I have never understood why some people are content to be “pretty good”, even at something they profess to be very serious about.
I know people who are doing professional musical things who will readily admit that they aren’t particularly good but who do nothing to improve their skills or abilities. They spend their free time traveling for fun, writing on topics unrelated to their work or participating in groups that ask for some kind of commitment in terms of time and energy that are also unrelated. I know people who claim to be “professional singers” who haven’t had a paying job in decades. I know people who are willing to stand up in front of an audience and sing regardless of whether or not they sound good. Maybe the fun of singing in front of others trumps common sense? Maybe they think they sound just fine? Maybe they think it doesn’t matter as long as they know the words and the music?
Even very musical people who should have the ears to hear sometimes don’t. People who have enormous amounts of musical expertise may be intellectually superior but that doesn’t make them terrific artists. I have met quite a few people over the decades who fell into a musical job because they had some training but sadly they did not also have the level of skills that should also have gone with it. Skill building in such a circumstance would not be a nicety, it would be a requirement. Of course, that means the person would have to have the desire and the sensibility to improve.
Why is it that some individuals think they are better than they are and some think they are not very good when in fact they are excellent? As a teacher I have encountered both kinds of singers and it’s quite difficult to get them to re-evaluate their opinions and they can’t work to change things until they do. Kind of a Catch-22.
Don’t go through life being “pretty good” at anything. Have the guts to really commit, learn to be absolutely excellent without qualification and don’t give up until you get there. You are worth what it takes to become a master. If you don’t know whether or not your skill set measures up to industry standards, find three working professionals, do your thing, and ask them for an honest evaluation. Pretty good is pretty useless.