human achieves greatness in a bubble - so take this moment to let the ripple effect of our human connections actually dawn on you. Also, you're not alone in the sense that you're now part of an elite: you're one of a very rare group of humans determined to find satisfaction internally, not based on anyone else's opinions. We really can't stress enough how rare and valuable this kind of satisfaction is - enjoy its ripple effect across the rest of your life.

At the top it’s only your brain taking it all in - and if you did the climb correctly, your brain will giggle because, yes this view is amazing, but it sure is similar to the views it could see during the climb.

You’ll summit multiple times in one journey, like a mountain range. Maybe next you’ll want to climb another Mountain, because your first Definition of Success feels fulfilled and you have a new one to climb. You can already see the next Mountain in your head now. The Summit doesn’t truly exist as a destination - because there is no end to your Mountain-climbing adventures now that you’re so skilled and in the thick of it. On the other side, maybe you’ll feel satisfied, and decide that now it’s time to learn how to fish. Or white water raft. Or scavenge for mushrooms. Everyone evolves. 

Your Mountain climb, your Music Career, is your life. May you use it in ways that get you closer to what success means to you, and keep climbing inch by inch to get there.

We’re here for you if you want even more personalized help: our other services like Consulting sessions are personalized around your unique scenario. Most importantly to us though is that our sweaty years of research since 2013 get spread to as many musicians as possible. Use everything we gave you and don’t let your fellow music friends get left behind. Spread the love - because there is no good reason not to: the more music we all get to dive deeper into all the endless nuances of what it means to be a true human being, the better.

We want those invites into your Music Worlds - so come at us. Godspeed.

- Emily Plazek

Founder/Lead Strategy Expert
MIC: Music Industry Connected
November 12, 2021

Special thanks to the unbelievably illuminating International Intern Class of 2021 that helped me update this version of The Mountain. Extra credit goes to those who helped me edit The Mountain thoroughly (Justine Azarcon, Aidan Dean Dunn, Ella Scudder-Davis), those who helped me hack away at verbiage and coin important terms and perspectives for new theories (Arianna Bellantuono, Aidan Dean Dunn, Ximena Morales, Hanna Melba, Sofia Puente, Leah Robin, James Robinson, Shelby Scuderi, Abbie Todaro), those who helped research publishing & legal matters and create data analytics tools & supplemental documents for the Process Manuals (Arianna Bellantuono, Frederik Kjærsgaard, Alejandra Millan, Jordyn Newing, James Robinson, Abbie Todaro, Martina Verano), those who went out of their way to help the MIC social media (Arianna Bellantuono, Carmen Ercoreca, Abbie Todaro, Paola Trujillo), those who trained others within the 5 Pocket Projects (Aidan Dean Dunn, Sarah Draves, Aleja Millan, Ximena Morales, Shelby Scuderi, Abbie Todaro, Brandon Y.D.), those who conducted lead generation and nailed successes in PR & Playlisting while still in training (Jordan Anderson, Eric Azevedo, Justine Azarcon, Jayant Buddha, Sarah Draves, Aidan Dean Dunn, Yamille Elias, Carmen Ercoreca, Chanelle Johnson, Kamau Jones, Kaylee Jones, Frederik Kjærsgaard, Davis McMillan, Hanna Melba, Leah Robin, James Robinson, Ella Scudder-Davis, Shelby Scuderi, Abbie Todaro, Paola Trujillo, Cami Wilder, Brandon Y.D.), those who continued the 5 Pocket freelancing experiments after the formal internship finished (Carmen Ercoreca, Paola Trujillo), those who went out of their way on their own to create EPK, Press Release, & website brand manual assets and the MIC Indie V!bes playlist project (Carmen Ercoreca, Aidan Dean Dunn, Paola Trujillo), the indie managers & musicians who practice The Mountain to continuously uncover ways to improve it during our endless research (Eric Azevedo, Jayant Buddha,  Aidan Dean Dunn, Aly Dusek, Leah Robin, Ella Scudder-Davis, Paola Trujillo, Martina Verano, and especially our first 2021 Mountain Musician case study Brandon Y.D.), Amy Poehler for the concept of "Doing the Thing" in "Yes, Please", and my incredible intern manager, Abbie Todaro.

You're all immortalized in The Mountain forever; you defy the darkness in our industry with your MIC spirit, proving that music careers can indeed improve quality of life. Thanks for climbing with me.