If you’re an indie artist or entrepreneur—aspiring or not—do not base your success on the recognition you get from key players in your field. Not the big important collaborations, magazine spots, awards, features, etcetera.
I know it’s easy to, arguably the default. And whilst they can serve as big marks of progress, relying on them to continue the success of your career is not and should never be the way to go. Do not expect them to credit you (which they absolutely should!) or for that slice of credit to take you far.
And I know this sounds very pessimistic, but I write it more so as a way to temper expectations. It’s akin to my view of winning a million dollars, flat: Life-changing but not life-sustaining. Much more work is required to make it endure.
—Instead, base your success on your hard numbers. Your net (net!!) sales, paid bookings or commissions. Audience growth is important as well but the number of followers does not directly correlate with the numbers you make income-wise. That all comes down to engagement. There’s more success to be gained from 1000 followers that fully invest in you than 100,000 followers that are there for aesthetic purposes. (I hope I phrased this right, but basically don’t assume you won’t make bank just because your follower count isn’t where you think it should be.)
Find validation for your work in what you’ve done, not what others used you for.